Like I said, this is an emotional issue. Recall that “The Godfather” rose to and consolidated his power by becoming an alternative source of justice for the common man. The police were totally corrupt and the common man could not get any form of justice from them, so they went to Don Corleone and and poured out the nature of the injustice. Corleone considered the situation, (more or less) investigated it, then sent one of his henchmen out for some distributive justice, which by the way was more or less appropriate for the crime.
“I believe in America. America has made my fortune. And I raised my daughter in the American fashion. I gave her freedom, but I taught her never to dishonor her family. She found a boyfriend; not an Italian. She went to the movies with him; she stayed out late. I didn’t protest. Two months ago, he took her for a drive, with another boyfriend. They made her drink whiskey. And then they tried to take advantage of her. She resisted. She kept her honor. So they beat her, like an animal. When I went to the hospital, her nose was a’broken. Her jaw was a’shattered, held together by wire. She couldn’t even weep because of the pain. But I wept. Why did I weep? She was the light of my life, a beautiful girl. Now she will never be beautiful again. I went to the police, like a good American. These two boys were brought to trial. The judge sentenced them to three years in prison – suspended sentence. Suspended sentence! They went free that very day! I stood in the courtroom like a fool. And those two bastards, they smiled at me. Then I said to my wife, for justice, we must go to Don Corleone”.
So, put this into Godfather context. My dipshit immature kid gets involved with some punks, breaks into a house and you come down the stairs holding a copy of the “Make my Day” law in one hand and blazing away with a pistol in the other. My kid, who would have received a suspended sentence and other severe punishment from me is now dead. And if goes to court and the judge shrugs” “sorry, the punishment for this act is pre-determined by law and bears no resemblance to punishment for the same crime committed elsewhere”.
Am I going to be satisfied with that? Would you?
If my kid got caught breaking and entering by a cop who happened to drive by, the punishment would fit the crime, and my dipshit immature kid would have a chance at some kind of rehabilitation. If you intercede with a weapon, the penalty is death with no recourse to due process. And the law says that’s OK because you think it’s OK to arbitrarily kill anything that moves in your house?
So the nature of revenge is that if I can’t get justice one way I will get it some other way. Every night on the 11 pm news here they cut to the courthouse to view teary relatives of murders around here. Most of the time the criminal is given a sentence more or less appropriate for the crime. Long prison terms. The relatives of the murdered person weep: “doesn’t make me feel much better but at least some kind of justice is done and now there is some closure and we can go on with our lives”. When some killer gets off on some kind of bullshit technicality, the families of the victim say: “What kind of justice is this?” In the case of a person killed at the behest of a citizen with an itchy trigger finger, totally bypassing due process, those relatives are going to be a lot more interested in getting justice wherever they can.
If you kill my dipshit, immature kid that pulls a stupid bonehead move with his other wasted friends that he would otherwise grow out of and eventually graduate from the School of Hard Knocks, and the law refuses to address that crime, I’m going to take a very personal interest in you for a long time. 😉 In that respect, the “make my day” law is ineffective.