Local self defense case ruled…well…self defense.
A store owner who shot a burglar four times last month will not face criminal charges because he believed his life was in danger, the commonwealth’s attorney has decided.
There was some question about which way it would go because the store owner was outside the store and shot in through a window and the perpetrator did not have a firearm.
The store owner plausibly argued that, in the dark, it looked like the perpetrator was armed and, when the perp turned toward him, he believed he was about to be fired upon.
Personally, I would be more comfortable about things if we had some sort of “no retreat” law here…wherein the burden of proof falls upon the prosecution to prove that it WASN’T self defense rather than on the defender to prove that it was. Even though this one turned out right (in my opinion), I don’t like the fact that there’s even a possibility of law abiding citizens being charged for defending themselves against criminals.
It seems to be difficult to get gun rights activists here stirred up about this issue here because these cases always seem to turn out right. The problem is that we can’t guarantee that we’ll always have commonwealth’s attorneys that make the right decisions on these cases and, even if the defender prevails in court, the costs associated with defending oneself in court can be devastating. I say take the possibility away now, before it becomes a problem…don’t wait for 2 or 5 or 100 Virginian’s lives to be destroyed before acting.
But that’s just me.
Crossposted on The Sentinel