good shooting gone bad
This is a discussion on good shooting gone bad within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Janq :
Your statement pretty much sums up my feelings, along with the judge and his view of the whole situation. I wasn't on the ...
October 10th, 2006 10:42 AM
Your statement pretty much sums up my feelings, along with the judge and his view of the whole situation. I wasn't on the jury and didn't hear the evidence they did, so it's difficult to fault them for their decision. This is a tough one because it could have gone either way if you listen to the evidence since both sides brought up valid points. It really boils down to who you believed more, the prosecutor or the defense.
I do take issue with the statement the prosecutor made about the gun (a 10mm) and the type of bullets used (JHP's) as some indicator that Mr. Fish was looking for trouble or had some sort of "Death Wish" attitude. The defense lawyer should have pointed out that many -- if not most -- police departments authorize this same ammo. As for the gun, he could have pointed out that Mr. Fish could just have easily have been carrying a .357 or .44 mag revolvers or a .45 Colt 1911, all of which are powerful handguns and frequently carried for self defense when in the "wilderness". It seems a lot of prosecutors and DA's like use the shooters choice of caliber (usually because they can't find anything else) to point out possible intent and predisposition to kill. What's surprising is that more defense lawyers don't rebut it with stats showing the type of guns and bullets LEO's use, the "bigger is better" attitude taught by defense schools and that even the military is shopping for a new .45 to replace the 9mm.
It all seems to have been a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and things spinning out of control too fast. There would have been no winners in this situation, no matter what the outcome of the trial was.
"... Americans... we want a safe home, to keep the money we make and shoot bad guys." -- Denny Crane
October 10th, 2006 10:49 AM
This is exactly why we have all these discussions about how you need to be careful not to do anything that might get you into trouble later, and this is exactly why the people who say "if the shooting is righteous then I don't have to worry about that kind of stuff!" are completely WRONG!
October 10th, 2006 10:56 AM
I caught this on a Dateline Special(NBC4 in VA/MD/DC) from this weekend (a friend dvr'd it for me while I was out for a weekend camping trip). This is nuts. Among other things, the jury was clearly affected by the prosecutions attempt to make hollowpoints sound like they were WMD's or something. They had interviews with 2 of the jurors who stated to that effect. The prosecutor effectively used general populace ignorance and fear to sway the jury, and the defense lawyer's defense idea was to use Mr. Fish's known good character as his defense instead of countering the prosecutions lies and mis-interpretations. Other things that showed the clear lack of logic in the sheeple's minds was Datelines interview with Mr. Fish post conviction. The interviewer asked things like why didn't he just hit the guy over the head with the butt of his gun instead of shooting him! WTH!!!! Can we see a lack of logic here?
October 10th, 2006 11:30 AM
All necessary comments have been made - many very good ones too.
Suffice it to say - this is one big wake-up call when it comes to seeing the way something seemingly cut'n'dried can go. 'Scary' does not describe it adequately.
Chris - P95
NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.
"To own a gun and assume that you are armed
is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."
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October 10th, 2006 11:39 AM
Isn't this the perfect argument for a less than lethal solution, such as OC spray? I don't carry it currently, but I will now.
I can see him not letting the guy get too close if he was running toward him, but I also MAYBE see the point of shooting being a little too much and the warning shots were definately a no no. He saw no weapon other than the man's fists. I don't know the size, age or weight difference between the men either.
I think that, at least for the healthy and fit good guy, pepper spray kinda oughta be required to be on your person as well when carrying.
October 10th, 2006 11:47 AM
Very sad. It makes one really consider the possible reprecussions of carrying a firearm and using it in the valid defense of one’s life. You can do everything right and still go to jail for a long time.
Just some thoughts...
Why wasn't the message that hollow-points are used to expend all the energy of the bullet in the target with the goal of protecting the lives of innocents in the immediate area given to the jury?
Why wasn't the question of why an unarmed man continued to close the distance in a threatening manner with a man who obviously has a firearm discussed at trial (did I miss this)? As someone who would be armed I can only assume the attacker plans to disarm me and then what? This should reflect on the state of mind of the attacker.
If you are ever in a similar situation you have to pray that you will make the best decision possible at the appropriate time. Tell LEO you were in fear for your life and/or great bodily harm and nothing else until you have a chance to speak with your attorney. Hire the very best attorney you can afford and pray for a resonable jury. Unfortunately, we rarely receive a “jury of our peers”.
I’ve actually considered seeking out the best criminal defense attorney in my area to discuss my CCW and place them on retainer in the event (God Forbid) I should ever need their services.
Does anyone know if the NRA has lawyers they can recommend for this purpose?
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
October 10th, 2006 11:59 AM
I believe the major problem this Victim had was he got a sorry attorney to defend him.
I had a Brother Officer killed in the line of duty by an unarmed assailant and his three dogs just before I retired. The three dogs attacked the officer and then the perp gained access to his duty weapon and killed him. Again, I believe this Victim has a poorly trained attorney defending him or he would have the officers and CIs from my Federal Agency acting as witnesses at his trial.
Graduate: University of South Vietnam-
School of Jungle Warfare
CURRAHEE My Brothers In Blood
October 10th, 2006 12:11 PM
Lessons I learned
The story in the article was tragic for Mr. Fish but instructive for us as well. I agree with posters above that Fish should have been found not guilty, and that his legal defense was poor. It could also be that he had very bad luck on the jury that was selected - a different jury could easily have gone the other way and found him not guilty. I hope he will receive an appeal.
The lessons for me include:
1. Carrying an intermediate form of defense in addition to your gun, such as OC spray or a very stout walking stick, could be a good idea. Although the gun certainly stopped the dogs and the human from harming Fish, it is possible that the spray or a stick would have also served the purpose, saving Fish a lot of grief.
2. As others said, get a lawyer to do your talking for you. We see Fish being questioned for hours and hours, and having his inevitable slips and contradictions used against him. If you are a suspect in a crime, like second degree murder, you don't have to say anything. Let them try to prove their case without your help.
October 10th, 2006 12:12 PM
Not to mention all of the other problems with the case....
Judge: This case does give new meaning to the word tragedy. I do believe he reacted out of fear and instinct when he shot and killed Grant Kuenzli.
Does this mean that the judge felt it was a clean shoot, but was forced to sentence him because of the jury's decision? Is 10 years the minimum sentence?
Usually you have to prove you feared for your life(or serious injury), right?
October 10th, 2006 12:16 PM
This is something I'm definitely going to do in the near future. Of course, a prosecuter could probably point to that as "intent to need his services" or something, but I still think the benefit would outweigh that risk.
Originally Posted by BlackMax
October 10th, 2006 12:39 PM
Hmmm Flagstaff courts.... This doesn't surprise me that the judge had a reaction like that (believe it was justified). Up in northern AZ, we do a LOT of hiking and outdoors stuff. I can't think of one outting where there wasn't at least one person armed. Someone usually packs a handgun and someone brings a rifle. This isn't for the sake of carrying, but more because of personal safety. There are a lot of animals around here that might decide you are intruding. Ever seen a pissed-off elk?
What astonishes me the most, like most people, is the jury. Especially considering the area. How the hell did this happen?! It seems like they had a jury pool from Northern Arizona U. I can't imagine what was going through their heads...... Especially with how gun-friendly N-AZ is.
The Gunsite Blog
ITFT / Quick Kill Review
"It is enough to note, as we have observed, that the American people have considered the handgun to be the quintessential self-defense weapon." - Justice Scalia, SCOTUS - DC v Heller - 26 JUN 2008
October 10th, 2006 12:44 PM
I found some humor in the correspondents comment--"Why not fend him off? You have a gun in your hand and if nothing else that’s heavy metal. Hit him."
My comment: I'll hit him after my gun is empty...
October 10th, 2006 02:24 PM
While it is obvious that the defense team didn't do as good a job as they could, the main problem is the jury.
...and not just THIS jury: its most of them.
The jurors get to sit in a comfy courtroom, drinking water when they are thirsty and breaking for lunch. Like most sheeple, most jurors are insulated from the harsh realities of a violent encounter.
That's why you get the "why didn't you hit him with your gun" comments.
The jurors had plenty of time to analyze and rehash the events. Mr. Fish unfortunately, had to make his decision amidst the charge of a angry man and the growly of a couple of dogs and he had to decide in seconds.
Besides, juries don't want to face the facts about an attack.
For example, I have been doing some knife training recently. During this time I came across some very graphic pictures of knife wounds. I thought, if you take self defense seriously, you need to know what an encounter with a knife can do.
Most of the otherwise self defense savy people I talked to flatly refused to look at these pictures. If pro self defense people cannot look at the results of a violent attack, how can we expect juries to?
That's on of the problems with our society. We want to live in a fantasy that one shot to the arm will safely stop the bad guy. No one should get hurt. Juries deliberate using the "facts" they learned from Hollywood.
I feel so bad for Mr. Fish and hope he can salvage his life.
October 10th, 2006 04:26 PM
This strongly brings home a point in my recent CCW class...even if you are involved in a JUSTIFIED shooting, the liklihood of a criminal trial, followed by a civil suit, along with the trauma to you and your family, the reaction of friends toward you and your family, and absolute upheaval of your life, you need to decide if the CCW is worth it.
And I hate the argument of 'why didn't you just...'. I recall a case where police shot a doped-up young man brandishing a knife toward them. I think they treid a Taser and eventually had to shoot him. The general public response? "Why couldn't they have shot him in the leg?" Too much Hollywood, and that's what a lot of this case looks like too.
October 10th, 2006 04:38 PM
If a guy was aggressively running toward you and he knew you had a gun.... if you wait until contact without firing NOW he might start beating you and possibly take your weapon and then use it on you.
If someone is coming toward me in a threatening manner I am telling them to stop. If they don't I think you'd have to assume they intend bodily harm and stop them. - BEFORE you engage in hand to hand combat.
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