Stand Your Ground: National Bill Introduced In House!
Date: January 12, 2022
Stand Your Ground No Matter Where You’re Standing In America
In early January of 2021, Ohio became the 36th state in the United States to have a stand-your-ground law in place. Joining the ranks of Florida and other more enlightened electorates that don’t legally require their citizens to retreat when physically threatened, the law in Ohio went into effect on April 6th. "I have always believed that it is vital that law-abiding citizens have the right to legally protect themselves when confronted with a life-threatening situation,” Governor Mike DeWine said shortly after signing Senate Bill 175 into law. The bill, which was championed by the Buckeye Firearms Association, was a win for common sense. But then, only five months later, Ohio Democrats along with the NAACP, and a national gun control group, called Everytown for Gun Control, filed a lawsuit questioning the constitutionality of the new law. Flash forward to today, it still remains to be seen whether the lawsuit will be successful in repealing the new law. So where are we? Two steps forward, possibly two steps backward?
Herein lies the problem, folks. The laws which govern a citizen’s basic right to self-defense are determined at the state level, but these laws and the lawmakers making them are beholden to national interests and all the interference that comes with it. The argument gets convoluted and twisted in the process. As Dean Rieck, director of the Buckeye Firearms Association said in plain terms, “I'm not making the argument that [stand-your-ground] makes people safer or that it's going to reduce crime. To me, it's about the right to self-defense. If there is any right that each of us has, it's to defend our own lives.”
So, what do we do? How do we bring common sense, which places the law on the side of victims of violent crime and not on the side of those committing violence, to all the land?
We make Stand-Your-Ground a federal law.
Alas, someone else had this idea. Congressman Matt Gaetz, in collaboration with other U.S. House Representatives Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) among others, introduced the National “Stand-Your-Ground Act” in mid-December of 2021. (Press Release) Made perhaps in response to the Kyle Rittenhouse trial and the media spectacle that ensued, the proposed bill would create a national law that defends self-defense and puts the law on the side of law-abiding citizens. According to Gaetz, the “bill will codify Florida’s 'Stand Your Ground' law at the federal level, abolishing the duty of retreat when attacked."
And that’s what it’s really all about: doing away with that ugliest and un-American of phrases, “the duty of retreat.” In legal terms, the duty of retreat means you must attempt to escape before using lethal force, and that your attempt must be provable if you end up on trial for shooting the aggressor in self-defense. If you think that’s bonkers, that’s because it is. In Dean Reick’s words, “If you are in a situation where you honestly believe that your life is about to end, there shouldn't be any additional legal requirements for you to consider at that time. That's really giving the attacker more rights than you have.” Amen, brother.
Here’s hoping that in 2022 the National Stand-Your-Ground Act can pick up steam and common sense prevails.
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