Stand Your Ground laws have become controversial, but mostly because so few people understand them. That’s not surprising. After all, anti-gunners spend a lot of time misrepresenting them to their allies in the media, so most people only have a distorted image of what the laws mean. Many seem to think such regulations amount to legalized murder, not understanding that they only apply to self-defense situations. Stand Your Ground laws say you don’t have to try and run away first.
In Arkansas, some aren’t buying the media scare stories about Stand Your Ground laws. Otherwise, why introduce a bill giving that protection to people in the state?
A bill set to make its way through the Arkansas legislature would alter the state’s self-defense laws and allow for people to use “stand your ground” provisions in deadly confrontations.
State representative Aaron Pilkington (R – Clarksville) says House Bill 1059 will clear up ambiguities and make Arkansas law line up with our neighboring states.
“I had a constituent reach out to me letting me know that we weren’t a stand your ground state and after kind of looking at the laws and how they were he was right,” Pilkington said. “We’re one of the few states that are duty to retreat.”
Pilkington would take the retreat requirement out of the law. After the [Trayvon] Martin shooting, critics predicted similar killings across the country.
“This basically gives someone the right to shoot and kill even if there is a safe way to get out of the situation,” said Eve Jorgensen, chapter leader of Moms Demand Action, a group that advocates for gun control. “Arkansas already has a strong self-defense law and there’s no evidence to show that it doesn’t work.”
But Pilkington said people in his rural district shouldn’t have to worry about these legal questions if they are in danger.
Look, if someone is trying to kill me, I shouldn’t have to look around for a way to escape. The problem with Duty to Retreat laws is that they’re later reviewed by people who have the benefit of a calm situation. It’s a lot easier to see that a door is unlocked or a gate unlatched when there’s not an armed assailant threatening your life.
Like a TV spaceship captain once said, “If someone tries to kill you, you kill ’em right back.”
It might be fiction, but it doesn’t make it wrong.
It’s easy for someone from Moms Demand Action to pretend that a Duty to Retreat law is just fine, but they’re also not likely to be the ones prosecuted by an overzealous district attorney. They’re not the ones who will find themselves seemingly cornered, use a weapon in self-defense, only to have a prosecutor argue that they should have tried harder to get away.
That’s the problem with Duty to Retreat laws. They turn a would-be victim into an actual victim. Instead of being terrorized by a thug, they’re terrorized by the D.A.
Further, I’m sorry, but I have no sympathy for criminals being killed when they try to hurt other people. This just isn’t a problem for me. I consider killing a dirtbag in self-defense a public service.