Friday, March 07, 2008

Tennessee: Feisty cook Defends Self Against Would-Be Burglars: "A convenience store employee shot into the parking lot to prevent two men from breaking into the business. It happened around 4 a.m. Wednesday at the Almaville Market. It is off Interstate 24 in an unincorporated area of Rutherford County known as the Almaville community. The incident was recorded by the store's surveillance system. After the men smashed a large rock through a window, a cook picked up a gun and started shooting. The men thought no one was inside the business. "I was scared, but I think anger took over," said Donna Blanks. Blanks is a cook and arrives early to prepare meals for customers. She said she started to shout and shoot. "I scared them like they scared me. No quite as much. They got gone," she said. No one was hurt. Sheriff's deputies told the woman she acted within her rights to shoot at the suspects as long as she was inside the store."

Arkansas shooting ruled self defense: "The killing of a Beebe man in Searcy has been ruled self defense by local prosecutors. Jose Martinez, 24, kicked in the locked back door and illegally entered the home of Kevin M. Reed at 1300 West Arch St. in Searcy, according to a press release. The incident happened at 2:26 p.m. Jan. 8. According to Reed, Martinez threatened him with bodily harm, prosecutors say, and Reed fired eight shots at Martinez, killing him. “The Searcy Police Department investigation confirms that the door to the home was dead bolted and forcibly kicked in,” the press release stated, and “paint from the door was found on the bottom of Mr. Martinez' shoe.” The shooting was within the provisions of Arkansas law, and no criminal charges will be filed, prosecutors said. As officers entered the residence, they discovered Martinez dead of an apparent gunshot wound. The body was sent to the state crime lab for autopsy."

'Castle Doctrine' Law Appropriate: "A bill approved by the Legislature and sent to Gov. Joe Manchin last week would merely codify what we think most West Virginians already view as a solid principle. It is the "Castle Doctrine," as the bill has come to be known - the belief that a person's home is his or her "castle" and that there's nothing wrong with defending it. At least 20 other states already have "Castle Doctrine" laws that shield their residents who, while in their homes - or anywhere else they have a legal right to be - use "reasonable and proportionate force" in defense of themselves, loved ones or even property. The "civil liberties" crowd often protests such statutes, claiming that, in effect, criminals have rights, too. Well, yes they do - but those rights should not extend to intimidating law-abiding people who may fear that if they respond to a threat with force, they will find themselves arrested and/or subjected to civil lawsuits. Too many times in the past, precisely that has happened to those who had the courage to resist thugs with enough force to stop them. The bill sent to Manchin would protect Mountain State residents from both criminal charges and civil liability in many such situations."

National parks gun ban may be eased: "The country's never-ending debate over guns is heating up again. This time it's fueled by news the Interior Department may relax a 25-year ban on loaded guns in national parks and wildlife refuges, leaving the issue for states to decide. In a decision the National Rifle Association has applauded, the department announced it will issue a new set of rules by April 30. 'Under this proposal, federal parks and wildlife refuges will mirror the state firearm laws for state parks,' said Chris Cox, the NRA's chief lobbyist. 'This is an important step in the right direction.'"

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