May 10, 2023
We told you last month about how the Washington Post was trying to resurrect the debate over “Stand Your Ground” (SYG) laws even when the example the newspaper focused on wasn’t even a case involving SYG. What those anti-gun “journalists” at the Post didn’t realize was that their resurrection of the “debate” topic has fueled a fire on the other side of the gun-control movement, with two strongly pro-freedom federal lawmakers now planning to introduce a national Stand Your Ground measure in Congress.
Sen. Markwayne Mullin, R-Oklahoma, and Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida, plan to introduce the measure soon. If passed, it would allow the use of deadly force to prevent “death or great bodily harm” without the duty to retreat that is still on the books in some states.
“States like Oklahoma and Florida recognize that in some cases, the use of lethal force is justified to prevent imminent death or serious bodily harm,” Sen. Mullin said in a news release announcing the measure. “Every American should have the right to defend himself or herself against imminent threats to personal safety without the duty to retreat.
“I’m proud to introduce the Stand Your Ground Act in the Senate to codify these common-sense self-defense protections for all law-abiding Americans.”
The legislation specifically states: “A person is justified in using, threatening, or attempting to use deadly force if he or she reasonably believes that using, threatening, or attempting to use such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony. A person who uses, threatens, or attempts to use deadly force in accordance with this paragraph does not have a duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground if the person using, threatening, or attempting to use the deadly force is not engaged in a criminal activity and is in a place where he or she has a right to be.”
The topic of Stand Your Ground came to the forefront recently when an elderly Missouri homeowner shot a young black man who allegedly came to the homeowner’s door mistakenly because of going to the wrong address. The incident had little to do with SYG and more to do with Castle Doctrine laws, yet many in the media used it as an excuse to trash SYG laws in the 30 states that have them on the books. Two other incidents—one in New York, the other in Texas—shortly after the Missouri shooting caused further media consternation about SYG, even though such laws also weren’t applicable in either of those cases. Rep. Gaetz apparently took the sudden assault on SYG laws as an indicator that something needed to be done nationally, spawning his decision to author such a measure in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he serves on the Judiciary Committee.
“Every American has the right to defend themselves and their loved ones from an attacker,” Gaetz said. “If someone tries to kill you, you should have the right to return fire and preserve your life."
It’s time to reaffirm in law what exists in our Constitution and in the hearts of our fellow Americans. We must abolish the legal duty of retreat everywhere.”
About the Author
Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for nearly 25 years.
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