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Old April 21, 2012, 04:07 AM   #51
animal
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"No duty to retreat" laws mean just that .. not "we still have a duty to retreat if possible"

You can stay where you are, if you are rightfully there.
You cannot threaten. You cannot instigate. You cannot attack.
You can defend.
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Old April 21, 2012, 07:05 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by tipoc
Under SYG laws or "No Duty to Retreat laws" we still do have a duty or obligation to avoid a bad shooting. In other words we still have a duty to retreat if possible.
The above statement is self-contradictory, and a logical impossibility. Please explain how, in a jurisdiction where the law plainly states that one does NOT have a duty to retreat, one nevertheless has a duty to retreat.
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Old April 21, 2012, 07:58 AM   #53
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There is no fleeing in my home!


I have a 3yr old and a 9 yr. old in a top bunk on the 2nd floor. I can hardly get them out of bed on a good school day.


This is completely mute point. If there is a home invasion - the only one I could forsee is someone breaking into my attached garage and trying to steal tools (happened before). Im not going to shoot them dead trying to take my 30.00 skill saw.


HOWEVER, if someone tries to break into my house with my kids in it....well lets just say they better not. End of story.
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Old April 21, 2012, 11:58 AM   #54
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I Thought it might be useful if some people saw an actual example of a law that has "no duty to retreat", and a provision preventing "duty to retreat" from being considered when deciding whether or not a shooting was justified. IMO a very good law allowing you to protect your life, the life of another, and your places of refuge. Mississippi’s version is commonly stated as "castle doctrine" (because that was how it was billed politically), but as you can see in the text, it’s a little more. Of course, this is just one example, and others differ.

It does not remove the need for justifying the use of force. It does remove unjust demands that you try to escape.

MISSISSIPPI
§ 97-3-15. Homicide; justifiable homicide; use of defensive force; duty to retreat.

(1) The killing of a human being by the act, procurement or omission of another shall be justifiable in the following cases:
(a) When committed by public officers, or those acting by their aid and assistance, in obedience to any judgment of a competent court;
(b) When necessarily committed by public officers, or those acting by their command in their aid and assistance, in overcoming actual resistance to the execution of some legal process, or to the discharge of any other legal duty;
(c) When necessarily committed by public officers, or those acting by their command in their aid and assistance, in retaking any felon who has been rescued or has escaped;
(d) When necessarily committed by public officers, or those acting by their command in their aid and assistance, in arresting any felon fleeing from justice;
(e) When committed by any person in resisting any attempt unlawfully to kill such person or to commit any felony upon him, or upon or in any dwelling, in any occupied vehicle, in any place of business, in any place of employment or in the immediate premises thereof in which such person shall be;
(f) When committed in the lawful defense of one's own person or any other human being, where there shall be reasonable ground to apprehend a design to commit a felony or to do some great personal injury, and there shall be imminent danger of such design being accomplished;
(g) When necessarily committed in attempting by lawful ways and means to apprehend any person for any felony committed;
(h) When necessarily committed in lawfully suppressing any riot or in lawfully keeping and preserving the peace.

(2) (a) As used in subsection (1)(c) and (d) of this section, the term "when necessarily committed" means that a public officer or a person acting by or at the officer's command, aid or assistance is authorized to use such force as necessary in securing and detaining the felon offender, overcoming the offender's resistance, preventing the offender's escape, recapturing the offender if the offender escapes or in protecting himself or others from bodily harm; but such officer or person shall not be authorized to resort to deadly or dangerous means when to do so would be unreasonable under the circumstances. The public officer or person acting by or at the officer's command may act upon a reasonable apprehension of the surrounding circumstances; however, such officer or person shall not use excessive force or force that is greater than reasonably necessary in securing and detaining the offender, overcoming the offender's resistance, preventing the offender's escape, recapturing the offender if the offender escapes or in protecting himself or others from bodily harm.
(b) As used in subsection (1)(c) and (d) of this section the term "felon" shall include an offender who has been convicted of a felony and shall also include an offender who is in custody, or whose custody is being sought, on a charge or for an offense which is punishable, upon conviction, by death or confinement in the Penitentiary.
(c) As used in subsections (1)(e) and (3) of this section, "dwelling" means a building or conveyance of any kind that has a roof over it, whether the building or conveyance is temporary or permanent, mobile or immobile, including a tent, that is designed to be occupied by people lodging therein at night, including any attached porch;

(3) A person who uses defensive force shall be presumed to have reasonably feared imminent death or great bodily harm, or the commission of a felony upon him or another or upon his dwelling, or against a vehicle which he was occupying, or against his business or place of employment or the immediate premises of such business or place of employment, if the person against whom the defensive force was used, was in the process of unlawfully and forcibly entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a dwelling, occupied vehicle, business, place of employment or the immediate premises thereof or if that person had unlawfully removed or was attempting to unlawfully remove another against the other person's will from that dwelling, occupied vehicle, business, place of employment or the immediate premises thereof and the person who used defensive force knew or had reason to believe that the forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred. This presumption shall not apply if the person against whom defensive force was used has a right to be in or is a lawful resident or owner of the dwelling, vehicle, business, place of employment or the immediate premises thereof or is the lawful resident or owner of the dwelling, vehicle, business, place of employment or the immediate premises thereof or if the person who uses defensive force is engaged in unlawful activity or if the person is a law enforcement officer engaged in the performance of his official duties;

(4) A person who is not the initial aggressor and is not engaged in unlawful activity shall have no duty to retreat before using deadly force under subsection (1) (e) or (f) of this section if the person is in a place where the person has a right to be, and no finder of fact shall be permitted to consider the person's failure to retreat as evidence that the person's use of force was unnecessary, excessive or unreasonable.

(5) (a) The presumptions contained in subsection (3) of this section shall apply in civil cases in which self-defense or defense of another is claimed as a defense.
(b) The court shall award reasonable attorney's fees, court costs, compensation for loss of income, and all expenses incurred by the defendant in defense of any civil action brought by a plaintiff if the court finds that the defendant acted in accordance with subsection (1) (e) or (f) of this section. A defendant who has previously been adjudicated "not guilty" of any crime by reason of subsection (1) (e) or (f) of this section shall be immune from any civil action for damages arising from same conduct.
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Old April 21, 2012, 12:10 PM   #55
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Aguila,

What is the difference between a good shooting and a bad?

In a bad shooting SYG will not apply, or may not apply. That's the point. If you are the clear instigator of the confrontation, and chose not to de-escalate, SYG either won't or may not help. SYG is not a free pass.

The law starts by assuming folks try to avoid killing or maiming each other and retreat from the possibility of that. SYG does not change that.

If a person tries to car jack you and in the course of defending yourself you shoot a bystander; SYG may help avoid a lawsuit by the injured bystander. It may also protect you in the shooting of the car jacker. Though in many states you would already be protected by other statutes.

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Old April 21, 2012, 01:14 PM   #56
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Quote:
If you are the clear instigator of the confrontation,
That's not standing your ground. That's attempting to wrongfully advance your ground.

Of course it isn't a free pass. You still have to be in the right.
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Old April 23, 2012, 11:56 PM   #57
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There is a CNN web poll on the right side about "stand your ground" laws.

It's a pretty busy webpage.

As I'm writing this, it looks split about even for and against.

http://www.cnn.com/
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Old April 24, 2012, 03:40 AM   #58
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The California Criminal Code (CALCRIM 3470) contains the following regarding instructions which should be given to juries whenever a claim of self defense has been made by a defendant:

"He or she is entitled to stand his or her ground and defend himself or herself, and if reasonably necessary, to pursue an assailant until the danger of death or great bodily injury has passed. This is so even if safety could have been achieved by retreating."

This has been a part of the California Criminal Code for over a century.

In 2005 Lenard Rhodes, a convicted felon who had no legal right to possess a firearm, was convicted of attempted manslaughter and had his conviction overturned under this provision of the law. Rhodes was sitting in a car when an armed man approached him and Rhodes shot the man in self defense. The judge in his first trial had failed to give the jury the proper instruction as per the above. The court in Santa Ana, Ca. ruled that Rhodes..."had the right to defend himself, stand his ground and use the amount of force reasonable under the circumstances". Even though Rhodes could possibly driven away, he may also have been shot while doing so. Safe retreat was not a reasonable option.

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Old April 24, 2012, 05:16 AM   #59
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The original poster seems to have confused "stand your ground" with "castle doctrine".

Although there should be a fundamental right to self defense, as Harold Fish notes, in the real world you would sometimes be better off running like hell.
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Old April 24, 2012, 08:08 AM   #60
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An issue that will always be with us concerning stand your ground or duty to retreat will be that situations involving these laws will always be second-guessed by opponents to each law.

No set of laws, no system is going to be perfect. We know our justice system is not perfect, however, we've generally agreed as a society that it is a greater evil to wrongly punish an innocent man than to allow a guilty one to remain free. Our justice system is skewed to minimize the number of false positives (finding an innocent person guilty), and the cost of that is a higher number of false negatives (finding the guilty innocent).

Stand your ground versus duty to retreat sits at the heart of an ideological debate. People who oppose stand your ground laws are perfectly capable of living with a high number of people who will lose their lives at the hands of criminals and they are comfortable with incarcerating people who use firearms to defend themselves. When people are robed, killed or raped, they express sadness at the tragic and senseless violence - but they don't feel outrage and anger. They're willing to live with crime as a fact of life. What sparks outrage in them is when a person uses a gun against an assailant severely wounding or killing the assailant. Then they are outraged. That to them is something intolerable that they cannot live with.
On the other side of the debate, people who oppose “duty to retreat” laws feel that it is intolerable that even one person should lose their life at the hands of an attacker because they opted not to defend themselves for fear of legal repercussions, or they attempted to retreat when they had the opportunity to win the conflict and died in the process of retreating. Two groups in society that look at this same event very differently – one group is able to tolerate it and the other group is not.
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Old April 24, 2012, 09:35 AM   #61
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Big issue here in NJ. As most of you know we have NO right to defend our property and will face prosecution in the event we defend ourselves.
Its my understanding as explained to me by a NJSP officer friend;
If you have no way to retreat (IE: cornered) and you feel your life or the life of your family member is in immanent danger you have the right to use deadly force. His words of wisdom to me are very clear. If I ever have to fire on someone remember to tell all the investigators the same thing. I felt my life was in danger and I had no choice. I can remember several cases where people have woke up and shot an intruder at the end of there bed only to be prosecuted. I had an employee who was attacked with a knife, turns out he was a blackbelt and after being stabbed kicked the guy. He ended up doing 90 days for assault. Lets face it, even if you rightfully use deadly force the aggressor (criminal) still wins because you are going to spend your life savings on defense attorneys in order to preserve your freedom. I envy anyone in a CD state. I wouldn't shoot someone for steeling my blender but I would like it more clear that if I had to defend myself I wouldn't go to jail for doing so. My only comfort is thinking that its better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.

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Old April 24, 2012, 09:58 AM   #62
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There’s also the perception vs. reality and "group think" aspects ... that I believe are more important. Many people are against the law while for it’s underlying principles.
Had a fun conversation the other day with three females vehemently opposed to "stand your ground". After establishing that they believed they had the right to defend themselves, roughly 30 minutes of Socratic questioning changed their minds on "stand your ground".
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Old April 24, 2012, 11:06 AM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by animal
There’s also the perception vs. reality and "group think" aspects ... that I believe are more important. Many people are against the law while for it’s underlying principles....
I think that's correct. But there's another dynamic we should be aware of. There are people, including many influential people, who specifically oppose, on principle, the right of self defense.

See, for example, Armed by Gary Kleck and Don Kates (Prometheus Books, 2001). On pages 116 - 121, they discuss various liberal, moral objections to the notion that one may be justified in defending himself.

Feminist Betty Frienden is cited as denouncing the trend of women to arm themselves for self defense as, "...a horrifying, obscene perversion of feminism...." Her ridiculous notion that , "...lethal violence even in self defense only engenders more violence and that gun control should override any personal need for safety...." is probably widely held in liberal circles. Indeed, according to Kleck and Kates, Mario Cuomo avowed that Bernie Goetz was morally wrong in shooting even if it was clearly necessary to resist felonious attack.

Kleck and Kates also report that an article was published by the Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church condemning defensive gun ownership. In the article, Rev. Allen Brockway, editor of the board's magazine, advised women that it was their Christian duty to submit to rape rather than do anything that might imperil the attacker's life.

Kleck and Kates also note that the Presbyterian Church (U. S. A.) has taken a strict anti-self defense view. Rev. Kathy Young testified as a representative of that group before a Congressional Panel in 1972 in support of handgun control that the Presbyterian Church (U. S. A.) opposes the killing of anyone, anywhere for any reason (including, in the context of the testimony, self defense)

While these positions appear to us to be nonsense, they have some following. Note, for example that self defense is not considered in many countries to be a good reason to own a gun. Indeed in Great Britain, the natural right of self defense has been significantly curtailed by law. For an excellent study of the erosion of gun and self defense rights in Great Britain see Guns and Violence, the English Experience by Joyce Lee Malcolm (Harvard University Press, 2002).

The point of the foregoing is that the universal acceptance of the ethics of self defense can not be taken for granted.

On the other hand, it's interesting to note that Roman Catholic doctrine supports self defense. From the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church (footnotes omitted):
Quote:
Legitimate defense

2263 The legitimate defense of persons and societies is not an exception to the prohibition against the murder of the innocent that constitutes intentional killing. "The act of self-defense can have a double effect: the preservation of one's own life; and the killing of the aggressor. . . . The one is intended, the other is not."...

2264 Love toward oneself remains a fundamental principle of morality. Therefore it is legitimate to insist on respect for one's own right to life. Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow:
If a man in self-defense uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful: whereas if he repels force with moderation, his defense will be lawful. . . . Nor is it necessary for salvation that a man omit the act of moderate self-defense to avoid killing the other man, since one is bound to take more care of one's own life than of another's....
2265 Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others. The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm. For this reason, those who legitimately hold authority also have the right to use arms to repel aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their responsibility....
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Old April 24, 2012, 12:45 PM   #64
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SYG laws protect homeowner/ legal shooters from costly prosecution and jail time. In Most of the time the shooter will plea to a lesser charge to avoid the time and money to fight. What I didn't know is the stats of plea bargains are the court system.

I was told it is 90-95% of all cases never make it court. So the chances of a homeowner getting burned for a legal shooting is very good without the SYG laws
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Old April 24, 2012, 02:11 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barstoolguru
SYG laws protect homeowner/ legal shooters from costly prosecution and jail time. In Most of the time the shooter will plea to a lesser charge to avoid the time and money to fight. What I didn't know is the stats of plea bargains are the court system.

I was told it is 90-95% of all cases never make it court. So the chances of a homeowner getting burned for a legal shooting is very good without the SYG laws
Like other posts in this thread, you are confusing "stand your ground" with "castle doctrine." There are currently (IIRC) 20 states that have "stand your ground" (or "no duty to retreat") laws. But these laws address whether or not a person must attempt to retreat from a threat outside the home before he/she is allowed to use deadly force in self defense.

Castle doctrine applies IN your home, and I believe only one or two states require someone who is within his or her home to attempt to retreat before being allowed to use deadly force in self defense.
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Old April 24, 2012, 04:45 PM   #66
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Like other posts in this thread, you are confusing "stand your ground" with "castle doctrine." There are currently (IIRC) 20 states that have "stand your ground" (or "no duty to retreat") laws. But these laws address whether or not a person must attempt to retreat from a threat outside the home before he/she is allowed to use deadly force in self defense.

Castle doctrine applies IN your home, and I believe only one or two states require someone who is within his or her home to attempt to retreat before being allowed to use deadly force in self defense.
from what I read in an NRA and what I understand under other treads the SYG law is an extension of the castle doctrine (the castle doctrine extending back as far a 1000 ad a law that was brought from England)
Gives someone the right and protection of the law to defend themselves against a threat

SYG laws were just enabled in the last 7-8 years because people were being charged for murder BECAUSE they didn't try to run first just to be assault/gunned down /beaten.

the problem here is we have become a system of "live on another back" and the DA can't get re elected unless they prosecutor someone and keep up the numbers
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Old April 25, 2012, 12:26 AM   #67
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I think it's more than just procecutors trying to get re-elected.

I think it is conflicting value systems, much of it highlighted in Frank Ettin's post but also I believe that the division on SYG law and laws like it, is an ideological one.

There are people who believe that individuals cannot be trusted, that they run amok. But the actions of groups - mitigated by a group decision making process, can be trusted and yield a better result.

It's about power being aggragated at the individual level or power being aggragated at the societal level.

Some SYG laws limits what a society can do to an individual by requiring probable cause before an arrest.

The people who don't like the idea of empowered individuals really hate that provision because it makes it very difficult for society embodied by government to enforce society's will upon the individual whom they disagree with. It makes it difficult for them to punish a shooter they don't like.
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Old April 25, 2012, 02:40 AM   #68
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There are people who believe that individuals cannot be trusted, that they run amok. But the actions of groups - mitigated by a group decision making process, can be trusted and yield a better result.

It's about power being aggragated at the individual level or power being aggragated at the societal level.

The people who don't like the idea of empowered individuals really hate that provision because it makes it very difficult for society embodied by government to enforce society's will upon the individual whom they disagree with. It makes it difficult for them to punish a shooter they don't like.
Interesting points, Count. Some would say that there is no rule of law where power resides with the individual. What you have is anarchy as opposed to a civilized society organized under the rule of law.

As for people not liking CD/SYG laws because it makes it difficult to use the law against persons they don't like, some would say that such laws make it easier for government to decline to punish individuals they like.

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Old April 25, 2012, 03:29 AM   #69
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Anarchy, if it exists, is contained in the individual and is the only true freedom you have, freedom of mind.
It is the combination of an individual’s inalienable rights, and a duty to respect the rights of others; that prevents anarchy in society.

Government, when correctly constructed, is a contract between the people to create a government; which acts as a servant to the people as a whole.
Part of the individual’s duty to respect the rights of others is ceded to the government, and becomes the powers of government.
Additional rights stem from the creation of the government and are the privileges.
Inalienable rights are fully retained by the individual, and are the immunities from government regulation.
Government has no rights, only powers.
The purpose of that government is to form a system to enforce the "borders" of each individual(their rights) ; and regulate the interactions between them, according to the principle of willful equitable exchange.

The rule of law should be a construct to allow each to act according to his rights, but without infringing upon the rights of others
A necessary component is that the instant a person attempts to infringe upon a right of another person, he forfeits that right for himself. So, for example, killing a man in self defense is permissible since the attacker forfeited his right to life, the moment he initiated the attack.

Well, that's how it's supposed to work. I'd never accuse the govt. of actually operating that way.
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Old April 25, 2012, 03:51 AM   #70
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Frank Ettin, Spot on! However, I wouldn’t call it nonsense per se. I would call it irresponsibility at its most basic level... Unless they also do not believe in life as an individual right.
Those that don’t believe self defense is a right are extremely hard to deal with, and bringing up "stand your ground" is pretty much pointless ... since there is no "common ground" on which both can stand.

Normally I don’t even try to "turn" those people. Well, unless it’s someone I care about. It can be done, but can take years to accomplish since you have to go all the way back to considering a single life as innately valuable; before you can find common ground with them. With the true collectivists, there isn’t even common ground there.

As COuntZero said, principled views on "stand your ground" is a classic example of individualism vs. collectivism.

However, emotionalism connected to "stand your ground" is a different matter. It involves logical inconsistencies and paradox in the minds of people on both sides. imo
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Old April 25, 2012, 08:02 AM   #71
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I don't think there is ever any principle operating whereby government has a contract with the people. That just makes no sense. There may be obligations, often unwritten, but there is no contract. Likewise, government may not necessarily exist for the benefit of the people, although things work better that way. Personally, I think that the weaker the government is, the weaker the country is. Many current policies happen to weaken the country as a while even while they may be benefiting certain groups of people. Many contentious issues have no bearing at all on most people's lives.

While I can understand people's feelings about firearms, I have trouble believing that people deny that people, including themselves, have a right to self defense, or to put it another way, that people will not defend themselves. I also have trouble believing that you will be prosecuted for defending yourself, although the devil is in the details.

In many current cases, I am reminded again that things would be better if we could keep good people from shooting other good people. We assume that the bad (and the rich) we will always have.
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Old April 25, 2012, 08:09 AM   #72
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I have trouble believing that people deny that people, including themselves, have a right to self defense
I might be misunderstanding what you're saying but here is the case of Hale DeMar - his defense of his home and his children and what the city of Wilmette did to him afterwards is responsible for the Hale DeMar law in Illinois which precluded towns like Chicago, Wilmette and others from punishing a person with municipal ordinances:

http://reason.com/archives/2005/06/0...n-b/singlepage
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Old April 25, 2012, 08:55 AM   #73
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BT, I take it you are not a fan of Rousseau? The framers of our Constitution would seem to have been...
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Old April 25, 2012, 09:31 AM   #74
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No, I'm not. Should I be?
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Old April 25, 2012, 10:06 AM   #75
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A contract is nothing more than a binding agreement between 2 or more entities.

As such, the Constitution began as a contract between the States, and between the people as represented by the States ; to form a federal government. Originally, the States had rights as entities but now that’s debatable. Anyway, from their right to assemble, and by contract ; people can form entities and willfully cede portions of their rights to those entities. If the "contract" is not between the people and government, then no rights can be ceded to that government. This keeps government under the duty to respect the rights of entities(both individual and freely assembled) and leads to a government which operates under the rule of law.

Most other governments act as if a contract existed between a government and its people ... wherein its people can transfer their rights to the government... or, trading liberty for safety. These can operate by the rule of law, and appear to operate under that rule; but actually operate under the rule of decree. With increasing cession of rights to the government, the system degenerates to totalitarianism.

"Stand your ground" reasserts individual rights in the face of a government attempting to assert rights..., when the government should have no rights to assert.
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