Senate committee hears testimoney in favor of lethal force bills
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Senate committee hears testimoney in favor of lethal force bills

Date: February 12, 2007
By: Rachel Higginbotham
State Capitol Bureau
Links: SB 41, SB 62

Intro: Missourians would be able to shoot and kill anyone they suspect of breaking into their homes or cars under two bills presented to the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday. Rachel Higginbotham (HIG-en-bah-thum) has more from the state Capitol.  RunTime:
OutCue: SOC
The two bills were both introduced by Republican senators, and would make it legal for Missourians to to kill anyone who tries to committ a "forcible felony." That is, anyone who uses force in the attempt to commit murder, robbery, arson or sexual assult. While the testimony in favor of the bills came largely from gun-rights advocates, one sponsor, Sen. Jack Goodman, said this wasn't a gun-rights bill.
Actuality:  GOODMAN2.WAV
Run Time: 00:14
Description: "This is not, Mr. Chairman, just a gun bill. From my district, it could just as likely be a cast-iron skillet bill, or a rolling-pin bill or a golf club bill or a softball bat bill. Whatever you can get a hold of to protect your family is fair game."

No opposition to the bill testified at the hearing.

From Jefferson City, I'm Rachel Higginbotham.


Intro: Half-a-dozen supporters urged the Missouri Senate to pass a bill Monday that would allow Missourians would to shoot and kill anyone they suspect of breaking into their homes or cars. Rachel Higginbotham (HIG-en-bah-thum) has more from the state Capitol. RunTime:
OutCue: SOC

The bills make it legal for Missourians to kill anyone who uses force enter that person's home or vehicle.

Kevin Jamison, an attorney who testified in favor of the bills, said that opponents fear the use of lethal force could lead to massacres--allowing murders to hide under the guise of self-defense.

But, he said that he believes the crime scene evidence will prevent those people from taking advantage of the law.

Actuality:  JAMISON2.WAV
Run Time: 00:18
Description: Jack McCaul killed Wild Bill Hicock in 1876. He claimed self-defense, and even the primitive forensics of the day could tell Wild Bill was shot in the back of the head, and that defense didn't get very far.  

No one testified in opposition of the bill.

From Jefferson City, I'm Rachel Higginbotham.


Intro: Missourians could legally shoot and kill anyone who breaks into their home or car according to two proposed bills heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday. Rachel Higginbotham (HIG-en-bah-thum) has more from the state Capitol.   RunTime:
OutCue: SOC

Six supporters testified Monday, urging the committee to pass the bills which would, in essence, redefine the term "self-defense" when protecting property.

Currently in Missouri, the term only holds up if a homeowner fears for his or her life.

But one of the bill's sponsors, Senator Jack Goodman, said that breaking into a home or car should be treated as an act of aggression worthy of self-defense.

Actuality:  GOODMAN3.WAV
Run Time: 00:15
Description: "If I wake up in the middle of the night in my house, and I find an unlawful intruder in the house and I have a wife and two little boys, I'm probably not going to wait for the intruder to do something aggressive. I'm going to assume that because he broke into my house, that was his aggression."

No one testified in opposition to the bills.

From Jefferson City, I'm Rachel Higginbotham.