Talk:Right of self-defense

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Where are the challenges to the right of self-defense?[edit]

There is no mention here of the universal religious prohibition against killing. Although many religions today condone self-defense, they all seem to contradict the apparently absolute condemnations from Moses, Jesus, Buddha, and Gandhi, not to mention the immense literature dedicated to pacifism and non-violence that implicitly contradicts or qualifies the right to self-defense.

The other omitted problem is that the definition of self-defense varies from state to state, and from person to person, especially among those who are undergoing some form of stress.

It is hard to think of a war that was not started for reasons of self-defense. This calls for a section on the common misuse of the doctrine.

Could the right of self-defense be a shibboleth like war itself, an ancient and very convenient belief that has gone on too far without critical examination? 04:03, 4 February 2016 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bdubay (talkcontribs)

Protecting others – 2004[edit]

I have a question about the self-defence law. Is it considered self-defence if you are protecting a friend? If my friend was being attacked and I killed his assailant, would it be considered self-defence? Could I still go to jail? -[ at 01:23, 15 March 2004] --- Shouldn't this be merged with [Self-defence]?

Your answer is on the "Article Tab" on this page. I'll paste it here for you.

Self-defense law in England English law provides for the right of people to act in a manner that would be otherwise unlawful in order to preserve the physical integrity of themselves or others or to prevent any crime. It is provided in both common law and more specifically in the Criminal Law Act (1967). If such a defence is proved to the satisfaction of the court then the person is fully acquitted of the charges against them.

The act of protection must fulfill a number of conditions in order to be lawful. The defendant must believe, rightly or wrongly, that the attack is imminent. While a pre-emptive blow is lawful the time factor is also important, if there is an opportunity to retreat or to obtain protection from the police the defendant should do so - demonstrating an intention to avoid violence. However the defendant is not obliged to leave a particular location even if forewarned of the arrival of an assailant.

The other key factor is reasonableness - the defendants response must be necessary and in proportion to the nature of the attack. The harm inflicted on the assailant must not exceed the harm being avoided by the defendant. However like immanency the nature of the defence rests on the defendant's belief, whether their actions were in proportion to the circumstances they believed existed.

"Defence of others" is US centric[edit]

While I agree that "Defence of others" belong in this article, I think that section is very US centric. I'm no legal expert but it seems to me that many passages are directly refering to US law and courts. A clean-up is needed. --J-Star 06:41, July 20, 2005 (UTC)

Police shootings at the 2001 EU-summit[edit]

Scott Sanchez added the following material to the page, which I'm not sure fits within the tone of the article, and may require an article of its own. I brought it here to seek a consensus as to whether it should be returned to the article, or moved elsewhere. -- BD2412 talk 21:01, July 21, 2005 (UTC)

Actually it was I that added it but that's beside the point. I added it as an example of how the sections above have been used in a real case. However I can agree that it's a bit long-winded and breaks the style of the article. I won't mind if it is left out. --J-Star 21:48, July 21, 2005 (UTC)
I concur it disrupts the flow of the article - if we put in real-life examples for every jurisdiction the article would be unreadable. Tufflaw 05:16, July 22, 2005 (UTC)
How about a one-line link to a separate article in the rioting that accompanied the EU summit? -- BD2412 talk 05:00, July 31, 2005 (UTC)

In 2001, during the EU-summit in Gothenburg, heavy rioting broke out. On June 15, a group of police officers became subjected to heavy attack from stone throwing rioters and were forced to retreat. One of the officers was knocked unconscious and his colleagues stopped retreating in order to defend him, drawing their sidearms. They fired several warning-shots into the air. Despite this, one rioter kept up the attack and two of the defending officers fired for effect. The rioter was hit by one bullet and was seriously injured but survived.
A criminal investigation was started. This investigation found that no crime had been committed and was suspended. It was later re-opened twice and then closed again with the same conclusion.
The reasoning was the unconcious officer had been perceived by his colleagues as being in life threatening peril. The defending officers were assisting him, therefore receiving the same rights as the unconscious officer. And even though other police officers had arrived on the scene behind the defending party by the time the shots were fired, the investigators found that the defending officers had been under such stress that they had completely focused on the rioters in front of them and therefore not noticed the reinforcements. Because of this, while the actual stiuation was not as severe as the defending party percived it to be, the subjective peril was such that the defending officers were not to be charged with committing a crime.


To the person that removes mentions of statute law repeatedly: in countries based on civil law, statute law states that self-defense and defense of others are acceptable legal excuses provided that the means of defense used are proportional to the offense (however, typically, what is meant by "means proportional to the offense" is typically left for courts to decide).

By the way, you're not supposed to repeatedly remove content without at least some discussion on the talk page. David.Monniaux 05:27, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

Criminal Template[edit]

I don't know much about templates, but is it possible for the article to carry both the criminal and tort law templates positioned in a sensible way? If not, I think the crimlaw template would be more appropriate.

Self-defence and the Right to Life[edit]

This article seems a little unclear to me. For one, the right to self-defence in the united states is generaly understood to be an exercise of your right to life, just like publishing a news paper is an exercise of your right to free speech; I don't see this mentioned in the article. In general, the article gives the impression that self-defence is a result of governments not doing a great job of defending the population, leaving the people to fend for themselves. Maybe I'm wrong. -- Dullfig 22:31, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

This page is about the general principle and does not refer to individual countries. Your point would be relevant to self-defense (United States) when you could epxlore the constitutional issues relevant only to the U.S. And people have always been allowed to defend themselves no matter how effeicient the government, because the government cannot be everywhere all the time. David91 03:01, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

Fighting words[edit]

In some jurisdictions, the aggressor may lose the ability to argue self-defense by speaking provocative words. See, e.g., Vaughn v. State, 17 Ala. App. 383, 84 So. 879 (1920); Wheatley v. State, 93 Ark. 409, 125 S.W. 414 (1910); People v. Barnard, 208 Ill. App. 3d 342, 567 N.E.2d 60 (mere words enough), appeal denied, 139 Ill. 2d 598, 575 N.E.2d 917, 159 Ill. Dec. 110 (1991); McCarty v. Commonwealth, 244 Ky. 413, 51 S.W.2d 249 (1932); State v. Ball, 262 S.W. 1043 (Mo. 1924); State v. Council, 129 S.C. 116, 123 S.E. 788 (1924); Smith v. State, 965 S.W.2d 509 (Tex. Crim. App. 1998); Scott v. Commonwealth, 143 Va. 510, 129 S.E. 360 (1925). THF 10:48, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

Proposal for merger of Make My Day State[edit]

As Make My Day State is largely unreferenced, I'm not sure about merging it into Self-defense, which itself needs a lot of improvement. As this article seems like the best umbrella article, I think Make My Day State should be merged into this one. --Evb-wiki (talk) 15:03, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

response: “Make my day state” is a common term in law enforcement and legal circles, not to mention the gun lobby. It really deserves a listing in its own right in the hope that others will append references to newspaper articles and legal precedent references. --Jasburger (talk) 16:13, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

Article moved from Self-defense (theory)[edit]

I found this after noticing that, until a few minutes ago, there was no article on the "right of self-defense."

I moved this article there because it isn't as common to call it a "theory."

  • "theory of self-defense" [1]
  • "right of self-defense" [2]
  • "right to self-defense" [3]

Without renaming it, it would be impossible to integrate this article with the {{Freedom}} template and the {{Rights}} template. Otherwise, I would've had to create "right of self-defense," as a separate article, which would've basically been a silly POV fork. There's no reason to create a new article when this one right here is already a mess.   Zenwhat (talk) 10:52, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

Proposed merger[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

I'd like to get to work merging the following articles into this one:

I was going to just expand this article and merge those last two POV forks into this one, but then it occurred to me that it would be impossible for me to expand this article in a way that wouldn't be redundant.

Since the broader topic is the "right of self-defense," and the right to bear arms is just a small sub-set of that, then this article should be larger than Right to bear arms, but right now it's the other way around.

Much of the content in Right to bear arms isn't just discussing the right to bear arms, but the right of self-defense overall. I.E., English common law and John Locke didn't just argue for people to have the right to own weapons, but the broader right to defend themselves, which was why they had the right weapons. So, Right to bear arms should be a sub-section (or perhaps a description in the lead?) while all of the information in Right to bear arms should be merged here.   Zenwhat (talk) 19:04, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

  • Merge. Right to bear arms should be a subset of right of self-defense. Yaf (talk) 19:16, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
Bearing arm(s) has a different meaning than Right to bear arms. Bearing arms can refer to hunting or poaching, or simply carrying a weapon, as well as being a euphemism for serving in military service. In contrast, Right to bear arms refers to the right of self-preservation and self-defense. A Right to bear arms never implies a right to hunt or poach, or a right to serve in the military. Yaf (talk) 21:35, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
Yaf, Your opinion runs contrary to Joyce Lee Malcolm[4], plus many others. Could you point to your sourcing please? Thanks. SaltyBoatr (talk) 22:00, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
Malcolm does not advocate a right to poach. Nor does Malcolm advocate a right that one must be accepted into the military. You misinterpret Malcolm. Yaf (talk) 13:30, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
Per Malcolm, if you were a Protestant, under a Catholic King, in late 17th Century England, yes the right to bear arms meant that you had a right to belong to the militia. And, also per Malcolm, the disarmament that lead to the Bill of Rights of 1689 had very much to do with the gentry not wanting the commoners using their militia weapons (and gunpowder) to hunt for meat on their 'privileged' land. Have you read the Malcolm book? SaltyBoatr (talk) 14:56, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
As I said previously, you are misinterpreting Malcolm. Restoration of the Right to Bear Arms for Protestants did not suddenly give all Protestants the right to poach on a manor's game. And, in late 17th Century England, the Right to Bear Arms meant that you had the right to be armed to serve in the militia, not that the muster captain had to take you. You are misinterpreting the concept of "Right" and the point of the "Right". Yaf (talk) 15:43, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
Please identify the page number and quote, I would like to read that for myself, thanks. SaltyBoatr (talk) 15:54, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose Notice that "bear arms" means a drastically different thing than "self-defense" to many experts. Just look the term 'bear arms' up in the Oxford English Dictionary, it is a term with a strong military service implication (unlike 'self-defense'). See for instance here[5] for an reliable article just today explaining the distinction. I could point to many other reliable sources too, see for instance this list of books[6], or this passage[7], and many more I could provide. I acknowledge that in modern popular culture, and to some experts, the term 'bear arms' is synonymous with 'self defense', but that is far from the view shared by many notable historians. A third ambiguous synonym is that 'bear arms' means a right to hunting, which dates back to the Game Act, see the Joyce Lee Malcolm book, but that is another question. Not to mention the heraldry meaning of 'bear arms'. I would support a project to create a 'Bear arms' disambiguation page. SaltyBoatr (talk) 19:21, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
See also this study[8] by the historian John Kenneth Rowland which analyzes 300 usages of the term 'bear arms' in the historical documents from 1618-1791 and found the overwhelming preponderance of usage of 300 examples of the "bear arms" expression in public discourse in early America was in an unambiguous, explicitly military. I acknowledge that there may be a tiny fraction of 18th Century usage that are ambiguous or 'individual', and you see some POV legal scholars and at least one Judge (Sam Cummings) point this out. But, among historians, the consensus is quite clear, 'bear arms' to the founding fathers, implied military. Read the list of historians, all professors at major universities, giving support to the Heller brief[9]: Jack N. Rakove, Saul Cornell, David T. Konig, William J. Novak, Lois G. Schwoerer, Fred Anderson, Carol Berkin, Paul Finkelman, R. Don Higginbotham, Stanley N. Katz, Pauline R. Maier, Peter S. Onuf, Robert E. Shalhope, John Shy and Alan Taylor. Read the Declaration of Independence usage of 'bear arms', Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms, as conscripts (deck hands) on warships, certainly prohibited from touching a gun or gun powder by the British naval officers in charge, and most certainly not for self-defense. Again, I acknowledge a need to disambiguate this, but to merge? A strong no. SaltyBoatr (talk) 21:26, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

SaltyBoatr, that's true, but then I'm confused: How should I expand this article? Clearly, a lot of stuff in Right to bear arms doesn't belong. John Locke specifically talked about right to self-defense, English Common law was the basis for both the right to self-defense and the right to bear arms. What should both articles contain, in your opinion?

Can you mention what you are reading to get the idea that English Common Law was this basis? Have you read the book by Joyce Lee Malcolm, it states otherwise. The 'right' to bear arms came from the Glorious Revolution. Prior to that it was a 'duty'. SaltyBoatr (talk) 08:03, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

I was going to do a bold re-write, but it occurred to me that I'd just be redundantly re-stating all the stuff that's already in Right to bear arms.   Zenwhat (talk) 01:47, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Basically, there doesn't need to be a full merge between right of self-defense and right to bear arms, just 90%, since right of self-defense is the broader topic. Right to bear arms should focus specifically on gun rights, particularly with regard to America's Second amendment, while "right of self-defense," would discuss Classical Liberalism, English common law, etc..   Zenwhat (talk) 01:49, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Can you point to your sourcing of this idea? I don't think that, from a scholarly perspective, that 'the right to bear arms' equates with 'gun rights'. This is a modern political concept, and is only half the POV. Very little sourcing from historians says this. You need to look to legal scholars (and only the half that are advocating that POV), and political editorials (again, only those advocating that political POV) to find this idea. SaltyBoatr (talk) 08:03, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
Right to bear arms does not apply strictly to gun rights. There are all sorts of weapons to which it applies. That is the reason that in many states, the terminology of CCW (Carrying Concealed Weapon) is used, instead of Concealed Handgun License (which is also used in other states.) An article on Right to bear arms needs to include the full range of weapons, not just guns. Yaf (talk) 13:33, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
It would be helpful if you could point to the WP:V sources forming the basis of your opinion, thanks. SaltyBoatr (talk) 14:56, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose merging right to bear arms into this article - the two are different concepts, which overlap to an extent, but refer to quite different things. (For example, one of the purposes of a right to bear arms - the original purpose, in the case of the U.S. 2nd Amendment - was to provide for the possibility that a people's militia could overthrow a tyrannical government, which has nothing to do with self-defence at all.) On the other hand, any material in that article which is clearly about the right to self-defence rather than the right to bear arms (e.g. it doesn't mention arms or weapons anywhere in it) can safely be moved to this article.
As for the other two articles, I'm more neutral - they could be merged here, but I feel they have enough content to stand on their own as well. If they are to be merged, you might want to think about merging Castle Doctrine as well - to my (limited) understanding, it seems to be describing exactly the same thing as the Make My Day Law, or certainly something very similar. Terraxos (talk) 04:14, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose on right to bear arms, support on the other ones. Make My Day State and Make My Day Law definitely should be one article; since this page is about the theory and legality of self-defense, they should land here until they grown enough to deserve their own spot (if ever). Right to bear arms is distinct from the right of self-defense, and is broader than firearms law- there are sources in the right to bear arms article relating to this distinction. There's also a lot to be discussed under right to bear arms (such as individual vs. collective right to own or carry weapons) that relates to the organization of an army or militia, and doesn't deal with the conventional legal definition of self-defense. --Clay Collier (talk) 22:02, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose. A topic such as "Right to bear arms" will draw intense debate and vandalism, with much of it merely repetitive for thousands of revisions. Separate articles for subtopics are typically justified for numerous other subjects, so combining a hot topic into another article is just double trouble. To simplify reverts, talk-up "Right to bear arms" as a simple overview article, then link to an abstract spinoff to describe real details, such as "Legal implications of right to bear arms". Attempting to hide a hot topic in a larger topic will simply expose the larger topic to more hidden hacking. Instead, hide a hot topic under a related obtuse title but only about that single topic, leaving the original title ("Theory of Evolution") as a short overview article easily reverted for all the hacking it will continue to suffer. It will be amazing to see the limited hacking of "Legal implications..." compared to rampant hacking under the main title. When Wikipedia evolves into purging billions of minor revisions (which have grown exponentially), then many thousands of old "Right to bear arms" revisions can be purged because who cares about 10,000 continual edits to a short overview. That is a strategy for easily removing millions of minor revisions to controversial topics, long-term. Please consider future years of Wiki storage, trying to find major revisions, and shortening the Tower of Babel to allow faster wikiservers. -Wikid77 (talk) 10:39, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

Oppose in part, agree in part. The "Make my day law' & "Make my day state" articles could be absorbed into the broader "right of self defense" article, but due to the contention involved with weapons possession & use issues the mis-appropriately named "right to bear arms" page should be left on its own. Mikegtr71 06:04, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

  • Oppose the merging of the Right to Bear Arms. Yes, the right is in fact in place for self protection, but it is it's own right of the people, and shouldn't be confused with "the right to defend yourself". I think there should be a Level 2/3 headline about the right to bear arms in this article, but not to completely merge the two. For example: The Traumahawk is medically operated by Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue. The Traumahawk in fact has it's own article, because there is more information about it that doesn't need to be stated in one of the fire department it works for. -- Aaron M. Lang (talk) 14:21, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose the merging of "Make My Day Law". The same logic applies for this. There is more information on the law that doesn't need to be stated in an article on self defence. Here, this is the right to protect your property (for the most part). But, because it mentions protecting yourself and your family, etc., I think there should be a Level 2/3 headline on the subject. -- Aaron M. Lang (talk) 14:21, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose. These articles deserve to be separate. Right of self-defense is worldwide, but the other two are more related to the US. Heroeswithmetaphors (talk) 06:51, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose: these are two very different things. (talk) 17:06, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Since there have been no additions to this discussion for quite some time and it appears that the consensus was strongly against merging these articles, I am closing this discussion and removing the proposed merger tag from the mainspace page. -- JPMcGrath (talk) 09:01, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Retrofit topic-year headers[edit]

28-March-2008: I have grouped older topics above using headers "Topics from 2004" (etc.) to emphasize age of topics. Older topics might still apply, but using the tactic of yearly headers to note the age helps avoid rehashing old news, without archiving any ongoing issues. Also, new topics are more likely to be added to the bottom, not top. -Wikid77 (talk) 11:03, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

The first level super section headings are not used in WP or talk pages. The date-time stamps give the years. Editors can use search functions to find topics by name, rather than by year. – S. Rich (talk) 05:30, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Legal Status of Self-Defense[edit]

"In all but one U.S. jurisdiction, using deadly force against a robber or burglar who is attempting to escape with property is likewise not justifiable (Texas is the only exception and holds the defendant to a high burden of proof that the action was the only means available to recover the property without a serious risk of death or serious injury)."

I do not believe this is strictly correct. For example, New Jersey clearly provides for the use of force, and even deadly force, in defense of personal property. To be sure, there are limitations, but the fact remains that deadly force is a legal option. See, New Jersey Statues 2C:3-4, 2C:3-6, 2C:3-9, available from the New Jersey Legislature site, Ampermc (talk) 21:58, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

OK, further research shows that the use of deadly force in protection of property is only justifiable under NJ law if the use of deadly force is also justified under some other provision.Ampermc (talk) 22:39, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

Self-Defense Involving Police - Same Rules or An Exception to the Right of Self Defense?[edit]

Here's an interesting topic that I haven't seen covered very much and not in this article. Is there an exception to right of self-defense where police are involved? That is to say, if a person uses deadly force against a civilian who wields a sidearm against them, that is considered to fall under the right of self-defense. Does the same right apply if a person uses deadly force against a police officer who wields a sidearm against them? From this article and the sources I have seen, no distinction is made, but I have never heard of a successful claim of self-defense in this situation. Can something on this be added to the article? If such an exception or special case does exist it should be noted. (talk) 02:39, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

Situation in Germany[edit]

There doesn't seem to be an article about this, but the situation in Germany is very different. Unknown to many, there is little to no comparison being done between the crime committed and the action taken as a self defense. You have to take the least aggressive defense if you have multiple options. But note this:

  • you have the right to stand your ground, and flight never counts as a viable defense
  • if you have a defense that helps for sure and a softer one that's doubtful, you may always use the sure one
  • the only time when you have to restrict yourself is for bagatelles
  • the self defense extends to all crimes committed against you or others (but not against the public)
  • even deadly force is permitted for anything that's not completely negligible

For example you may shoot thieves of your wallet who are running away, if that's currently the only way to stop them. The general theme is: "Justice never needs to yield to Injustice" and "in doubt for the defender". German law influenced a lot of other laws so I wonder if there is more countries like this. Maybe someone with a background in law can do some research. The respective laws are StGB 32 and StGB 33 to give a starting point. -- (talk) —Preceding undated comment was added at 15:23, 6 November 2008 (UTC).

Unref tag[edit]

I have placed this tag on this article because it has absolutly no intext refs.--SasiSasi (talk) 21:21, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Self-defence in international law[edit]

I found the international law stub imminent threat which I added to include the context of the term, namely self-defence in international law. Because of this I was more or less at a loss what to do: should this topic be brought under the banner of right of self-defense or should a new topic be created? Marxmorley (talk) 13:23, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

True story about self-defense (Bullying victim attacked his bully)[edit]

Hi. I want to share a brief story.

In 4th grade, there was some terrible bullying. This guy kept trying to cause his victim much harm. He once stole a tuque from him, and, as a result, he got chased, and the victim shoved him to the ground, and forced him to give the tuque back.

Then, there was a much more serious episode. This time, he grabbed the victim's hair, and attempted to get a spark on his lighter, so he could set the victim's hair on fire. It never happened, but, I think it was attempted murder.

Anyways, those are just a few examples. One day, the victim got tired of this guy's bullying, and turned to violence. Now, this is important to know, that the bully was at least twice his victim's size. Guess who got easily dominated? The bully. The victim was so enraged, he had no control of his emotions, whatsoever. Sure, the victim got into most trouble with the school faculty, but, not with his parents.

Everything peaceful was tried (Except for calling the Police - the victim didn't want it to go that far.), and it didn't work, so, violence was an option. That's what the victim did, and, well, he never got bullied at that school, again.

Quick question about this. Was it 100% legal? Or, could the victim have been charged? If so, for what, and why? Thanks, for reading. -- (talk) 16:18, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

They were in fourth grade. Fourth graders aren't usually "charged" with anything, especially over a school fight. (talk) 15:10, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

Remove junk?[edit]

"Most courts have ruled that such a defense cannot be used to protect friends or family members who have engaged in an illegal fight. Likewise, one cannot use this to aid a criminal."

This looks like it should be removed from the article.

I am at a loss to understand what exactly is meant by "illegal fight" and I doubt many can do better. Without a reference to clarify meaning or reason I believe that the statement too ambiguous and vague to be of use to the reader.

The second statement is too general to be true. "Criminal" [n] has a very broad definition. It might be better written as "to assist in a criminal act" but even that would be pointless as (knowingly) assisting in a criminal act is, assuming you pick a reasonable definition, often illegal irrespective of how. It's redundant in the same way that it would be redundant to state that murdering someone with an axe is illegal.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 04:19, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

These are poorly worded, but I think the intent here is that you can't justify e.g. defending your brother who has just mugged somebody, but lost the upper hand. Some jurisdictions also regulate street fighting, boxing, etc., so they could define 'illegal fights'. (talk) 06:25, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
yeah, that's probably possible. still better have references when it comes to law... I would completely find it normal if it was the other way around, so I can't be sure. (talk) 21:42, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

Florida's self-defence law?[edit]

I was hoping this article which I found by typing "self defence law" into Wikipedia's search box would tell me more about this law which is apparently used as a defence in Shooting of Trayvon Martin. Unfortuantely I cannot find anything? Ottawahitech (talk) 18:20, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

Article scope[edit]

I agree with comments that, given the title, the article is far too US-centric. There is another article - Self-defence in international law - but that is too brief to reflect the current international controversy. Some of the classic international examples of claimed self-defence and US involvement on the international arena are perhaps inadequately addressed or referenced in both articles, such as:

  • the US intervention in Iraq in 2003
  • the Cuban missile crisis
  • the Israeli invasions of Syria and Egypt in April and June 1967 respectively
  • The invasion of Nicaragua
  • the Osirak reactor destruction
  • the South African invasion of Angola

Further, the concept of "Anticipatory self-defence" is not addressed, while existing articles such as "Preemptive war", "Self-defence in English law" and the "Bush doctrine" are not referenced. The title seems to me to be very "high-level" requiring referencing to sub-categories such as those mentioned. The current article could perhaps be renamed to reflect its focus.

Since I am very new here, I ask for some education as to how these issues are customarily addressed. Enquiringeric (talk) 11:36, 12 April 2013 (UTC)


This is a complete mishmosh. It reads like a term paper begun eight hours before it is due. Could somebody who is a good and careful writer start over? Perhaps start by deciding on the points they want to make? (talk) 02:16, 28 July 2014 (UTC)


Article issue has been resolved. --Scalhotrod (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 19:53, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

WTF is the idea behind saying that the use of force involves violence is a POV statement? Whadya think the "right of self-defense" means - the right to challenge your attacker to a game of chess? To file a complaint at the police station? When people talk about "reasonable force" or "deadly force" they're talking about violent actions. Don't pussyfoot around that basic fact. Felsic (talk) 16:18, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

If you went to hit me and I raised my arm in self-defense, I am attempting to block your action or use of force, but I am not doing anything "violent" as you contend. Your reasoning is flawed and inaccurate. --Scalhotrod (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 16:38, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Are you seriously arguing that that's what this article is about? The right to raise a blocking arm or shut an open door? Can you tell me what POV is being pushed by saying that the use of force to defend oneself involves violence? Lemme see the sources you're using for this idea of non-violent force being used for self-defense. Felsic (talk) 16:53, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
So I guess the charge of "POV pushing" was just an unsupportable smear on other editors. Felsic (talk) 9:12 am, Today (UTC−8)
Actually I'd like to see your sources claiming that all "uses of force" involve violence. I'm basing my viewpoint on what I learned in a California Department of Justice certified police academy. The continuum or escalation of force is discussed pretty extensively in the academy. For example, that continuum starts with an officer just being on scene wearing their uniform or having a badge displayed and then escalates to conversation, orders given, and even the volume of their voice. Are you going to claim that these levels of "force" are all violent? --Scalhotrod (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 18:53, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
And I'd like to see your justification for saying that this article is about "the right for persons acting on their own behalf to engage in a level of violence, called reasonable force or defensive force," is "POV". What "POV" is being pushed by the editor who wrote that?
Nobody has ever had to face a judge and jury to defend themselves for displaying their badge. That's not what this article is about. This article isn't about walking away, or closing a door. By any normal interpretation, "self-defense" refers to the use of violent force to repel violent force. Anything less than violent force isn't an issue. Felsic (talk) 19:53, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
So which of any of the sources in this article validates your claim that self defense always involves violence? If you have never had training in the "use of force" I can understand why you don't understand fundamental principles of it. If that is the case, why are you editing this article? --Scalhotrod (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 20:10, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
You can't justify your accusation of "POV"? The same POV that's been in the intro since it was written in 2003? If you can't explain that attack you oughta withdraw it.
This article isn't about "use of force" or other LEO jargon. It's about the "Right of self-defense", not the "right to show your badge". You're last sentence sounds like you're trying to get me to stop editing this article. Felsic (talk) 20:26, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
I agree with Felsic. this is an article about the "right to self-defense." Any attempt to say otherwise appears to be a WP:PISSINGCONTEST. The legal system never had a single case where someone had to claim "self-defense" for using, uh, "non-violent force." I don't think that even exists. It's not a thing. It makes zero sense.Shark310 20:51, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
First off, there was no attack as you claim, so there is nothing explain. On the other hand, you seem to misunderstand the policy behind WP:LEAD. If terminology or a viewpoint is not substantially sourced and mentioned in the body of an article, then it does not belong in the Lead per WP:LEAD or WP:UNDUE. The length of time that it has been there is irrelevant. Referring to it as "violence" when other neutral terms convey the principal just as easily, makes it biased IMO and thus the mention in my Edit summary about "POV"[10]. I suppose I could have just as easily cited UNDUE. --Scalhotrod (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 20:57, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
What non-neutral "POV" is it that says the "force" being discussed in this article is "violent force"? How does the use of the word "violent" bias this article? You've made that claim as the justification for your accusation, so please explain it. It sounds like trying to replace clear language with a vague euphemism "certain actions". Felsic (talk) 21:04, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
Given the collective edits that you and Shark310 have made, I think the Lead IMO is an accurate and neutral summary of the article, so this discussion has become moot. Thank you for your contributions. --Scalhotrod (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 17:20, 11 February 2015 (UTC)
Next time don't make baseless accusations of bias and POV. Felsic (talk) 15:59, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
It would help if you assumed good faith and did not take things so personally. My original edit summary, which apparently triggered your comments, was not directly at your or anyone else, but I will keep your comments in mind. --Scalhotrod (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 19:38, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
It'd be easier to assume good faith if you'd demonstrate it by explaining your accusations of POV and bias instead of just tossing them out as facts while you revert. Felsic (talk) 17:27, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
But that ain't gonna happen. Felsic (talk) 16:57, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.