The insanity of justifying each use of lethal
The news reports are full of stories about how criminals have won
civil awards when the good guys get sued for using “excessive” force to
stop a crook.
You can be sued for beating-up a robber as they
attempt to flee from a bank robbery, and the “nanny states” have
legislation that permits burglars to sue their victims whenever they get
injured while breaking into their homes!
The height of this
insanity is the legal concept of “excessive lethal force”, a case where
a person is justified in shooting somebody who is threatening to kill
them, but they can go to jail for homicide if they “double tap” a killer
to protect themselves.
When I was 17 years old I got a part-time
job as a "mall cop", working as a security guard and night watchman.
Even though I was a minor child, they issued me a crappy Brazilian six
shooter and made me watch a 30 minute movie to train me on when it was
“OK” to use the gun to kill somebody!
remember that they required me to use the “double tap” technique.
Using the double tap, whenever an attacker was menacing somebody using lethal force, as
soon as the attacker got closer than 21 feet to the victim, I was supposed to
draw my weapon and shoot them twice in the chest, then cease-fire and re-access the
situation. Only of the attacker continued shooting was I
authorized to shoot them again!
Using the double-tap can lead to murder charges!
I was shocked to discover that my intensive 30 minutes of handgun
training was wrong, and that multiple shots against somebody who is
trying to kill you can be considered murder!
The concept of "excessive lethal force" is a new legal concept,
designed specifically to protect murderers and rapists from being
"wrongfully" killed" while they commit their felonies:
“Kay” wa a 55 year old retired executive who awoke to
find a burglar in her bedroom. He dragged Kay from the bed,
pointed a gun at her head and said that he was going to rape her,
ordering her to strip. Kay was able to distract the rapist long enough
to grab her handgun and she "double-tapped" the rapist, sending him to
the floor in a pool of blood.
She carefully kept her gun
trained on him and called 911 where the police found her attacker laying
dead at her bedside.
Kay had barely saved her own life, but her
troubles were only beginning.
She had killed her rapist, and the Medical Examiner
determined that her first shot was non-fatal and severed his spine,
effectively neutralizing his threat against Kay. The second shot,
fired within a half second of the first shot, killed the rapist as he
fell to the floor.
Because Kay’s second shot was unnecessary to
neutralize the lethal threat against her, the District Attorney charged
Kay with homicide!
It was no surprise that Kay’s attacker was a
violent felon and a registered sex offender, but because his prior bad
acts were “prejudicial”, the jury never learned about the bad character
of Kay's attacker.
The jury had no choice bit to agree that Kay's
second shot was unnecessary and fatal, and she was convicted of
manslaughter and sentenced to several years in the State Penitentiary.
To add insult to injury, the dead rapists son (who
was also a convicted sex offender) successfully sued Kay for her use of
excessive force (*1).
Protecting the rights of violent felons
This legal concept is valid because the victim of a lethal attack
only has the right to neutralize the attacker, and the threat of death
it does not give their victim the right to murder them at their
Unfortunately, this legal principle of “only
shoot-once and re-access the threat” goes against every aspect of human
nature. In a real life-threatening situation, the adrenaline
cocktail kicks-in, and human self preservation instinct usually results
in the victim emptying their magazine into the bad guy.
have already seen, your natural self-preservation instinct can lead to
Use the most lethal weapon you can handle
Since the law only allows you to take one shot to neutralize a lethal
threat, you need to make it count.
It’s also important to
understand that the human body in incredibly resilient, and there have
been cases where the police have failed to stop a crazed attacker even
with nine shots! The small “mouse guns” are often a bad idea
because they may only server to further anger an attacker, and they do
not have enough "whallop" to neutralize a determined attacker.
Warning: A .308
"mouse" gun may not stop a lethal threat
As evidence, you may remember this incident where a disgruntled client shoots his lawyer
while the lawyer tries to hide behind a tree.
This video went viral because at one time or another, almost everybody
has wanted to shoot a lawyer. However, it’s not clear from the video, but the lawyer was
hit several times, yet the small caliber of the gun did not do enough
damage to incapacitate him.
The take-away from this insane law
on the excessive use of lethal force is that
citizen should use the most lethal gun that they can manage.
Some experts say that any home defense caliber is OK so long as it
begins with a “4” (e.g. the .45 ACP, .44 Magnum), while others advocate
using a 12 gauge shotgun for the best personal defense weapon.
Not all high caliber guns are unwieldy, and some, like the Kimber 45
caliber guns, are designed for reduced recoil so that even a 98 pound
weakling can fire them:
Some women prefer to sacrifice the heavier bullets of the 44 and 45
bullets for the greater impact velocity (and greater cavation) of the
.357 magnum with hollow-point loads.
Remember, all bets are off in a gunfight, and it’s surprising how
even a trained expert can miss a bad guy, even at close distances In this video we see that even a well trained marksman will
frequently miss, and the whole idea of "shoot one at re-access" is
In sum, the idea that we have laws that protect
rapists and attempted murderers is ludicrous.
I believe that anybody who attacks another
person with a gun or a knife relinquished all of
their legal rights and the victim should have
the right to empty their entire magazine into
(1) Kay is
an amalgam of real cases from "Hippie States" that protect the rights of
violent felons and require a private citizen
to justify each and every time that they invoke lethal force while being
raped or murdered. For
real court cases, see the
Lexis Free Case Law search.
opinions expressed on these pages are the sole opinion of Donald K. Burleson
and do not reflect the opinions of Burleson Enterprises Inc. or any of its
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