Thursday, February 01, 2007

Safe at home? "When a South Hall homeowner shot and killed an armed intruder last week, it was a fairly easy call by officials not to bring criminal charges. District Attorney Lee Darragh quickly determined that the fatal shooting of 37-year-old Robby Bailey by Conditioned Air Systems president Doug Magnus was justified. Bailey, who had a lengthy criminal history and spent more than 10 years in and out of state prisons, fired several shots at Magnus while lurking outside his home wearing a ski mask, according to authorities. But self-defense shootings such as the one that ended Bailey's life are not commonplace. Prosecutors and police often must wrestle with the facts of each case, and, in recent years, legislators have passed new laws they say strengthen a citizen's rights to use deadly force in self-defense. National Rifle Association spokeswoman Ashley Varner says that while self-defense shootings may not be commonplace, the use of guns to defend life and property is. "People every day defend themselves with firearms without having to fire a shot," Varner said. "More often than not, when someone is trying to burglarize a home, homeowners merely need to show that they have a gun." ... Hodges dismisses Georgia's "Castle Doctrine" bill as unnecessary and essentially irrelevant. "It didn't change a single thing," Hodges said. "They just codified well-established common law. It's just something for the legislature to make them look good and look tough on crime. You never had a duty to retreat from your own home."

Tennessee store owner shoots at fleeing thieves: " Two "fat" men wearing masks when they broke into a store early Saturday morning did not count on the owner being present and firing a gun at them. They dropped their loot, one jumped through the window they had broken to get in, and the two sped off in a hurry from Frenchman's Market on Burgess Falls Road... The store owner, Roland Derive, told the deputy he had been upstairs asleep when the sound of breaking glass woke him. He said he grabbed his gun and went downstairs into the store, where he immediately noticed shattered glass. As he walked toward the counter, he spotted a man outside and heard him yell, "Get out, he's here!" It was at that time that Derive saw another man run from behind the counter, step onto a chair, and leap through the window to the outside, the report says. Derive fired shots at the fleeing man and said he did not know if the bullets struck him or not. He then heard a car leaving the parking lot and shot at the vehicle, firing through the front door while standing inside the store, the deputy's report says... A black plastic bag was found on the counter, and it contained cartons of cigarettes the burglars had left behind. On the outside of the broken window, there were numerous cans of tobacco, the report says."

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