Monday, December 26, 2005

Indiana: Shooting spotlights self-defense law : "Laws allowing people to use deadly force to stop someone from unlawfully entering their dwellings are being highlighted by this week's fatal shooting of a burglary suspect by an off-duty state police trooper. Police said Trooper Joel D. Wilson, 39, was alone inside his east-side Indianapolis home Monday when he fired two shots through the front door, striking Theodore E. Hixenbaugh at least once. Wilson told authorities that Hixenbaugh had first knocked on the door and, when Wilson didn't answer, Hixenbaugh tried to kick the door down. ... Information on whether Hixenbaugh was armed wasn't available. Indiana University law professor Henry Karlson said state law says citizens can use deadly force to stop even an unarmed person's unlawful entry into their dwellings. 'If there are people in the residence, (burglars) are putting them at risk, and that's why Indiana law allows a reasonable person to use deadly force to prevent that,' Karlson said. Karlson said the law allows people to defend themselves from burglars without first exposing themselves."

Britain's gun control folly: "A former Texas police officer is causing a stir in jolly Old England. After leaving his job in Garland, Texas, and moving with his British wife and their three children to Reading, Ben Johnson took a job as a British bobby -- and had the audacity to suggest that he might want to carry a gun while on the job. 'We should value the lives of police officers enough to properly equip them and train them to do their job,' Garland told the Washington Post, 'even if that means getting rid of some old-fashioned notions.' The 'old-fashioned' notion Johnson is talking about is the very intense -- and irrational -- belief held by virtually all British people that guns are bad -- period."

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