Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Quickies: The Great “We Are The State”

     Recently a brief piece appeared at Hot Air that asks “Does The Right To Self-Defense Apply Against Agents Of The State?” This is not the question many would suppose it to be.

     In a de facto sense, the attempt to defend yourself against agents of the State is more likely than not to get you killed. Normally when they come for you, they come unannounced and with force majeure, such that the odds are heavily against you from the outset. However, in a de jure sense, if you had no right to defend yourself against an agent or agents of the State, then you would have no rights of any kind.

     This question must not be muddled up with the separate subject of “sovereign immunity,” an obscenity with which the courts have refused to treat as it deserves. Your right to defend yourself pertains to your actions, not those of the persons against whom you choose to defend yourself. If a law enforcement officer, or any other government employee, were to attempt to use deadly force against you for a reason or in a situation not sanctioned by the constraints applied by the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, and you were to defend yourself successfully — i.e., at the end of the exchange you’re alive but he isn’t – you would have a perfect case for self-defense against a criminal. A criminal is no less a criminal because he possesses a badge.

     There would still be unpleasantness to endure. You would almost certainly be arrested and forced to defend yourself in court. But assuming that testimony and circumstantial evidence were to bear out your claims, you would be acquitted. And that is as it must be.

     But should a LEO come to arrest you for some offense for which he has a valid warrant or an in-person complaint, you’re much more likely to survive if you go along peacefully.

1 comment:

Dystopic said...

What is right and what is advisable in a particular situation do not always align neatly, unfortunately.