An argument over a fender-bender in Saint Paul last May 1 led to a shooting, and a self-defense claim. The case is currently at trial, and both the prosecution and defense are presenting their cases to the public.
I’ve heard speculation on both sides as to whether the defendant – Mr. Trifiletti – has a good self-defense case or not. His attorney presents some of the right talking points in the article above, but it’s a crapshoot.
Only two real points for me, so far:
The Last Resort: It’s as my first permit instructor, Joel Rosenberg, said – using a gun in self-defense sets off an atomic bomb in your life. One can point to a few “best cases” – like the shooter in the Evanovich case, where the case was so absolutely unambiguously strong that even anti-gun extremist Mike Freeman hailed the shooter as a hero, and the good samaritan wasn’t even arrested.
The Trifilletti/Lewis shooting is a lot more normal; ambiguous circumstances, conflicting stories, impossible choices. The shooter is on trial, and guilty or acquitted, this will affect, badly, the rest of his life.
I’ve got some acquaintances in the field who say Trifilletti’s case is going to be a tough one. We shall see.
The Numbers: But even if Trifilletti is convicted, he will be (by my count – it’s possible I’m missing something, although not super likely) the second carry permittee to be convicted of an unjustified homicide in the almost 18 years since the passage of “Shall Issue” carry permitting.
Minnesota’s homicide rate in 2017 was 2 per 100,000. In that same year, Minneapolis’s homicide rate was 10 per 100,000.
There are currently nearly 300,000 carry permits in circulation in MInnesota. That amounts to close to one in ten non-prohibited adult Minnesotans. That number has been steadily over 200,000 for nearly a decade, after taking several years to rise into six digits (the MN House research office predicted a maximum of 90,000 Minnesotans would get permits in 2003). So let’s call it an average of 150,000 a year for 17 years. That’s a total of 2.55 million permit/years.
That amounts – or may amount, if a conviction happens to a murder rate among Minnesota carry permit holders of roughly less than one per million (that’s .07 per 100,000) per year.
Carry permittees are literally 20 times safer than the general public.
Keep that in mind, since the shrieking ninnies in our editorial caste will not.