Felons do not give up their right to self defense simply because they have committed crimes in the past. They often live a very dangerous lifestyle, and as the most common victims of homicide, they may need effective self defense more than other people.
A recent case in South Carolina shows that the justice system is realizing this truth. It investigated the shooting where Quintonio Porter, a convicted felon, shot and killed his friend, Jarrius Harding, in the middle of a gunfight. From heraldonline.com:
Jarrius Harding, 18, was killed in the midday shootout near the intersection of Black Street and Keels Avenue east of downtown Rock Hill. The shoot-out culminated a wild, 24-hour spree of gunfire in four incidents in the city.Porter and Harding were being fired upon without immediate provocation by them. Porter was attempting to fire back, but his pistol became entangled in the seat belt. His shot struck Jarrius Harding as Harding sought to avoid the gunfire coming his way from the assailants.
Quintonio Porter, 23, who was in the car with Harding, also was shot and later was charged with attempted murder in the shootout with men in another car. But after an investigation, police and prosecutors determined that Porter was firing in self-defense when he shot Harding, said Willy Thompson, 16th Circuit deputy solicitor. They dropped the attempted murder charge against Porter.
Criminals almost never use holsters (FBI study) because they are hard to get rid of, so the seat belt entanglement is more understandable.
The study published by the FBI is "Violent Encounters: A Study of Felonious Assaults on Our Nation's Law Enforcement Officers." In a summation from stoppingpower.net:
The offenders said they most often hid guns on their person in the front waistband, with the groin area and the small of the back nearly tied for second place. Some occasionally gave their weapons to another person to carry, "most often a female companion." None regularly used a holster, and about 40% at least sometimes carried a backup weapon.It is a good thing that self defense is legitimate for criminals. The major reason for the proliferation of violent crime, particularly homicides, is a belief that the criminal justice system is unreliable. Reinforcing the reliability of the police and the rest of the justice system is the key to reducing homicides.
In motor vehicles, they most often kept their firearm readily available on their person, or, less often, under the seat. In residences, most stashed their weapon under a pillow, on a nightstand, under the mattress--somewhere within immediate reach while in bed.
David Kennedy from Harvard has repeatedly shown that this is so. Only a small number of violent criminals commit most homicides in most cities. When the community is willing to cooperate with police to remove, intimidate, and/or rehabilitate this tiny minority, the homicide rate falls precipitously.
Perhaps there is some way to tie the ability for effective defense to rehabilitation. If such a system could be worked out, it would be a powerful incentive for criminals to avoid future problems.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
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