Now that we have new statistics to look at regarding firearm-related deaths, it’s time we all get to play “poke the hole in the stupid.”
Today’s entry comes to us from the Wichita Eagle, which felt like there’s a problem that needed to be reported. You see, the state’s homicide rate is up. The reason? All those pesky self-defense killings.
Wichita had more homicides this year than any year since 1995, driven in part by an increase in self-defense killings, an analysis of law enforcement records shows.
At least 43 people died by homicide in Wichita this year, up five from last year. The increase came because of self-defense killings, which increased by five — from three to eight, Wichita police said.
Before Kansas’ stand-your-ground law passed in 2007, if there was an opportunity to escape violence, or a chance to retreat, a person had to make that the first option before using force.
That’s no longer the case. Kansas is one of many states where citizens have no legal duty to retreat from an attacker in any place where they are lawfully present. A killing is justifiable in Kansas when a person “reasonably believes” that the use of deadly force is “necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm” to that person or a third party.
Decisions about whether the eight killings were justified in 2018 were not made by a judge or jury but instead by by prosecutors based on evidence gathered by police. One case will be argued next month to determine whether another homicide will be added to the self-defense category.
Under Kansas law, prosecutors can’t file charges against someone in a self-defense killing unless the state can establish beyond a reasonable doubt that a person did not act in self-defense, Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett said.
In case you’re unable to see where it’s going with this, it’s blaming Stand Your Ground for the increased number of deaths.
This, however, is total male bovine excrement.
For one thing, each of those self-defense killings represents someone who was in fear for their life. That means there’s a good chance that most or all of those situations would have resulted in someone getting killed either way, possibly more than one someones. The fact that Kansas required people to try and retreat prior to 2007 doesn’t mean people would have been successful by any stretch. It actually could have led to more fatalities as people tried to get away in compliance with an arcane and evil law rather than use those precious seconds to defend themselves.
“You don’t know that!” some anti-gunner might argue, and they’re right. We’re playing with the hypothetical here, but it’s no different than claiming that if a duty to retreat existed, there would be fewer fatalities. That can’t be known either.
Further, let’s also understand something about the caliber of individual being killed. These are criminals. And, they’re rarely first-time criminals. They’re people who exist in this world by preying on others. They’re people who laws mean nothing to, who make their way through life scoffing at the rules of men. They are outlaws who choose to be so. So they get killed doing that. I find I’m unable to muster a single damn to give.