The founder of the Second Amendment Foundation today said he will supply Brady Campaign President Paul Helmke with documentation on the “text book case” from Missouri that helped convince that state’s legislature to pass a “Stand-Your-Ground” law to protect citizens from criminal or civil prosecution when they shoot in self-defense.
In a series of debates with SAF founder Alan Gottlieb last week, Helmke told MSNBC viewers that he has been unable to identify anybody who has ever been sued and suffered financially for shooting in self-defense.
“Helmke is sadly uninformed, and we’re going to educate him,” Gottlieb said. “The case of a Carroll County man who was charged in December 1992 for shooting a burglar and subsequently acquitted, but then was sued almost immediately in civil court for $250,000 by the burglar’s family, is exactly the kind of outrage this law, and similar statutes in other states, is designed to prevent.”
The civil case was originally filed in February 1993 in Carroll County (CV193-15CC) but transferred to Livingston County and renumbered (CV793-139CC).
“Ultimately,” Gottlieb continued, “this case shows just how much a person can suffer, emotionally and financially. The homeowner first had to endure the costs and emotional stress of successfully defending himself in criminal court. Then the plaintiffs in the civil suit finally settled with the homeowner’s insurance company for $20,000, a decision in which he had no say. That company turned around and cancelled the man’s policy.
“For Paul Helmke, or anyone else, to claim that such statutes are unnecessary is proof that the anti-self-defense crowd is on the side of the criminals,” he stated. “They fought sensible concealed carry statutes in 40 states, and couldn’t stop stand-your-ground laws in 19 states. Their agenda is to defend laws in the remaining states that victimize law-abiding citizens who defend themselves. First these citizens are victimized by the criminal, then by the criminal justice system and finally in the civil courts.
“Claiming that such cases are urban myth, as Helmke did in our debate, smacks of head-in-the-sand arrogance,” Gottlieb said. “Paul Helmke is either woefully uninformed or deliberately ignorant of the facts, and the Second Amendment Foundation is going to correct that.”