We tend to think of Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground laws as “gun” laws. However, that’s not entirely fair. The laws themselves make no mention of firearms and for good reason. They apply to any kind of lethal force.
Because of that, they apply in a number of situations that have nothing to do with firearms. In fact, they have plenty to do with situations even the most vehement anti-gunner might find themselves in.
First, let’s talk about the Castle Doctrine. To put this rather short, it’s based on the idea of someone’s home being their castle and that they have a right to protect that castle.
Some will argue that this is wrong, that there’s nothing in your house worth killing for. Well, since my wife and children are also in my house, I beg to differ. They would probably call me a gun nut who is just looking for an excuse to be violent.
Yet how many of them grab a baseball bat to investigate that strange noise in the night?
Hollywood, long holding anti-gun views even while making millions with them, has shown the scene time and again. A strange noise sounds through the house and a guy grabs a baseball bat, a tennis racket, or a golf club, and investigates.
What’s that for?
Self-defense, right? Of course it is, as it should be. Anyone entering your home represents a threat and using any of these tools to defend yourself is self-defense.
How is that any different than using a gun?
“Oh, but that’s not to kill people,” someone might say. They’d be wrong, though.
All of those examples I mentioned are blunt objects. They’re fully capable of killing someone, thus making the use of one lethal force. In the eyes of the law, that’s no different than using a gun or a knife.
In fact, blunt objects are used to kill more people every year than the AR-15.
That’s right. So many of those who act like they’re morally superior to gun people because they use a bat don’t realize that legally speaking, there is no difference.
What the law actually does, though, is protect you for investigating the noise rather than running away at the prospect of your home being invaded.
Yet those same people are protected by the Castle Doctrine law.
Meanwhile, Stand Your Ground laws are described by opponents as legalized murder, yet they’re really no different than Castle Doctrine laws that cover you outside your home in many ways.
Again, these aren’t exclusively about having a gun. Instead, it’s about protecting yourself and others, regardless of what tool you use. In theory, using a taser–a less-lethal option–against an attacker who dies from it could land someone in hot water for not retreating…unless they’re in a Stand Your Ground state, anyway.
See, while opponents of these laws like to reframe them in ways that make non-gun people think these laws don’t apply to them, the truth is that they cover any weapon, even an improvised one. They apply in any manner of circumstance, too.
Those who oppose these laws would do well to first understand them to at least some degree first. I suspect most of them would change their opinions.