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This is a discussion on good shooting gone bad within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15199221/ if you carry, you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to read all 6 pages....
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"In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson
Nemo Me Impune Lacesset
Whoa - tragic. I guess in AZ you have to be REALLY REALLY afraid of what's going to happen if you don't shoot - the way I read it the guy with the CWP got hung out to dry. And, I suppose, definitely carry some pepper spray or something non-lethal to use before resorting to a firearm, if possible, or risk ending up like this fellow.
It's unfortunate , but , how close do you let someone get before you fire? Other than that , the "hollow point" and "large caliber" references were typical scare tactics thrown out there to get a desired effect from uninformed and naive jurors . BTW , if someone just fired a gun , would YOU just start running at the person shooting?
The defence needed a Professional Witness to explain about the Ammo. It at least should have been brought up about Police using Hollowpoints. As to time line , a Professional Witness could have explained about the psycological efects on a person after having shot someone.
Sad story. I hope he can appeal this to a higher court. I was damn surprised at the verdict, especially after reading about the other guy's hot tempered background. I wonder if there was a single CCW in the group of jurors. I doubt it. I guess the moral of the story is Lawer Up from the get go. I know you don't want to appear guilty by stating, "I want my lawer," but you don't want what you say in the heat of the moment coming back to bite you in the #$$ later on. I mean really---this guy is a legal CCW, nature lover, boy scout leader, husband, father of seven, without so much as jay walking on his record that may have to spend the rest of his life locked up with actual killers? Very sad.
"Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it."
In a case like that i guess you shoot and let em lay.
It makes me wonder... in a case like that where you know that no one was around and you know that you had a clean shoot... do you just pick up your brass and go home?
Before reading this I would have said no, but now i'm not sure.
It may not be PC to say, but if it is between my ass and the turning in of the dead body of a guy that just tried to kill me or my family... guess who is leaving?
Don't hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit soft!
-- Theodore Roosevelt --
This case is horrendous... I hope that I am never faced with a situation like this. Hopefully the verdict will be reversed on appeal. It seems so unfair that this man's reasonable assumption could be so twisted by a prosecutor. Apparently the judge got it... the legislature got it... and the law has been changed...
Scumbags who do all sorts of evil get off everyday... but this guy and his family get their lives ruined...
Member: NRA, GOA
"The more you sweat in training, the less you will bleed in battle" - Navy Seals
I've seen the program, as well as what seems like endless forum discussions on this case.
Yep, Mr. Fish got screwed.
I'm in agreement with two points where there seems to be consensus on this case.
First of all, simply put, Mr. Fish did not have a first-rate legal team.
Second, he went down because the jury didn't feel that a "reasonable person" in his situation would have felt that they were in danger of great bodily harm or death. Mr. Fish obviously felt that way, but according to the jury did not pass the "reasonable person" test.
I'm about Mr. Fish's age, and see that he's a bit of a smallish man, so can imagine how he felt in the woods on a trail, alone, with an enraged whacko-style charge on him from a younger and stronger man...based on what I saw and have read, he passed the "reasonable person" test. But I wasn't on the jury, nor was anyone who thought like me, or he would have walked.
As the judge said, it was a tragedy. The biggest tragedy was sending Harold Fish to the slammer, and leaving his wife and seven kids without husband and father. I grieve for all of them.
his mistake was:
From the article:
'Fish says he fully cooperated with the authorities.
Fish: I didnt say Im not gonna talk to you. I want an attorney.'
.............he should just said "I want an attorney" and he would have saved himself a lot of problems
Hmm all I can say is,I you pull the trigger. Get or have a lawer. Do no talking till you have talked to a lawer. Its sad that In todays world. The courts and system are usally agianst you. Reading the story, It never felt like Innocent until PROVEN guilty.
A sad unfortunate case.
As I read the story the first question to come to my mind was exactly what the prosecutor asked;
"Why warn the dogs and shoot the human being?"
Next does Arizona have a 'Stand Your Ground' law?
If not then he'd most likely have a legal duty to attempt a retreat and distance himself if at possible, even if that means running to a car and standing on it to escape the dogs and handler.
Another question I'd have is why hike to a highway when there are two cars, his own and the handlers, right there accessible as per Mr. Fish's testimony? He was walking to his own car, saw the roof top of another car (which he did not state as being his own), and found the handler with dogs camped next to that car.
Why not toss the man into either car and drive directly to the hospital or an emergnecy services center or untill he was within range of a cell tower? Hiking to a hospital is a huge time waste unless the highway is right next to the scene of the shooting which then would not take 40 minutes as per his own testimony nor very much over an hour as based on the timeline testimony of the persosn who heard the shots.
As for Kenzli how many emotionally stable and mentaly balance persons choose to live segregated from society for extended periods, muchless in a forest, and take showers via a public gym? Why was this obvious red flag not picked up on by anyone be it the defense or the town humane society peronnel who otherwise freely allow a person with no address to take possesion (and thus responsibility) for their animals offsite over extended periods of time?
Additionally the testimony by the vet is of no regard, and her statement that they dogs were friendly (with her) does not refute the possibility that either of the two if not both would react differently away from her and/or under different circumstances outside her office and the shelter facility.
Also what kind of shelter loans out it's animals anyway even if it is for exercise? Muchless offsite and without facility supervision? I'm not Ironsides but that seems to be just begging for a liability lawsuit if either animal had acted anywaher to anyone in a less than sterling manner. Nevermind the fact that anyone who has been around enough dogs knows that any given dog can and might react 'suprisingly' to a given situation or even a person. It's not at all unheard of even amongst persons withint the dogs own family nevermind a stranger out in an area that either dog might decide is the territory of their owner.
This is a bad deal for all involved.
Lessons and confirmations that I personally will take away from this are the following:
* Invest in a less lethal and animal effective 'primary' go to toll such as pepper spray;
* Know state laws in regard to self defense and whether or not retreat or stand of ground is noted;
* Warning shots are fubar and nothing but trouble, as we've all have been taught! Shoot to kill not to warn/signal/scare;
* Uneducated juires and prosecutors will likely be familiar witht he term 'handcannon', as such be mindful of using such tools (I carry a .45);
* Hollowpoints are meant to kill people (no duh!), and as such a jury may interpret as much as premeditation if not inclination toward wanting to kill a person...as opposed to stopping (but leaving them live) or better yet disauding them (e.g 'shoot em in the leg' thought). I carry JHP;
* Do not make any statements what so ever to the police, as is a common teaching. What you say then will in a court law be used against you and there are no corrections to be made toward that record. Don't even make commentary to 911 other than facts of man down, location, send help now;
* If a tree in the woods falls and no one sees the lumberjack then walk away and be judged by God or ones own conscience than that of the press, a rabid prosecutor or the fond memories of the dead guys family. This has been a chapter in steet survival since forever ago. No witnesses, no physical evidence (shell casings or better yet bullets removed as well), then there is no crime solving.
It's a sad state of affairs and report on life but if this guy had walked away he'd likely be free to hug his children today albeit with a heavy heart feeling morally bankrupt.
This case is unfortunate for all involved Mr. Fish and Mr. Kuenzli, his loving sister and Fish's family too.
The thing I absolutely cannot understand is why if the NRA is supporting his defense fund (even in part) they didn't provide or help get a gun expert for his case. Hollowpoints are "designed to do as much damage as absolutely possible. It’s designed to kill." *** do they think they're made of? C4 explosives? Every firearm qualified person at my department is issued hollowpoints. It's not designed to kill, it's designed to thrust it's entire force and stop. It's designed to incapacitate using less bullets and not to overpenetrate to possibly harm or kill another, unintended person.
And a 10mm is "is more powerful than what police officers use and is not typically used for personal protection"? Umm... My own department uses .40 S&W or .45's. Granted, a 10mm is not the "norm" for CCW, but considering that many people carry ammunition from .380 to .45, I would think that it fits perfectly inside the CCW community carry spectrum.
I think the most disturbing question now is what in the world are we supposed to do in such a situation? Get mauled by the dogs, shoot them, get the crap beat out of us by some "wonderful, caring, sensitive, humble person" and shoot them, too? Just so we can justify "beyond a reasonable doubt" that they were in fact trying to do us serious harm and show the wounds to prove it? Granted, Arizona revised the laws to "prevent" this from happening again, but the laws were already in place before this happened. Obviously they didn't help.
I'm sure there is some issues with no introduction of the disparity of force, no question as to the penetration measure of the bullets into the body cavity that may show a closing distance rather than standing, no introduction of rebutting expert testimony by a firearms person about his choice of caliber or that an overwhelming majority of law enforcement officers not just using but being issued hollowpoint bullets... As in, are the people that are there to "protect us" (by notion of the majority of people) premeditating murder because they use hollowpoints? That they are intentionally trying to kill people when they shoot someone?
Maybe that would've made a difference, but we should start thinking about what we, as CCW'ers fully susceptible to the same or similar circumstances, would do in such a situation to provide for our own defense without being quite literally convicted for murder.
(Sidenote: Yes, Arizona is a "stand your ground" state.)
Last edited by soundwave; October 10th, 2006 at 04:24 AM. Reason: added sidenote
Im not sure if this incident got the ball rolling on some recent new laws here in AZ, but we as gun owners are now protected a little more. AZ is deffinately a gun friendly state!
110 SB1145 §13-103 A Justification
defenses are explicitly not affirmative defenses. In
other words, self defense and similar legal
protections are not subject to the abusive standard
where you must prove your innocence.
110 SB1145 §13-205 A Justification
defenses are explicitly not affirmative defenses.
Justified conduct describes behavior that if not
justified would be an offense, but if justified is not
criminal or wrongful. If evidence of justification is
presented by a defendant, the state must prove
beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did
not act with justification.
112 SB1145 §13-411 A The justified threat
or use of physical force or deadly physical force to
prevent a long list of enumerated crimes applies in
your home, residence, place of business, land you
own or lease, any type of conveyance and any
other place in the state where you have a right to
be. (An activist judge, legislating from the bench,
had decided this law only applied in your home,
which was found nowhere in the law; the new
language was added to eliminate his precedent
changes to the statute.)
114 SB1145 §13-418 N The Castle
Doctrine. You are justified in threatening or using
physical force or deadly physical force against a
person if you reasonably believe you or another
person are in imminent peril of death or serious
physical injury, and the person you act or threaten
to act against had unlawfully or forcefully entered
or was unlawfully or forcefully attempting to enter a
residential structure or occupied vehicle, or had
removed or was attempting to remove another
person from the residential structure or occupied
vehicle against their will. You have no duty to
retreat before threatening or using physical force or
deadly physical force in such situations. Residential
structure is described in §13-1501. Vehicle means a
conveyance of any kind, motorized or not, designed
to transport people or property.
114 SB1145 §13-419 N You are presumed
to be acting reasonably in specified justification
statutes (§13-404 through §13-408), including the
new Castle Doctrine statute (§13-418), if you act
against a person who unlawfully or forcefully enters
or entered your residential structure or occupied
vehicle, except: 1if the person you act against has
the right to be in the residence or vehicle, as
defined, and there is no order of protection or
injunction against harassment filed against the
person; 2if the person you act against is the parent,
grandparent or has legal custody or guardianship of
a child sought to be removed from the residence or
vehicle; 3you are engaged in an unlawful activity
or using the residence or vehicle to further unlawful
activity, and; 4if the person you act against is a
law enforcement officer entering or attempting to
enter in performance of official duties.
The lack of any limit on item 3 above could remove
your protection for such things as sexually active
youngsters at home, certain web sites on the
Internet, incorrectly filed taxes, unknowing
possession of certain contraband, unpaid traffic
tickets and more.
114 SB1145 §13-420 N An important
change that puts teeth in the protections against
frivolous lawsuits by felony perpetrators who sue if
they are harmed: The defendant may collect
attorney fees, costs, compensation for lost income
and all expenses incurred in defense on any civil
action in which the defendant prevails and the
defendants actions are found to be justified.
The first one listed I belive could have helped out in the mentioned case.
If anyone is interested here is the full list of new AZ gun law. Not the hunting one!
It's hard to put into words my thought when I read about things like this. Alot can be said, but I will only say one thing.
Buy the best lawyer you can afford. You may end up paying a bill for the laywer for the rest of your life, but you stand a much higher chance of not being behind bars.
Sad sad situation...