When is it justified to use lethal force?
This is an issue, especially since almost all of the states within the Union have conceal carry permits. The following incident occurred last year, November 2012, in which a homeowner shot and killed two intruders entering his home.
As stated by Morrison County Sheriff Michel Wetzel, Minnesota:
The fact of the matter is, if people have all the facts, they would not be quite so divided in their opinions.
Minnesota, like other states give homeowners the right to protect themselves and their property. But this was more like an execution and ammunition for anti-firearm advocates.
Smith, the owner, told authorities he was fearful after several break-ins in his home in the small town of 8,000 people. He told authorities he was in the basement on Thanksgiving Day when he heard a window break upstairs. From the basement stairwell he say Brady and fired his firearm, and then shot him again in the face. Smith then dragged the body into his workshop and that was when Kifer came down the stairs. He shot her several times and then dragged her into the room with Brady. She was still alive, gasping for air when he placed the firearm under her chin and fired the “finishing shot”.
Worse – the police were not called until the following day. What kind of sick person leaves dead bodies in their workshop?
As State Rep. Tony Cornish, former police officer, stated:
After that first shot, when it turned into a grisly execution, he lost any hope of not being prosecuted. He lost all my support.
Rich Collins, a Morrison County commissioner and National Rifle Association instructor for home protection is a firm believer that everyone has a right to protect their property – but they must also make attempts to retreat and call law enforcement.
The two young people took their chances when they unlawfully entered a person's home; however, the action taken was beyond sensible and legal action.
This incident does not change my advocacy of Second Amendment rights, but those who choose to use firearms for defense of property and life, must use common sense and not allow their emotions to counter the need to know when to back off and contact local law enforcement authorities – or just to have the intruders lay face down spread-eagle and wait until the authorities arrive. The latter would have been my option after knowing they were not armed or an immediate threat. This was not a case where the homeowner panicked, but according to the actions and statements, it was an execution. The young intruders deserved to be prosecuted and sentenced to prison/jail; but not shot to death.
In April of 2013, Smith was indicted for two counts of first-degree murder. Smith's reason for not calling police until next day: "He didn't want to bother them on Thanksgiving Day".
The Second Amendment is not a license to commit murder or use lethal force when an alternate choice can be made.