For some reason, Oklahoma’s “Stand Your Ground” law didn’t actually apply to church property. If you needed to act in self-defense against someone like the Sutherland Springs killer, the rules were different than if you were just a few yards away off of church property. It was weird.
Now, however, that oversight has been remedied.
Governor Mary Fallin signed a bill into law that adds churches to the list of places where the “Stand Your Ground” law applies in the state of Oklahoma.
The law now says can used deadly force in a place of worship against someone who enters “unlawfully or forcefully.”
Supporters said they believe Oklahoma citizens have a “right to expect absolute safety” in their churches.
Well, I’m going to disagree with the supporters. No one has a right to expect “absolute safety.” That’s why we carry guns, because the world won’t provide us with absolute safety. For something to be a right, the only obligation placed on another should be that of noninterference. A “right” to absolute safety requires other people to not be violent, and we all know that’s too much to ask for.
So, we carry guns.
What Stand Your Ground laws do is make it so you’re not required to try and get away from an attacker. After all, trying to get away may expose you to even more danger. Further, there are others who may be injured or killed because someone was required to try and escape before engaging a hostile target.
Why this didn’t already apply to places of worship is beyond me. I mean, I get the rationale behind telling people they can’t carry in church. I don’t agree with it, but I get it. However, what we’re seeing here is something different.
The idea before was that the rules for self-defense should be different based on who owns what property. I can’t help but imagine that this creates a rather convoluted labyrinth of regulations that can cause delays in an armed citizen’s mind when faced with an attacker.
That’s not good.
Luckily, this problem appears to be addressed, at least in part. The rules for churches are now the same as most of the rest of the state, thus freeing up the armed citizen to act in an appropriate manner rather than trying to discern if firing is legal here, or five feet away.
Frankly, every state with this kind of screwed up system needs to reform it. There’s no reason for different rules for different places. Remember that Stand Your Ground laws detail self-defense, but they don’t deal exclusively with firearms. Even places that are off-limits for firearm carry like courthouses or schools should still afford people the right to defend themselves without any obligation of having to try and retreat from an attacker.
Self-defense is a human right. Plain and simple. Why not have laws that protect people exercising that right regardless of where they are? Property lines shouldn’t get in the way. Nothing should.