GOAL Calls on Legislature to Come to the Aid of a Heroic Citizen

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GOAL Calls on Legislature to Come to the Aid of a Heroic Citizen
By now the world has heard the news of the lawful defense shooting that took place at the Massachusetts General Hospital clinic in Boston. In a case of true American selflessness, Massachusetts citizen Paul Langone ran towards danger to come to the aid of a complete stranger. In doing so, Mr. Langone saved the life of Psychiatrist Astrid Desrosiers who was being repeatedly stabbed by patient turned assailant, Jay Carciero.

In what was most certainly a case of lawful defense, Mr. Langone found himself in a situation that called on deadly force in order to save Ms. Desrosiers and to protect the lives and safety of other clinic staff and visitors. While there is much debate in the media and amongst the general public as to why Mr. Langone was there and why he was carrying a gun, the simple answer for everyone involved is that they are lucky he was.
What may be the greatest tragedy to yet take place regarding this story of a citizen hero is his exposure to a civil suit from the assailant's family. While we are not aware that such a suit has been filed, the danger exists. Under current Massachusetts law there are no protections from such suits for citizens who use force to protect themselves or others. However, the Massachusetts legislature has an opportunity to save this hero from such a suit.

Gun Owners' Action League (GOAL) currently has a bill before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary in the State House to address this matter. Senate Bill #1580, "An Act Relative to the Common Defense", was filed January 11th 2009 to protect citizens who find themselves in a situation that requires the use of force to defend themselves or others.

"It is clear enough to everyone that we live in a state where self defense is frowned upon and even discouraged," said Jim Wallace Executive Director of Gun Owners' Action League. "However, when such a lawful action of defense takes place it is unforgiveable that the Commonwealth would allow a law to exist where an assailant, or his family, is allowed to sue a defender. Just as Mr. Langone risked his life to come to the aid of other citizens, we now must come to his aid."

S.1580 would provide specific language that would clearly define what an act of lawful defense is. It would also provide protection to citizens who have acted in a lawful defense act from civil suits regarding the death or injuries to an assailant.

GOAL urges all Massachusetts citizens to come to the aid of this hero by contacting their legislator and ask them to immediately move on S.1580 "An Act Relative to the Common Defense". Citizens can obtain information on their legislators here.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
SECTION 1. Chapter 278: Section 8A. Killing or injuring a person defense of self or others;
Section 8A. It shall be an act of lawful defense if a person, who is an occupant of a dwelling or in any place that they have a right to be, used deadly force, or less than deadly force, if he or she acted in the reasonable belief that an assailant was about to inflict great bodily injury or death upon themselves or upon another person who also had a right to be in the location. There shall be no duty on a person to retreat from any place that they have a right to be. An act of lawful defense as outlined in this section shall not be cause for arrest or prosecution. Further, an act of lawful defense under this section shall not be cause for the revocation of a license issued under sections, 122, 123, 129B or 131 of Chapter 140.
SECTION 2. Chapter 231: Section 85U. Death or injury to assailants; liability of defender
Section 85U. No person who has committed an act of lawful defense as outlined in section 8A of chapter 278 shall be held liable in an action for damages for death or injuries to an assailant.

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  • 12/15/2009 2:19 PM Chris Rinaldi wrote:
    What can E.J. Dionne JR. tell us about NRA members and gun owners. They are wiser and safer than the NRA Lobbyist and leaders. Only from a uninformed Liberal columnist could such words be uttered. See, most gun owners and NRA Members are caring law abiding people who don’t understand the facts about gun control and Mayors Against Illegal Guns. MAIG is a front for anti-gun groups like The Center for Gun Violence. A lot of the Mayors who first joined didn’t know that and have left the Liberal liars at MAIG. There were even a handful of Mayors who never joined but there names were included anyway, go figure liars lying about who had joined their group. I have personally watched Mayor Bloomberg and Charles Schumer lie on TV to their constituents on numerous occasions about gun laws and gun control.

    I personally guarantee that every person surveyed would change their answers if they read John Lotts book, More Guns Less Crime,2nd Addition or if they read the study done by the CDC in 2003. Both of these proved what the lobbyist, NRA leader and I have known for many, many years. Gun control doesn’t work, will never work and has never worked. These facts are proven 100% accurate by many sources, I just mentioned two. That right, waiting periods, banning certain firearms, background checks, one gun a month, and even Washington DC gun ban did nothing to stop violent crime, gun crime, murders or suicides and that’s a fact jack. To the contrary, these gun laws cause the rapes of hundred of women and thousands of murders every year, that’s right, read the book and you will see why. Mayor Bloomberg will soon have to answer to his constituents why he supports laws that will embolden criminals to commit more violent crime while making it more difficult for his constituents to protect themselves.

    If these butt holes really cared about reducing crime they would make it easier for law abiding citizens to get a conceal carry permit/license and would pass laws like the state of Florida’s “USE A GUN AND YOUR DONE” only I would make it five years mandatory state prison for a felon in possession of a gun and a two strike law, that’s right-two convictions for a gun crime and you get life no chance for parole.

    But the lying Liberals want to protect the criminals by disarming the citizens they attack-you know so it’s easier and safer for the criminals to commit their gruesome crimes. That’s what we do here in Massachusetts, protect the criminals and make it harder for law abiding citizens to protect themselves. Mass is proof that the stricter the gun laws the more violent crime we have.

    I would like for one Liberal columnist to do a factual study about gun control, gun crime and put the results in a news paper. I know this will never happen but it would shock the hell out of me if it did. I would like to see The Center for Gun Violence tell the truth about some of the facts they lie and misrepresent, like thousands of children a year die from gun accidents.
    Reply to this
  • 10/23/2010 1:45 PM Steven Crowell wrote:
    The most likely to be shot dead-on-the-job are cab drivers, yet they are unilaterally denied second amendment rights in most major US cities. When will cab drivers regain their right to self defense?
    Reply to this
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