Niagara Gazette

Columns

July 23, 2013

CONFER: In defense of 'Stand Your Ground'

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — It’s the lunacy of such unconstitutional and unconscionable Duty to Retreat laws that led Florida and 30 other states to recognize the uninhibited right to self-defense with the Stand Your Ground law, which allows the attacked to utilize deadly force immediately — and without the friendly considerations of Duty to Retreat — as long as there is a belief of an imminent threat of death or bodily harm. Unlike the similar Castle Doctrine, which allows the same only in one’s home, Stand Your Ground allows the use of force in public. So, the victim would be able to protect himself or his loved ones were he up against a break-in in his residence or an attempted robbery on the street.

Under Stand Your Ground, the burden of proof falls upon the criminal who initiated the crime, not the law-abider who retaliated. That is in stark contrast to Duty to Retreat, whereby the criminal has the legal advantage because the victim is himself painted as a criminal (and is more likely guilty until proven innocent) because he must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that he met all the necessary criteria before pulling the trigger.

Stand Your Ground makes perfect legal, moral and natural sense: It allows the prey to retaliate against the predator with force commensurate with that potentially levied against him; there’s no need to take a wait-and-see approach, which could in most cases result in the injury, rape, or murder of the victim.

Stand Your Ground is one of the clearest state-level interpretations of some of the basal tenets behind our Second Amendment. Were the states to eliminate it — and further restrict our rights — it would take Duty to Retreat to a whole new level: Duty to Die.

Gasport resident Bob Confer also writes for the New American magazine at TheNewAmerican.com. Follow him on Twitter @bobconfer

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