Tonawanda News

Columns

July 24, 2013

'Stand Your Ground' beats 'Duty to Retreat' laws

Tonawanda News — Imagine that you are involved in a potentially deadly situation in which a group of thugs has approached you and threatened violence. In a perfect world, you would defend yourself by exercising your natural right to self-defense by brandishing a firearm to scare them off or, if necessary, fire upon them to neutralize the threat, exerting the same deadly force they had intended to use upon you.

But, this isn’t a perfect world. In more liberal states, like New York, the Laws of Nature are minimized by the Laws of Man, and you don’t have a right to protect yourself, your family, or property without making some accommodations for the evil-doer. Even though a robber — whose title could easily escalate to “rapist” or “murderer” — obviously does not have your best interests in mind, you must afford him a certain level of safety with your state-mandated duty to retreat.

Duty to Retreat laws require that you forgo acts of survival. The laws demand that you do everything in your power to avoid conflict and/or the use of deadly force. Before assuming the responsibility to protect yourself, you must resort to mandated cowardice by seeking retreat. Following that, the situation must escalate to the point that the courts see “reasonable” belief that injury and death could occur and then, and only then, can you take up the measures necessary to suppress the attacker.

The fact that the attacked cannot display a weapon until the situation has reached critical mass is truly absurd. The seconds — or even minutes — associated with having to hide from an attacker can be the difference-maker for the physical safety, sexual safety, or life itself of the innocent. Dropping your defenses gives the one on offense — the criminal — the supreme advantage.

A law-abiding citizen has no understanding of what’s going through the mind of a lawbreaker. Really, he has no obligation to, either. But, many state governments see it otherwise. They want you to believe — and wrongly at that — that the individual who was demented enough to commit the initial crime has no intent to harm you; he might only want your property, so you really shouldn’t harm him.

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