Tyler Police Detective Andy Erbaugh said Bobby Shaw fatally shot 44-year-old Luke Garrison of Brownsboro in the chest with a shotgun. Erbaugh said Garrison was shirtless and wielding an unspecified tool.
Shaw — who lives alone — said Garrison charged at him.
Garrison’s widow told police that he suffered from mental health problems.
No other injuries were reported.
An autopsy has been ordered. Police are investigating.
I recently was in a discussion about something every much like this with another blogger; he wants to change the law to make it harder for people to defend themselves.
“I was afraid” is no more a justification for the taking of a human life than “I was drunk” would be.
The right of self-defense should only apply to those whose lives are in actual danger, not those reacting to an imaginary danger.
But with rights go responsibilities. I believe people who claim a right to defend themselves with lethal force have a responsibility to verify that they actually are in danger.
I tried to make a point about how difficult it would be to determine ‘actual danger’ versus ‘imaginary danger’ in situations like the one Mr. Shaw faced.
So using Phil’s idea — how in the world could Mr. Shaw ‘verify’ he was in ‘actual danger’?
Should he ask “Hey you, the person who has broken into my house, what are you doing here?” and have to wait for an answer ? I guess having the intruder start shooting would be an answer, having the intruder beating him would be an answer.
But that brings up other questions; is a simple punch enough ‘actual danger’? Should he have to wait until he sustains “X” number of blows?
Or what happens if the intruder say “I’m just here to rob you” ? Does the home owner have to allow the robbery because he is in no ‘actual danger’?
Which we all know has to be a truthful answer because criminals never lie, right?
I’ve tried to wrap my mind around ways that a reasonable person could ‘verify’ (s)he was in ‘actual danger and I just don’t see a safe or sane way it could be done.
I want to give this serious consideration so I’m going to turn to my 4 readers for advice and ideas.
Can you of any ways a person could reasonable determine if they are in ‘actual danger’ in these scenarios?
- An intruder in their home in the middle of the night
- Someone pounding on the door in the night