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The AP reports on some incidents, and quotes Houston Police Capt. Dwayne Ready, who makes a good point — in a way obvious, but perhaps not entirely clear to every one:

“I think the key element in looting is the fact that those who would not otherwise engage themselves in criminal activity (join in) and believe they will be able to hide in the crowd,” Ready said. “It’s the difference between an unlawful assembly and a riot. Essentially (looting) is theft but I think its when the crowd believes they can hide against the anonymity of a large crowd engaged in the same kind of conduct.”

Incidentally, whatever the practical or moral merits of shooting looters, I think it's surely morally laudable to warn looters that Texas law generally authorizes people to kill thieves to protect or recover their own property (setting aside the situation where the target took the property in order to survive),

§ 9.41. (a) A person . . . is justified in using force against another . . . to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to prevent or terminate the other's trespass on the [person's] land or unlawful interference with the [person's] property.

(b) A person unlawfully dispossessed . . . by another is justified in using force against the other . . . to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to reenter the land or recover the property if the actor uses the force immediately or in fresh pursuit after the dispossession . . . .

§ 9.42. [Deadly force may be used in the above situations] . . . to the degree [the actor] reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:

(A) to prevent the other's imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or

(B) to prevent the other who is fleeing immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the property; and

(3) [the actor] reasonably believes that:

(A) the land or property cannot be protected or recovered by any other means; or

(B) the use of force other than deadly force to protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.

People can also use deadly force to protect others' property under similar circumstances, if they reasonably believe the target committed or is committing theft or attempted theft (§ 9.43).

Again, I might advise Texans not to take advantage of their legal rights under these sections in some situations. But I would surely advise all Texans to remember that Texas property owners have those rights, and many have the reputation of being willing to use them.

Thanks to Shawn Wesson for the pointer.

AttackOfTheDictionaries:
Eugene, if there are looters in Houston which have sufficient foresight to read the Conspiracy and sufficient intelligence to apply your analysis here, the world has more problems than some simple looting.

(Like hurricane-resistant superthugs.)
9.23.2005 7:04pm
BruceM (mail):
I'm a criminal defense lawyer here in Houston (and yes, I'm braving out Rita at home rather than on the side of a freeway crying for gas). Unless you are in an EXTREMELY small rural county, Section 9 of the Texas Penal Code must be qualified by the fact that the state's position is prosecute first, ask questions later. You'll be indicted, and the cost of defending the case (and you very well may get off if you get a good lawyer) will likely exceed the value of the property you were trying to protect.

In other words, factor in the cost of a criminal defense attorney (hint: costs more for murder defense than agg. assault defense) when debating whether or not to use deadly force in protecting your property.
9.23.2005 7:04pm
Shelby (mail):
if there are looters in Houston which have sufficient foresight to read the Conspiracy and sufficient intelligence to apply your analysis here

That would be a very interesting world in which to live.
9.23.2005 7:43pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
Eugene, if there are looters in Houston which have sufficient foresight to read the Conspiracy and sufficient intelligence to apply your analysis here, the world has more problems than some simple looting.
I think his point is that media outlets in Houston should be mentioning the small possibility that the next door they break down might be followed by gunfire--and the shooter might get away with it.
9.23.2005 7:53pm
murky (mail) (www):
"to prevent ... criminal mischief during the nighttime"

Great. It's dark, I'm afraid, and you're out there doing...something bad, I'm sure. Why don't I just shoot you? Heck, it's Texas!
9.23.2005 8:16pm
The Drill SGT:
I lived in Texas for a while and am from a rural area in another Western state. No competent adult or teenager in Texas could be unaware of these facts:

1. Many Texas homeowners have guns

2. Texas law and more importantly Texas culture has a liberal view of a property owner's ability to protect his family and home

3. regardless of the view by officials to attempt to prosecute shooters...

4. Texas juries apply Texas culture...
9.23.2005 8:44pm
random (mail):
Seems like an application of Darwinism.

Where are all those walking fish people when you need them?
9.23.2005 9:56pm
llamasex (mail) (www):
I always wondered why Texas law doesn't allow an Enron shareholder to shoot Ken Lay. What's the differences between shooting someone driving off in your truck and someone who lost their retirement capping Kennyboy as he drives his BMW down the road?
9.23.2005 10:04pm
Monkberrymoon (mail):
I too practice criminal law in another urban county in Texas, and the few shoot-to-protect-property incidents I hear about are either not filed or no billed. I suspect in a looting situation no grand jury will indict anyone who even looks like they're protecting property.
9.23.2005 10:06pm
HLSVet (mail):
That's a funny story that you're telling, Murky. But I suggest you look at the actual numbers--compare accidental shootings to legitimate shootings to crimes committed with guns; you might just back off from your story.
9.23.2005 10:20pm
The Drill SGT:
llamasex,

Since Ken Lay already gutted the firm and destroyed its value, I don't see how a jury would reconcile what was clearly a cold blooded vengeance killing after the fact with the area I think is most applicable:

"...reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to reenter the land or recover the property if the actor uses the force immediately or in fresh pursuit after the dispossession ."

Now if United Airlines was a Texas based firm instead of a Chicago firm and proposed to use the bankruptcy laws to unload its pensions while the CEO had a contract that insulated his golden parachute, a 40 year union mechanic might have a reasonable chance of getting off after popping the CEO. If he took immediate action to safeguard his pension.
9.23.2005 10:48pm
Stephen M (Ethesis) (mail) (www):
Section 9 of the Texas Penal Code must be qualified by the fact that you can still be sued for 42 UCSA 1983 violations ...

Vernon's Annotated has some cases that are fairly easy to find.

The lead case is a physician who shot a guy stealing his car battery. Kid died for a used 12 volt. Family sued and succeeded, protection of the statute was only as to criminal prosecution.

Just an FYI.
9.23.2005 10:55pm
arthur (mail):
Suppose he doesn't shoot you when he sees you reaching for your gun, and you aren't prosecuted, and no one sues you.

Does it occur to anyone that the joy of pulling the trigger will fade when you have to clean up the bloody mess at your door (and you still will have to spend a few hours expalaining the whole deal to the police, probably while the stench is still in the house)? And the pleasure of feeling like a real man who took a fucking life with legal justification will turn to shit when you read the press coverage of the kid's church funeral, and find out about the parents/siblings/children he left behind, and you realize that you could have replaced that stereo with pocket change and/or insurance, but there's nothing on earth you or your homeowner's policy can do to give that family back the asshole they seem to love?
9.23.2005 11:21pm
Tom952 (mail):
I lived in Texas for quite a while, and the right to shoot law came up several times a year, most often after 24 hour business employees defended themselves. Some outspoken anti-gun prosecutors hated it. Having lived with the law, I was very comfortable with it, and I suspect it suppressed a lot of theft and vandalism. You really do put your life on the line in that state when you decide to do a burglary or a stick-up.
9.24.2005 12:22am
Nobody (mail):
What a barbaric law!
9.24.2005 12:23am
countertop (mail):
Actually, Arthur, what the gun banning bigots don't understand is your initial hypothetical is entirely correct.

Suppose he doesn't shoot you when he sees you reaching for your gun, and you aren't prosecuted, and no one sues you.

In the vast vast majority of defensive firearm uses, no one is shot, no one is killed. The mere presence of an armed individual ready and willing to defend themselves is enough to send the rouge scurrying off after an easier prey - or hopefully - scurrying off home to reconsider its life of crime.

Those stories, of course, never make it to the press and you gun banning bigots hate to acknowledge their reality.

As to the real threat - no, I don't care about the goblins. If he is attacking me or my family, and enters my home, he is dead. Period. End of his life.

I don't care what BS sob story his family gives the liberal press. He threatened me and mine, he dies. Its pretty simple. My only concern would be the noise of my Colt 1991A1 would cause damage to my and my families hearing.
9.24.2005 12:26am
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
Arthur,

No one wants to shoot anyone. But we saw in NOLA that civilized behavior can break down in this sort of situation. And when it does, you sometimes see the survival of the most ruthless - those who are willing to steal from others. TX law would seem to provide a little more help in this area than did LA law.

Also, note that the legal position of someone shooting someone while in the commission of a crime is substantially different from someone shooting them. I assume that Texas has a felony murder law, like a lot of other states do. Indeed, here in CO, we had a situation where a woman got life, even though she was already in custody when the murder (of a cop) happened - and the guy committing the murder was already dead.

In other words, in many states, and I assume TX, you essentially lose your right of self defense when you are involved in the commission of a crime. So, if the looter is shot, the shooter is likely go go free, but if the looter shoots someone, he is liable to go to prison, and if he kills them, potentially maybe get the death penalty (this is Texas).
9.24.2005 12:31am
Shannon Love (mail) (www):
Arthur,

You are clueless. Theft is not only the removal of physical property but a violation of another individual. Unstopped, such violations escalate. We have seen the results of policies that placed more value on the lives of criminals than on the safety and security of the citizenry. Inevitably, crime explodes and theft turns to rape and murder. The poor and physically vulnerable suffer the most.

In the case of civil disorder, looting evolves into attacks on people with frightening rapidity. I urge you to study the literature on the phenomenon. Those who take advantage of disasters to enrich themselves deserve no consideration.
9.24.2005 1:05am
The Drill SGT:
Countertop,

An interesting twist.

I now live in Northern VA. I'm an ex-Army officer and have a healthy respect for weapons as tools of my trade that must be carefully handled. My wife won't let me have a loaded gun in the house, but we have worked out a compromise. I do have my grandfather's 12 gauge pump upstairs in our bedroom. If I heard somebody breaking in to the house, I'd have my wife call the police and I'd just walk to the head of the stairs our of sight from below in the dark and rack that pump back. I doubt that any local thug is going to try coming up the stairs in the face of what he perceives as an awake homeowner with 5 rounds of 00 buckshot at the ready around the corner.

"How lucky do you feel punk?"
9.24.2005 1:18am
countertop (mail):
Drill SGT

Welcome to NoVA. I dare say, more crime has been prevented by the simple - and universally understood - rack of a 2 gauge than anything else.

I have a 12 guage for just such purposes - and like yours its not loaded. Thats the "I Am Asleep" Gun. The Colt is usually on my hip (though right now its in the safe).
9.24.2005 1:32am
PersonFromPorlock:
Arthur: If you're unwilling to use violence against someone committing a crime, you should also be unwilling to call the police to be violent on your behalf. Any other position is not morality, but squeamishness.
9.24.2005 6:42am
Lawbot2000:
I am about as far away as you can get from a car thief. Nevertheless, one time in Texas when I was a teenager, I was walking down the street at about 10pm at night when I knelt down to tie both my shoelaces. Next thing I know there is a shotgun pointed at my head and a guy threatening to blow me away right then and there. Apparently I had bent down right next to the driver's side door of a car that was parked in the street (I had not even noticed) and the guy thought I was trying to break into it. He said he very nearly shot me first instead of demanding that I get away from the car (no, it wasn't a pick-up).

moral of the story: do NOT shoot first and ask questions later...
9.24.2005 11:15am
Ken Willis (mail):
Best bedside drawer gun, IMHO, is a semi-auto [1911 preferably] with full magazine and empty chamber [condition 2]. After racking the slide [giving the slide no mercy] it's ready to go. The sound of a slide being pulled and chambering a round in a 1911-style pistol is almost as effective as pumping an 870 12-gauge [which won't fit in the drawer of a nightestand.

Small children are not strong enough to pull the slide making it safe even if they find it. If you have teenagers in the house you either have to trust them or have a different plan.
9.24.2005 11:38am
Houston Lawyer:
Everyone who lives in Texas should be extremely sensitive to the fact that a lot of people own guns and have every intention of using them to protect themselves or their property. When I was 12, I went to a slumber party where a group of us boys was allowed to roam the streets of my home town at 4:00 a.m. We all walked down the middle of the street, knowing full well that venturing any where near someone's home at that hour would just be asking to get shot.

I've seen reports of looting this morning in Houston. I don't believe they are true unless looting has been redefined so that any burgulary during a Hurricaine, no matter how isolated, constitutes looting. I personally guarantee you will see no news reports of large numbers of people breaking into a Walmart here and making off with anything. My neighbors and I are well armed, the police are out in force, and all of us are more than willing to use force to preserve life and property.

The most interesting thing about gun culture in Texas is that every group appears to participate equally. If you frequent a gun range, you will see men and women of every race happily firing away with an unbelievable large selection of firearms. It can be quite inspiring.
9.24.2005 12:07pm
Michael B (mail):
Texas is to be roundly commended for this thoughtful, progressive and realistic stance. It not only resists, on solid grounds, the ideological enthusiasms, pretensions and moralistic vacuity of the Left in this area, it also encodes a requisite acceptance of the inseparable link between individual and social responsibilities.

Vide discussion here and here.
9.24.2005 12:45pm
=0= (mail):
Seems like an application of Darwinism.

So shooting looters disproves Intelligent Design?
9.24.2005 1:44pm
arthur (mail):
Response to everyone: my hypothetical, like Professor Volokh's top post, concerned the limited issue of shooting your gun at a person to protect property, not shooting your gun to protect a life, and not pointing a gun to protect property. Since police can't legally shoot to protect property (or to stop a fleeing suspect), I have no qualms about calling the police in such a situation. I also have no moral or practical objection to brandishing a weapon to scare someone away, and have an unloaded rifle in my home should the situation arise.

But killing a human for the protection of either stereo equipment or for the portection of theoretical order in the community, is both stupid and evil.
9.24.2005 2:34pm
Jeremy (mail):
Ken Willis,

I still prefer my Remington 870 right next to the bed. I don't want to have to fool with working a slide in a tense situation. I keep a shell chambered in my 870 but would rack it anyway for intimidation purposes if I had time. In my bedside table drawer, I keep a loaded .357 magnum revolver as a backup.

I very much prefer revolvers to semi-automatics in defensive-use scenarios, mainly because of the vagaries associated with jamming and working the slide of a semi-auto. My first semi-auto was a .380 Auto Walther PPK/S that jammed on a regular basis; I know Glocks and most 1911's are less susceptible to such things, but I still don't trust a semi-auto in a pressure situation.

Besides a shotgun racking sound, another great intimidator is a laser sight, which I have on my shotgun, along with a barrel-mounted flashlight. When the bad guy sees a laser bouncing around his chest, he gets a lot more docile. I'd much rather scare a bad guy off (or capture him) than discharge my weapon, that's why I prefer weapons with a high intimidation factor.
9.24.2005 2:43pm
Bill Dyer (mail) (www):
My gut hunch (as another hunkered-down Houston lawyer) is that there's a pretty strong correlation between gun ownership and unwillingness to evacuate.

I don't think large-scale looting is going to be a problem in Houston this time. There may actually be less "normal" crime than usual: Anyone other than emergency response and law enforcement types out moving around now is likely to draw more than normal attention.
9.24.2005 2:49pm
Martin (mail):
BruceM, as a criminal defense lawyer in Houston, recommends that one "factor in the cost of a defense lawyer" when deciding whether or not to use force to protect ones' property. He says that it is simply cheaper to let thieves steal your property as long as the theft costs you less than a defense lawyer would.

Yet, he did not follow his cost-benefit argument to its logical conclusion. There is some number of burglary and thefts beyond which it becomes cheaper to blow a burglar's brains out even at the price of a criminal defense than to permit him to continue his criminal career indefinitely.

Nor can one give him credit for pointing out that it is more expensive to defend yourself if charged with murder than lesser charges such as assault. By discouraging property owners from defending their property with force, BruceM as a criminal defense lawyer is merely trying to ensure himself a continuing stream of repeat business from burglars and thieves whose careers might otherwise come to an end.
9.24.2005 3:13pm
Ken Willis (mail):
Jeremy:
Can't argue with anything you said. I consider a Remington 870 to be a gift from God to the law abiding. Now that so many manufacturers are making 1911's, offerings from Kimber, Wilson Combat, Les Baer, Ed Brown, Springfield Armory, Rock River, etc. are so reliable they almost match the reliability of a revolver. But I love all my revolvers just as much. It's really almost like saying one son or daughter is your favorite, you just love them all. I agree on the laser sights but have decided for myself not to use them because I don't want to get into the habit of not focusing on my front sight.
9.24.2005 3:48pm
The Drill SGT:
Arthur,

Your premise assume that 1. The looter/thief is rational, 2. The thief is meaning to steal property only, and 3. the thief assumes that the house business is un-occupied.

If a thief enters your home knowing you are there, you must assume that he expects to confront the homeowner or doesn't care.

A Homeowner/business person would be risking a lot to assume all three of these assumptions absent evidence.

Given that a Texas thief should anticipate a home owner to have a gun, the fact that the thief proceeds with the crime should give one pause about the rationality of the decision and increase the likelihood that the homeowner may need to threaten or use deadly force.

I've killd men before with a lot less at stake than them coming up my darkened staircase at night to do me and mine personal harm. I would have no compunction about shooting in that situation (if my wife let me have shells :)

Since she doesn't, I'll threaten the gun and give him a vertical butt stroke and a smash down the stairs.
9.24.2005 3:55pm
Houston Lawyer:
Since the storm has passed, I got out to speak with my neighbors to see how everyone was faring. My neighborhood is known as the 4th Ward, and is basically a recovering slum area. I spoke to a group of about 10 people who were passing the time with their favorite beverages. When I spoke about the necessity of being armed, the group expressed their wholesale concurrence. Those who didn't own guns had borrowed guns. One older gentleman, who has a concealed carry permit, had been out patroling the night before. A youngish woman had said that they were paying particular attention to who was in the neighborhood. Upon noticing unwelcome strangers (other than the usual beggars and miscreants) she said that she stood on her balcony and racked her shotgun for their benefit. I like having neighbors like that.
9.24.2005 7:58pm
Jeremy (mail):

I like having neighbors like that.


Amen!
9.24.2005 9:37pm
Hattio (mail):
Did it ever occur to the folks saying that the criminal defense costs could outweigh the value of the property you are protecting, that your chances of being charged are less when the authorities only hear one story? Ditto for civil litigation. At the very least, that's one less depo you have to take.

Tongue only partly in cheek
9.24.2005 10:10pm
toad:
In the West theft of property could result in poverty or death. Stealing a horse for example, or a ranchers cattle. Murder can be a crime of passion but a thief is in cold blood taking something that a person has worked, saved, and possibly sacrificed for. Thieves hurt the poor the most. They are scum. They drive business out of poor neighborhoods because they make it to expensive to do business there, and jobs are reduced. The reduction and protection from thieves is one of the primary functions of the law. And if it doesn't do it, the results are ugly. People who make excuses for thieves are idiots and moral degnerates. If a thief takes a battery from my car and I can't replace it right away becuse it is still three days to payday and I miss another days work because I've been fighting illness and have already exceeded my sick days and get fired. Not gonna happen, I'm shooting the thief.
9.24.2005 10:44pm
Stephen M (Ethesis) (mail) (www):
As a practical matter "and rack that pump back" is far more effective than shooting someone. All sorts of entanglements occur when you shoot someone who is kneeling down to tie shoelaces that do not occur when you use a firearm to cause them to move on.

Not that there are not bad actors, like Odell Barnes ( http://www.justicedenied.org/odell.htm misses the fact that his two attorneys did an excellent job -- though I'm pretty sure Odell was innocent of that particular murder. On the other hand, the DNA evidence was clear for a bunch of rape-murders he did commit, so ...)
9.25.2005 2:06am
murky (mail) (www):
"I like having neighbors like that."

Good neighbors would come to your aid in a gun-free world too. To me, guns seem to obviate the need for good relations with your neighbors, because they allow you to stand up to anyone alone.
9.25.2005 4:03am
Glenn:
Murky said:

Good neighbors would come to your aid in a gun-free world too. To me, guns seem to obviate the need for good relations with your neighbors, because they allow you to stand up to anyone alone.

Sometimes, especially in Texas or after a hurricane, good neighbors are few and far between. Seems to me that might be a good time to have the capability to stand on your own against people with bad intentions.

If you are not armed, that is not an option. You must then depend on others or your own ability to manufacture a defense for your family and property, or be willing to concede them as lost or negotiate with an intruder. I personally consider those options inferior to a scattergun and a plan for how to engage potential enemies.

Additionally, it seems to me that a state allowing home owners such discretion would tend to discourage violent predators from plundering a domicile. Entering a residence not knowing if the occupant is armed or not can be very hazardous to one's health.
9.25.2005 10:12am
Ken Willis (mail):
A fact not as well known as it should be is that the U.S. has one of the lowest rates of night-time burglary in the world. The U.K, where the subjects have been disarmed by their government, has one of the highest.
9.25.2005 1:24pm
Stephen M (Ethesis) (mail) (www):
Also important to realize is that (at least up to 4-5 years ago, I haven't checked recently) felons are allowed to have firearms for home defense in Texas.

Just can't take them outside.
9.25.2005 5:34pm
Cheburashka (mail):
What about New York? Many of us were very disappointed we never got a chance to loot in the last blackout. (I lived right close to J&R and had this plasma screen all picked out.) But so I can prepare for the next one, can they shoot us here?
9.26.2005 1:24pm
Columbienne:
Texas is to be roundly commended for this thoughtful, progressive and realistic stance. It not only resists, on solid grounds, the ideological enthusiasms, pretensions and moralistic vacuity of the Left in this area, it also encodes a requisite acceptance of the inseparable link between individual and social responsibilities.

That's right, Jesus wants you to shoot first.
9.26.2005 3:06pm
Jam (mail) (www):
If I remember the statistics correctly, the average home in Texas contains 5 weapons.

I am originally from Puerto Rico (I have been residing in Houston since 1985) and I say thanks God for Texas law, re. when a person can use deadly force.

This is the reason I told my Mom that we will not have a looting problem.

I also thank God that most of the use of fire arms in self-defense are not even fired.

Here in Texas, on clear cut situations, a grand jusry will "no bill" in less than 5 minutes anyone that used deadly force in protectin of self/family/others from a criminal.
9.26.2005 3:54pm
Shelby (mail):
Cheburashka:


What about New York? Many of us were very disappointed we never got a chance to loot in the last blackout. (I lived right close to J&R and had this plasma screen all picked out.) But so I can prepare for the next one, can they shoot us here?


You have the city's blessing to pick up your TV during the next blackout. This offer is one to a customer, no rain checks accepted. Offer void where store owner (a) is on premises and illegally armed, (b) employs a security guard, or (c) schmoozes with the Commish and has therefore been approved to carry.
9.26.2005 5:27pm
Michael B (mail):
"That's right, Jesus wants you to shoot first." Columbienne

The requisite, standard issue, leftish vacuity and sneer.
9.26.2005 6:39pm
Kris:
Nobody said: "What a barbaric law!" In the 1979 tornado on Terrible Tuesday, which devastated a significant bit of Wichita Falls, Texas (the scars are still in the bricks where they rebuilt the lowly mall), one looter was shot. That was *shrug* all it took. There was no further looting. Possibly barbaric? Sure. Ultimately effective? Absolutely. The reality of the "looter shooting" law is that it doesn't lead to gunfights. People just quit. That TV ain't worth being dead over, man, especially if the reason you're looting in the first place is because you're not normally a criminal, but think you can "hide in the crowd" this time.
9.26.2005 7:25pm
BruceM (mail) (www):
Martin that's nonsense. First of all I don't expect criminals partaking in a cost-benefit analysis of looting to be reading this website. Second, I didn't have to follow my analysis to its logical conclusion; I figured it was obvious that in factoring in the cost of criminal defense there will be some cases where the cost-effective decision is to shoot and pay for crim. defense. That's what cost-benefit analysis means. Where do you conclude I am "discouraging property owners from defending their property with force"? How can you possibly reach that conclusion from my post? I'm simply saying if it costs $70,000 to defend yourself against agg. assault charges and $150,000 to defend yourself against a murder charge, take that into consideration. Thus, if the property you're protecting with deadly force costs less than $70k, don't shoot. If the property costs over $70k but less than $150k, use deadly force but make sure you don't kill the person (aim for the leg). If the property costs over $150k, go ahead and shoot to kill. If Posner is reading this, I'm sure he is proud of me. :)

However, one other consideration is that insurance covers theft of property but not legal fees required to defend yourself against a crime. So, with that fact I suppose it always lends itself against shooting an intruder. Unless the property is one-of-a-kind and impossible to replace.

I fully support property owners' taking guns (even automatic weapons but that's another conversation) and shooting those stealing their property. Your shot at me is completely asinine because either way--a looter looting or a property owner shooting at him--I have a potential criminal defendant client. In fact, since both the looter and the shooter can theoretically be prosecuted by the state (it's not an either/or, assuming the looter wasn't fatally shot) it would be to my benefit to have property owners shoot at all looters.

I'd concede I'd have a conflict of interest in terms of defending both the prosecuted looter and the prosecuted aggravated assaulter/property protector. But nonetheless, two potential clients are better than one.
9.26.2005 8:12pm