Stand Your Ground Movement Stands Against The Looting Of America: Part I
By John Longenecker
Oklahoma state legislator Mike Shelton got my attention this morning. Oklahoma is the latest state to have passed a bill making it illegal for officials to confiscate weapons from citizens in time of emergency, part of the larger Stand Your Ground movement sweeping America.
Other states have passed similar legislation following the debacle in New Orleans where officials took guns from law-abiding homeowners who wanted their weapons for their original purpose: to defend their homes. That time had come, and officials coming to take weapons from the law abiding was just the fear some had imagined.
[A court ordered New Orleans to return the weapons immediately. New Orleans balked and said they didn’t have the weapons. They later admitted that they did, then defied a court order and were found in contempt. They subsequently agreed to return the weapons on the condition that the owners prove ownership and then stand for a background check first. So, in this case, when do the officials decide to obey the law? Another thing people feared had come: official defiance of the law without penalty.]
The Stand Your Ground movement, in my surmise anyway, includes the battle against the abuse of invoking eminent domain, as many states have re-examined eminent domain and have passed laws making it more difficult for authorities to back the confiscation of private property for the investment/so-called better use of others.
Who knows? Maybe America is turning back to its core values with the realization now of what it’s really been all about all along. Freedom from ambitious officials. The never-ending battle against the looting of America.
Stand Your Ground laws – such as affirming self-defense and disallowing confiscation of weapons from law-abiding, not to mention confiscation of private property – reflect a respect of constituents and an understanding of the nature of the relationship between officials and the governed. As an official, it’s hard to go wrong when you listen to the will of the people and have a similar values system, and across America, the Stand Your Ground movement has gotten legs in the multi-faceted protection of the Home.
Most gun owners have known this and now America knows it: government cannot protect you. Government does not protect you in time of crime nor does it protect you in time of stealing your home. Police cannot protect you, agencies cannot protect you, and there is a hostile movement to transfer your ability and legal authority to safeguard yourself away from your hands into dependency on official agencies. People like legislator Shelton are tragically mistaken in their values, or worse.
Regarding the Oklahoma bill which makes it illegal to confiscate weapons, Shelton reportedly said these quotes this week before the bill is even signed by the Governor: “House Bill 2696 has placed the power of the law into the wrong hands,” meaning the hands of the people, of course.
Brilliant. Just brilliant.
Shelton reportedly also said, “During states of emergency, I think police need total control. They don’t need to worry who has guns and who doesn’t. If the governor calls for Oklahomans to relinquish their guns, the public needs to do so.”
Is that so? Ever hear of civilian control, Mr. Shelton? (That’s not you, that’s us.)
Let me explain something that Liberty Enthusiasts have known for generations and which you obviously do not know:
Police have no mandate to protect individuals. They have positively no duty, no mandate, no obligation whatsoever to protect persons from crime. Lawsuit after lawsuit by broken-hearted survivors of the murders of loved ones where police did not intervene has consistently resulted in rulings of no constitutional right to police protection, the latest case being Castle Rock v. Gonzales from the United States Supreme Court, 2005.
Civilian control means that you don’t tell us, we tell you. If the community dislikes choke-holds, then police lose the choke-hold; if the people dislike car chases, then you stop the car chases. The entire nation is built not on empowering officials, but on limiting them. That means you, Mr. Shelton.
As the larger Stand Your Ground movement is moving across America, there is an increasing, refreshing force that can defeat violent crime and return power to the community. Here is how.
First of all, the community, the citizenry, is the law-abiding and is the true seat of power.
People all along have had the authority to use lethal force in self-defense. Some dislike this responsibility as an unwanted burden, but it’s been with the individual citizen since the beginning of the country, but only on the one hand, whereas on the other hand, over the years for political reasons, there has been penalty for this or that element of the incident in another lawbook which must be equally upheld.
Upheld until it is legally changed through due process, that is. It’s not only confusing to recognize a civil right and self-defense in one law book, only to penalize it from something found in another lawbook, but downright wrong and costly on so many levels; it winds up criminalizing the wrong behavior, namely self-defense, politically portrayed as responding in anger or with excessive force. Liberals have found this advantageous in frustrating personal independence, the lifelong Nemesis of liberals.
Stand Your Ground laws recognize your original self-defense authority and remove some of this unreasonable penalty component as an enemy of justice. (It’s unjust to recognize self-defense as a value, then punish it for some conflicting legal technicality put there for political reasons.) Here is why this is important to a community.
Where that personal lethal force in self-defense is recognized is under the conditions of facing grave danger. You can’t brandish a weapon in traffic, you can’t expect support for bullying or answering disagreements with lethal force and you can’t use lethal force except when facing grave danger or great bodily harm. It’s rather simple. This is quite clear.
Furthermore, these laws recognize something else: the reasonable apprehension of the individual, which is to say that if the person reasonably believes himself to be in grave danger, he/she may then legally act with lethal force. He/she had also better be able to prove it later, or else. This one of the soundest laws to come down the pike in a long time in fighting violent crime. Tying the hands of the victim is, of course, the result of liberal laws empowering criminals for all those silly reasons they gave (such as the idea that a crime is a mistake.).
The movement now sees extensions of this doctrine into the community as law-abiding folks leave their homes and go where they want. The law goes with them, as their person is officially recognized as an extension of their castle wherever they go within the jurisdiction. This is a good thing.
Some states include other elements, such as presumption of intent on the part of the aggressor. Some Codes detail presumption of intent in home intruders, further officially appreciating the position of the homeowner when facing danger.
Knowing these may overcome the political correctness attitudes which interfere with how people plan their homes. Some who thought it was illegal to use all reasonable force to protect themselves may plan differently now to protect their homes, now with greater knowledge, certainty and confidence in what they may or may not do. Don’t think for a second that word won’t reach criminals. Good for the community.
On the political landscape, liberals have been allies to criminals for decades. As long as senseless violence is part of our society, liberals have a cause to fight, a Bogeyman, an evergreen issue, and as long as they can tie the hands of the victim to fight back - by lumping righteous response to aggression as violence - then, crime is immortal.
On the other hand, crime can be stunted when people know their authority, use it, and back it with superior force. The Stand Your Ground movement backs the givers of society when first responders are not present to intervene at the moment of a criminal act, and in most cases, they are not.
Understanding this, law enforcement believes more in the people than not, and a majority of command officers polled nationwide says so. It said so last year, too.
The idea of no longer punishing a giver to society for acting in his own self-defense and defense of loved ones is long overdue. The idea of coercing reliance on agencies for protection is bad for America. Oklahoma has joined other states in voting not to.
It has discovered that in states where open or concealed carrying of weapons is common, officials there have not regretted placing their trust in their constituents.
And that’s good for the country.
John Longenecker’s book, Transfer of Wealth: The Case For Nationwide Concealed Carry is in its Second Edition and it would make a great gift for the non-gun owner. You can purchase his book at Transfer of Wealth. You can also read other articles by John Longenecker here.
Stand Your Ground Movement and The Looting Of America, Part II