August 10th, 2010 03:56 PM
Saw this on Hulu today. Its about Bernard Goetz "The Subway Vigilante". Interesting viewing. AND, it's with Captain Kirk himself William Shatner!!
Would you have reacted the same way in Goetz's scenario?
Yes, however, I would have only fired until all threats stopped. Goetz went a bit farther and shot one BG again even though the threat ceased.
Was Goetz justified?
IMO, yes, Goetz beat the BG's to the punch. Four guys surround me, demand money, and there is an obvious disparity of force (read physically outnumbered), you bet your cahones Im gonna react with extreme force in order to retreat from the unsafe situation.
Do you think the same outcome would have resulted with the current views of firemarms and laws in place in today's society?
Unfortunately, I dont believe Goetz would have been acquitted today.
Last edited by tigerwoods; August 10th, 2010 at 06:34 PM.
Reason: re-did link
August 10th, 2010 04:03 PM
This incident occurred during the 1980s, a time of unprecedented high crime rates in New York City. By mid-decade, the city had a reported crime rate over 70% higher than the rest of the U.S. In 1984, there were 2 homicides, 18 violent crimes, and 65 property thefts reported per 10,000 people. On average, 38 crimes were reported in the subway system each day; the subway became a symbol of the city's inability to control crime. In an opinion poll of New York City residents taken the month after the shootings, more than half of those surveyed said crime was the worst thing about living in the city; about a quarter said they or a family member had been a victim of crime in the last year; and two-thirds said they would be willing to pay for private security for their building or block.
While transporting electronic equipment in 1981, Goetz was attacked in the Canal Street subway station by three youths who tried to steal the equipment and his sheepskin jacket. They smashed him into a plate-glass door and threw him to the ground, causing chest and knee injuries. Goetz assisted an off-duty officer in arresting one of them, but was angered when his attacker spent less time in the police station than he did, then was further angered when his attacker was charged only with criminal mischief, for ripping the jacket. Goetz applied for a permit to carry a handgun, on the basis of routinely carrying valuable equipment and large sums of cash. His application was denied for insufficient need, as are most such applications in New York City. Goetz bought a five-shot, alloy J-frame Smith and Wesson "Airweight" revolver with a shrouded hammer on his next trip to visit family in Florida. He began carrying it regularly and had brandished it twice to frighten away would-be robbers before using it to shoot the four men who confronted him on the subway.
At the time of the incident all four men had criminal records, with a total of fourteen criminal bench warrants, although only Cabey had been charged with a felony, armed robbery. All of them had reached the age of majority.
August 10th, 2010 06:04 PM
The Hulu link was empty.
Originally Posted by tigerwoods
Was Goetz justified? Yes. If you use the "reasonable man" approach - i.e., how would a reasonable man react, knowing what Goetz did at the time of the assault? He was a prior victime of physical assault, and being confronted with superior numbers of men armed with a deadly weapon (a screwdriver), Goetz knew he was in jeopardy and at risk of grave bodily harm.
There were a couple of things that got Goetz in hot water. One was shooting his mouth off; "here, I've got five dollars for each of you" was probably not the brightest thing to say when he pulled his gun, and the words about the one he put the extra round into (can't recall the words) were also held against him. He may very well have been justified in shooting the perp already down if the perp may reasonably have still has a weapon on his person and he remained capable of a further threat.
The worst thing Bernie did was to run, fleeing for days to another state before turning himself in. But recall, the only thing he was convicted of was the gun charge - possession without a license. He was found innocent of any assault charges.
In light of the numerous states that now have a "stand your ground" law, I have every reason to believe that if Goetz had not fled after the shooting, he would again have a very good chance of being acquitted.
NRA Endowment Member
August 10th, 2010 08:16 PM
Bernie was justified...to a point. Shooting the young man in the back AFTER he was down and the threat was neutralized/stopped was crossing the line as well as mouthing off to assailants.
I agree that he shouldn't have run, as I've read elsewhere, running implies guilt whether true or not.
With the exception of the three points above (shooting after threat, mouthing, and running), I'd probably would've responded the same way.
I'm glad he was aquitted.
NRA Life Member since 2010
August 10th, 2010 09:25 PM
Agreed to all posts, I would not have run either, nor would I have mouthed off to the BG's. However, I'm gonna put my tinfoil hat on and say that by Goetz saying he was going to give them money, did that buy him time to react to the situation? Had he said no, ignored or otherwise, would the BG's have reacted before Goetz had a chance to "quick draw"?
August 10th, 2010 09:26 PM
But, he didn't shoot any of the men twice. One shot was a miss.
Originally Posted by babyhulk
It appears from the evidence before the Grand Jury that Canty approached Goetz, possibly with Allen beside him, and stated "Give me five dollars". Neither Canty nor any of the other youths displayed a weapon. Goetz responded by standing up, pulling out his handgun and firing four shots in rapid succession. The first shot hit Canty in the chest; the second struck Allen in the back; the third went through Ramseur's arm and into his left side; the fourth was fired at Cabey, who apparently was then standing in the corner of the car, but missed, deflecting instead off of a wall of the conductor's cab. After Goetz briefly surveyed the scene around him, he fired another shot at Cabey, who then was sitting on the end bench of the car. The bullet entered the rear of Cabey's side and severed his spinal cord
Always remember that others may hate you but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself.
Richard M Nixon
Owning a handgun doesn't make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician.”
August 11th, 2010 12:00 AM
Most Stand-Your-Ground's say that deadly force can be used in burglaries or robberies of any degree. Four assailants accosting you for money (e.g., robbery) to me is a deadly force situation. You're obviously outnumbered, and can't retreat anywhere. He has no choice but to shoot. Now mouthing off while you're doing it is a totally different story...
August 11th, 2010 12:12 AM
It was good right up until he said the world we be a better place with more vegetarians... no thanks.... animals are yummy!
August 11th, 2010 09:02 AM
"However, I'm gonna put my tinfoil hat on and say that by Goetz saying he was going to give them money, did that buy him time to react to the situation?"
My thought is his statement "mentally" disarmed the BGs, allowing him to pull his weapon. It made them think money while Goetz thought gun.
If Goetz is a NYer and "bought a five-shot, alloy J-frame Smith and Wesson "Airweight" revolver with a shrouded hammer on his next trip to visit family in Florida" I'm surprised he wasn't charge with illegal purchase out of state.
Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid...
"For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield
August 11th, 2010 09:39 AM
he WAS charged and found guilty of the weapon purchase. he spent 2/3rd of a 1 year sentence in jail.
August 11th, 2010 11:50 AM
While not perfect, few self defense cases are IMHO, what he did was understandable. I would venture to say that most was even correct from a tactical and moral point of view but maybe not legal.
This just goes to show that a jury is a funny creature. Here we have a jury from the City of New York that finally decided that they were sick and tired of the criminal element. The same actions today by someone would most likely result in a guilty verdict on all counts. IIRC, at the time New York was expiriencing a very significant crime problem, and the jury said, "ENOUGH!" They understood why he did what he did because they had more than likley been in his shoes, or knew someone that had. Today New York is not expiriencing the crime problem that it was at that time. That will do much to influence the jury's verdict and outlook.
I find it funny, in a sad sort of way, when I put forth a scenario here that the tactical solution to the problem is to do pretty much what Goetz did, but in a much shorter time-frame, and without the words, but get branded as a murderer. Goetz went back to the badguy to place his bullet. My solution to the problem was to place the bullet in the head as I was moving by him because I was moving to cover and still engaging two cohorts of crime. I think this illustrates that those around crime more often, by virtue of their living situation or job may be more understanding of such tactics, as proven by the Goetz Jury.
Last edited by BikerRN; August 11th, 2010 at 11:52 AM.
August 11th, 2010 12:57 PM
WHen is shows him shooting the guy that is running to the back of the train car I was thinking "wow you just messed up". The assailant was fleeing to the back of the train car as far as he could. I think he should have been cleared on the first 3 he killed and charged for the 4th a fleeing man is a fleeing man.
The Dalai Lama:"If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun."
August 11th, 2010 01:05 PM
Yep, he was found innocent of all charges but one... a minor infraction of gun law... and he did time for it...
But then, justified and vindicated or not, he lost a civil suit resulting in a $47MM judgement...
And, in the end... his best friend is a squirrel (No, I'm not referring to Shatner).
These are, or can be, in many states, the result of defending one's self with a handgun, justifiably or not...
That said, I choose to defend myself from threats to my person with a concealed handgun. I have been taught the law to the extent that I understand that I can be legally right and morally right and civilly liable. I will consider those things when I shoot, albeit briefly.
It could be worse!
August 11th, 2010 01:45 PM
If Goetz would have been in the same scenario in most of the southern states, he would have never seen jail.
The fact that he did time on a gun charge was proof of the extreme anti-gun attitude that New York City is famous for. Have it not been virtually impossible for the average citizen in NYC to even get a gun to protect themselves with, he wouldn't have had to break a law to begin with. Even so, they ignored the fact that he had been robbed before, by the same people, who threatened his life,and they prosecuted him for doing the job that the city refused to do.
He was surrounded by 4 career thugs that made a living robbing and assaulting people and they got away with it until Goetz stopped it. As for the civil suit, many states have immunity for justified shooters, the family's of the deceased are out of luck...as it should be.Not in NYC though, which is full of lawyers that make a living on the often irrational events where common sense is just 2 words in the dictionary and nothing more.
If you are justified in shooting, it should not matter what you say...if its justified, its justified. Mouthing off should be irrelevant.
I remember the case well as we discussed it much. Without fail, everyone around me thought it was justified. If everyone on the subway would be responsible for their own protection instead of acting like the brainwashed wimps that they are, there would be no one left to commit crimes. There are after all, a lot more people that don't do crime than there are that do it.
The state of NY was embarrassed by a nerdy looking man that took care of business, because they refused too. They were going to find him guilty of something, no matter what. After all, they cant have the pheasants defending themselves.
It cuts into their business.
I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.
AR. CHL Instr. 07/02 FFL
Like custom guns and stuff? Check this out...
August 11th, 2010 02:10 PM
Darn it. Blocked here at work. I'll have to watch at home tonight.
For God, Family and Country!
By xsigma40cal in forum Carry & Defensive Scenarios
Last Post: March 22nd, 2010, 11:41 AM
By Tally XD in forum Off Topic & Humor Discussion
Last Post: October 30th, 2008, 11:44 PM
By SIXTO in forum Off Topic & Humor Discussion
Last Post: October 29th, 2008, 10:26 AM
By havegunjoe in forum Off Topic & Humor Discussion
Last Post: September 1st, 2007, 09:20 PM
By davyray in forum Carry & Defensive Scenarios
Last Post: February 22nd, 2007, 11:12 PM
Search tags for this page
Click on a term to search for related topics.
» DefensiveCarry Sponsors