Poll: Do you agree with the Stand Your Ground Laws
Yes. They are good self-defense laws
No. They are unnecessary and often abused and misused
Unsure. (Comment)
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Stand your ground laws
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23-07-2013, 04:12 PM
RE: Stand your ground laws
(23-07-2013 03:40 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(23-07-2013 03:36 PM)Jakel Wrote:  Sure. But the comment is just so fustrating and stupid in my opinion. The attitude presented in that example is the exact sterotypical image of americans I have. All I see in "Alan" is a trigger happy idiot waiting for an excuse to pull out hes weapon and use it. Self-defense is self-defense and SYG (at least in that case) is just looking for excuses to kill someone.

And you are reading into the example that which is simply not there.

Alan is walking down the sidewalk and is accosted. What gun? What trigger happy?

Sorry. I see what you mean now. I assumed one/both had weapons since I don't see the need to mention SYG laws without.

All the times this scenario has happened in my life I have:
A: Said nothing, and just kept walking. Joe is trying to pick a fight, just ignore him.
B: Said something wise-ass back as I passed him, since I was drunk.
C: Preemptively switched sideways to avoid such a situation since it was obvious what was going to happen.
D: Run like a motherfucker.

Only once in my life have I been threatened with a knife (that he did not pull out). Running was not an option. He had a friend with him. I would maybe be able to take one guy, not the two. Would any kind of violence have solved that? No. I was lucky nothing really happened. Did I in any way try to stand my ground since I knew they were being idiots and I was in the right? No. I tried to talk my way out of it, like an adult person would do. And I would have done exactly the same thing even if I could have kicked the living crap out of him/them.

If you are threatened with a weapon you are within your rights to use self-defense, which covers killing the guy in the heat of things if it is unavoidable. Lucky this scenario is very rare in Denmark since you are not allowed to carry guns or knifes.

I don't see where you need SYG laws. It still sounds like an excuse to kill people, weapons or no weapons.
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23-07-2013, 04:16 PM
RE: Stand your ground laws
(23-07-2013 04:12 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  
(23-07-2013 04:00 PM)joshChase Wrote:  Thanks for the text. I don't see it being vague at all, as (3) speaks directly to the situation I outlined.

(3)A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

In practice it is too vague. Honestly I agree with the intent of this legislation (ie not making a victim a criminal) the problem is it can be used as a justification for vigilantism.

To illustrate I shall use your example. Joe makes a verbal "threat" (it is implied) by saying "You better get out of here" now does Alan have a reasonable belief that he is in imminent danger? Has Joe crossed the line from being a jerk into criminal intent to harm? Under the wording of the law as it stands it is murky and needs to be better established.

Under my wording "Clear and present danger" then until Joe has pulled a knife Alan does not have the right to escalate the situation however he has no requirement to retreat. It is then dependant on Joe's further action as to how this resolves. If we are in the real world Joe probably puffs himself up and sneers then moves on with another vaguely worded implied threat and nothing much comes of it (99.9% of the time) if we are dealing with that remaining .01% of the time and Joe brandishes a weapon Alan is in the clear to defend himself.

It clearly says "meet force with force". The judgement regarding deadly force comes only after the aggressor uses force in the first place. Words do not constitute force.

I think you are misreading the sentence.

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23-07-2013, 04:22 PM
RE: Stand your ground laws
(23-07-2013 04:16 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(23-07-2013 04:12 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  In practice it is too vague. Honestly I agree with the intent of this legislation (ie not making a victim a criminal) the problem is it can be used as a justification for vigilantism.

To illustrate I shall use your example. Joe makes a verbal "threat" (it is implied) by saying "You better get out of here" now does Alan have a reasonable belief that he is in imminent danger? Has Joe crossed the line from being a jerk into criminal intent to harm? Under the wording of the law as it stands it is murky and needs to be better established.

Under my wording "Clear and present danger" then until Joe has pulled a knife Alan does not have the right to escalate the situation however he has no requirement to retreat. It is then dependant on Joe's further action as to how this resolves. If we are in the real world Joe probably puffs himself up and sneers then moves on with another vaguely worded implied threat and nothing much comes of it (99.9% of the time) if we are dealing with that remaining .01% of the time and Joe brandishes a weapon Alan is in the clear to defend himself.

It clearly says "meet force with force". The judgement regarding deadly force comes only after the aggressor uses force in the first place. Words do not constitute force.

I think you are misreading the sentence.

Actually, words can constitute Force and many times they do. "Force" is making people do something that they otherwise wouldn't reasonably do. So, if someone walks up to a bank teller and tells here that she either gives him all the money or gets her brains blown into a fine pink mist - then this is force whether a weapon (gun) is present or not.

Likewise, when George Zimmerman stalked Trayvon Martin to the point that Trayvon ran off, then this was also a use of force on Zimmerman's part.

Please be careful what you deem Force to be.
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23-07-2013, 04:27 PM
RE: Stand your ground laws
(23-07-2013 04:22 PM)Julius Wrote:  
(23-07-2013 04:16 PM)Chas Wrote:  It clearly says "meet force with force". The judgement regarding deadly force comes only after the aggressor uses force in the first place. Words do not constitute force.

I think you are misreading the sentence.

Actually, words can constitute Force and many times they do. "Force" is making people do something that they otherwise wouldn't reasonably do. So, if someone walks up to a bank teller and tells here that she either gives him all the money or gets her brains blown into a fine pink mist - then this is force whether a weapon (gun) is present or not.

Likewise, when George Zimmerman stalked Trayvon Martin to the point that Trayvon ran off, then this was also a use of force on Zimmerman's part.

Please be careful what you deem Force to be.

I'm telling you what a court will deem force to be. Responding to words with a weapon is not protected by this statute.

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23-07-2013, 04:28 PM
RE: Stand your ground laws
(23-07-2013 04:16 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(23-07-2013 04:12 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  In practice it is too vague. Honestly I agree with the intent of this legislation (ie not making a victim a criminal) the problem is it can be used as a justification for vigilantism.

To illustrate I shall use your example. Joe makes a verbal "threat" (it is implied) by saying "You better get out of here" now does Alan have a reasonable belief that he is in imminent danger? Has Joe crossed the line from being a jerk into criminal intent to harm? Under the wording of the law as it stands it is murky and needs to be better established.

Under my wording "Clear and present danger" then until Joe has pulled a knife Alan does not have the right to escalate the situation however he has no requirement to retreat. It is then dependant on Joe's further action as to how this resolves. If we are in the real world Joe probably puffs himself up and sneers then moves on with another vaguely worded implied threat and nothing much comes of it (99.9% of the time) if we are dealing with that remaining .01% of the time and Joe brandishes a weapon Alan is in the clear to defend himself.

It clearly says "meet force with force". The judgement regarding deadly force comes only after the aggressor uses force in the first place. Words do not constitute force.

I think you are misreading the sentence.

Lets flip the scenario and show the problem here. Joe has a problem with people being in his neighborhood who he feels "don't belong there" he carries a weapon (legally) but goes out of his way to provoke responses. He see's Alan and issues his vague "threats" and refuses to back off until either Alan retreats or reacts. Alan in this case reacts and throws a punch a small scuffle ensues with the result being Joe pulls his weapon and kills Alan. Under stand your ground he gets off even though he was the aggressor the entire time.

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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23-07-2013, 04:30 PM
RE: Stand your ground laws
(23-07-2013 03:54 PM)joshChase Wrote:  SYG is about your legal rights in a particular situation (in your house, in your business, on your property, in public, etc.) The laws vary state to state but the underlying concept is basically the same universally - you are not required to leave a place where you are legally entitled to be.
Agreed. But sometimes in life it's better to just let it go, and be the better person, and try to actively avoid violence. Self-defense should cover situations (I guess the self-defense laws vary from place to place) where this is not an option. SYG laws still sounds to me like it an excuse to legitimately hurt other persons, in situations where it could be avoided.
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23-07-2013, 04:34 PM
RE: Stand your ground laws
(23-07-2013 04:28 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  
(23-07-2013 04:16 PM)Chas Wrote:  It clearly says "meet force with force". The judgement regarding deadly force comes only after the aggressor uses force in the first place. Words do not constitute force.

I think you are misreading the sentence.

Lets flip the scenario and show the problem here. Joe has a problem with people being in his neighborhood who he feels "don't belong there" he carries a weapon (legally) but goes out of his way to provoke responses. He see's Alan and issues his vague "threats" and refuses to back off until either Alan retreats or reacts. Alan in this case reacts and throws a punch a small scuffle ensues with the result being Joe pulls his weapon and kills Alan. Under stand your ground he gets off even though he was the aggressor the entire time.

Alan is the aggressor. He made a mistaken judgement in throwing that punch.

If he did so in response to Joe being physically in his face, then Joe has committed an assault; he is the aggressor and is not protected by the statute.

The statute does not absolve people of responsibility. It protects moral and ethical behavior.

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23-07-2013, 04:34 PM
RE: Stand your ground laws
(23-07-2013 04:12 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  In practice it is too vague. Honestly I agree with the intent of this legislation (ie not making a victim a criminal) the problem is it can be used as a justification for vigilantism.

To illustrate I shall use your example. Joe makes a verbal "threat" (it is implied) by saying "You better get out of here" now does Alan have a reasonable belief that he is in imminent danger? Has Joe crossed the line from being a jerk into criminal intent to harm? Under the wording of the law as it stands it is murky and needs to be better established.

Under my wording "Clear and present danger" then until Joe has pulled a knife Alan does not have the right to escalate the situation however he has no requirement to retreat. It is then dependant on Joe's further action as to how this resolves. If we are in the real world Joe probably puffs himself up and sneers then moves on with another vaguely worded implied threat and nothing much comes of it (99.9% of the time) if we are dealing with that remaining .01% of the time and Joe brandishes a weapon Alan is in the clear to defend himself.

Remember that Joe's threat in the original scenario was "You'd better get out of here before you get hurt." There is an implied threat. Yes, that wording is vague and I don't believe it would rise to justifiable self-defense if Alan were to whip out a gun and shoot Joe at that point. However the scenario wasn't a template for justifiable self-defense but for why SYG is preferable (IMHO) to Duty to Retreat.

With the expanded example where Joe says, "You'd better get out of here or I will stab you" and then produces a knife this is a better example of when the right to self defense comes into play. Combining SYG and self-defense you could make an argument that it gives the victim too much leeway (tending towards vigilantism) but then it that opens one up to blaming the original victim (Alan in the examples) for the situation when they didn't create it. There seems to be a knee-jerk reaction on many peoples' part that the victim "should" have done something different But they have the benefit of 20/20 hindsight and don't have the in-the-moment situational awareness of the circumstances of the incident.

Your right, though, that most incidents of this nature are essentially puffed up egos with no real consequences but even you point out that the circumstances dictate the view of the outcome. The law however cannot anticipate every situation, that is why we have the courts to help define what is and is not justifiable.
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23-07-2013, 04:39 PM
RE: Stand your ground laws
(23-07-2013 04:30 PM)Jakel Wrote:  Agreed. But sometimes in life it's better to just let it go, and be the better person, and try to actively avoid violence. Self-defense should cover situations (I guess the self-defense laws vary from place to place) where this is not an option. SYG laws still sounds to me like it an excuse to legitimately hurt other persons, in situations where it could be avoided.

The concept of SYG doesn't apply only to volatile situations. If you were at a parade and someone said "Hey move that is my spot" you don't need to move. Acting in a pacifying manner to keep the peace isn't a bad thing but legally mandating it is a different story.
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23-07-2013, 04:44 PM
RE: Stand your ground laws
(23-07-2013 04:34 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(23-07-2013 04:28 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  Lets flip the scenario and show the problem here. Joe has a problem with people being in his neighborhood who he feels "don't belong there" he carries a weapon (legally) but goes out of his way to provoke responses. He see's Alan and issues his vague "threats" and refuses to back off until either Alan retreats or reacts. Alan in this case reacts and throws a punch a small scuffle ensues with the result being Joe pulls his weapon and kills Alan. Under stand your ground he gets off even though he was the aggressor the entire time.

Alan is the aggressor. He made a mistaken judgement in throwing that punch.

If he did so in response to Joe being physically in his face, then Joe has committed an assault; he is the aggressor and is not protected by the statute.

The statute does not absolve people of responsibility. It protects moral and ethical behavior.

And even then there are shades of gray. If Alan punched him but made no further attack then Joe would not be justified in shooting Alan. Pressing charges for assault, sure, but not shooting him because a single punch isn't generally considered to be grave bodily harm. If, however, Alan were to punch Joe, knock him to the ground, and keep punching him and smashing Joe's head into the ground then Joe would be justified in believing that Alan had intention of doing him grave harm and Joe would be justified in shooting Alan.
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