By guest contributor Stephen Owsinski:
“…here is how it would evolve: bad guy breaks into your home; bad guy points a gun at you; bad guy demands all your hard-earned goods; bad guy exhibits wanton willingness to take what’s yours; you fear for your life; bad guy does not see your firearm until you shoot him before he shoots you; bad guy goes to jail..bad guy hires an attorney to file suit against you…”
I recently wrote about some zany and baseless statements and conduct that came from elected officials in Washington DC who were opposed to immigration enforcement. One of the politicians publicized a sit-in at Chicago’s regional Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office—a federal building owned by American taxpayers. The other is a US senator who blew smoke in the face of legitimate, everyday law enforcement practices of federal agents. This particular senator, Senator Durbin, said nothing about the criminal violation whatsoever when he discussed his belief that ICE agents had no business attending a publicized outdoor press conference on immigration, following an attendee who openly admitted via microphone that she is an illegal alien, and arresting her in a traffic stop after lawful, probable-cause detention.
In similar silliness, ten lawmakers in Nevada have apparently sipped the same wonky Kool-Aid. The band of elected liberals working in the Nevada State Capitol building decided it was a good idea to write Senate Bill 254 (SB254), permitting criminals to file lawsuits against crime victims who justifiably exercised their rights to self-defense while watching assailants plunder their home and/or menace the wife and children.
On its face, existing Nevada state law 41.095 delineates “Liability of Persons Who Use Deadly Force Against Intruder in Residence, Transient Lodging or Motor Vehicle” without ambiguity. There are no ifs, ands, or buts. As it currently stands, the law preserves 2nd Amendment applications legally granting crime victims civil immunity via the inalienable right to self-defense against home invaders, intrusion, and attack.
Paring it down, here is how it would evolve: bad guy breaks into your home; bad guy points a gun at you; bad guy demands all your hard-earned goods; bad guy exhibits wanton willingness to take what’s yours; you fear for your life; bad guy does not see your firearm until you shoot him before he shoots you; bad guy gets medical attention while cops wait to slap cuffs around his thieving mitts; bad guy goes to jail. Anytime thereafter, bad guy hires an attorney to file suit against you…because the fab ten who are writing laws at Nevada’s Capitol building somehow thought it was a nifty idea to pay demons for all their troubles. You? Well…your castle is reduced to nothing more than a come-one/come-all campsite traipsed upon by anyone with feet, a weapon, and larceny on the brain. And the price of admission is exchanging your hard-earned goods for a civil action scoffing up whatever crumbs remain, like paying a fee for victimization.
What do you think about that bucket of hogwash? Is that the America we endear? Isn’t that like blindfolded Lady Justice handing over the scales to the armed, masked intruder? If you are angered by any of this, bravo…you deserve applause. If you are not, please leave the rings behind and return from Saturn. Your voice is needed.
In a twist similar to what the Nevada lawmakers envision, a lawsuit filed against the Pinellas County, Florida sheriff’s office alleges the agency and some of its deputies are liable for the deaths of three teens who were fleeing from the police when they submerged their stolen getaway car in a mucky pond after losing control. With an historical seven grand theft charges among them, the teens drowned, and their families hired an attorney to litigate against law enforcement for the grotesquely sad outcome.
Albeit unwaveringly sympathetic to the loss of life—any lives—this particular case seeks to hold police accountable for the poor decisions and nefarious actions of youngsters who should have been home, tucked under their blankets on a school night. This litigation is not really the first of its kind—others like it were filed in courthouses across the nation, costing American taxpayers billions. As Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri defended at a press conference, “…these kids were out joyriding at 3 a.m. while they should have been home in bed.” Sheriff Gualtieri added, “They have all the evidence…the deputies did nothing wrong. Bring it!”
Assuming SB254 passes and becomes Nevada state law, let us hope judges see right through the misguided notions, remedy the Constitutional insults…and fill-up the Frivolous Lawsuits basket.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Stephen Owsinski is a Senior OpsLens Contributor and retired law enforcement officer whose career included assignments in the Uniformed Patrol Division and Field Training Officer (FTO) unit. He is currently a researcher and writer. Follow Stephen on Twitter @uniformblue.