Driver stranded during Friday’s deadly blizzard shot and killed a good Samaritan who tried to help.

Hey, sometimes it takes a good guy with a gun to stop a good guy without a gun. And that’s what this is. Everyone is a good guy with a gun until someone is angry or drunk or stupid and something bad happens after which we all should wish for some OTHER good guy with a gun to stop the last guy, who was a good guy with a gun, and untouchable, until something bad happened and THAT good guy gets drunk and shoots his buddy, and then the solution is another good guy with a gun, until THAT good guy’s four year old shoots the neighbor’s kid, and then THAT guy goes to a theatre and drops his gun, accidentally shooting an unarmed woman, but some OTHER good guy with a gun could…hey, I ran out. But the NRA never will.

Word.

In fact, King of Soup, you really nailed it. And this is my issue with “responsible” gun owners. “Responsible” gun owners should not have a problem with universal registration, being legally liable until their gun registration officially transfers to someone else, and I would require firearm insurance (and I’m just guessing in this case the perp has jack squat for assets and the family of the dead Samaritan not only lost someone but probably is economically fucked over). Hmmm, kinda like what we require responsible car owners to do.

(I will however grant that there is a very very very small chance that there is more at play than the initial report and arrest that would exonerate the accused. It could happen, but I wouldn’t bet that this is the case. And not to poison this thread, but sounds like NRA spin coming into play.)

Must say, China Guy and Starving Artist’s speculation about Wasted Killer Dude’s state of mind do sound like a fine working theory for now.

What, the word “murder” can’t be used by laypeople in the colloquial, but only in the legal courtroom sense at all times?

Just FYI, fields of knowledge that use certain words or expressions as terms of art *do not own those terms, *and the rules that apply to those terms as terms of art in those fields do not apply to their use in normal conversation, where they may have somewhat different meanings.

For us mathematicians, for instance (there are a number of us on the board) the expression ‘almost everywhere’ is a term of art in the branch of mathematics known as real analysis. It means ‘everywhere except on a set of measure zero.’ (Measure zero means that if you collect all the elements of the set in one place, it still has no length, width, or height.) If we math geeks went around and told the rest of you that you were using that phrase wrong every time you used it in its more normal sense, we’d irritate a lot of people, and make damned fools of ourselves.

Although more people are exposed to legal terms than mathematical terms as terms of art, the same thing applies when persons educated in the law insist that the legal definitions of terms are the only definitions that are correct for people to use in everyday conversation, and that their everyday colloquial meanings are illegitimate.

What’s more, the idea that people can’t consider someone to be a criminal before they have gone through a trial is patently rediculous. The dude who used to live across the street who would have visitors at odd hours, drive expensive cars, and stared down cops driving by? Yeah, that guy was a drug dealer. My opinions of someone aren’t dictated by twelve men and women. Those twelve individuals are responsible for a legal process, not determining what opinions ordinary Joes may have of their fellow citizens.

In seems to me that we are using it in a legal sense here…

Either way, it seems perfectly reasonable to ask what the perpetrator was reacting to without calling that victim blaming. Even outside the courtroom, we all recognize special cases of killing: soldiers killing on the battlefield, angry people killing in the heat of the moment, crazy people killing during a delusion, scared people killing in defense… and so on. An understanding of the killer’s perceptions, motivations, state of mind are essential to understanding the crime.

The victim was a single dad raising his 17-month-old son,

Still no word on the shooter’s background. I’d expect that he must have some criminal background. The way he went over and pumped several extra rounds into the victim was extraordinarily vicious. This wasn’t a guy that panicked and just fired off one errant shot.

Given that the shooter in this case was in fact charged with murder, is it then OK for us to use the word in reference to this story?

I’m aware that things like manslaughter, accidental shootings, and justifiable shootings exist. But I don’t know of any jurisdiction where you can shoot somebody and then, while the person you shot is lying on the ground wounded, shoot them several more times and not have it called murder.

You want to get away with that shit, you shoulda gone to the police academy.