AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane, File
If you’re ever involved in a shooting, you can find yourself in the midst of a very traumatic experience. Taking a human life can be devastating all on its own, even in the case of self-defense, but then things can get ugly. In far too many places, prosecutors can go after the person acting in self-defense and make them prove their case in court. It’s a costly, invasive process that’s probably more traumatizing than the shooting itself. Hence, Stand Your Ground laws protecting that right to self-defense.
Those measures don’t prevent civil cases, though, and those can be just as bad. Even worse, there’s a lower burden of proof required in a civil case, meaning the chances of being bankrupt over the case–and not just from legal expenses–increases exponentially.
Now, an Indiana law going into effect this month seeks to put an end to that risk.
Gun rights advocates celebrated the passage of House Bill 1284, which adds a protection for Hoosiers from legal action following a justified use of force.
The bill also addresses several other issues related to firearms.
New legislation signed into law by Gov. Eric Holcomb takes effect this month.
“The initial purpose of (HB 1284) was to protect Hoosiers’ rights to protect themselves and not be bankrupted after a justified use of force,” Rep. Jim Lucas said.
Lucas, a Republican from Seymour who introduced the bill, described an instance when a woman shot her firearm to protect a police officer, killing a man stopped by law enforcement. The deceased man’s family filed a wrongful death suit, and attorneys pressured the woman to settle in the case, according to Lucas.
“I drafted legislation to prevent this from happening to any other Hoosier in the future,” he said. “I want to stress the use of justified force. Some have said this allows for someone to shoot on sight … nothing could be further from the truth.”
Lucas said that the bill would also allow Hoosiers to carry firearms in churches and religiously affiliated schools.
The new law seeks to prevent people from profiting off their jackwagon relatives trying to hurt other people and being put down like rabid dogs. Good.
I don’t have a lot of patience for people who would file such a lawsuit, but in most places, you can sue anyone for anything. It doesn’t mean you’ll win, but you can file the lawsuit. It’s part of why lawsuits are such a key part of antagonistic efforts by various groups, also called lawfare. People sue left and right, knowing damn good and well it will be a punishment all on its own.
Couple that with unscrupulous attorneys–no, not all are that way. I know one who isn’t. He may be the only one–who are looking at how to make a buck and not worried about right or wrong, and this is what you get. In addition, there are gun control groups who will likely join in this if they decide such lawsuits are a valid method to discourage people from carrying guns.
It’s a complete mess, and Indiana is taking concrete steps to put an end to this nonsense. I, for one, applaud them.