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Our Laws assume certain "elements" are present before the specific Law should apply. First degree murder, assumes an element of pre-planning. Second degree, assumes just the intentional death of another person, by the actions of another.

But the "elemental assumptions" of our newly created 'Stand Your Ground' laws seem to have a few problems. When these self-defense laws are being applied, they typically assume only one of the parties involved -- has the right to invoke "self-defense."

But in real life, when physical force begins to escalate -- typically both parties assume they are protecting themselves ...

'Stand Your Ground' Linked To Increase In Homicides

by Shankar Vedantam and David Schultz, NPR -- Jan 02, 2013

If a stranger attacks you inside your own home, the law has always permitted you to defend yourself. On the other hand, if an altercation breaks out in public, the law requires you to try to retreat. At least, that's what it used to do.

Still, based on the available data, it appears that crafters of these laws sought to give good guys more latitude to defend themselves against bad guys. But what Hoekstra's data suggest is that in real-life conflicts, both sides think of the other guy as the bad guy. Both believe the law gives them the right to shoot.

What happens to SYG Laws when both people are staking a claim to it?

It used to be obvious, when someone breaks into your home -- they have bad intent, and you had a right to "defend" yourself.

But with these new 'Stand Your Ground' when your 'zone of protection' follows you around like a bubble.  So it's not always so obvious anymore, who is the good guy and who is the bad guy -- when those 'protective bubbles' collide ...

Both people are liable to feel the need to protect themselves ... especially when there is no "pre-intended" crime, already in process.  And it is just a clash of wills and personalities, as human beings on occasional, will unfortunately experience ...

What happens when what used to an "ordinary fist fight" that ended in a bloody nose, now are encouraged to instantly escalate to a "Ready, Aim, Fire" event?

In this crazy new Castle-Bubble world, it would seem that the one who "draws and fires" the quickest -- is the one that gains the "competitive advantage".  SYG laws just encourage this escalation of harm -- before the other party, "gets the best of you."

But here's the problematic thing, with such a wild-west world view, the fatal flaw in SYG defense:

It is that it assumes everyone is equally armed.  What if one party is only armed with mace ... or worse yet, only their wits.

SYG also assumes, and then pre-assigns, the motives and intention -- both the good and the bad -- intentions that have NOT been clearly established by the sketchy facts in evidence ...

SYG presumes to assign one party as the good guy, and one as the bad. When usually in the real world, when physical force heads down the escalation on-ramp -- such "self-defense motives" are rarely so clear cut.

And instead of ending up with bruised egos and bloody noses, these SYG-presumed altercations are in a word "sanctioning" the ending of another's Life.  All based on the tall tales of the survivor, which is usually the one bold enough {ie. callous enough} to 'Draw and Shoot' first ...  

Afterall that's what being hyper-fearful -- everywhere you go -- can do to a person.  "To the quick, go the spoils ..."

Originally posted to Digging up those Facts ... for over 8 years. on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 06:19 AM PDT.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA.

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