I’ve previously mentioned that armed US citizens are 5.5 times less likely to shoot the wrong person, compared to the police. That is one of the many reasons why I am in favor of armed citizens defending themselves, as stopping the criminal right then and there reduces the risk that the police will end up shooting the wrong person while pursuing the criminal. A recent example from Germany reinforces this point:
Two German plainclothes policemen hunting a bank robber opened fire on the wrong man and seriously injured him, prosecutors in the western city of Trier said. An innocent 37-year-old Belgian told police from his hospital bed how he stopped his car in a country lane to make a mobile phone call, but became alarmed when two roughly dressed men in a dirty car pulled up alongside him, wielding a sub-machine gun. “He was terrified he was going to be mugged,” prosecutors said. The Belgian sped away, while the two disguised police opened fire at him. Police admitted later the Belgian was innocent.
Had this bank robber been stopped by an armed citizen, as has happened in the USA, then the police wouldn’t have been looking for the robber, and wouldn’t have shot this innocent man with their machine guns. I say this not as an excuse for the wrongful actions of these police officers, but rather to point out another benefit of allowing armed citizens to defend themselves when being robbed.
Those individuals who are incorrectly and unreasonably afraid that armed citizens are a danger to the public should note that it is the police, rather than such citizens, who are responsible for shootings like the one I mentioned above, as well as other abuses of power during overzealous attempts at stopping crime. And that is why if I were ever to be faced with the prospect of being attacked by a violent criminal, I would rather defend myself and then call the police, then to have the police come in with their guns a blazing. I would also rather that my neighbors defend themselves as well, so that the police are not out looking for a criminal to shoot as I walk my dog or drive my car down the road.