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Letter: Dangerous for women

House Bill 135 would repeal “stand your ground,” forcing a woman’s option “to retreat” if facing an assailant in any public place she has the right to be.

In most cases the assailant would be faster and stronger than the victim, leaving her completely vulnerable to an attack. What if she has a child with her?

Responsible gun owners would prefer not to use a firearm in such a situation, would rather avoid or escape the scene and have the police deal with all criminals. But this bill is an invitation to criminals. It can be masked and propagandized, but it doesn’t change the fact that criminals don’t follow laws.

CATHERINE ROBBINS

Dunbarton

Legacy Comments10

Publiut, The weak point in this argument is the assumption the police can protect you. First - they have no obligation to do so. Further, almost by definition the police are not even notified until whatever has happened-has happened. They do their best to investigate but it is only an extremely rare situation where they can intervene before of a citizen is victimized. If you are comfortable with the belief that police and government can protect you and yours from harm-great. I sincerely hope this belief works the way you hope. Experience tells us that personal assault almost always a surprise attack. That is, the criminal is prepared and chooses a time place where they believe their victims will be unprepared. Predators rarely attack something that looks prepared and capable of defending itself. In the same vein is the magical thinking that if I just give them my wallet or my car that they will go away and leave me and my family unharmed. Truly, an example of irrational assumption and magical thinking. There is nothing in my observation or experience that indicates the police can get between me and an assailant in time to do any good.

TCB - thank you for the thoughtful response. I understand the idea that "when seconds count, the police are mere minutes away." As a society, we've always supported the right of personal self-defense, but that has always been in the context of the government's right to maintain order and duty to dispense justice. What worries me is that "guns for all" and "stand your ground" gives the individual the role of both self-defender and judge/jury. That road leads to anarchy, which is the textbook case of might-makes-right.

Who commits acts of violence? Where does the worry that a law-abiding citizen forced to defend themselves or family will result in widespread chaos?

Spoke with a legislator yesterday who states, "Repealing stand your ground will cause more deaths". Paraphrased for brevity his point was if he has to ward off an assailant w/o shooting - the bad guy will allege criminal threatening and the intended victim will wind up with a class B felony - while the criminal is free to victimize others. According to him, his only rational choice is to shoot-to-kill so that only one story - his- is given to the police. Not pretty but with our current criminal justice/legal systems - his point makes sense. Any legislator who votes to for this, in essence giving more rights to criminals than citizens, should be held fully accountable for making our citizens LESS safe. .

So I am a woman in a parking lot and someone comes at me. Maybe I am 60 years old. I am suppose to retreat? Lets see I could end up raped, or possibly shot in the back? Chances are if someone wants to harm you they probably do not want you to be alive to identify them. So my guess would be that I would be at a disadvantage. And there would be no heroes around to save me either, because they would think twice about saving me because they would be sued or arrested for using their weapon in public. I do not need a Politician or a Lawyer to tell me when I have the right to defend myself when I am outside my home.

great comment...as usual

The sex of the potential victim is irrelevant. This bill was introduced by request of law enforcement. I support the repeal of so-called "stand your ground".

If citizens, forced to defend themselves, are made criminals; we revert to the medieval system of, "Might makes right". The biggest, strongest or those with a gang would have more rights than anyone weaker, slower, older, disabled or many women. That is what results from measures like HB 135. Is this what our legislators would do to us?

I have to disagree. The antidote to "might makes right" is the rule of law. This is exactly what I find so troubling with the way the "guns for all" argument goes. It starts with the premise that the government is totally incompetent. Since the police and justice system are part of the government, they are also deemed incompetent. Since the police and courts are unable to ensure order and distribute justice, everyone needs a gun to protect him/herself. That "everyone for himself" attitude is exactly what leads to "might makes right." And the person with the most guns is therefore the most right. Let's not go down that road.

Publius, Thanks for being a voice of sanity on this issue. Eloquent posts on this thread.

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