While they’re controversial, Stand Your Ground laws really shouldn’t be. Contrary to the criticism leveled by some, such laws aren’t legalized murder. Instead, they simply remove something from the decisionmaking process should you be faced with an attack. They simply say you don’t have to try and escape in the first place, something that may not seem possible at the time but could open you up to criminal charges because some prosecutor thinks you could totally have shimmied up a drainpipe with your broken foot and evaded the attacker.
What Stand Your Ground laws do is make it so that stupidity never happens. They should be on the books in all 50 states as well as all the American territories.
Unfortunately, they’re not.
In Ohio, though, lawmakers are taking the next step in addressing that oversight.
Tomorrow, the House Civil Justice Committee will likely vote on House Bill 796, a companion bill to Senate Bill 383. Once it has passed out of committee, the measure can be voted on the House floor at any time. It is very important that you please contact your State Senator and Representative and ask that they SUPPORT Senate Bill 383 /House Bill 796.
Of course, this was published on Tuesday, so it may be over by the time you read this. Sorry, I can only write about what I know about and all that.
Still, though, this is an important step. Hopefully, the committee will vote the right way and the bill will move on to the next step in the process. The people of Ohio deserve not to have to worry about being prosecuted for defending themselves.
Unfortunately, some disagree.
As the Ohio Senate is expected to vote on Ohio Senate Bill 383 this week, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley hosted a press conference urging lawmakers to vote against it.
Whaley believes the “stand your ground” laws are too broad and that lawmakers are missing the mandate they should be focused on when it comes to gun debates.
“We need the Ohio legislature to pay attention to what the vast majority of Ohioans say, that we want common sense gun legislation,” said Whaley. “Not extreme laws, not stand your ground.”
However, Whaley fails to consider how the current law might have come into play during the mass shooting in her city not all that long ago.
In that instance, a maniac with a gun decided to shoot up an outdoor bar. While he was slaughtering innocent people, anyone with a gun would have been forced to run away rather than engaging the very clear threat before them. I’d like to think that if they ignored the law and had put the gunman down like a rabid dog, no prosecutor would have taken up the case, but reality suggests otherwise.
So, the single greatest mass murder in Dayton history might have been avoided had been able to meet the threat.
Now, we don’t know that if the law were different that the outcome would have been as well. We don’t know that there were any concealed carriers in the area at the time of the shooting, after all. What we do know, though, is that with the law as it is, anyone who had been would have been facing prosecution for saving lives.
Stand Your Ground doesn’t justify murder just because you’re afraid. It simply makes it so you’re not required to run away when people’s lives are on the line.
Why is that so controversial?