Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Stand your Ground laws are Good

I've posted most of this previously, but wanted a stand-alone post on this subject.  There's been much talk in the media about Stand your Ground laws, and most of it is negative. 

Stand your ground laws in general mean that as opposed to earlier laws, a victim of a crime has no obligation to flee, but may instead defend herself or himself when confronted by an assailant. Earlier laws required the victim to seek any other way out of a confrontation through flight, even at great personal risk. That changed, even in California, because a fleeing victim is an easy target for a criminal. Lawful citizens don't shoot, stab or beat a fleeing person in the back as they run. Criminals do.  Further, many victims don't have a way to fulfill an obligation to flee.  People in wheelchairs, the elderly, mothers with small children and the handicapped often can't flee their assailants.  So, victims were exposed to danger of greater harm and even death by the obligation to flee. Recognizing this, laws changed. If you're in your own home and a home invader breaks in with a lethal weapon, you don't have to try to run to your back door, fumble with the lock and run for help while he stabs or shoots you. In fear of your life or the life of your family, you can arm yourself and defend your life and the lives of your loved ones.

In short, stand your ground laws are a basic affirmation of the self-defense rights of lawful citizens which I believe are supported by the 2nd Amendment. Further, these laws are completely egalitarian, protecting any lawful citizen who is under attack regardless of race, gender or any other factor.  Removing them only benefits criminals, which perversely seems to be what opponents of self-defense want.

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