12 months ago
From the Union Leader, Manchester, New Hampshire.
At a community meeting in Bedford Thursday, a resident asked the police chief under what circumstances a resident could use lethal force against a burglar.
“Say you’re asleep, you hear a noise, glass breaks, you hear somebody in there, you know they don’t belong,” said the resident, who didn’t provide his name. “Are you expected to ascertain whether they’re armed if you have the ability to take them out legally?”
Joking that he’s not a lawyer but has been accused of being one, Chief John Bryfonski sidestepped the question, saying it’s inappropriate for him to provide a legal opinion.
“The RSA is there,” Bryfonski said. “I think that folks should read it. Understand it. If they don’t fully understand the aspects of the use of force or deadly physical force by a civilian . . . then you should seek your own legal guidance.”
The meeting was called a week and a half after an assault at an upscale Bedford home. Dr. Eduardo Quesada and his wife, Sonia, were both hurt in the attack, which occurred after they entered their home. Quesada, an anesthesiologist at Elliot Hospital in Manchester, was in critical condition and remains hospitalized. His wife was released last week.
I’ll tell you what. I wouldn’t live in a place where one has to wonder if a home invader is armed or attempt to ascertain his purpose before acting in self defense. The Castle doctrine should be a part of the legal and regulatory framework of every state in the nation.
Any man who invades my home, assuming I can get to my weapon, is a dead man before the first question can be asked. People tend to have very odd views of how such a thing is all going to go down, but there won’t be occasion for banter, conversation or ascertaining intent, and if you’re not careful and you have your weapon too far from your reach, there may not even be time to defend your own life or the lives of your loved ones.
Any legal framework that doesn’t recognize this and allow for defense of the home isn’t funny, or cute, or needful of legal counsel, or complicated. It’s also not the occasion for stupid jokes. It’s immoral.