Video Of Texas Shooting Raises Self-Defense Questions

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As a site dedicated to stuff related to the Second Amendment, we spend a lot of time talking about self-defense. That’s certainly understandable.

The act of self-defense, though, has been under fire. Since the Rittenhouse decision, a lot of people want a re-evaluation of our self-defense laws, usually while not understanding them.

Within the gun community, though, there’s always discussion about self-defense laws and an examination of self-defense shootings.

This one has already sparked discussion.

A Texas man fatally shot his partner’s ex-husband during a bitter ongoing child custody dispute, disturbing video shows.

The cellphone footage released Tuesday by an attorney for Chad Read’s widow depicts the deadly Nov. 5 confrontation between the 54-year-old victim and Kyle Carruth outside his Lubbock home, KCBD reported.

The clip shows Chad Read arguing with his ex-wife, Christina, before Carruth emerges from his home with a rifle, setting off the deadly confrontation on the front porch.

Carruth lawyer insists the shooting was self-defense, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reported.

That’s not 100 percent accurate.

Carruth told Read to get off his property. Read refused, which is when Carruth went in to get the rifle. Read then threatened to take the weapon away and cause Carruth harm. Watch the video for yourself:

But was it self-defense? Well, maybe.

As the NY Post notes:

Carruth’s lawyer said he was merely defending himself during the “justifiable homicide” while citing Texas’ so-called Castle Doctrine, which allows the reasonable use of deadly force upon intruders, KLBK reported.

“All Texans may lawfully brandish a firearm to protect themselves, their property and their business,” attorney David Guinn told the station. “When Kyle did that, Chad Read advanced on him.”

Carruth clearly told Read to leave. He didn’t.

Based on some apparent wording in Texas state law, he may well have been justified in bringing out the weapon in the first place. Read’s actions after that may have justified using that weapon as well.

That doesn’t make this a good thing, though.

Look, Carruth may well have a valid self-defense claim, but that doesn’t mean he handled things well. Any relationship he hoped to have with his partner’s kids may well be ruined. His relationship with his partner may not ever be the same.

The smart play would have simply been to call the police and have them come and remove Read from the property and arrest him for criminal trespass. The point would have been made and no one would have died.

In fairness, that’s easy for me to say here and now, well after the fact and knowing how things ended.

Unfortunately, this is a custody thing, and those can get remarkably messy. Right now, Carruth hasn’t been charged and may well avoid any charges, but that may also change.

Just remember that because you may be able to claim self-defense, it doesn’t mean you won’t avoid charges or even a lawsuit.

Right now, Read’s widow is trying to get custody of the kids at the center of the dispute, claiming that Carruth killing read somehow makes the home unsafe for the children in question. That means there will be legal ramifications even if there are no criminal charges.

Sometimes, avoiding a shooting is better than firing the shot. Sometimes, it’s not.

Carruth knows what was going through his mind at the time, and his comments near the end of the video suggest he wasn’t looking to shoot anyone. It’s a shame that someone got shot anyway.