The Clarion-Ledger Editorial, 8/24/8

The incident set off debates about justified shootings under the state Castle Doctrine. That law, approved by the Legislature in 2006, removed liability for using deadly force in protecting life and property. It is a trendy law going around the nation, pushed by pro-gun groups. It is more political than practical, but politicians like to oblige the gun lobby.

Whether this really is a Castle Doctrine case is now a debate. Law enforcement people, who opposed the Castle Doctrine law, feared it would be misinterpreted and point to this incident. There are those so fed up with crime that they say the alleged thief got what he deserved. Others say it is akin to making shoplifting a capital offense. A grand jury will decide, but I suspect public opinion will be with the clerk, Castle law or not.

As a gun owner, I didn’t necessarily disagree with the Castle Doctrine, but thought it was unnecessary. Mississippi grand juries don’t indict people who defend themselves with guns. District attorneys, who face voters, don’t prosecute such cases if they want to stay DAs.