Friday, March 23, 2012

Stand Your Ground Self Defense Laws Under Ferocious Attack

The Liberty Bell's old home, before 1976.
The latest shooting "crisis"  has put Stand Your Ground Laws under attack after the Sanford, Florida incident. Anti gun groups claim that the law needs to be eliminated or changed. Nothing could be further from the truth. Whether Mr. Zimmerman acted correctly is a matter of speculation, and it will be until it is resolved by the County’s Grand Jury.

Stand Your Ground laws have saved more lives than have been taken by its misuse. Vocal opponents of the law are not aware that Florida’s Stand Your Ground “Castle” Law only creates a rebuttable legal presumption in the law that the person who acted in “self defense” had a right to do so.  Al Sharpton doesn’t know what that means, or even care. The law gives no absolute right to use deadly force. Generally, when a person uses deadly force to defend himself or another, there has to be an honest and reasonable belief that the person using that force has a fear of immediate death or serious bodily injury from the person he has used that force against.

Here’s where the rebuttable presumption in Florida comes into play. If the Prosecutor believes and has evidence that the killing or injury inflicted was done with malice, or that immediate fear of injury or death was not present, then the Prosecutor is free to charge the person with any applicable crime up to murder. The Prosecutor must also prove that the person charged is guilty of violating that law beyond a reasonable doubt.

However, in some states there is also the same type of rebuttable presumption that when a stranger is in your home and has no right to be there, that he is there to do you bodily harm. That is also rebuttable by the Prosecutor.

In both instances, it is the Prosecutor’s burden of proof to rebut the presumption that the person defending himself acted illegally. The defendant does not have to prove anything. If Stand Your Ground Castle laws are repealed we will be like England, where the joke is that homeowners’ televisions are actually stolen while they are being watched.

Here are actual examples of self defense that won’t be allowed if anti gun rights organizations are successful in repealing Castle Laws, and what has already actually happened on New Hampshire when there’s no Castle Law.

Mobile Alabama’s Mayor, Sam Jones is a member of Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns group. But that didn’t stop him from pulling his own gun on a man who was inside his garage and said he was sent from God. Hizzoner held the man at gunpoint until police arrived.

In New Hampshire, where there is no Castle Law, Dennis Fleming found that his home had been burglarized when he entered his home. He went outside with a handgun and saw a man walking down the road with a back pack. Fleming did nothing then. Shortly after that he saw the same man walking from a neighbor’s home after a loud crash was heard. He was allegedly on a burglary spree.
Fleming fired his gun into the ground to get the man’s attention and stop him. When the man stopped, it was apparent that the man broke a bone when he allegedly jumped from a window at Fleming’s home. Fleming found his personal property in the man’s backpack.
Fleming was subject to up to three years in prison for his actions. A local attorney volunteered to defend him for free. The intense public outcry against prosecuting Fleming caused the Prosecutor to dismiss charges.

Also in Mobile, Eddie Richardson was met by two armed men last month when he arrived home in his car. They told him to give it up. What he gave up was a bullet to the trigger finger hand of the man who pointed a gun at him. They ran off during a running gunfight. The wounded man was arrested after surgery.

Fort Lauderdale gold buyer, Oleg Flyaster and his partner were confronted by two men who demanded cash and gold from them in the alley behind their shop after closing. One of the criminal duo was shot. They were both captured shortly after running off.

A Milwaukee Aldi store concealed hand gun permit holding employee stopped two men who were in the process of a robbery by shooting one of them late last year. It was the first instance of defense of self and others under Wisconsin’s new concealed permit law.

An elderly Cleveland, Ohio man shot and killed a teenager as the young thug broke into his home in February.

Last month in Lakeland, Colorado, a check cashing store owner fired on two robbers after he was pepper sprayed. He wounded one. The other one who wore “Air Jordans” and a black and grey “hoodie” ran off.

A shopper at an Orlando Walmart was attacked by two men this last week as he reached for shaving razors there. He was pushed to the store’s floor as he shopped. He was being punched by the pair as he pulled his handgun from concealment. The duo was fortunate that their “victim” didn’t shoot. He began to pistol whip them instead. That put a stop to the attack.
Instead of cash, one of the thugs ran away sporting a large bleeding gash on his head that he received from a hit by the firearm. The store was temporarily evacuated.

A Temple, Texas Homeowner shot at two men who were inside his home during an alleged home invasion attempt in early February. One of the alleged burglars showed up at a local hospital after the shots were fired.

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