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Old November 6, 2014, 09:00 PM   #1
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Stand Your Ground Law debate points...

Hi guys,

My daughter is debating in defense of Stand Your Ground Laws in 10th grade civics.

Is anyone aware of any links to good debate points... I checked the NRA site but quickly got lost.
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Old November 6, 2014, 09:18 PM   #2
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I don't know of any links, but there are several good threads here at THR where the details are discussed.

I'd imagine that the bulk of her task in the debate will be to straighten out the misunderstandings about what "SYG" laws ARE and DO.

A summary:

Quote:
Now something that might be an even more fundamental point worth considering: These "Stand Your Ground" laws (as the media likes to call them) are really misrepresented. What they really do is shift the balance of the burden of proof off of the defender.

They shield you from having to prove that you physically retreated, you exhausted every other possible avenue of escape (including those 'Monday Morning Quarterback" options you didn't see at the time) before you used force to defend yourself. That has been reinterpreted in both the press and in a lot of gun culture to say something more like, "Stand your ground and give 'em hell!" As though you're in a military engagement, or taking the fight to the bad guys.

That's not right.

Under "SYG" laws you don't have on iota more right to use force on someone than you ever did. You just don't have to prove that one facet of your justification. (And they often come with some other ancillary benefits.)
They get confused with so-called "Castle Doctrine" laws as well.

Quote:
All of these are variations on the theme of helping someone who has shot and/or killed someone under a specific set of circumstances establish their claim of "self defense."

"Castle Doctrine" laws generally apply to one's residence and usually allow the state to accept that the attacker's uninvited presence in the home is sufficient evidence of malicious intent. The defender doesn't have to show some other proof that the attacker was trying to hurt/kill them. Also these can grant that the defender does not have to prove that they couldn't retreat safely from the residence before they shot. And sometimes these also cover immunity from civil lawsuits from the attacker's family if the self-defense claim is accepted.

"Stand Your Ground" laws tend to apply in broader circumstances. They'll say that, so long as you weren't involved in some criminal activity, and you were somewhere you had the legal right to be, you don't have to prove that you tried to (or couldn't) run/flee before you shot the guy threatening you. And they often also include the civil immunity clauses as well.

Either of these is "rebuttable," meaning that the presumptions they grant may be challenged if evidence indicates that, for example, you knew the attacker and had agreed to meet them in that location, or there was something hinky going on.
Here is our standard "go-to" thread on the subject. http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=718860
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Old November 6, 2014, 09:20 PM   #3
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It might help to clarify, is she debating Stand Your Ground or the Castle Doctrine?
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Old November 6, 2014, 09:25 PM   #4
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as I stated....Stand Your Ground Law debate points

They are using Florida as "the state" for the debate (gee, I wonder why)

I think it would be great if she could find a case before stand your ground, where someone was screwed by the system and spend tens of thousands of dollars defending themselves, and were found not guilty, where they would not have been charged in the first place if SYG was in place.
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Old November 6, 2014, 09:29 PM   #5
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Stand Your Ground links

Do a Google search for "Mas Ayoob Stand Your Ground" - He has a number of articles on different sites plus a good taped discussion on the CATO site.
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Old November 7, 2014, 03:38 AM   #6
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State of Florida, Ayoob....

Id agree to research Massad Ayoob, www.MassadAyoobGroup.com . He's a sworn LE officer, legal use of force expert & target/match shooter. He wrote many articles & books about lethal force. Ayoob has a regular blog too. I think it's called Backwoods Living.
After the George Zimmerman/Trevon Martin event(2012) in Sanford Florida, Gov Rick Scott set up a special task force to review the state's gun & use of force statues(Stand Your Ground). It was chaired by the Lt Gov at the time; Jennifer Carrol(US Navy, retired).
The task force held meetings & public forums. In the end, they decided to make no major changes and that violent crime in Florida was lower since Stand-Your-Ground & Castle Doctrine laws took effect.
I'd add the website; gunssavelives.com & the work of John Lott Jr. Lott wrote the book; More Guns, Less Crime.
Pax's Cornered Cat website lists information for women/new gun owners.
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Old November 7, 2014, 09:38 AM   #7
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One of the first things is to point out the stand your ground is actually a semantic attack on the idea that you do not have to retreat. Instead of calling the laws "No duty to retreat" it was far catchier and pejorative for the press to call them SYG.

Look up why the laws started to come about. Point out the excesses and irrational prosecutions of citizens who were trying to defend themselves against violent attack and either didn't have a way to retreat or chose not to abandon property or loved ones or simply refused to be threatened and bullied from where they had legal right to be at the time.
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Old November 7, 2014, 12:02 PM   #8
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One additional item to remember about the case here in Florida... It was actually a self defense case -not a "stand your ground" case at all. The media and all on the "victim" side deliberately ignored that not so small fact....
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Old November 7, 2014, 03:55 PM   #9
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The concept of standing one's ground is not new. While Florida supported that concept through an act passed in 2005, the idea has been held up in case history since the late nineteenth century, if not far before.

So her first-up task should be to dispel the media-driven myth that Florida "started this whole thing" with the concept.

From the lengthy legal summary of Beard vs. US, 1895:

Quote:
The weight of modern authority, in our judgment, establishes the doctrine that when a person, being without fault, and in a place where he has a right to be, is violently assaulted, he may, without retreating, repel force by force, and if, in the reasonable exercise of his right of self-defense, his assailant is killed, he is justifiable. ..
That summary can be perused here:

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/script...=158&invol=550

And, yes, as leymaymiami points out, the GZ case never invoked the law as a defense.
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Old November 7, 2014, 04:14 PM   #10
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Florida Stand Your Ground....

I agree that use of force & Stand Your Ground laws(statues) have been around prior to the George Zimmerman/Trevon Martin event(2012).
I do disagree with the case not being a Stand Your Ground.
GZ's atty; Mark O'Mera chose not to go by Florida laws/court policy & not have a formal Stand Your Ground hearing. He and GZ's legal defense picked going straight to a jury trial & sticking to a straight self defense case.
This concept had merit but IMO(and Im no lawyer, ), I think Zimmerman could have got a Stand Your Ground hearing victory.
His injuries and the conditions could have shown he was "in fear for his life".
I'd add that the media, first on the local level, then quickly the national press distorted ignored or slanted many facts/evidence.
In 2013, when some important points couldn't be buried or ignored, the media & the general public swayed more towards GZ.
It should be noted too that many Stand Your Ground hearings & cases went in favor of the gun owner/CCW holder.
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Old November 7, 2014, 06:10 PM   #11
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Exclamation

http://www.rkba.org/comment/cowards.html

OUR SOCIETY has reached a pinnacle of self-expression and respect for individuality rare or unmatched in history. Our entire popular culture -- from fashion magazines to the cinema -- positively screams the matchless worth of the individual, and glories in eccentricity, nonconformity, independent judgment, and self-determination. This enthusiasm is reflected in the prevalent notion that helping someone entails increasing that person's "self-esteem"; that if a person properly values himself, he will naturally be a happy, productive, and, in some inexplicable fashion, responsible member of society.

I'd have her read this a couple of times. The police have no duty to be personal body guards, and at their pay grade I'd not dive in front of anyone to take a bullet.
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Old November 7, 2014, 08:15 PM   #12
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As mentioned it is better described as a law designed so that the invaded homeowner does NOT have to retreat out of their home.
As someone who had to put up with Zimmerman case nearby, his attorneys did the right thing by not implementing it.
Debating points?
You should be able to defend your home or yourself without retreating. For many states, your car, hotel room, etc. also qualifies
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Old November 7, 2014, 08:37 PM   #13
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In Virginia we have NO lethal force law.
Not a single statute law.
For the 'public' OR the police.

The anti-gun ninnies have not noticed that our common (case) law is both extensive and VERY gun 'friendly.'

About the only thing we are missing is a complete liability waiver.
Of course no one has been stupid enough to try raising the issue in a state court.

Put a 'reasonable man' in fear of death or grave bodily harm and you are NOT going to get far in civil court in Virginia.

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Old November 7, 2014, 11:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
As mentioned it is better described as a law designed so that the invaded homeowner does NOT have to retreat out of their home.
Whoops. That's the confusion I mentioned in post 2.

"Castle Doctrine" and "Stand Your Ground" laws are not identical. In your home the "Castle Doctrine" concept is usually in play.

"Stand Your Ground" generally applies anywhere (else) you might have a right to be.
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Old November 8, 2014, 10:22 AM   #15
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For anyone not aware, I was a cop for many years here in Florida and made many charging decisions both as an officer, then a sergeant, and finally as a commander. The Zimmerman case was a simple self defense case that got turned into something else entirely for political and ethnic reasons (I'm being polite here....). What I don't know is whether I would have stood up to the tremendous pressures brought to bear on that small department in that instance.
I would never have charged Zimmerman for the terrible consequences of he foolish actions. Of course if your job was on the line.... Who knows?
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Old November 8, 2014, 10:44 AM   #16
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Off topic but....

It's not a Stand Your Ground issue but it's indirectly related.
The Sanford police chief at the time(Bill Lee, retired Seminole County Sheriff's Office LT) did not want to put criminal charges on Zimmerman & was in agreement with the Florida SAO/State Atty: Norm Wolfinger.
The Sanford mayor, city manager & a few other officials were adamant about putting some charge on Zimmerman just to placate the community and ease the tensions with Martin's family(lawyers ).

Bill Lee was later run off by Sanford but kept his opinion.
Martin's family, which never claimed the victim's body for 72hr or "knew where he was" got a reported $1,000,000.00 judgement from the Sanford HOA. These points are rarely addressed by the media or reporters when the Zimmerman case is discussed.

I said, from 02/2012 on, that Chief Lee and the SAO should have stated publicly: "we will not charge George Zimmerman but will ask the FBI & DoJ/Civil Rights Div to conduct a criminal investigation at the federal level."
This would avoid the "we did nothing" backlash & it would put the burden on the DoJ/FBI.

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Old November 8, 2014, 10:52 AM   #17
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SSN vet, good luck to your daughter on her debate.

I suggest she Google Cato Institute, the libertarian think tank in DC. I believe their website still has, downloadable, the April 2012 Stand Your Ground Debate. It includes Cato's Tim Lynch giving an introduction succinctly outlining the scope of the current controversy; Clayton Cramer giving the best short history of how the SYG concept developed over the centuries; Steve Jantzen from the prosecutors association opposing Stand Your Ground, and me defending it.

The Cramer lecture alone should give her enough "ammo" to ace her debate.
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Old November 8, 2014, 08:10 PM   #18
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Quote:
Whoops. That's the confusion I mentioned in post 2.

"Castle Doctrine" and "Stand Your Ground" laws are not identical. In your home the "Castle Doctrine" concept is usually in play.

"Stand Your Ground" generally applies anywhere (else) you might have a right to be.
While technically true, in many instances they are interrelated. Yes the SYG also applies to wherever you might be, but in many scenarios, the CD also applies, so there is some overlap
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Old November 8, 2014, 09:56 PM   #19
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And another thing...

I saw a debate on "Stand Your Ground" at OC Berkley. One "anti" argument was that anyone who stood his ground was acting as judge, jury, and executioner. Don't let this emotional appeal stand. When you are pushed into standing you ground, you are NOT acting as as judge, etc. You are defending you life in a situation where the law is no longer in effect. If the law were in effect, then there would be a law enforcement officer there to uphold the law and start that judge & jury thing. The guy standing his ground would LOVE to be able to turn to a cop for help. With no cop on hand, he must tend to his own rights.

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Old November 9, 2014, 12:58 AM   #20
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Here is a very interesting video by Massad Ayoob talking about the "Stand Your Ground" and "Castle Doctrine" laws.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irnD34P2l1w

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Old November 9, 2014, 03:25 AM   #21
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Old November 10, 2014, 08:31 AM   #22
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Mark O'Mera....

Zimmerman atty & legal analyst Mark O'Mera made a few general remarks about an armed citizen's legal obligation(s) & rights in the aftermath of a lethal force event.
The videos or news clips may be available online.
In short, O'Mera advises saying to the first responders; sworn LE, EMTs firefighters detectives etc that you had to use lethal force because you were in fear for your life & that you claim self defense.
He also said to remain silent & try to stay calm.

Stand Your Ground can & does work, . If you use lethal force and need to protect yourself or others, either you won't be charged or you'll be cleared by a Stand Your Ground hearing.
Now be clear, not all legal cases are the same & some defendants will face more legal heat than others but in a straight up(or rightous as the 1960s/1970s guys say) you can prevail with Stand-Your-Ground.
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Old November 10, 2014, 09:06 AM   #23
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Quote:
Posted by brickeye: In Virginia we have NO lethal force law.
Not a single statute law.
For the 'public' OR the police.
But make no mistake about it, there is a duty to retreat.
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Old November 10, 2014, 10:18 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lemaymiami View Post
For anyone not aware, I was a cop for many years here in Florida and made many charging decisions both as an officer, then a sergeant, and finally as a commander. The Zimmerman case was a simple self defense case that got turned into something else entirely for political and ethnic reasons (I'm being polite here....). What I don't know is whether I would have stood up to the tremendous pressures brought to bear on that small department in that instance.
I would never have charged Zimmerman for the terrible consequences of he foolish actions. Of course if your job was on the line.... Who knows?
How very honest of you to state. And yet this is why LEOs and the Gov terrify me sometimes. At risk of their job they're willing to remove a man's rights and imprison him rather than standing up for what they know to be right.
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Old November 10, 2014, 12:05 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Field Tester View Post
How very honest of you to state. And yet this is why LEOs and the Gov terrify me sometimes. At risk of their job they're willing to remove a man's rights and imprison him rather than standing up for what they know to be right.
And yet, protecting ones own right to pursuit of happiness might be seen as a form of self-defense...
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