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Old April 13, 2012, 06:31 AM   #15
Senior Member
Join Date: July 31, 2009
Posts: 642
So if I initiate a conflict and then decide I made a mistake, I can then shoot the person I attacked if they don't back off as well?
Only if their actions are putting your life in danger.
Stand your ground doesn't let you shoot anyone who attacks you, it just says you don't have to retreat before fighting back.

If I were to walk up to you and punch you in the nose, but then find out you're a much better fighter than me, and clearly try to stop the fight.

Your right to self defense has ended. I am no longer a threat to you.

If you continue to attack me, you have become the aggressor, and after retreating as far as I can, I now have the right to use force to defend myself.

Even then I can't just shoot you. Your actions have to make me feel I'm about to be killed before I can use deadly force.
In VA based on common law this would also be the case if you initiate the dispute or jointly escalate an argument. You will have to stop fighting, retreat if possible, make it clear to the the other party that you do not wish to continue the fight. If they then escalate to the use of deadly force you can respond with deadly force.

If this happens you better really hope there are plenty of friendly witnesses to the fact you sued for peace prior to using deadly force. The standard was adopted as a response to the action of persons starting fights they knew they could win, escalating things to deadly force, then killing their opponent, then claiming self defense.
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