National interest in a “Victim Bill of Rights”

By Jim Irvine
The past week has seen a nationwide flurry of interest in “Castle Doctrine” or “Stand your Ground” or “Victim Bill of Rights” legislation. No matter the name, it does the same three things:

  • If someone breaks into your home, you may respond with deadly force.
  • If you are outside your home, but are there legally, you do not need to retreat before deadly force.
  • If forced to use deadly force, you can’t be prosecuted or sued for the actions you took to defend your life.

    This has been basic understanding of “right and wrong” for centuries. Good people understand there are bad people, and think it’s best when the good people defeat the bad people who criminally violate the good people.

    No one has passed laws to say that you now gave up rights when a violent criminal breaks into your home, or that you are not permitted to defend yourself when threatened by rape or death, or that victims are now responsible for the injuries criminals sustain while attacking them.

    Enter Activist judges. These are people who don’t understand their own job. Instead of applying the law, they make it. They force their personal views on society in a travesty of justice. It is fitting that they wear a black robe – they represent evil.

    Click on 'Read More' to continue reading and for links to national coverage.

    They have taken rights away from law-abiding citizens, and rewarded criminals for their behavior while punishing the victims. Common sense has been turned on its head.

    The problem did not come in one dramatic case. It has crept into our society in many cases through the past decades. We have gradually been desensitized to the insanity. Like a frog put into a cold pan of water that is slowly brought to a boil, many have failed to notice the changes. The change has been deadly.

    Last year, Florida passed a law to set things back to where they have always been. They undid all the nutty case law in one simple bill. Order was restored.

    With partial thanks to the anti-gun kooks, the attention Florida’s new law received caused many states legislators to look at their own laws. Many were shocked to learn how warped our judicial system had become. They introduced laws to correct the problems, which are often passed quickly with overwhelming, bipartisan support.

    Representative Steve Buehrer (R-74) has introduced HB541, which is Ohio’s castle doctrine bill. While there is strong support for this bill in the legislature and general public, it is likely that the session will end before this is enacted into law. If that happens, expect the legislature to pass this legislation next year.

    The national media has covered the topic extensively in the past week. The NY Times did a story which was followed a day later by a piece on NBC news and I was interviewed for a story by National Radio.

    Now that 15 states have passed the legislation, it’s clear this is not a one state fluke. It will pass throughout the country just as concealed carry legislation, but at a faster pace.

    Predictably, many in the media play this as something controversial. They give the wacky few more than their “equal time.” They talk about a “license to kill” and other images intended to conger fear in their audience. It’s the only play left when all the facts are on our side.

    States that have passed “Castle Doctrine” into law:
    South Carolina
    South Dakota

    Related stories:
    Self-Defense Bill of Rights Part I

    Self-Defense Bill of Rights Part II

    New York Times story. (Free subscription required)

    Today Show video (will play after a 30 second commercial)

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