Despite all expectations, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed the Stand Your Ground bill sent to him by the legislature. This despite his intimations that without his gun control package passing as well, he had no intention to sign it.
DeWine recognized that if he wants to claim to be pro-gun, he couldn’t stall legitimately needed reforms waiting for his bill to get enough support for passage.
However, now some activists are expressing their concern, and it’s not just the usual suspects, either.
The right to “Stand Your Ground” in the state of Ohio has been expanded with Gov. Mike DeWine’s signing of Senate Bill 175. The law eliminates the “duty to retreat” before firing in self defense.
“Duty to retreat teaches people and teaches gun owners to not only know how to safely handle and use your firearm, but how to de-escalate situations. That’s one thing that we stress in a lot in our concealed carry classes, is that you really don’t want to use your fire arm, if you don’t have to use it,” said CEO of Black Gun Owners Association of Ohio Darius Frierson.
The Black Gun Owners Association of Ohio is an organization that aims to educate communities on gun laws and gun rights. Frierson said he supports responsible expansions of gun rights, but said eliminating the duty to retreat may do more harm than good.
Except, duty to retreat literally does none of that. What it does is delay reactions to life threatening situation and empowers prosecutors to go after law-abiding citizens who have to use lethal force. Those prosecutors can potentially play Monday morning quarterback and decide that someone could have retreated, even if they didn’t see it at the time, thus forcing them to undergo a legal trial and potentially face prison time.
The Ohio bill prevents that from happening.
What it doesn’t excuse is someone using lethal force in a situation that doesn’t call for it. You can’t just shoot someone because they were scary, they have to represent a legitimate threat, as it should be.
However, what’s interesting is that in decrying hte bill, one state Democrat really makes the case for the law.
Yet, opponent of the bill Democrat State Sen. Sandra Williams of Northeast Ohio, said while some may feel the bill is needed to keep Ohioans safe, she believes that it actually puts more lives in danger.
“We know the murder rates already in the state are up 17%. They’re up from last year. Putting ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws in place in this state only adds to a gun violence that we have. Some people would not be as quick to pull the trigger as others, and I understand that, but we have a segment of our population who may or may not be that type of person, and they may shoot first, and then worry about the consequences later,” Williams explained.
Murder rates may be up 17 percent, but they’re not up because of any Stand Your Ground law, obviously. Maybe that’s because criminals have been emboldened due to numerous factors, thus increasing the risk for ordinary, law-abiding citizens. Those same citizens who under previous state law would be forced to look for an opportunity to get away, even if there wasn’t one.
Now, they don’t have to delay their reactions with such nonsense.
Look, it’s like this. No one should have to just stand there and take the threat of violence. They have a right to respond. Telling people they have to run away first doesn’t make anyone safer except for the violent criminals.