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Do Private Citizens Have Greater Responsibility Than Cops?

Concealed handgun licensee charged with two felonies after killing dog.

by
Howard Nemerov

Bio

September 4, 2012 - 1:37 pm

Bing Michael Yee, a concealed handgun licensee, was walking his dog, when another dog “ran out of a house and toward him.” Yee fired an unknown number of rounds, killing the dog. In an email interview, Cedar Park Police Captain Jeffrey Hayes said:

Mr. Yee was arrested and charged for Deadly Conduct and Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon.

The Deadly Conduct charge comes after he discharged his weapon in the direction of individuals, resulting in shrapnel or debris striking a female causing an injury.

The Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon charge comes after he then aimed his gun at the people in the front yard of the home across the street, as well as aiming his gun at a non-involved witness to the incident.

Texas Penal Code states that defensive force can be used when “reasonable,” meaning that objective criteria must exist to justify the use of force. (“Feeling afraid” doesn’t exist in Texas Penal Code.) Further, a justified defense doesn’t absolve the defender if he “injures or kills an innocent third person.”

The justice system should properly determine if Yee’s shooting was “reasonable,” or if the shooting was reckless enough to justify a major felony conviction. According to Captain Hayes, Yee violated NRA’s first gun safety rule: “ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.” (For defensive purposes, the “safe” direction is towards the attacker.)

Last month, two NYPD officers wounded nine innocent bystanders in a shootout with an armed man who’d just killed his ex-boss. Three of those wounded remained hospitalized for days. In fairness, there’s no evidence the cops aimed anywhere but at the shooter.

Today, a NYPD Public Information Officer confirmed that both officers are back on active duty.

Former civilian disarmament supporter and medical researcher Howard Nemerov investigates the civil liberty of self-defense and examines the issue of gun control, resulting in his book Four Hundred Years of Gun Control: Why Isn’t It Working? He appears frequently on NRA News as their “unofficial” analyst and was published in the Texas Review of Law and Politics with David Kopel and Carlisle Moody.
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