April 2, 2012 4:02PM

Teenager Shot and Killed

Very little media interest so far in the case of an 18‐​year old shot and killed by a man who claims to have acted in self‐​defense. It happened a few days ago in Detroit. At about 1:30 am, Willie White claims that an intruder broke into his home and that, fearing for his life, he had to shoot. Prosecutors have concluded that White acted in self‐​defense so there will be no criminal case.

It is too soon to tell whether White will be sued civilly for wrongful death. Relatives of the teen might hire a lawyer to argue that White had a “duty to retreat” and that he should have tried to hide in a bedroom closet instead of using deadly force. If that happens, White will need hire a lawyer to fight the lawsuit. To protect people like Willie White from that sort of thing, some states, such as Florida [update: and Michigan!], have Stand Your Ground laws, that immunize persons who act in self‐​defense from civil liability.

The recent Cato study, Tough Targets, details many cases of citizens using guns to thwart crime.