25. “Response to Jakobsson on Human Body Shields”


Abstract: A grabs B and uses him as a body shield. That is, A hides behind B (A renders B helpless to resist his grasp), and from that vantage point, shoots at C. According to libertarian theory, may B shoot at C, or, is it proper that C pull the trigger at B? In the view of Rothbard (1984), the former is correct: B is entitled to gun down C. In my (Block, forthcoming) view, this is incorrect. Rather, it would be lawful to C to properly kill B. (Both Rothbard and I assume that neither B nor C can end A’s reign of terror). Jakobsson (2010) supports the Rothbardian position. The present paper is at an attempt of mine to refute Jakobsson, and, thus, also, Rothbard (1984), once again.