Magazine article The New American

Self-Defense and the Law

Magazine article The New American

Self-Defense and the Law

Article excerpt

The Methow Valley News reported on May 25 about a public safety course given by the Okanogan County Sheriff's Office in Washington State. The four-hour class was entitled "Self-Defense and the Law" and was given by the local sheriff's office, together with the county prosecutor. One-hundred-thirty-five people showed up for the course, which was instructed by Okanogan County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Blake. Deputy Blake had a lot of ad vice for the students on the topic of armed self-defense. "You're there to stop them. And then you stop--don't keep shooting. Your ultimate goal is to be safe, not to hurt the person," Blake told the class. Blake stressed the importance of situational awareness and knowing your surroundings and who is around you so you don't accidentally injure a loved one. "With a firearm comes a moral responsibility, because the consequences are so extreme," said Blake.

Okanogan County Prosecutor Karl Sloan repeatedly warned the class that deadly force is only used when it's reasonable under the circumstances. "You can't use deadly force on a nonviolent trespasser--it's not worth shooting to prevent someone from stealing a stereo," Sloan said.

Washington State Supreme Court Justice Steven Gonzalez also spoke to the class about what the courtroom is like for people who have been involved in these types of shootings. …

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