There has been much discussion and debate recently about stand-your-ground laws. Simply put, stand-your-ground laws are state level legislation or statutes that provide justification for the use of deadly force as a means of self-defense, without requiring a duty or obligation to retreat. More than half of the states have laws or judicial rulings to this effect, and even more states observe the “Castle Doctrine”, which is the right to use deadly force in defense of one’s home without retreating. The Castle Doctrine, so named because a man’s home is his castle, has been around since the time of the Roman Empire and was codified in English common law. Stand-your-ground laws are merely an extension of the Castle Doctrine, away from the home.
In the wake of the George Zimmerman acquittal in the death of Trayvon Martin, many people who are opposed to the rights of gun owners have questioned stand-your-ground laws, despite the fact that Florida’s law was not even used as a defense in the trial. Attorney General Eric Holder, speaking at an NAACP convention, called on states to reexamine their laws concerning the justification of the use of deadly force. President Obama has echoed that sentiment, even saying these laws should be done away with. Numerous voices and celebrities on the left have characterized these laws as racist and discriminatory, oblivious to the fact that, statistically and proportionally, blacks tend to benefit from stand-your-ground laws to a greater extent than other races.
The attacks of the anti-gun crowd on stand-your-ground laws are irrelevant. Moreover, stand-your-ground laws themselves are irrelevant. The right of self-defense is a natural, inherent and inalienable right. Government did not give this right to us and government cannot take it away. The framers of our government recognized, rightly so, that all people have the natural right to life, liberty and property, and the individual’s rights to these things should be protected from anyone who would seek to deny them unlawfully, whether it be another individual, a mob, or even government itself. One of the key ideals behind the 2nd Amendment, the right of the individual to keep and bear arms, is that it provides the individual with the best way to protect themselves and others, as well as their property.
Do not be fooled by those who question the need or legitimacy of stand-your-ground laws. They do not have the best of intentions or honorable motives, nor do they seek justice or look to uphold the welfare and safety of the people. They simply do not believe in our inherent right of self-defense. They do not believe in the right of the people to bear arms to properly affect such defense. This is only another path that they are following toward their ultimate goal of a disarmed citizenry. In their Utopian vision of a perfect socially engineered world, they would rather a person be unarmed, and attempt to flee from an attacker. Thus we see the multitude of states with duty to retreat laws. In their view, the state holds a monopoly on the use of force, and they would deny citizens the ability to use any force, much less deadly force, to protect themselves, their property, or their rights. Since the state, i.e. law enforcement, would be the only ones lawfully allowed to carry arms, they would insist a person call the police in the event of a crime taking place. And we all know that when seconds count, police are only minutes (sometimes hours) away.
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