Way to go Texas! Yippee Ki Yi Aaaaaa!!!!! From the LibertyPost.org: http://www.libertypost.org/cgi-bin/read ... Num=177662 Title: Gun-toting Texans aim for 'shoot thy neighbour' law Source: Belfast Telegraphhttp://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/worl URL Source: None Published: Feb 20, 2007 Author: Andrew Gumbel Post Date: 2007-02-20 15:06:42 by bunnyrabbit Ping List: *Bang* 3 Comments Aficionados of Hollywood Westerns know all about the legal code that says " shoot first, ask questions later". But now, Republican legislators in Texas - spiritual home of the six-shooter and a John Wayne-style frontier spirit - wants to enshrine the principle into law. Sponsors of a new bill in the state legislature call it the Castle Doctrine - the idea that anyone invading your home or threatening your safety deserves everything they have coming to them. Critics are already calling it the "shoot thy neighbour" law and questioning whether Texas, of all places, really needs to give its citizens further encouragement to take matters of crime and punishment into their own hands. "I believe Texans who are attacked in their homes, their businesses, their vehicles or anywhere else have a right to defend themselves from attack without fear of being prosecuted and face possible civil suits alleging wrongful injury or death," Texas Senator Jeff Wentworth of San Antonio - home to The Alamo - said recently in support of the bill. "You've got to assume a criminal's not there to buy girl scout cookies; you could be harmed," the bill's other sponsor, Texas Representative Joe Driver told The Los Angeles Times. "You should be able to meet force with force without getting in trouble." In theory, Texas law obliges citizens under attack to consider a retreat before opening fire. In practice, prosecutors and legal experts find it hard to recall a case where a citizen shooting in self-defence got into trouble for doing so. "I've lived in Texas 30-plus years and I'd be astounded to hear of a Texas jury that convicted someone who blasted a guy who was in his house," said Professor Jerry Dowling of Sam Houston State University. This is a state where businesses and home owners have signs that read "We don't call 911" [the US emergency phone number] next to a large picture of a rifle. A few years ago, when ranch owners along the Rio Grande became upset at the number of Mexican immigrants on their land, they started shooting at them, and won the overwhelming support of their neighbours, even as they created a major international incident. Still, the bill shows every sign of being passed into law. In the State Senate, 27 of the 31 members have signed on as co-sponsors. In the House, two-thirds of the 150 members have indicated their support for it. The inspiration for the legislation comes less from fears for public safety than it does from pressure from the National Rifle Association, the powerful US gun lobby. Over the past two years, the NRA has inspired similar shoot-first laws in 15 other states, including Florida where legislators are now having serious second thoughts after the killing of a nine-year-old girl who was an innocent bystander caught in a shoot-out in a gang-ridden neighbourhood of Miami. The Florida law theoretically offers immunity to both sides in the shoot-out on the grounds that they were firing in self-defence. Texas liberals - a small but noisy breed - have wasted no time making merciless fun of their state representatives, not least because one of the buildings where the Castle Doctrine would apply is the state Capitol. That, wrote an alternative publication in Austin called In The Pink, "could prove challenging for lobbyists". Gun-control advocates, meanwhile, are worried the new law will do nothing to protect genuine victims of crime who already enjoy considerable legal protection. "You won't be thrown into jail for legitimate self-defence," Zach Ragbourn of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence said. "Monkeying with the law can only help people who would have otherwise been punished." .