Self Defense

Self Defense

To begin with, the law prohibits the use of spring guns except to prevent destruction of human life and commission of felonies involving violence. A person is only allowed to use reasonable force to protect his or her property and the use of any force capable of killing a person or causing grievous bodily harm is not justified. This rule applies regardless of whether the injured party is guilty of trespassing or not. Moreover, the law prohibits a person owning a piece of property from intentionally causing bodily harm to a trespasser or even taking his or her life. To this extent, a person has no right to set up “spring guns” and similar devices that have the capability to cause grievous bodily harm or death against trespassers.

The defendant knew all along that whoever (Mr. Katko) breaking into his boarded premises posed no threat to human life since the house was vacant and at a safe distance far away from where the defendant lived with his family. It was rightly held that the defendant was liable for having caused serious bodily injuries to the plaintiff since his injuries and damages resulted directly from the discharge of the shotgun trap (McAdams et al, 2009). Since the law places more value in human safety than in mere rights in property, Mr. Briney had no privilege of using the gun to kill or injure trespassers with the aim of deterring threat to the premises since he and his family were perfectly out of the trespassers way. Spring guns should only be used against serious thieves and not mere trespassers or petty thieves. Section 89 of the law prohibits a person possessing land or chattel from performing an act indirectly and by using a mechanical device that which he or she would not perform immediately and in person if he or she were present regardless of whether a notice is given nor not.


McAdams, T., Neslund, N., & Zucker, D. (2009). Law, business and society 9th edition. New

York: McGraw-Hill Irwin.


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