FAQ’s On Stand Your Ground

For some reason, probably one with a maiden name of Raff, I have gotten a ton of searches concerning “Stand Your Ground” laws. In order of popularity:

1.) “How long have we had Stand Your Ground Laws?” Some of our laws that specifically say that a person being attacked has no duty to retreat date to the late 17th Century. In that they predate the Declaration of Independence. As an “unwritten law,” most European countries freely allowed anyone with their backs to the wall, or their back on the ground, to defend themselves, rather than retreat from an attacker. History records ancient Greek and Roman instances in which a trapped man killed his attacker and was released without punishment.

And, like the sacred books of almost every religion, the Torah commands the Jews who are attacked to “gird on your weapons and slay them.” Neither the Torah, the Bible, the Koran, or any of the other Holy Books of the “peoples of the book” say a word about retreating; and very few of the world’s Holy books say a few about either defense or retreat. Universally, a man is to “Defend your wife, your children, your goods, and your chattels” from all “who would despoil you.” And incidentally to do so with a weapon.

2.) “Why is there so much pressure to pass Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground Laws.” Under many state laws, a homeowner often cannot plead self defense, even when their back is literally against the wall. As this Marquette Law review of several of these cases clearly demonstrates.

Prosecutors are elected, and far too many prosecutors will make every effort to turn a self defense shooting into murder case. A murder case that costs the prosecutor nothing, but that could easily cost the intended victim of a violent predatory criminal a quarter of a million dollars to defend. Even a case where the defendant has retreated to a locked closet inside a locked bedroom, and still had to shoot a home invader in self defense.

By contrast, this is what happens when there is an effective Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground law in effect. Listen to the sheer terror in the victim’s voice as she talks to the 911 operator:

Those who think “That will never happen to me” are fooling themselves. Americans find it necessary to pull a trigger to defend themselves and their families 75,000 times a year. Both laws are important protections for the law abiding. Protections that necessarily remove some protections from those who have adopted a criminal lifestyle.

Stranger

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2 Responses to FAQ’s On Stand Your Ground

  1. Jim says:

    “Americans find it necessary to pull a trigger to defend themselves and their families 75,000 times a year.”

    Is there a place I could go to actually find the data on this? I would love to be able to use it when “discussing” gun rights with an anti. And be able to point them to the location.

    Another quick question. Is there a data set collected anywhere for the make/model of guns invloved in accidental discharges? Particularly by children. Thanks.

  2. Stranger says:

    The source for the 75,000 shots fired each year is the Carter Administration’s Wright Rossi Report, which is sadly out of date. Google books had the Report on line but the last time I looked the paper was fragmented and I did not check and see if the relevant chapters were on line. However a newer prison survey is in the works so we should have better data available in the near future. Near future compared to the age of the Wright Rossi Report, which is rapidly receding into the distant past.

    And, while a lot of people keep tabs on a lot of things, I know of no database for the make and model of those guns involved in accidental discharges other than the frequently noted dangers of external hammer single shot shotguns. Those are seldom involved in childhood firearms accidents. Such a database would be quite useful, steering people away from those firearms that are likely to discharge when dropped.

    S

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