Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Repeal of 'Stand Your Ground' Moves to NH Senate

HB135, "relative to physical force in defense of a person and relative to the definition of non-deadly force," having squeaked past the NH House, moves on to the NH Senate Judiciary Committee, 4/23/2013.

But first, Jenn Coffey of 'Second Amendment Sisters' and 'Knives, Lipstick and Liberty', the NHLA's Michelle Levell give their take. Then, attorney Penny Dean and Rep. Dan Itse explain the practical realities of Constitutional law and legislation and process.

I'm certainly not a lawyer, but I can read English. And here's the inconvenient truth, IMHO, about this nevertheless anti-liberty bill: not only can't you ever know with certainty that you can retreat in complete safety, even less can you be certain that a third person can. And this bill justifies your not running away if they can't do so, too. Let's take a look at the relevant portion.
III. A person is not justified in using deadly force on another to defend himself or herself or a third person from deadly force by the other if he or she knows that he or she and the third person can, with complete safety:
(a) Retreat from the encounter, except that he or she is not required to retreat if he or she is within his or her dwelling[,] or its curtilage, [or anywhere he or she has a right to be,] and was not the initial aggressor;...
Too many double negatives, but here goes. So you are justified if you don't know (but again, how can you ever, anyway) that both you and (not or) a third (or fourth or tenth) person can retreat in complete safety, regardless of location. We haven't gotten to the 'location' condition yet, which is an override to the "if you somehow know you can retreat safely" bit (i.e., you're still not obligated to if you're home). But here, we're talking about if you can't be sure. So where you are is utterly irrelevant as soon as your or that third person's (complete) safety is in question. Go save those innocents, citizen, whether this passes or not...

So I ask again: other than rendering the legal situation (umm, clearly) cloudier, what is this bill supposed to accomplish, exactly? What is the intended purpose in advocating its passage?

But this is why it still matters:
(While we're about it, though, that cop in the Bearcat aiming his AR15 at the photographer in the 2nd-story window in Watertown, MA during the bomber manhunt will be charged with felony criminal threatening, too, right...?)

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