How Not to Defend Yourself

Contrary to what many opponents to legalized self-defense claim there are many instances of individuals successfully defending themselves every day. From the aware individual who managed to avoid a violent situation by crossing a street at the right time to the individual who regretfully had to draw their concealed firearm and shoot their attacker successful incidents of self-defense are all around us. But there are people who mistake self-defense for vengeance. This story that happened in St. Paul is an example of vengeance:

Last night around 5:30 p.m. two armed robbers approached a man near the Hmongtown Marketplace at Como and Pennsylvania Avenues in St. Paul’s North End.

He pulled out a gun and exchanged shots with the would-be robbers.

Everything up to this point qualified as self-defense. Two armed robbers certainly make for a case where their target can reasonably assume that their life is in immediate jeopardy and lethal force is therefore justified. However the defender wasn’t satisfied with stopping there:

Then, when the robbers jumped in their car and tried to escape, he hopped in his car and chased them for more than a mile down Thomas Avenue.

Self-defense ends with the threat does. Once your attackers flee you can no longer claim self-defense if you continue responding aggressively. In this case the defender became the attacker when he chased down the fleeing robbers and engaged in a second gunfight with them.

I encourage everybody to learn skills that make them more able to defend themselves. Knowledge is one of those skills. You need to know the laws regarding self-defense otherwise you may end in a cage.