Indianapolis Law Enforcement Reports Rise in Self-Defense Shootings

AP Photo/Brittainy Newman, File

The right to keep and bear arms means having the right to defend yourself. This is a human right that's recognized even in places that don't acknoweldge the right to be armed. People don't have to just allow themselves to be murdered.


Some places require you to try and find a way to escape first, which is stupid, but even in those jurisdiction, you don't just have to roll over and be slaughtered.

This is a good thing, primarily because the people killed in self-defense shootings aren't exactly great people in the first place, even if the media might try to make them look like martyrs.

In Indianapolis, though, this seems to be happening a whole lot more, and it's causing some consternation among officials.

City law enforcement leaders say they are seeing a rise in shootings that involve self-defense issues. The scenario that is becoming all-too common involves two people arguing. One or both pull guns. There is a physical struggle or exchange of gunfire. If someone is shot or killed, is the shooter at fault, or did they just defend themselves?

That's a question making sometimes fatal shootings more complicated to prosecute in Indianapolis.

“What's upsetting to me is, if you look at the month of January, I think we had 18 homicides during that month,” said Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears. “Fourteen of those were being investigated for self-defense, meaning that someone lost their life, and that case might ultimately be cleared. But that doesn't do anything for that family who lost someone."


OK, I'm going to interject here, because if it is an actual self-defense shooting, I'm not losing sleep over the fact that the deceased's family lost someone. The fact that the person is dead is the direct result of their own choices and actions. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes and all that.

Telling people "that doesn't do anything for that family who lost someone" is nothing more than trying to guilt people who defended their own life.

If someone is going to lose someone, I'd rather it be their family as opposed to mine.

Indy's top cop said juveniles who grow up around gun violence often perpetuate gun violence.

"And that's why there's a thought that they'd rather be caught by the police with a gun than in their neighborhoods than without one,” said Bailey. “And their trauma untreated is turning to anger and bad behavior. And then the next thing you know is that they're in jail or they're being buried by their family, and we have to be better."

Indiana is considered to have a very strong stand your ground self-defense law. That applies when you’re protecting yourself, your loved ones, and property. Self-defense is not meant to be pulling a gun to prove a point or win an argument.

Now, on this last bit, I agree entirely. It is not for winning an argument. That's not where a gun is useful. 


And I think the chief is right when he talks about armed juveniles. The truth is that getting busted isn't a deterrent since being arrested is almost a point of pride. They gain respect when they get busted, which creates a perverse incentive to break the law.

But even then, many of them are also carrying a gun for self-defense. Just because someone's a criminal doesn't mean they're not worried about being targeted themselves. That's especially true in some neighborhoods where people do settle grudges with guns.

However, I'm still put off by this suggestion that there's something wrong with defending yourself, as alluded to in the previous quoted section.

The truth is that people need to be able to defend themselves and if people decide to settle disagreements with guns then they deserve what happens afterward.

Don't start nothing, won't be nothing.

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