Tag Archives: castle doctrine

Who’s the criminal in a home invasion?

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Anti-gun liberals have had a field day in the U.K. and the result is increasing crime rates and incidents where the homeowners becomes the accused.

Criminals are going to burgle, assault, rape and murder. Whether they have a gun or not matters not. On the contrary, both the U.K. and Australia have seen an increase in crime as evil-doers seem to prefer an unarmed populace and the law seems to favor the criminal in some cases.

According to a Guardian.co.uk article, home owners who attempt to defend their families and homes have more to worry about from the law than the criminals do.

And although many people tell me they sleep with a baseball bat beside their bed for just such an occasion, a court can view that as an element of premeditation. If the burglar is hurt, it could be you who ends up in the dock.

Even when a U.K. homeowner challenged two burglars inside his home with a legal shotgun, he and his wife spent 3 days in jail and ultimately had to leave their country out of fear.

Many U.S. states have the so-called “Castle-Doctrine” which allows someone to defend their families and property with asymmetric force. That means that if someone breaks into a home, the homeowner can use any and all means to back them out or dispatch them without fear of reprisal from law or civil action – something home invaders in those states are very aware of.

Clearly the U.K. sense of freedom is different than that in America. In the U.S., every infringement upon any right is a slippery slope towards something resembling the U.K. version. In America, the individual holds the power, unless ceded.

Once liberty is ceded to the government, no matter how small, it is nearly impossible to get back. The battle over the proposed gun ban isn’t about a certain gun, bullet or magazine – it’s about avoiding the slippery slope to seeing them all banned or regulated into uselessness. It’s about preventing many of our liberties from facing a similar fate.

The government cannot protect us from criminals and psychos. Giving up some liberty to seek a false security will continue the pattern of an over-reaching government taking more liberties after ever tragedy. At some point, Americans will have to say that here is too far, we go no farther.

If someone busts into your home in the middle of the night armed with clubs and knives, is 911 the only tool you think you need? The police won’t make it in time if all you have to defend yourself, your children and your property is a golf club.

Minnesota Governor Vetoes Castle Law Reform Bill

Most states in the Union have a “Castle Law” which grants citizens the right to defend themselves with firearms in the case that an unlawful intruder enters their home. Minnesota is no different. But when the state legislature voted to for a bill to strengthen those rights in favor of the homeowner, Governor Mark Dayton thought it was a bad idea and vetoed it.

The bill in question, HF 1467, would have given a resident significantly more latitude in the authorization of deadly force in the home as well as protection from unreasonable prosecution. The bill passed both houses, which is currently controlled by the GOP majority, but the vote count was insufficient to over-ride the Governor’s veto.

Governor Dayton explained his reasoning for the veto in a public letter issued to the Speaker of the House and published today. He said he was influenced by the majority of local law enforcement officials who expressed misgivings about the potential consequences should the bill have passed into law.

“The MN Police and Peace Officers Association, the MN Chiefs of Police, and the MN Sheriff’s Association represent the men and women who risk their lives every day and night to protect the rest of us,” the Governor’s letter said. “When  they strongly oppose a measure, because they believe it will increase the dangers to them in the performance of their duties, I cannot support it.”

In addition to strengthening the homeowners rights, the bill would have recognized the carry and conceal permits from other states that issue them. Currently Minnesota accepts only a select number of permit types from states with similar permitting requirements.

Dayton’s letter acknowledged that he believed in the current state Supreme Court rulings that a homeowner in Minnesota is not required to retreat when faced with a threat in the home, but said that the bill presented went too far in giving the homeowner the benefit of doubt when faced with such a situation.

“Thus it appears clear to me that the existing Minnesota Statutes and law already provide the authorizations for law-abiding citizens to use deadly force to defend themselves or others either inside or outside of their homes, so long as that deadly force constitutes ‘reasonable force’.” The letter states.

“HF 1467,” the letter reads, “does go beyond current law by stating that an individual using deadly force would be presumed to possess a reasonable belief that there exists an imminent threat of substantial bodily harm, great bodily harm, or death to the individual or person. . .”

“That change from the current standard seems, to me, ill-advised.”

A story published today by MPRNews quotes State Senator Gretchen Hoffman, R-Vergus, who was the author of the bill.

Says Hoffman, “I am very disappointed with Governor Dayton’s decision today to deny law-abiding citizens their right to defend themselves and their families. While current law enables the aggressor, my bill focused on protecting the victim.

“Unfortunately, with the Governor’s veto, violent criminals will continue to have the advantage over law-abiding citizens,” said Senator Hoffman. “I was hopeful, because Governor Dayton made such a strong statement on the campaign trail about Minnesotan’s right to bear arms and use them for lawful purposes such as self-defense, that he would follow through with his actions and sign this bill to enhance public safety.”

See the full article from MPRNews here: http://minnesota.publicradio.org/collections/special/columns/polinaut/archive/2012/03/dayton_vetoes_g_1.shtml.

Executive Director of the NRA, Chris Cox, expressed disappointment in the Governor’s veto. In a public statement he expressed his concern that under current law, lawfully owned guns could be confiscated in the event of a state-wide emergency. An article in the bill would have prevented that from happening, Cox said.

An opponent of the bill expressed her relief in the Governor’s decision to veto.

Joan Peterson, Protect Minnesota board member and member of the Brady Campaign Board made the following statement.

“This bill could give the claim of self-defense to any domestic abuser engaged in a dispute with a partner or spouse. When only two people are involved in a dispute and one of them winds up dead, who is left to disprove the claim of the shooter that s/he was the one threatened? As someone whose sister was shot to death in a domestic case in Minneapolis, I am grateful that Governor Dayton vetoed this bill that could have allowed domestic abusers to get away with murder.”

Here is the Governor’s letter to the Speaker of the House. http://www.scribd.com/doc/84021149/3-5-12-HF-1467

North Carolina Bill Finally Allows Citizens to Defend Themselves

North Carolina has unreasonable restrictions on self-defense, but that seems ready to change with the passage of Senate Bill 34.

AN ACT TO PROVIDE WHEN A PERSON MAY USE DEFENSIVE FORCE, INCLUDING 3 FORCE THAT IS INTENDED OR LIKELY TO CAUSE DEATH OR SERIOUS 4 BODILY HARM, AND TO  CREATE A PRESUMPTION THAT A PERSON IS 5 PRESUMED TO HAVE HELD A REASONABLE FEAR  OF IMMINENT PERIL OF 6 DEATH OR SERIOUS BODILY HARM IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES.

The Castle Doctrine, SB34, passed the North Carolina Senate this past Monday.  Now the House takes up the measure as House Bill 52. The bill will expand the situations in which a victim is allowed to defend themselves with deadly force. Currently, only attacks that occur in the victim’s home can be met with a deadly weapon.  All other situation require the victim to honor their  “duty to retreat”. Basically, if you are in public and someone comes at your with a knife, baseball bat, gun, samurai sword or whatever .. you have no legal recourse but to run. What if they’re faster than you?

The retreat statute emboldens criminals as they know that any concealed gun owner has been made aware that he cannot use that weapon .. much of anywhere or in most situations. Clearly this favors those who who would do harm.

Progressives are up-in-arms (ok, uh, up-in-words since they hate guns) over the furtherance of this legislation. The main argument against seems to be that this somehow give gun owners the right to shoot just about anyone – the now famous “make my day” clause.

Lawful gun owners are not the issue. We aren’t going to run out and start shooting people because they look mean or are acting funny. Instead, it gives criminals something to think about before attacking someone or their property.

This bill also contains a provision that prevents criminals who get shot while committing a crime from suing the victim of the crime.

A person who uses force as permitted by this section is justified in using such force 50 and  is  immune from civil or criminal liability for the use of such force, unless the person 51 against whom force was used is a law enforcement officer..

Feel free to read the entire bill, it’s only 3 pages long!! This has been too long in-coming and I am thrilled that my votes for North Carolina legislators in 2010 is already paying off.