Ed's Blog

"Some people know everything, but that's all they know."

STAND-YOUR-GROUND LAWS: ARE THEY A BRIDGE TOO FAR?

The Treyvon Martin case has become a media sensation. It has all the necessary elements—tragedy, race, anticipated court-room drama, politics, exploitation, and a gun. We won’t know how it will turn out until the authorities in Florida complete their investigation; however it turns out, it’s become a rallying cry against stand-your-ground laws—are they a bridge too far?  (Read the full column at EWRosss.com)

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25 Responses

  1. Reposted from Linkedin says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran

    Discussion: STAND-YOUR-GROUND LAWS: ARE THEY A BRIDGE TOO FAR?

    I don’t think Treyvon’s case has anything to do with gun control, but you are right Ed, both sides are now using it to give credence to their rhetoric.

    It’s an idiotic law, written to pander to a political base. But it wasn’t meant to provide a license to kill, only to buffer the legal defense of self defense, which clearly, this case is not about.

    Posted by Bob Schecter ★

  2. Reposted from Linkedin says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran

    Discussion: STAND-YOUR-GROUND LAWS: ARE THEY A BRIDGE TOO FAR?

    “Stand your Ground” is an idiotic law? Are you stating that running away is the better option?

    The only reason this event is in the news is because of the head of the current administration and the DOJ. Both of those individuals are toxic.

    Posted by James Westover

  3. Reposted from Linkedin says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran

    Discussion: STAND-YOUR-GROUND LAWS: ARE THEY A BRIDGE TOO FAR?

    Self-defense has never been in question, has been used as a successful defense. And defense of one’s person or property has always been viewed as an inherent right. So Stand Your Ground might make for a gun lobby slogan, but it should never have been made into law.

    I’m not sure how you made the leap to the admin or DOJ, since they have absolutely nothing to do with the case, but nevertheless, the law is redundant to existing laws, so to that extent, yes, it is idiotic.

    Posted by Bob Schecter ★

  4. Reposted from Linkedin says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran

    Discussion: STAND-YOUR-GROUND LAWS: ARE THEY A BRIDGE TOO FAR?

    I haven’t read or am I very familiar with the “Stand Your Ground Law” but I thought ti was an interesteing poiint made by commentators on CNN that if the rolls were reveresed and Travon had shot Zimmerman and tried to use that blaw as defense there surely would have been an arrerst and the most severe punishment possible. We’ll never know what was in the heart and mind of Zimmerman I suppose but no one deserves to be killed while walking in their neighborhoon and no nieghborhood watch person should be stopping anyone and questioning them, they are there to onserve abd call theproper authorities only, stand you ground law or not. That is the real issue, why was this guy even considering stopping this young man, if he truly was suspicious, call the authorites and remoive yourself from the situation, period.

    Posted by John Kilcoyne

  5. Reposted from Linkedin says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran

    Discussion: STAND-YOUR-GROUND LAWS: ARE THEY A BRIDGE TOO FAR?

    “And defense of one’s person or property has always been viewed as an inherent right.” Viewed by who, Bob? It’s still the case in some states that individuals in their own home must retreat from an intruder (legally referred to as a “duty to retreat”) rather than confront them. That’s why people are pushing for the Castle doctrine. I agree it should be viewed by everyone as an inherent right…but even on college campuses today, students are told that if there is a gunman on campus, they are to run and hide. Standing their ground is not a legal option, because if they possess a firearm for self defense they are in violation of the law. Yeah, I guess I’m one of those poor, pathetic religious people who still clings to my guns (isn’t that how Pres Obama referred to us?).

    The Treyvon/Zimmerman issue may yet result in Zimmerman facing charges, if that is warranted, and I support that. But don’t try to claim Stand your Ground should have never been made into law. It’s needed as law because too many progressives think the police department is sufficient protection for everyone…even though the federal courts (Dist of Columbia) declared back in the early 1980s that the police do NOT have an obligation to protect any individual citizen from bodily harm–police only have a collective obligation to the community to protect and serve (and investigate the crime after it occurs).

    Posted by Larry Stetz

  6. Reposted from Linkedin says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran

    Discussion: STAND-YOUR-GROUND LAWS: ARE THEY A BRIDGE TOO FAR?

    Stand your ground law just means that if you are confronted, you are allowed to stand your ground without retreating and defend yourself and yoru loved ones from an assault/attack. I have had carry permits in a few different states, and some states do not have a stand your ground provision meaning that you must retreat if confronted, even at gunpoint. Yes, in some states, if you pull a gun on me and I am also packing, I have to run away if at all possible and can only draw my weapon in self defense if I am cornered and do not have anywhere else to retreat to… This also applies in your home where there is no castle doctrine, if you have armed intruders in your home you have to retreat if at all possible before you can legally defend yourself against the armed robber. Stand your ground and castle doctrine is much better.

    Posted by Knute Headley

  7. Reposted from Linkedin says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran

    Discussion: STAND-YOUR-GROUND LAWS: ARE THEY A BRIDGE TOO FAR?

    I’ve never seen a viable self defense case that wasn’t upheld, but then I won’t say I follow all that much of it. Nevertheless, the Stand Your Ground debacle has played out a few times in the Sunshine State, and most often it’s been used when self defense couldn’t be established – to wit: the Treyvon case. It’s not a good law – it’s a good excuse.

    Posted by Bob Schecter ★

  8. Reposted from Linkedin says:

    LinkedIn Group: Campaign for Liberty

    Discussion: STAND-YOUR-GROUND LAWS: ARE THEY A BRIDGE TOO FAR?

    Remember, for the gun-grabbers, EVERYTHING is a potential back door to gun control. If my understanding of the Florida SYG law is correct, and the little bit of actual information (as opposed to hype and out-right lies) I’ve heard from this case are correct, then the SYG law isn’t even a factor. IF Martin was in fact sitting on top of Zimmerman, beating on him, it’s straight-up self defense. If not, and Martin was in fact retreating from the encounter, then it seems like at best an over-reaction, if not flat out murder. In neither case was standing ground an issue. You don’t “stand your ground” by pursuing the other person, (kind of a “definitional issue” in that case) and you don’t “stand your ground” when you are under assault and down… and if the othere statement I heard, which is that Martin attempted to take the gun from Zimmerman while he had him down and said something to the effect “you’re doing to die tonight”, then it is self-defense all the way.

    Posted by Kelly Nix

  9. Reposted from Linkedin says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran

    Discussion: STAND-YOUR-GROUND LAWS: ARE THEY A BRIDGE TOO FAR?

    I think the nice thing about the Stand your Ground law is that the burden is shifted to the prosecution to prove that you are guilty of committing a crime. In states where the law says you have a duty to retreat, the burden is on you to prove you are NOT guilty of commiting a crime. What’s wrong with that? I always thought under our legal system you were innocent until proven guilty! In Nebraska (where I’m originally from) and neighboring Wyoming, if you are outside your home (you could literally be in your front yard), if someone threatens you, you legally must retreat–you cannot stand your ground and use force against them. Both states have tried to pass the Castle Doctrine in the past several years, but they’ve been voted down in the state legislatures because county and city prosecutors wanted the ability to make the determination if you made an attempt to retreat first–they didn’t want their hands tied. And if you do use deadly force against an intruder, there is nothing that prevents them (or their family) from suing you in civil court for killing them. In most states that have passed the Castle Doctrine, those laws have included legal protection to prevent you from being sued in civil court. Makes sense to me. If you come onto my property (or heck, assault me in the street), and I feel my life (or the lives of my wife or children) are threatened, I can shoot you, and not have to worry about that person’s mom suing me for killing her son who was “just a misguided boy who never meant to harm anyone”.

    Can people try to use Stand your Ground laws to justify illegal acts (which may very well be the case with what Zimmerman did). Yeah, you bet. Scoundrels will use whatever they can to put the blame on others. It’s then up to the police and prosecutors to collect the evidence and prosecute the case. Remember, the burden to prove you acted illegally is shifted to the prosecution–Castle Doctrine laws do not eliminate the possibility of prosecution.

    What I think is interesting about the Treyvon case is he had every right to kill Zimmerman if he thought Zimmerman was threatening him. Heck, put yourself in Treyvon’s shoes. You’re walking down the street minding your business, and some stranger (who’s not a cop) comes up and confronts you. You’d be at least a little concerned for your safety. I know I would.

    Posted by Larry Stetz

  10. Reposted from Linkedin says:

    LinkedIn Group: Department of Defense

    Discussion: STAND-YOUR-GROUND LAWS: ARE THEY A BRIDGE TOO FAR?

    No.

    Posted by Tim Myers

  11. Reposted from Linkedin says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran

    Discussion: STAND-YOUR-GROUND LAWS: ARE THEY A BRIDGE TOO FAR?

    “Stand Your Ground” arose as a reaction against prosecutors going insane with the “duty to retreat.” In one case I’m aware of, the prosecutor argued that an 80-year-old woman who needed a walker to get around had a duty to try to run away from an able-bodied serial rapist 60 years her junior.

    She was acquitted, but went bankrupt in the process. Maybe some folks think that she SHOULD be bankrupt. I mean, that rapist might have had self-esteem issues, or his mama didn’t hug him enough . . .

    Posted by Ken Prescott

  12. Reposted from Linkedin says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran

    Discussion: STAND-YOUR-GROUND LAWS: ARE THEY A BRIDGE TOO FAR?

    That has to be one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard. They passed a law in response tro an 80 year old women defending herself agasint rape. I guess FLA has more issues that I thought of that’s teh kind of nonsensical thing they are prosecuting. I don’t but it for one second either.

    Posted by John Kilcoyne

  13. Reposted from Linkedin says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran

    Discussion: STAND-YOUR-GROUND LAWS: ARE THEY A BRIDGE TOO FAR?

    John, they passed the law in response to prosecutors seeking to use the letter of the law while abusing the spirit thereof, in most cases solely to increase their conviction & plea bargain rates & thus land bigger bonuses. (Plural of bonus = boni? Enquiring minds want to know…)

    Personally, I’d accept a law making it easier to get prosecutors thrown out of office and/or into PMITA prison for malfeasance in lieu of changing the “duty to retreat,” but there ain’t no way in Hell the government employee groups would accept that.

    Posted by Ken Prescott

  14. Reposted from Linkedin says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran

    Discussion: STAND-YOUR-GROUND LAWS: ARE THEY A BRIDGE TOO FAR?

    Sniff, sniff… yup, more Prescott bull$#@. Stand your ground laws, are stupid and disfunctional. They are scant less than a call to “draw-first” vigilantism. Of course Prescott would like prosecutors thrown from office. After all, he and his NRA buddies would love to see a weapon in every cradle.
    Incidentally, Prescott, prosecutors are public servants who serve in the office of the District Attorney, and they don’t get bonuses for increased numbers of convictions.

    Posted by Kenneth Bobu

  15. Reposted from Linkedin says:

    LinkedIn Group: Republican Professionals

    Discussion: STAND-YOUR-GROUND LAWS: ARE THEY A BRIDGE TOO FAR?

    Of course not…. as Yosemite Sam used to tell Bugs Bunny… Back off, hombre’! this is pure race card playing to divert the news away from real politics… time to grow up.

    Posted by William R. Smith

  16. Reposted from Linkedin says:

    LinkedIn Group: Department of Defense

    Discussion: STAND-YOUR-GROUND LAWS: ARE THEY A BRIDGE TOO FAR?

    An armed society is a polite society. Under no circumstances should the 2A be infringed. We need to work to restore all rights affirmed in the Constitution. So to answer your question, NO.

    Posted by Dale Jones

  17. Reposted from Linkedin says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran

    Discussion: STAND-YOUR-GROUND LAWS: ARE THEY A BRIDGE TOO FAR?

    Bobu, there are many county DA offices across the nation that have performance bonus programs (“incentive pay,” “pay for superior performance,” etc). Also, conviction/plea bargain rates do enter into performance assessment in those offices that do not have bonus programs in play, so there’s another avenue of incentive for getting as many convictions as possible.

    Now, maybe in your neck of the world, prosecutors are utterly selfless, detached from any sort of monetary or other career-related desire, et cetera. Somehow, I doubt that. But miracles can and do happen.

    That said, I prefer to not rely on miracles in ensuring that prosecutors serve the public interest as opposed to their own careers. Nor would I bother to appeal to anyone’s better nature–some folks just don’t have one. I much prefer to appeal to self-interest.

    “Stand your ground” is a very flawed response to a very real problem. IMNHO, a better response would be to adopt the castle doctrine for home defense, which would weed out the most egregious abuses of “duty to flee” without introducing the problems inherent in “stand your ground.”

    To correct the larger problem of prosecutorial glory-hunting, I’d add a third verdict to the guilty/not guilty options: “Failure to show cause.” This would allow juries to properly thank excessively gung-ho prosecutors for wasting their valuable time. I’d allow prosecutors one free FTSC verdict; I’d also allow appeals that would allow appellate courts to reduce the verdict to a simple “not guilty.”

    For the first “Failure to show cause” that gets upheld? Formal counseling, remedial instruction in legal ethics, ineligibility for performance/incentive pay for a set period, transfer to other work within the district attorney’s office, and/or other non-punitive measures that might be appropriate.

    A second “Failure to show cause” that gets upheld? Permanent disbarment, review of all cases handled by the prosecutor in question, and prosecution for violation of civil rights under color of law, with mandatory prison time if convicted. That should encourage prosecutors to ensure that they have scrupulously clean hands.

    Posted by Ken Prescott

  18. Reposted from Linkedin says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran

    Discussion: STAND-YOUR-GROUND LAWS: ARE THEY A BRIDGE TOO FAR?

    @Bob Schecter – “I’m not sure how you made the leap to the admin or DOJ, since they have absolutely nothing to do with the case, ”

    If you read the first four words in the article, it plainly states “The Treyvon Martin case”, which has become a politicized media feeding frenzy to support the current administrations divisive policies.

    Posted by James Westover

  19. Reposted from Linkedin says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran

    Discussion: STAND-YOUR-GROUND LAWS: ARE THEY A BRIDGE TOO FAR?

    @ Prescott Bobu- “After all, he and his NRA buddies would love to see a weapon in every cradle. ”

    Was that comment really necessary?

    Posted by James Westover

  20. Reposted from Linkedin says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran

    Discussion: STAND-YOUR-GROUND LAWS: ARE THEY A BRIDGE TOO FAR?

    James – No way to respond to that as you’ve made yet another outstanding leap into the O’Reilly twilight zone. Ok, you win.

    Posted by Bob Schecter ★

  21. Reposted from Linkedin says:

    LinkedIn Group: US Military Veterans Network

    Discussion: STAND-YOUR-GROUND LAWS: ARE THEY A BRIDGE TOO FAR?

    I never felt that it was right that, by law, you couldn’t protect yourself, your loved ones or your home when invaded by a criminal intent on harm. So I thought the “Stand your Ground” law was a good first step towards restoring the sanctity of one’s home.

    I also felt that there would come the day when someone would do something to negate all the good that this law should have brought.

    Here we are! Whatever the results of this case, you’re
    absolutely right Ed, this will only fuel the anti gun lobby’s efforts to weaken the free people of America on behalf of the criminals. Travesty!

    Posted by Michael Hurder

  22. Reposted from Linkedin says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran

    Discussion: STAND-YOUR-GROUND LAWS: ARE THEY A BRIDGE TOO FAR?

    I wonder. Since he went after Treyvon, regardless of the bullet trajectory, and even if Treyvon jumped on him, and was pummeling poor George, (all evidence to the contrary), Treyvon was the one under duress. So Treyvon had a right to Stand His Ground, which is actually how the law is supposed to be applied. I don’t believe George has a legitimate self defense case. Of course, I thought Casey Anthony was guilty too.

    Posted by Bob Schecter ★

  23. Reposted from Linkedin says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran

    Discussion: STAND-YOUR-GROUND LAWS: ARE THEY A BRIDGE TOO FAR?

    Well heck, Westover, we’ve been laughing at you from your first posting, so our summit will go well.
    Incidentally, when you consider how many folks have been killed since these idiotic ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws were passed, you have to ask yourself why bother even having law enforcement, since you guys want to bring back the wild wild west days. I’m just not capable of coming to the conclusion that we’re better off with people being killed over allegedly stealing some stuff.

    Views and laws like this make us appear to have lost all semblance of humanity, common sense, or temperance of justice with mercy.

    Posted by Kenneth Bobu

  24. Chris says:

    If people were research why certain things are done they would find out that the standard your ground laws stem from a battered wife case. A woman was charged with homicide after killing her abusive husband who was beating her. She was found not guilty because of self-defense. But the state that was charging her with murder argued that she had the requirement according to the law to attempt to retreat before utilizing force. Which of course in a case of a battered wife or rape or an armed robbery or any other number of cases is ridiculous. The standard ground law was adopted to allow people the ability to quickly react to being attacked where they feel that their life is threatened or great bodily harm. A lot of people forget that part, the great bodily harm part. You have to feel that you are going to be killed, but maiming disfigurement and permanent injury you don’t have to tolerate either.

    The stand your ground laws are designed to permit law-abiding citizens the ability to defend themselves, without having to run away or retreat from the bad guys who are attempting to hurt them or kill them. Prior to the laws as they are if someone broke into your home or your business you are required to attempt to flee your own home or business rather than defend yourself. Does that make sense? A store owner in South Florida was charged with first-degree murder and convicted because he set up a electronic grid in the roof area of his business where he had been burglarized multiple times. A burglar cut a hole in the roof and well attempting to gain entry was electrocuted. The business owner was charged and convicted with murder. Do you think that’s right?

    In an attempt to give people the ability to protect their homes, their families, and their property such as their vehicles (specifically carjacking) and to protect rape and battered spouses, the stand your ground laws were enacted.

    If you are being attacked and the law requires you to run away, and yet the suspect continues to follow you, you are still required to run away. It becomes a predator prey type of situation where the predator has the law on their side. When the prey can fight back, the predator is less likely to attack.

    I am a 31 year veteran police officer, and believe that every citizen who has the correct training and ability to carry a firearm should do so. For the protection of themselves and their families. If you do the research on the numbers of crimes committed by people with firearms you’ll find an extremely small percentage were done by people who are licensed properly to carry a firearm. The vast majority as reported by the FBI uniform crime reporting statistics are done by people who acquire firearms illegally and use them for illegal purposes.

    Just my three cents worth.

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