Keep and Bear Arms
Home Members Login/Join About Us News/Editorials Archives Take Action Your Voice Web Services Free Email
You are 1 of 574 active visitors Saturday, August 13, 2022
Main Email List:

State Email Lists:
Click Here
Join/Renew Online
Join/Renew by Mail
Make a Donation
Magazine Subscriptions
KABA Memorial Fund
Advertise Here
Use KABA Free Email




Keep and Bear Arms - Vote In Our Polls
Do you oppose Biden's anti-gun executive orders?

Current results
Earlier poll results
2488 people voted



» U.S. Gun Laws
» AmeriPAC
» NoInternetTax
» Gun Show On The Net
» 2nd Amendment Show
» SEMPER FIrearms
» Colt Collectors Assoc.
» Personal Defense Solutions



Keep and Bear Arms


Archived Information

Top | Last 30 Days | Search | Add to Archives | Newsletter | Featured Item

New Page 1

The troublesome case of Thomas Gaule
by Vin Suprynowicz

A series of unusual things happened in Clark County District Judge Mark Gibbons' courtroom on April 4.

The defendant, Thomas Gaule, stood convicted of voluntary manslaughter with a deadly weapon, a charge which could have netted him years in the state pen. Last year, a Clark County jury had convicted Gaule, 43, of chasing Ricky Tripp down Lakehurst Road in Las Vegas on Oct. 25 of 1998, and killing him with a shotgun.

Officials at the Nevada state Division of Parole and Probation recommended a sentence of at least four years in prison.

Generally speaking, a fellow in the position Mr. Gaule found himself in last Tuesday would be well advised to have brought along a toothbrush.

But that's when the unusual things began to happen.

Rising to oppose the recommendation of the Division of Parole and Probation was ... Chief Deputy District Attorney Bill Koot. "This case has been troublesome to me personally for as long as I've been assigned to this case," said Koot, who rarely stands to oppose the sentencing recommendations of the Parole Division.

But in this case, Mr. Koot said he doubted prison time would serve any purpose. More, he said he believed jailing Gaule would send "the wrong message," that members of the public do not want to see a citizen go to prison in a case like Gaule's.

Judge Gibbons promptly agreed: "If there's ever a case with extenuating circumstances, this is the one." The judge then sentenced Thomas Gaule to a period of probation not to exceed three years -- no jail time.

For killing two men with a shotgun.

If prosecutor Koot was so troubled, of course, one might ask why he pursued the case at all. But let's admit it did take some political courage to do what he and Judge Mark Gibbons did last week.

Why did they do it?

What happened to Thomas Gaule on the afternoon of Oct. 25, 1998 is that he came home to find two burglars in his house. He testified the two men jumped him and beat him severely, shocking him repeatedly with high-powered stun guns. He can still show the scars on his neck.

Somehow, Gaule managed to make it into another room to retrieve a shotgun. He testified at his trial the men came at him even after he had retrieved the firearm, wrestling with him for control of the weapon.

So Thomas Gaule shot them. Jason Allen Lamb was hit inside the house and died in the driveway. Ricky Tripp died 500 feet down the street, after Gaule chased him out of the house and fired again.

In the death of Jason Allen Lamb, no charges were ever filed. Kill a burglar and assailant in Nevada, in self-defense, at the scene of the crime, and it's "case closed." Rightly so.

In the death of Ricky Tripp, the question was whether a victim and homeowner -- Gaule -- has a right to chase down a home invader and assailant after that assailant turns to flee.

Was Gaule still in fear for his life at the time he fired his final shot? The trial jury thought not. But was Gaule stunned and confused enough by his experience that his actions are excusable -- can society reasonably expect a man shocked with high-voltage taser blasts to the neck, on top of the fight-for-your-life adrenaline dump which could overrule normal deliberation for any average person caught in such a crisis, to pause at his doorway and muse on the intricacies of the laws of self-defense?

Doubtless adding weight to Judge Gibbons' burden last Tuesday was the fact that Thomas Gaule is a quirky character, possessed of unusual opinions. "I think he's extremely paranoid ... obsessed with what he perceives to be an injustice," says prosecutor Koot.

But Thomas Gaule has never been known to commit another violent act, before or since. Nor should defendants be sent to prison for their "oddball views," as correctly observed by Gaule's attorney, Peter S. Christiansen.

In the end, Judge Gibbons authorized probation officials to require counseling for Mr. Gaule, and treatment for depression. And then he sent Thomas Gaule home.

In the end -- while a felony trial and record are no picnic, and the jury clearly issued no license for others to engage in armed pursuits -- the county and the court decided the most important thing here was to protect the citizen's sacred right of self-defense. The county and the court ruled an otherwise peaceful Nevadan shouldn't go to prison for defending himself in his own home, even with deadly force, even if -- in the heat of a fight for his life -- he chases one of his tormenters out the door and down the street.

It was a tough call. It's an oddity of modern American jurisprudence that civilians are held to a much higher standard than trained cops when it comes to shootings that aren't clear-cut self-defense.

But last Tuesday, Chief Deputy D.A. Bill Koot and Judge Mark Gibbons got it right.

Vin Suprynowicz is one of the most articulate spokesmen serving on the front lines of the Freedom Movement we have. Vin's timely and well written articles are syndicated in newspapers all around the country, and they circulate around the world freely on the Internet and in Libertarian publications. He is the author of Send in the Waco Killers, the book that tells the details the media failed to tell in plain English. The best way to get Vin is to subscribe directly to the e-mail distribution list for his column. Send a request to with "subscribe" in the subject line.

It is an honor to host this man's work, and we encourage you to visit his site and read his book. You can also see his full archives at these two sites:

Printer Version

If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government. Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist (#28)

COPYRIGHT POLICY: The posting of copyrighted articles and other content, in whole or in part, is not allowed here. We have made an effort to educate our users about this policy and we are extremely serious about this. Users who are caught violating this rule will be warned and/or banned.
If you are the owner of content that you believe has been posted on this site without your permission, please contact our webmaster by following this link. Please include with your message: (1) the particulars of the infringement, including a description of the content, (2) a link to that content here and (3) information concerning where the content in question was originally posted/published. We will address your complaint as quickly as possible. Thank you.

NOTICE:  The information contained in this site is not to be considered as legal advice. In no way are Keep And Bear Arms .com or any of its agents responsible for the actions of our members or site visitors. Also, because this web site is a Free Speech Zone, opinions, ideas, beliefs, suggestions, practices and concepts throughout this site may or may not represent those of Keep And Bear Arms .com. All rights reserved. Articles that are original to this site may be redistributed provided they are left intact and a link to is given. Click here for Contact Information for representatives of is the leading provider of Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and digital certificate solutions used by enterprises, Web sites, and consumers to conduct secure communications and transactions over the Internet and private networks., Inc. © 1999-2022, All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy