Can I Legally Shoot Someone If I’m Defending a Statue?

By Woody published on in Legal

A viral social media post is suggesting that it may be okay to shoot someone to defend a statue. An Independent Program Attorney at U.S. & Texas LawShield® begs to differ. Texas LawShield recently became aware of a viral Facebook post telling people they can shoot someone vandalizing a statue.

defending a statue

Cavalry Group statue, Grant Memorial, Washington, D.C.

Based on recent events, we understand the importance of knowing whether or not this is valid legal information. It appears this viral story started as a blog post that reported on one individual’s opinion on the use of force and/or deadly force to protect public property. The position advocated by the Facebook post cited in the blog is not a very good idea.

The defense of property justifications (TPC 9.41, 9.42, and 9.43) are all based upon the finding that the person’s conduct was based upon a “reasonable belief” that the use of force is “immediately necessary” to prevent the harm to property. With regard to deadly force, it can only be used if the person “reasonably believes that … the land or property cannot be protected or recovered by ANY other means.”

This presents a lot of room for a jury to find that someone was unreasonable in using force or deadly force to defend against an act of criminal mischief. Further, deadly force can never be used in response to the crime of criminal mischief in the daytime.

Many people who have commented on this post have posed a “…but what if they come at me…” scenario.

It is true that the circumstances that allow for the use of force and/or deadly force can change instantly. If a person is simply trying to stop a vandal by shouting at him or calling the police, and as a result the vandal attempts to attack the person, then the person being attacked would be justified in using force and may even escalate to deadly force to defend themselves if they have a reasonable belief that they are going to be murdered.

However, if a person were to physically intervene to stop a vandal (any offensive, unwanted, or injurious touching is an assault) and then were to be physically assaulted themselves, the issue that a jury would have to decide is whether or not the person had disqualified themselves from claiming self-defense because of their initial “assault” on the vandal.

Needless to say, this is a very complex issue and should not have been addressed by anyone in such a cavalier manner. It is unfortunate that civilized behavior in our society has devolved to such a state that it is even necessary to consider these issues.

Would you defend a statue? Have you ever been involved in a situation where confronting someone over vandalism to public property led to a threat of personal harm? Share your answers in the comment section.


Check out these other great articles from U.S. Law Shield, and click here to become a member.

The just-released video above is from the Florida State Attorney’s Office, supporting a judge’s ruling that a citizen who opened fire on a man attacking a Lee County deputy last year was justified in using deadly force.

Taking the family to a state or national park this summer? Then you need to know the rules about firearms carry at your destinations, in state or out of state. Click to watch Independent Program Attorney Michele Byington explain various park rules controlling where you can — and definitely cannot — take your gun. And please take the poll at the bottom to tell us if you take firearms with you on vacation. All poll responses are completely confidential.

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Comments (40)

  • Ethan

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    To those Fascists who commented in favor of or to justify hurting others or ending human life over public inanimate objects; what you’re saying is that if your Fascist sorry excuse of human garbage were to go to DC for example and deface or destroy the MLK Jr. statue, then one of those “goddamned liberals” as you like to call them will be in the right to shoot you in the face in defense of that statue, right? It’s a two way street after all. Your same twisted antisocial logic will still apply if the tables were turned. Keep that in mind, geniuses, when you advocate for murder; because that’s what it is that you’re advocating for, murder. It won’t have a different name no matter what books you throw at it or other names you try to give it. I sure hope that the FBI and HSI read the crap that some say on this blog and which can only be characterized as high potential for homegrown terror. You all need to be locked up in an asylum and receive tons of medication and years of psychotherapy.

    Reply

    • G-Man

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      Ethan,

      Proving your fruitless circle of illogic, you just admitted that “liberals” have the same legal “right to shoot [us] in the face” in defense of a statue.

      At least you acknowledge the law does in-fact provide for the public’s defense of such property. But in so doing, your rant becomes dangerously hypocritical as you proceed to threaten others with your “two way street” rhetoric; while at the same time apparently enjoying the liberal anarchists’ right to shoot people over a statue as well.

      With that, you blew your entire point… if you ever had one.

      It would be remiss of me were I not to point out that you, along with most liberals have no clue what a fascist really is. There has been nothing posted that I have read which would indicate you have a proper claim to label anyone here a fascist. You really need to bone-up on proper definitions.

      Now then, if instead you were foolishly referring to those that understand the dangers perpetrated by the un-American anarchists that have no concept for the rule of law, then your words are still wasted; because if you had a lick of common sense, you’d know that no self-respecting American patriot would ever break the law to damage a statue.

      It is absolutely absurd that your psychosis leads you to believe there’d ever be a time where “the tables were turned”. This is because no true American dedicated to defending U.S. property would ever want to – “go to DC… and deface or destroy the MLK Jr. statue”.

      Given you’ve completely failed to grasp such fundamental concepts makes you even more dangerous, because it is actually you that perpetuates false narratives which creates hate in the minds of your fellow sheeple who then carry out more violent acts.

      In addition, it takes a disgustingly warped mental state for you to ever equate the dignity and respect which such patriots have for our Country and its laws, when you repugnantly compare them to the real “human garbage” on the Left that are destroying these public monuments.

      It is this “garbage” that has been the documented source of increasing violence spawned within these alt-left groups. Such groups are now well-known for their daily tactics committed to dangerous acts as organized mobs hell-bent on intimidation, shutting down free speech, harming fellow humans, and destroying public and private property. It is their actions which are the true definition of “fascism”.

      Furthermore, the actions perpetrated by these increasingly dangerous groups have now earned them the title of “terrorists” by literal definition. So when viewed in its realistic and brutally honest context by all sides, there is no escaping the fact that the recent destruction of these statues is simply part and parcel of these groups’ continued escalation of terrorism in America.

      The talk you see here, and in many other forums, is America finally waking up and beginning to lawfully discuss their options as these groups increasingly show how dangerous they are willing to become.

      So what you are really complaining about (as a closet-fascists yourself), is free speech in preparation of a lawful defense of the infrastructure of our Country – should these terrorist force it to become absolutely necessary.

      So trust me when I say, the FBI you hope is reading this so-called “crap”, is really only concerned with those groups which have already actually carried out the many terrorist acts we’ve all seen lately; which includes their destruction of memorials. The views being expressed here are merely seen by the FBI as a gage for them to determine just how fed-up and dangerous the “public” feels these alt-left groups are becoming.

      In the simplest of terms, when someone comes at me with a big stick to take my watch, they are a criminal. But when they come at me or property to do harm over my ideals, they are a terrorist.

      Reply

    • G-Man

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      Forgive my typo as I forgot the “u” in “gauge”.

      Reply

  • Murphy

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    Your a whimp. Who cares if they fly the confederate flag. I appreciate things like that. I’m not dumb liberal that gets a tummy ache from seeing confederate flags. Honestly I think the lgbtq flags are 10x more offensive and I don’t plan on moving away because of that. Its no wonder that people can’t unite when they are this sensitive. END WHITE GUILT 2017

    Reply

  • Dylan

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    This is idiotic. Anyone who’s looking for some twisted legal excuse to shoot people should get their head straight and try to be a better member of the human race. I don’t care what the law says, laws can be wrong. If your state has a law that it’s no problem to drive your truck through a protest, don’t do that either.

    Reply

  • BLAADE!

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    HAHAHA…

    SHOOT them with ur Camera’s CELL PHONE. Ask them to pose/smile! THEN: CALL THE POLICE! And when they STORM U – NOWWWWW… NOW U can shoot the stupid Bastards! {Police r already on the way}.

    Reply

  • FUBO

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    At least we can’t say we don’t live in interesting times.

    Reply

  • Defendagainstthedarkies

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    Defending a piece of art that pigeons use as a toilet isn’t worth the time spent in court, the unwanted negative attention, lawyer fees, and possible jail time even if you are in the right. A guy who was engaged to my cousin is currently having is wages garnished to pay for medical expenses and legal fees after he beat up some kids tagging his old high school. He damn near got the child molester label tattooed on him for spraying paint down one of the kids crack.

    Reply

  • CAH

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    Anyone carrying a firearm to an assembly is not there to assemble peacefully. I find it funny that the ‘rally’ in S.F. was cancelled because the police said nobody attending could carry firearms, sticks, shields, etc. So the wussy alt-right punted. They knew they would get their ass kicked.

    As far as these statues are concerned – they have no place in society.

    The people they honor were trying to protect slavery. If you are for that then you should be ashamed. I see no statues of slaves being whipped, or hanging from a tree.

    Get real… those who go on about Heritage Not Hate forget that fact that in reality it is a Heritage OF Hate.

    Oh by the way, I’m a left-wing-democrat voter who carries and shoots his AR15 with extreme precision… and there are many more like me out there…

    Reply

    • Murphy

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      Dude the civil war was about taking the power from states never forget that. Slavery was just the dog whistle leverage tool that was pulled out much later on in the war. Lincoln could’ve done some kind of other way to do the emancipation proc without killing thousands of fellow Americans. It was purely about control. Just like how they use minority’s today for political tooling.

      Reply

    • G-Man

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      CAH,

      It’s pretty sick that you find humor in the thought of terrorist groups such as ANTIFA using violence to intimidate and shut down free speech in America. However, your reason given for the cancellation of the rally is the furthest thing from any real truth.

      The actual reason was out of a desire to preserve peace, because the organizers knew that terrorist organizations (specifically ANTIFA), were seeking out this peaceful rally for the singular purpose of inciting violence; just as they’ve done at every other rally they’ve appeared at across America.

      Along with ANTIFA’s documented record of instigation and violence at every peaceful rally they crash, the organizers are well aware these anti-protest terrorist groups refuse to acknowledge the rule of U.S. law, and thus would never have complied with the weapons ban anyway.

      Simply put, the cancellation was the mature and patriotic thing to do in the interest of our Country. It is pathetic that you find such an honorable decision to be a laughing matter.

      Furthermore, you are dishing up pure twaddle in the comment where you wrote, “Anyone carrying a firearm to an assembly is not there to assemble peacefully.”

      There are literally hundreds of thousands of peaceful U.S. citizens that carry concealed on a daily bases as a purely defensive measure. We carry our weapons as habitually as our wallet and car keys. So aside from an outright ban at such rallies, I can assure you that peaceful, law abiding, regular concealed carriers would be in attendance there, and everywhere else, with their personal defense weapon.

      I can guarantee you the lawful and responsible concealed carriers that attend these rallies do not have violence on their minds, but rather are prepared for defense of terrorist groups like ANTIFA.

      Sadly your comment is a testament to the narrowmindedness of the liberal condition that believes the presence of a firearm automatically must conclude violent or criminal intent is afoot by every licensed holder.

      A final note: Your last sentence regarding your ANTIFA style AR15 threats against the many peaceful people of this forum and elsewhere are unacceptable and out of line.

      But since you brought it up, I should remind you there are far more highly trained weapons experts, concealed carriers, precision shooters, and former and active military/law enforcement personnel that sit on the right-wing-republican-conservative side… so I wish you all the best of luck should your side eventually devolve our society to such a state that it ultimately comes to that.

      Reply

  • Dennis Latham

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    I often ask the same question about ISIS flags and shirts. Since we are war and they are worn to kill us all, if I see someone waving an ISIS flag or wearing their shirt, can I legally shoot them. A state of war exists between ISIS ad America.

    Reply

    • CAH

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      Did you ask yourself if you could shoot a person for wearing NAZI uniforms… worshiping NAZI’s… they want to see you dead too. Well perhaps not you, but me for sure… I’m educated. How about all these idiots waving the confederate flag… the rest of the U.S. beat their ass… and they too would love to see me dead… I went to college.. and my girlfriend is ( gasp ) not white…

      Reply

    • Murphy

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      Just if someone is racist that doesn’t mean they want to kill people. There are some racists that would give their shirt off of their back to a colored person, and I know the majority of them would rescue a colored person out of a burning car or a house. Everyone wants to be offensive at these protests. 8 years of Obama pc and some people wanna show that they’re mad. Then you got the people that feel like their world is over because their leader is out of power now and they’re pissed too. Don’t let the optics distract you.

      Reply

  • Anon E Mous

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    This is why William Shakespeare had a line in one of his plays that said, “The first think we will do is kill all the lawyers!”

    I don’t think that statues are worth killing over or being killed over. However, the idea that mobs or vandals have free reign to to whatever they want and can only be stopped by police [brutality] is socialist nonsense.

    Reply

  • Yogi

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    Jefferson Davis was a traitor and a coward. After swearing an oath to defend the Constitution, he led an armed insurrection. When, after the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Americans due to his ego and arrogance, he was caught, he dressed as a woman to escape. Rather than being hanged as he deserved, he ended up as CEO of an insurance company. He died of malaria rather than the execution he deserved.
    Jefferson Davis statues need to be removed from all public places by any means necessary. Any armed assaults by Dixie-whistlers should be met with lethal force in self defense.

    Reply

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