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Saturday, February 25, 2006

What's Your Ground?

Last year Florida enacted a self-defense law commonly called the Stand Your Ground Law. This bill permits citizens to use deadly force to protect themselves and others in cases of clear life-endangering threats. 21 more states are now considering such legislation.
These new measures would push the boundaries beyond the self-defense measures
already on the books. Twelve states already allow citizens to shoot intruders in their homes, and 38 states permit concealed weapons in public places. The "Stand Your Ground" laws would allow people to defend themselves with deadly force even in public places when they perceive a life-threatening situation for themselves or others, and they would not be held accountable in criminal or civil court even if bystanders are injured.

Proponents say this puts the rights in the hands of the endangered citizens, not the criminals. Critics say it will lead to shoot-outs.

Nostradamnthem says if you aren't prepared and willing to defend yourself, you've chosen by default to be a victim - law or no law. But that business about no accountability for injuring bystanders will have to be re-defined, as will the legal and public understandings of when you feel threatened enough to use force.

What do you say?

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