Self-Defense, Actions Taken In

Modern societies prohibit private citizens from resolving conflicts with violence, expecting them to call on the law enforcement branch of government for protection. However, the police cannot be within reach 24 hours a day, and when in the midst of true and immediate peril, individuals may sometimes be justified in meeting force with force. This rightful use of protective violence is called self-defense and is recognized by all 50 U.S. states and the federal government. The term is not limited to its obvious meaning, “defense of self.” The legal community also uses self-defense to describe the defense of others and even property, though the rules defining acceptable defense of others and property vary somewhat from the rules for defense of self, as will be ...

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