Self-defense shooting gets attention in Seattle

The other day in Seattle some nut case (literally, he was considered mentally ill) randomly attacked an innocent person and had him down on the ground before the victim was able to draw his .357 and shoot the attacker. The attacker died. The Seattle Times now has an article about concealed carry permits. It’s neutral. Very factual. Here are a couple facts I didn’t know but have wondered about:

Statewide, there are about 239,000 active concealed-pistol licenses. King County has slightly more than 48,000, Forth said.

The only thing that could be considered negative in the article is that they say there isn’t any requirement for training to get a CPL. But they mention an instructor and quote him extensively on what his class covers:

Although Washington’s law on concealed weapons is fairly detailed, it doesn’t cover the responsibilities and potential liabilities that could come with using a gun for self-defense, said Paul Nickle, an instructor at Wade’s Eastside Guns and Indoor Range in Bellevue. He teaches a course called “Legal Aspects of Armed Self Defense.”

Whether a shooting qualifies legally as self-defense depends on the ability of and opportunity for the attacker to do the potential victim harm and whether the person threatened is in jeopardy, Nickle said. “But it’s not just the legal requirements [of shooting a person] that gun owners have to consider,” he said. “It’s the repercussions — legally, financially, emotionally.

“The first question I’m often asked in class is, ‘When is it OK to shoot?’ I tell them the question should be, ‘How can I avoid having to shoot?’ “

Nickle said his students — some new gun owners, some seasoned — often don’t realize that just because they might be in the right legally if they shoot in self-defense, they could end up being liable in civil court. His class is designed to fill in some of the gaps in the state’s law on self-defense.

“The law is still very gray when it comes to using deadly force,” Nickle said. “You have to ask yourself if you can live with the consequences if you do shoot.”

I know Paul. He attended Boomershoot 2001:


Paul Nickle and Joe Huffman at Boomershoot 2001

The article even has links to the CPL application and other links to useful information for gun owners. And most of all I love the title of the article: “State’s concealed-weapons law among nation’s most liberal.” They use the word “liberal” in the classic sense.