Generally speaking, most of the self-defense stories we hear about come from the United States. It’s interesting, then, when international stories of citizens protecting themselves from harm within legal boundaries hit our desk.
Just as they can in America, however, that fine line between what is and isn’t allowed while defending yourself, your family or your property can easily be crossed.
According to the French news website The Local, Stephan Turk, a 67-year-old jeweler from the town of Nice on the French Riviera, shot and killed an armed robber, 19-year-old Anthony Asli, who tried to flee after holding the jeweler at gunpoint around 9 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11.
Witnesses say Asli and another man robbed Turk at his shop, La Turqoise, then made their escape on a scooter. Turk pursued the men on the adjacent street and fired a 7.65×17 mm—or .32 ACP—semi-automatic pistol at the men, striking Asli, who was pronounced dead at the scene shortly thereafter. Turk was arrested and charged with voluntary manslaughter, as prosecutors allege Turk fired his gun at a time when he was no longer in danger.
“After he was threatened the jeweler grabbed his firearm, moved toward the metal shutters, crouched and fired three times. He said he fired twice to immobilize the scooter and a third time he fired because he said he felt threatened,” said Nice prosecutor Eric Bedos, who added Turk’s pistol was in fact illegal. “I’m convinced that he fired to kill his aggressor. When he fired, his life was no longer in danger.”
Even Asli’s sister reached out to media to condemn Turk.
“He shot a kid in the back. He’s a traitor, he’s a coward,” Alexandra Asli told reporters.
Despite the charges levied against him, millions of people across the Internet are showing their support for Turk. A Facebook page called “Soutien au bijoutier de Nice”—meaning “Support to Nice jeweler”—already has 1.6 million fans; social media tracking sites show over 79 percent of those users are from France, while .4 percent hail from the U.S.
It’s interesting to see the reaction from French citizens apparently fed up with a perceived plague of delinquency and violence in their cities, particularly coming from Europe, which doesn’t exactly have a friendly rapport with private gun ownership.
Still, there are parallels to be made with American self-defense laws. In Peoria, Ill., where G&A’s online office is located, the fact that the robbers had already made their getaway wouldn’t be enough of a defense to justify the shooting, and the argument that Turk was simply fed up with robbers and thugs certainly wouldn’t hold up.
What do you think? Was Turk justified in firing at the robbers at that point, or was it no longer personal defense at that point?
That same day, an elderly gentleman on Grand River Avenue in Detroit was held up by another robber who had picked a bad target; the older gentleman, also a CPL holder, drew his pistol and shot the criminal. Both incidents are a perfect example of the reason behind and effectiveness of concealed carry.
"From the information that we've been given, we think it sounds fortunate that the landlord was armed in this case," said Lt. Britt Snyder of the Chaves County (N.M.) Sheriff's Department. "He certainly would have been no match for a man that's 40 years younger than him."
Biden didn't stop there, saying in another interview if you want to keep someone away from your home, "Just fire a shotgun through the door."
Plenty of folks may want to ban the AR platform, but this story proves these rifles have a place in today's society.
And oh yeah, Martin was completely naked throughout the entire ordeal—even when the police arrived on the scene. “Imagine five police cars and seven officers rolling up to a scene with a naked man holding a weapon pointing at someone, and holding him down on the ground,” Martin said. “The police got a kick out of that.”
"One issue that always boggles my mind is the idea that guns are a defensive weapon. That is a myth. A gun is not a defensive weapon," James said. "A gun is an offensive weapon, used to intimidate, and used to show power. Police officers do not carry a gun as a defensive weapon to defend themselves or their other officers, they carry a gun to be able to do their job in a safe and effective manner and face any opposition that we may come upon. If it was a defensive measure, why did we lose 55 officers last year to gun violence?"