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J. Miller
A. Miller

2012 law helps explain shooter's mindset

Repercussions from a 2011 Indiana Supreme Court ruling, filtered through the twisted mind of one of the alleged shooters, might have played a role in the recent deadly Las Vegas shooting spree.

Jerad and Amanda Miller, former Lafayette residents, shot two police officers at a pizza restaurant and a 31-year-old man shopping at a Wal-Mart nearby, according to police. Neighbors in Nevada and Indiana have confirmed the couple's threats to kill police officers, but comments posted by Jerad Miller on the website of right-wing radio personality Alex Jones offer a chilling look at his motivation, Mother Jones reports.

In a May 28, 2012, post, “The Police (To Kill or Not To Kill?)” Jerad Miller wrote, “I live in Indiana and recently a law was passed named the right to resist law. As i (sic) can make out from it, if a police officer kicks in my door and is not there legally, then I may shoot him.”

The reference would seem to be to Indiana's Senate Bill 1, passed two months earlier in response to the court's ruling that residents don't have the right to resist police officers who enter their homes illegally .

The General Assembly's legislative response to the Barnes v. State decision, which drew outrage from the NRA and others, worried many. Gov. Mitch Daniels signed the bill but expressed reservations about it.

“What is troubling to law enforcement officers, and to me, is the chance that citizens hearing reports of change will misunderstand what the law says,” Daniels said at the time. “This law is not an invitation to use violence or force against law enforcement officers. In fact, it restricts when an individual can use force, specifically deadly force, on an officer, so don't try anything. Chances are overwhelming you will be breaking the law and wind up in far worse trouble.”

The NRA, in fact, responded to concerns about the bill with a document, “SB 1, Myth vs. Fact,” offering these two interesting “myths”: SB 1 will “give paranoid gun toting anti-government nut jobs the legal ability to shoot any officer that steps in their home or on their property.” Also, “Myth: SB 1 ‘would create an open season on law enforcement.' ”

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