There is a lot of debate about the “stand your ground” law now going on and I have an opinion about the issue.
First, let me say I believe in the right to bear arms and I also believe in the right to worship as I see fit. I especially believe in freedom of speech.
I also believe in the many other rights given to American citizens through our constitution.
The debate with stand your ground isn’t about the real issue of protecting yourself from harm, but more about who is propagating the debate.
Defending or protecting yourself is an elemental characteristic of both animals and humans.
For the most part, as humans we are programed to do one of two things, fight or flight.
Sometimes the flight part can not be done, so we are put into a situation or, as some may say, backed into a corner to fight or protect ourselves or our families.
To be able to defend yourself, in my opinion, is an inalienable right.
Here is where I have problems.
If someone forces himself into my home and attempts to do bodily harm to me or my family I will use whatever means at my disposal to keep that from happening. I will use deadly force to protect myself.
Personally, I have been in a situation where someone was trying to break in my house in the middle of the night while I was in the house. I told them if they came in I would shoot them.
Thankfully, they did not come in and I did not have to shoot them.
There are a lot of things that go through your mind in a situation like that. First, of course, is could you pull the trigger? Had he forced his way through the door, I would have shot.
However, if a drug dealer shoots another drug dealer saying that he was standing his ground over his drug stash, I have a lot of issues with that scenario.
I have been in court when this defense has been used.
To me it is ludicrous to think the stand your ground law applies every time someone shoots someone. There are many more similar examples.
In each discussion I’ve had about this issue, I always reverted back to what law enforcement officers are required to do before they can use deadly force.
Here is a synopsis of what I’m talking about: In order for an officer to use deadly, physical force the officer must reasonably believe it is necessary to defend himself, herself or a third person from the use, or imminent use, of deadly physical force, and if feasible the officer has given warning of his or her intent to use deadly physical force.
There is another requirement for law enforcement that would not apply to citizens. Law enforcement officers are trained for such scenarios, ordinary citizens are not.
But in my opinion the same test of when to use deadly force should apply to civilians.
I don’t want my right to protect myself jeopardized because of a bunch of hotheads and drug dealers using a law that should not apply to them.