Stand Your Ground

What do think of Stand Your Ground laws? Do you think that it is morally licit to have “duty to retreat” laws or principles? I certainly don’t.

“Stand your ground” redirects here. For other uses, see Stand Your Ground (disambiguation).
In the United States of America, stand-your-ground law states that a person may justifiably use force in self-defense when there is reasonable belief of an unlawful threat, without an obligation to retreat first. The concept sometimes exists in statutory law and sometimes through common law precedents. One key distinction is whether the concept only applies to defending a home or vehicle, or whether it applies to all lawfully occupied locations.

Under these legal concepts, a person is justified in using deadly force in certain situations and the “stand your ground” law would be a defense or immunity to criminal charges and civil suit. The difference between immunity and a defense is that an immunity bars suit, charges, detention and arrest. A defense, such as an affirmative defense, permits a plaintiff or the state to seek civil damages or a criminal conviction but may offer mitigating circumstances that justifies the accused’s conduct.

The legitimate defense of persons and societies is not an exception to the prohibition against the murder of the innocent that constitutes intentional killing. “The act of self-defense can have a double effect: the preservation of one’s own life; and the killing of the aggressor… The one is intended, the other is not.

Personally, I find it morally acceptable to kill in self defense, if there is not possible way to avoid such an act.

I agree.

If I can disarm an invader without killing him/her, without risk to myself or my family, I will choose a non-lethal way. If a non-lethal solution presents a risk to my family and/or I, I’ll shoot to kill. (For example, if a guy guy breaks into my home with a knife, a shot to the knee would come before a shot to the chest. A guy breaks into my home with a gun, I’m emptying my magazine, starting at the groin, ending at the head.) I believe the ultimate judgement is up to God, not government officials.

My reasoning is that duty to retreat laws are wrong since they give the State’s power to impose legal obligations on people (like obligations regarding movement in a public place) to every armed criminal, a clear affront to Justice. On the other hand I would argue that simple wrongful interference with the freedom of movement does not constitute a crime against humanity, so although there may be other remotely related criminal behavior on the part of the state regarding toleration of effective suicide, duty to retreat laws are not themselves criminal.

Good luck with hitting someone in the knee while they are running toward you.

It’s possible.

Possible…but not prudent.

Tough call, but I see your point.

I don’t think it is morally acceptable for me, based on the hope of eternal life, i hope an earthly death is the only death i face. My earthly death is a certainty, only timing of it is unknown to me. I don’t want to die, but I’m assuming neither does my would be killer, and since I am every bit the sinner he is, how can I make the decision that my life is somehow more valuable than his?

Here’s hoping neither of us are ever put in a position to test our contentions!

Peace and all good!


I think it would depend on the situation.

Your primary obligation with regard to life is to preserve your own, since society would be unworkable if this were not the case. One is certainly not obliged to allow an innocent person to die (either yourself or another) in order to save the life of someone who is actively trying to kill.

How about a choice that says “Stand your ground laws are never wrong”?

That would get my vote.


I think it would depend on the situation

.Even an LEO trained in assessing the situation and has several “tools” at his disposal including a baton and tazer along with his service firearm, is never taught to shoot for the knee. If the weapon is in an assailants hand, why would one go for a moving knee in close quarters? The service Glock has no mechanical safety so when it comes out of the holster, it’s “hot”. Why would I want to act any different?

Now the Lone Ranger usually only needed one shot to hit the pistol out of the bad guys hand :wink:

Mythbusters did an episode on that. They determined that is is virtually impossible to shoot a pistol out of someone’s hand. It only happens in the movies.

No, back to topic.

I believe…
that to have a friend, a man must be one.
that all men are created equal and that everyone has within himself the power to make this a better world.
that God put the firewood there, but that every man must gather and light it himself.
in being prepared physically, mentally, and morally to fight when necessary for that which is right.
that a man should make the most of what equipment he has.
that ‘this government of the people, by the people, and for the people’ shall live always.
that men should live by the rule of what is best for the greatest number.
that sooner or later…somewhere…somehow…we must settle with the world and make payment for what we have taken.
that all things change but truth, and that truth alone, lives on forever.
in my Creator, my country, my fellow man.[14]

How can Mythbusters be more truthful then a man with this creed? Besides, I’ll bet Mythbusters didn’t use silver bullets and shoot from a horse standing on it’s back legs :smiley:

In the early days of the western United States, a masked man and an Indian rode the plains, searching for truth and justice. Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear, when from out of the past come the thundering hoofbeats of the great horse Silver! The Lone Ranger rides again! “Hi-Ho, Silver! Away!”

Couldn’t resist…now back on topic.

Not too hard with skill and the right weapon. But if I thought I might miss, that would make it one of those risky situations and I’d aim for an easier target.

If someone attacks me or my family in my house, I don’t care if it is with a gun or a knife or a baseball bat, I guarrantee you they will be refering to this person in the past tense when the police arrive.

You do realize that if it can be proven that non-lethal force would have been sufficient, and that a reasonable person in your situation would have known that, then you could be held liable for murder or manslaughter, Stand Your Ground laws or otherwise?

If it can be proven.

“Sorry, Officer, but guy suddenly came toward me and was reaching into his pocket. I thought he was pulling a gun so I shot him.”

Who’s to say that isn’t what happened?

I voted that duty to retreat laws are crime against humanity. What I really wanted to say is that they are unjust laws that impose too great a burden upon innocent persons, while giving the benefit of the doubt to the true aggressor in an attack.
If someone starts approaching me with a brandished weapon or threat of deadly force, or if they approach another innocent person in that manner, I would give them one quick warning if there is time for it, but then I will shoot for the center of mass and will keep firing until they stop. I will not waste time weighing exit strategies.

I don’t think the answer is to automatically kill someone if you “feel” threatened. That is very subjective and ambiguous.

I don’t think “retreating” first is the answer either. If someone is actually being threatened physically, then I think it is moral to fight back.

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