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According to the info the OP gave us, he was at no time threatened with deadly force...a distraught person just came banging on his door in a panic needing help. Race has nothing to do with the facts as we've been given them. There was no mention of any need for him to defend himself, and she was not doing anything aggressive, according to the facts the OP gave us. He was afraid, he had a gun, and he used it without legal justification. He earned at least 17 years.
I had a scare a few years back...about 10:30 at night...someone started banging on my door like crazy. I opened it with my .45 behind my leg, and there stood a man in his 40s, with his hands deeply in his jacket pockets, looking upset. I told him sharply to get his hands out of his pockets right now, and he did...open...I asked him what he was banging on my door for at 10:30 at night. He told me he was a cab driver, had one of my neighbors he'd brought home drunk, and the neighbor wouldn't get out of the cab. I told him "You go pick up your radio and call for the police to come help you, you DON'T go banging on people's doors so loud late at night to get them to do the police's job." He apologized, went and radioed in, police came, problem solved. No use of deadly force, no threats, no problems, no jailtime. There's a right way and a wrong way to handle things IF you even choose to open the door.

The OP's story...the man handled it all wrong...and now he's paying for it. If it would have been my daughter at his door, I don't think I would have considered his use of deadly force justified.
 

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Well, it depends on whether I open the door.
Many years ago when I lived very remotely and I had a young girl banging on my door at 2 am and she was covered in blood. Yes, I went to the door armed but,there was never a time when I leveled the gun at anybody or even put finger to trigger. She had wrecked her car by falling asleep at the wheel and had made her way to the only house around. I had a way to see who it was without opening the door first.
We should all have that whether window or camera.
Just last night while we were watching a movie we heard the storm door open and saw the motion sensor porch light come on (our house is very small) so I grabbed the 642 next to me and went to the spare bedroom so I could see the front porch.
It was a kid hanging a food drive bag on our doorknob. Again, no pointing at anyone or finger on the trigger.

Its good to have a gun handy but, it better come with some discernment and trigger discipline.
 

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FWIW, the shooter got 17 years. The victim was an unarmed teenage girl knocking on his door needing help after she had wrecked her car. She was drunk and high, but not a threat. He did not call police prior to confronting her. He opened the door with the gun pointed at her head and it went off.

So yes, there is more to the story, but his attempt to say it was SD and he didn't know it was loaded come up big time at the trial and damaged his credibility.
I get your point but in this idiots case it doesn't make a difference. Some one knocking on your door at night looking for help is not a threat of bodily harm. He's where he should be, in prison. Anyone who doesn't quiver at the sight of their shadow would simply ask "what do you want?" and look out the window to assess the situation. There'd be a trail of dead people if I'd I shot every stranger that knocked on my door at night.
 

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There'd be a trail of dead people if I'd I shot every stranger that knocked on my door at night.
That certainly won't get you any best-customer awards from the Avon Lady.
 

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I remember this kind of incident being litigated a couple times already.. one was a guy that was holding a BG at gun point. the shooter tripped and the gun fired. the BG was hit but survived. When the shooter told his story he said, I did not mean to fire the gun. but I was holding the BG for the police. Once he said he did not intend to fire the gun it was a Negligent Discharge! Even though he had good reason to be holding the BG at gun point! That was here in CA. There was another case somewhere else that had a GG shot a BG that was actively threatening bodily harm. But on the stand the GG stated that he was ready to shoot and at some point the gun Just went off! And the case went from a SD case to a ND case!

The point is Be careful of what you say! every word has meaning. DR
 

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CCW Safe just put out one of their articles to members that discussed a case where a guy claimed SD after a shooting, but he also told police that he didn't know the gun was loaded. He claimed he pointed the gun in SD, but thought the gun was empty. Now, all of us are thinking this guy was just an idiot, which he was, but that's not the point.

CCW Safe brought it up make a point. SD and an ND are legally incompatible. Either you intentionally fired to prevent an immediate threat of death or grave bodily harm, where you can claim SD, or the gun accidentally went off and if someone was hit, you are criminally liable, regardless of what threat you were under.

The issue this underscores is trigger discipline. "Never put your finger on the trigger unless you intend to shoot." If you are in an SD situation and you violate that rule and the gun goes off when you didn't intend it to, you can't say that happened and claim you were justified in SD. So you give one story or the other, but not both. It is also good reminder to say only what you have to until you talk to a lawyer.
I disagree with most of the black and white points of absolutism made here. They are by no means any sort of universal axioms.

That said, keeping one's finger off the trigger is not merely a good ideal, but in the same spirit of preventing a negligent discharge as never sending an innocent man to jail, it should be at least as important as marksmanship.
 

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If there's one thing I learned from watching cop shows on TV it's that if you are involved in such an incident, even if you are sure you were justified in your actions, you never talk to the police without your lawyer present. I'm not anti-police, quite the opposite, but in the heat of the moment people often say things that come back to bite them later.

In the case presented here it sure seems the shooter was 100% in the wrong and deserved to go to jail, but I'll bet there are innocent people who've paid a high price for some remark they made without thinking it through.
 

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If there's one thing I learned from watching cop shows on TV it's that if you are involved in such an incident, even if you are sure you were justified in your actions, you never talk to the police without your lawyer present. I'm not anti-police, quite the opposite, but in the heat of the moment people often say things that come back to bite them later.

In the case presented here it sure seems the shooter was 100% in the wrong and deserved to go to jail, but I'll bet there are innocent people who've paid a high price for some remark they made without thinking it through.
Zimmerman immediately comes to mind, with his million dollars worth of legal bills that would likely have not been necessary had he simply requested a lawyer rather than granting hours-long interviews with investigators. I'm sure there are others.
 

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Zimmerman immediately comes to mind, with his million dollars worth of legal bills that would likely have not been necessary had he simply requested a lawyer rather than granting hours-long interviews with investigators. I'm sure there are others.
Not really. Initially the chief of police stated there were no grounds for an arrest under FL self defense law. It was only after Al Sharpton and others of his ilk rallied the troops did the police feel "obliged" to make an arrest. Even the US Law lawyer I spoke with said the chief's initial call was one of the few that chief has ever gotten right.
 

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Not really. Initially the chief of police stated there were no grounds for an arrest under FL self defense law. It was only after Al Sharpton and others of his ilk rallied the troops did the police feel "obliged" to make an arrest. Even the US Law lawyer I spoke with said the chief's initial call was one of the few that chief has ever gotten right.
You don't believe his gut bucket sessions with the cops made him a much easier target for prosecution?
 

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You don't believe his gut bucket sessions with the cops made him a much easier target for prosecution?
I wasn't witness to his "gut-bucket" sessions. He probably didn't do himself any favors, but in that incident, if he'd never said a word, I think the charges were inevitable due to political pressures.
 

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CCW Safe just put out one of their articles to members that discussed a case where a guy claimed SD after a shooting, but he also told police that he didn't know the gun was loaded. He claimed he pointed the gun in SD, but thought the gun was empty. Now, all of us are thinking this guy was just an idiot, which he was, but that's not the point.

CCW Safe brought it up make a point. SD and an ND are legally incompatible. Either you intentionally fired to prevent an immediate threat of death or grave bodily harm, where you can claim SD, or the gun accidentally went off and if someone was hit, you are criminally liable, regardless of what threat you were under.

The issue this underscores is trigger discipline. "Never put your finger on the trigger unless you intend to shoot." If you are in an SD situation and you violate that rule and the gun goes off when you didn't intend it to, you can't say that happened and claim you were justified in SD. So you give one story or the other, but not both. It is also good reminder to say only what you have to until you talk to a lawyer.
I understand the jest of this point, but my finger goes on the trigger when presented to the target. I have trained this way for many years, have practical application of it in real time, and am not going to change what I do, and don’t encourage anyone else to do what I do.

But I do believe that it’s important to understand the weapon type you are using and the strengths and weaknesses of its fire control system instead of a blanket policy for everything and everybody.
There was a time not that long ago that the finger was on the trigger from the draw....
 

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Discussion Starter #33
I understand the jest of this point, but my finger goes on the trigger when presented to the target. I have trained this way for many years, have practical application of it in real time, and am not going to change what I do, and don’t encourage anyone else to do what I do.

But I do believe that it’s important to understand the weapon type you are using and the strengths and weaknesses of its fire control system instead of a blanket policy for everything and everybody.
There was a time not that long ago that the finger was on the trigger from the draw....
I absolutely agree. The point of the article was from a legal perspective, not a practical one. One should not try to mince the two arguments of ND and SD to the courts. And of course, advanced shooter like yourself should do as they have trained to do. The four rules of gun safety seem to be the best course for the beginning and average shooter, though.

I've found the "rules" to have a lot of possible inconsistencies. Such as:
#1 Treat all guns as if they are always loaded. ... That would preclude ever dry firing.
#2 Never let the muzzle cover anything that you are not willing to destroy. ... If I am in the room where I store my guns, there is nothing in that room I want to destroy. So I couldn't get a gun out fo the safe without the muzzle covering something I didn't wish to destroy.
#3 Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on target and you have made the decision to shoot. ... Then you could never field strip a Glock.
#4 Be sure of your target and what lies beyond it. If someone is shooting at me, or about to, I am not going to hold fire trying to figure that out.

But the rules are still good to think about.
 

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I absolutely agree. The point of the article was from a legal perspective, not a practical one. One should not try to mince the two arguments of ND and SD to the courts. And of course, advanced shooter like yourself should do as they have trained to do. The four rules of gun safety seem to be the best course for the beginning and average shooter, though.

I've found the "rules" to have a lot of possible inconsistencies. Such as:
#1 Treat all guns as if they are always loaded. ... That would preclude ever dry firing.
#2 Never let the muzzle cover anything that you are not willing to destroy. ... If I am in the room where I store my guns, there is nothing in that room I want to destroy. So I couldn't get a gun out fo the safe without the muzzle covering something I didn't wish to destroy.
#3 Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on target and you have made the decision to shoot. ... Then you could never field strip a Glock.
#4 Be sure of your target and what lies beyond it. If someone is shooting at me, or about to, I am not going to hold fire trying to figure that out.

But the rules are still good to think about.
Putting it in that perspective, I agree.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Maybe the story should read how CCW Safe failed to defend a person who defended their home with deadly force.
I can't put myself into that scared persons mind but I know I would have never opened that door. For all of the talk about whether he knew that gun was loaded I don't see any question about why he would open a door if he thought somebody wanted to harm him. No matter what else happened I think that was his biggest mistake.
He was not a CCW Safe client. They were just reviewing the case from publically available information.
 

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AOJI is no defense if you don't know what the fickle you're doing in the first place.
 
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