If there’s one thing no man or woman should ever have to worry about, it’s fear that the need to defend oneself will inhibit their actions at a critical moment. Stand Your Ground laws were written to help mitigate that concern. It’s a legal requirement that doesn’t give you permission to shoot first and ask questions later but instead removes any duty to try to get away from an attacker before acting in self-defense.
The laws have been somewhat controversial in some parts of the country, but they’re an essential piece of legislation in a world where some people view self-defense as some kind of moral wrong.
In the state of Oklahoma, they’ve taken this reality as well as the horrors of Sutherland Springs, and come to a conclusion.
Killing another person can have legal consequences even when the shooter says it was self-defense.
The state Legislature is moving to guard Oklahomans in places of worship from prosecution if they use deadly force to defend themselves during religious services.
The Senate on Thursday followed the House in passing House Bill 2632, which extends protections provided under the state’s Stand Your Ground law to places of worship.
The bill was inspired by recent shootings in U.S. churches.
Senators voted 42-1 to pass HB 2632. Randy Bass, D-Lawton, was the lone “no” vote in the Senate.
Individual religious organizations will be allowed to restrict guns on their premises, which is fine. The government really has no business telling churches what they have to allow on their own property.
I’m most alarmed that this bill was even needed. I can’t imagine how anyone could limit the right of self-defense to outside certain buildings. While I disagree with rules that keep weapons outside of those buildings, I at least understand them. However, Stand Your Ground laws aren’t just about guns. They’re about any kind of justifiable homicide, and the idea of that being limited at the doors of a building really concerns me.
Then again, I don’t see Oklahomans being dense enough to actually prosecute someone acting in self-defense simply because of what side of a door they’re on. Not as a general rule, anyway.
But as sure as I say that, some prosecutor is out there trying to figure out a way around it. Such is the natural order of things these days.
Luckily, extending this protection is a good thing as it allows decent, law-abiding citizens to have the law’s protection should someone come into the building to start shooting and trying to rack up a body count.
By officially removing a duty to retreat, it means those with the means and will to act can do so without fear of prosecution. They won’t be hampered by one more reason to not act in defense of their fellow man.
Laws like this, unfortunately, represent an understanding of the realities surrounding self-defense in this country, a sad reality that not waiting for the government is somehow the wrong approach to a maniac looking to slaughter dozens of people just for the hell of it.