Taylor County, Iowa, prosecutor Clinton Spurrier needed little time to reach a decision on what to do about the homicide near Bedford early Tuesday. There would be no charges, says the Des Moines Register. Jerome Mauderly, 71, shot and killed Rodney Long, a handgun-wielding prison escapee who had held Mauderly and his wife, Carolyn, hostage in their home for four hours. Mauderly’s act is clearly protected under Iowa’s self-defense law, Spurrier said.
Many hailed the incident as a prime example of how the right to bear arms is a self-defense necessity. It also has prompted renewed calls to expand Iowans’ rights to defend themselves — with anything from fists to firearms — beyond the sphere of one’s home or business. “This situation is a poster child for the Second Amendment,” said Clel Baudler, an Iowa House Republican and former State Trooper. “The bad guy is dead. The good guys are alive and healthy.” Iowa law allows a person to use any force that a person reasonably believes is necessary to defend oneself or another from an imminent threat. The law specifies that reasonable force is justified when protecting one’s property, such as a home or business.