The specific wording of the Washington statute is: "(1) No person in the
state shall be placed in legal jeopardy of any kind whatsoever for
protecting by any reasonable means necessary, himself or herself, his or her
family, or his or her real or personal property, or for coming to the aid of
another who is in imminent danger of or the victim of assault, robbery,
kidnapping, arson, burglary, rape, murder, or any other violent crime as
defined in RCW 9.94A.030."
The statute provides no non-judicial means for ascertaining whether a person
was "protectiing by any reasonable means necessary . . .". So if you have
not been tried in the criminal courts and acquitted on grounds of
self-defense the relatives can still sue you and you still have to pay for a
legal defense. Further, unlike a criminal trial there is no specific
provision that you are due compensation for a civil trial in which it is
ascertained that you acted in self-defense. So to actually obtain
protection under the statute you have to persuade the district attorney to
bring criminal charges and go to court so you can get acquitted by reason of
self defense. It's going to be an uphill battle to persuade him to do
that--generally DAs don't like to waste the state's money on cases that they
know they are going to lose.
If the statute provided, for example, that an affadavit from the district
attorney stating that he did not bring charges because he was certain that
you would be acquitted on grounds of self-defense would suffice as evidence
that you did so then things might be different, but there appears to be no
such mechanism provided in the statute.
You're right. A No Bill means the Grand Jury did not find "Probable Cause."
The standard of finding in a civil case is "Preponderance of the Evidence."
Preponderance of the evidence (i.e., 51%) ranks below probable cause (but
not much). It's possible the evidence in a civil case could reach 51%, but
not reach the probable cause threshold.
It's a pretty small target to shoot at, though.
Not so. Many "castle doctrine" laws (it depends on the state) confer
absolute civil immunity. For example, the Texas law reads: "A defendant who
uses force or deadly force that is justified under Chapter 9 Penal Code, is
immune from civil liability for personal injury or death that results from
the use of force or deadly force..."
Every criminal law, including federal criminal law, must yield to the
"exigent circumstances" rule. If a life is at stake, it is not only
permitted to violate ANY criminal statute, it is meritorious to do so.
Wasp spray? Why not hair spray? Why not have the church receptionist pull
out her Bible and invite the gremlin to pray with her?
If she's vulnerable, she should keep a GUN in her desk and SHOOT anybody who
walks in that smells funny.
Wasp spray, whistles, stun guns, and other claptrap merely irritate a person
who's irrational, doped-up, or a terrorist anyway. Best to just blow their
furry butts to Kingdom Come and be done with it.
Remember the squint who walked in to a Colorado Springs mega-church last
year bent on killing as many people as possible. A nice little lady greeter
pulled out her heater and canceled the scrot's ticket before he could do any
more harm (he had already killed a couple of people at another religious
property). She got a medal instead of a wreath.
Police? Remember the gun-nut's mantra: "When seconds count, the police are
just minutes away!"
Uh, Bub, (my Dad's sister's nickname for him was "Bub" by the way--never did
tell me the story that went with it), it's rhetoric like that that scares
the elderly maiden ladies in pants who write our laws. Do be kind enough to
tone it down. Heck, some of them get scared when you tell them what the cop
who taught the class that was required in order to get a CCW told you.
Your point is well taken.
I just get exercised when people entrust their lives to government-funded
Maybe we could come up with a menu of alternatives to an attack, along with
the probability of you living through the episode:
* Invite the goat-grabber to pray with you: 1%
* Feign a fainting spell: 5%
* Run away: 6%
* Yell like somebody has a grip on you: 10%
* Struggle and fight back: 12%
* Squirt 'em with pepper spray: 15%
* Squirt 'em with wasp spray: 20%
* Sic a Rottweiler on them: 40%
* Shoot the mope in the eye with a .44: 100%
We could title it: "Do You Feel Lucky?"
How about "shoot the assailant twice in the center of mass, and if he
doesn't stop then assume he's wearing a vest and try for the head, per
standard police training protocols"?
"Shoot the mope in the eye with a .44" comes across as bombast, not reasoned
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