Audio: Blogger Spanks “Murder Bill” Legislator on Live Radio

State Sen. David Clemens (R-West Fargo)

State Sen. David Clemens was defending his “murder bill” on the radio yesterday when we called in to correct him on his own legislation.

Here’s the clip:


As we pointed out first on this blog, a bill he wrote would make it legal for you to:

  • kill someone even if you could safely avoid it by retreating
  • kill someone to prevent them from causing $100 worth of damage to your stuff
  • kill someone who’s running away from you

Clemens, a Republican from West Fargo, told WDAY radio host Jay Thomas that his bill has “conditions,” so that you can’t kill unless your life is in danger. This is absolutely not true.

It’s true that there is a part of the bill (see number 3) that would allow you to use deadly force when you feel your safety’s at risk. But it’s not a requirement. As you can see, the word “or” precedes that part of the bill.


We tried to explain this to Clemens. At first, he denied that the word “or” was in the bill. Once he finally admitted it, Jay disconnected us and took a commercial break. You can hear the entire segment here. You can also read the entire bill for yourself here.

Bismarck attorney Tom Dickson told Mean Read the bill “provides a legal defense if you shoot your neighbor’s kid when he is running down your sidewalk after pilfering a six-pack of beer from a cooler on your porch.”

Cass County State’s Attorney Birch Burdick told the Forum he thinks the bill would make it legal to “shoot someone in the back who was fleeing from a home after stealing a DVD copy of an old movie like Sleepless in Seattle.”

Who you gonna believe — legal experts, or a guy who doesn’t even know what’s in his own bill?

4 Comments on "Audio: Blogger Spanks “Murder Bill” Legislator on Live Radio"

  1. State Sen. David Clemens is a complete idiot! This proposed piece of legislation should be immediately dismissed and disposed of, the sooner the better.

    I’m all for allowing people to defend the lives of themselves, family members, household guests, and anyone in imminent physical harm, including grievous physical injury or death, from persons or groups of people seeking to harm them. Dealing out deadly force, especially using firearms or other deadly weapons, against individuals carrying out crimes against property without seeking to cause physical harm or grievous bodily injury to any other person is completely without justification.

    Will somebody please take away his pencils, crayons and computers and provide him with around-the-clock adult supervision? Proposing poorly written, stream-of-consciousness legislation is not only perilous, dangerous and immoral, it also makes the rest of us look like the neanderthal he is!

    For the record, I am also an NRA member, and I do NOT support his message!

  2. This is a NRA legislative agenda. I suspect he has been asked or encouraged by the NRA to submit this bill, he is a new legislator so he is very vulnerable to not knowing what the heck is going on. The NRA fuels xenophobia,fear sells guns. With what is going on in Morton County we are a ripe target for the NRA swooping in to the “rescue”. In all the years I have been coming to the legislature I have not heard a NRA lobbyist testify in our committees on Thursday and Friday Dr. Chris Kopacki from Virginia was at the hearings in the Energy and Resource committee on gun bills. Typically gun bills are heard in Judiciary or last year guns in schools was heard in Education. Rep Todd Porter lives in Mandan and has the best rating you can get from the NRA. A similar law was passed in Missouri but it does not have the or for theft in 2016 the southerners call them “Stand your ground” laws.
    These types of laws will increase violence and vigilantism. Here is one incident and the affect of this NRA driven law

    • Thanks for your update Suzy. I think you are 100% correct. Remember when the NRA was more interested in gun safety instead of making money? Now NRA = Nazis.

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