Other than the pure theÂ inconvenienceÂ of actually carrying a gun, self-defense related law is probably on of the biggest motivators for intelligent people to forgo carrying and using a gun for self-defense. Â Especially in lethal force encounters the stakes are extremely high and folks are forced to make difficultÂ decisionsÂ with incomplete information in fractions of seconds. Â Quite possibly the most difficult aspect in this situation is the fact that after the events are over you could have lots of people who weren’t there judging your actions with yourÂ freedomÂ and even your life on the line. Â This is exactly the case in the recent shooting that took place in a Wal-mart parking lot. Â Just another reason to shop at a locol mom and pop if you ask me!
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AOJP is the Name of the Game
Ability,Â Jeopardy, Opportunity, Preclusion is the standard byÂ whichÂ individuals areÂ judgedÂ in self-defense encounters. Â Before we get into AOJP we have to understand why these concepts are so important. Â Lets take a look at the Criminal Judicial system.
Self-Defense and Criminal Law
Disclaimer: Â If you think I am an attorney, you are an idiot. Â If you think I am giving you legal advice, you are an idiot. Â If you think that you should check out everything I tell you today by reading your laws directly and confirming what you read and understand with an attorney, you are on the right track.
Innocent Until Proven Guilty
- Basis of criminal law in the US
- Burden of proof is on the Prosecution
- Beyond a reasonable doubt
Self-Defense is an Affirmative Defense
- The burden is on you to prove that self-defense was a reasonable action
- You must prove that it was more likely than not that you needed to act in self-defense
- You prove this by meeting the 4 criteria for self-defense which are AOJP
AOJP: To Prove It We Must Â Understand It
A is for Ability
Ability deals with your attackers physical ability to be able to hurt you.
- Child vs. Adult
- Infirm vs. Firm
O is for Opportunity
Opportunity primarily deals with time and distance
- Proximity (21′ with a knife, club) Gun
- 21′ with a knife or club and a 12′ chain link fence
- 21′ with a gun and a 12′ chain link fence
J is for Intent
Does the person intend to hurt you
- Does the person intend to harm you?
- Water balloon fight
- 14 yr old with a baseball bat
P is for Preclusion
Did you exhaust all other options before you chose self-defense
- less lethal alternatives
The details of the Wal-Mart Shooting in Logan WV
Check out the links at WSAZ News. Â Be sure to check out the Shooting SparksÂ ControversyÂ link.
Jesus just cashed his paycheck when a Â dirt bag approached him in the Wal-mart parking lot, got behind him, put a knife to his throat and told him to fork over the dough.
Lets take a look at AOJP:
Ability: Â Dirt bag has the physical size and strength to carry out his threat.
Opportunity: Â Think about time and distance. Â Dirt bag has the knife at his throat. Â Steel on flesh is good enough for me.
Intent: Â It is tough to read minds, but all the indicators are there. Â We don’t have to have verbal affirmation of intent. Â Non verbal actions (like putting a knife to someones throat, producing or raising a weapon, or advancing could all be construed as intent depending on the circumstances.)
Preclusion: Â Knife to the throat, from behind… running away is an option that is long gone. Â Verbal interaction could help build your case. Â But good news, WV is a stand your ground state. Â This means you do not have the duty to retreat therefore you don’t have to prove preclusion as part of your affirmative defense.
Here is the Rub
Jesus gave up the dough which was the right call. Â We know it was the right call because toilet scum took the knife away from his throat and walked away. Â The moment that he walked away one of the elements of AOJPÂ disappears. Â He is still phyisically able to kill Jesus. Â The opportunity is still there for at least the next seven paces. Â It is theÂ jeopardyÂ that is gone. Â His non verbal action of walking away tells Jesus everything he needs to know. Â At this point he no longer is able to prove AOJP beyond a preponderance of the evidence which means he will not be able to claim self-defense as a reasonable action if he acts. Â If it isn’t self-defense then what is it?
Jesus takes it even further, he follows the nasty man who a few minutes ago needed to get shot into the Wal-MArt and puts a round into his head. Â Remember, WV is a stand your ground state not a feel free to pursue the attacker and take law into your own hands state.
We must act quickly and aggressively enough to preserve innocent life, but we must act with restraint so as not to put our wealth and our freedom at risk.
Jesus has been charged with murder. Â All I can base my opinions on is what is being reported by the media. Â Facts may be twisted or missing but based on the information available, Jesus is gonna get locked up. Â If you are one of the 92% that think Jesus is being wrongly charged, do yourself a favor, a couple of favors:
- Bone up on the law
- Work toÂ separateÂ what my beÂ desirableÂ and legal