Archived Story

Stand Your Ground bill invites viloence

Published 10:46am Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Community leaders in Columbus recently urged state senators and Gov. John Kasich to reject a dangerous, unnecessary bill that would exponentially expand the circumstances in which a person has no duty to retreat before using lethal force.

They were joined by Lucia McBath, whose unarmed son Jordan Davis, 17, was shot and killed at a Florida gas station after a dispute over loud music.

House Bill 203, Ohio’s version of “stand your ground” legislation, has cleared the House. Now before the Ohio Senate, this bill should not reach Mr. Kasich’s desk.

The measure would almost surely encourage gun violence — something Ohio and its cities don’t need — and lead to more needless deaths. Nor would the bill strengthen legitimate rights to self-defense.

Ohio law already states that people need not retreat in their residence or vehicle, or the vehicle of an immediate family member.

Those provisions are ample, including areas of personal domain to which U.S. legal tradition and the “castle doctrine” have extended special protections. Among other things, the House bill would extend immunities to anywhere a person has a legal right to be — an invitation to violence and vigilantism….

Existing laws protect the personal space that society generally considers inviolable. Extending those protections to virtually anywhere just invites violence.

 

The (Toledo) Blade

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