Sunday, August 09, 2009

Oregon man gets 19 months for killing intruder

This outrages me. A man is sent to prison for 19 years for killing a man who broke into his house in the middle of the night. In Oregon, if someone breaks into your house, they must DO YOU HARM before you may defend yourself. Otherwise, you'll be on the wrong side of the law.

This strikes me as something in need of fixing next session if not before. Maybe the initiative system - this is the stuff of plain ole common sense. The legislature thinks we should have a violent felony perpetrated on us before we can defend ourselves? I think they need to hear from us on this one.

I'm going to attend Rep. Wu's town hall for health care next week and will bring this issue up at that time.

Anyone have a different perspective on this subject? I'd be interested to hear it.


PS: Here's the link, in case it didn't come through:


Anonymous said...

I once started to get in a car that looked like mine, I guess someone could have shot me for carjacking. Why did his family call the bar instead of the police. Why would anybody want to shoot someone sleeping on a couch, ruining the sofa, blooding up the room, and dealing with legal issues for months to come. And then you wonder why people want to take away our guns.

Zak Johnson said...

I agree, Hallie. There may be something I'm missing here, but at first blush it sounds like a ludicrous loss of common sense.

Why did they go summon someone from the bar instead of calling the police first, though? Any idea?

C. Michael Arnold said...

I don't think sleeping on a stranger's couch should be a death sentence. The imminence of the situation is lost when they called someone home from the bar. Had the homeowner found someone on his couch and shot him immediately then maybe I'd excuse that.

C. Michael Arnold,
Attorney at Law
Eugene, Oregon

guns for DEFENSE said...

19 months not 19 years, maybe should have been 19 years

Anonymous said...

Here's are links to more details.

In the end the shooter took 19 months as a plea bargain. I'd say the judicial system worked well in this instance. Lack of common sense on the part of the shooter and the intruder. There was no reason to wake the guy up with a pistol-whipping 'cause the cops were already on their way.


Anonymous said...

I'm one of those uber-liberals with a Castle Doctrine that's ironclad and thirty stories high...but this case struck me as very odd. If someone you don't know is in your home and on your sofa, you ask them to leave. If they don't, or give you trouble, or threaten or accost you, you take stronger action.

We are armed as PART of an overall approach to safety. Not as a complete substitute for any other way of interacting with others, including those who surprise or startle us. This sort of incident does no favor to law-abiding and reasoning gun owners who would shoot only as a means to needfully equalize force.

Though I do agree, Hallie, that a person should not have to wait to be harmed to fight back. I can't speak more to that, not knowing anything about OR law. But I am very glad to live in a state to the north of you as regards self protection and RKBA. I'd love to come backpacking in OR but since I cannot lawfully carry concealed there, I take my back country tourism elsewhere.

Carry Nation

Anonymous said...

I once checked with the Oregon State Police and you don't need a concealed hangun licence to carry a handgun concealed while hiking in the woods in Oregon. Call them and they will explain.

C. Michael Arnold said...

The State Police told you wrong. If you are hiking with a concealed firearm, you'd better have current hunting tags, a shooting club card, or a fishing pole and be prepared to prove such at a jury trial. The safer bet is to get a CCH License.

ORS 166.260 Persons not affected by ORS 166.250. (1) ORS 166.250 does not apply to or affect:
(h) A person who is licensed under ORS 166.291 and 166.292 to carry a concealed handgun.
* * *
(2)(a) Members of any club or organization, for the purpose of practicing shooting at targets upon the established target ranges, whether public or private, while such members are using any of the firearms referred to in ORS 166.250 upon such target ranges, or while going to and from such ranges
(b) Licensed hunters or fishermen while engaged in hunting or fishing, or while going to or returning from a hunting or fishing expedition.

Mike Arnold,
Attorney at Law
Eugene, Oregon

pdxr13 said...

Trespassing/sleeping on your couch without notifying the people of the house that you are there may be a misdemeanor (and stupid), but it is not a felony in progress.

If the person were breaking down the door to come in, and you shoot them, it seems like a felony and imminent harm are likely to follow, so the shooter is justified.

In the sleeping on your couch case, you call the police to report the situation, maybe with gun in hand, while you throw some socks at the sleeping person and tell them to get out of your house. The cops arrive in 30 minutes, the guy is gone, and you do the paperwork (put away the weapon before the cops get there). Tarp the couch if you suspect bedbugs.


brian r said...


I would tend to agree with you, but you might want to make sure the socks are dirty.

Anonymous said...

I liked the way Goldilocks & the three bears turned out a lot better. They were a lot smarter than this couple.