Stand your Ground Question

Mr. Grady
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Stand your Ground Question

Post by Mr. Grady »

I have a question for historians and constitutional lawyers out there.

One thing that I found surprising as I followed the Zimmerman case was how did America NOT have stand your ground laws as the norm (i.e. pre-2005)? And how these evolved as a recent phenomenon when you'd think America's history was one of "shoot first" - from the images of mountaineers with rifles, to frontiersmen to cowboys to wild west outlaws (and quick trigger lawmen) mark out history?

In other words I would have thought all 50 states had justifiable homicide and stand your ground in place probably dating back to the dawn of our nation (and certainly through the days of western expansion where killings by even honest christian men were probably frequent), but I guess I was wrong. The other erroneous assumption I made was not only did they not exist in force but that liberal laws must have chipped away at any self defense rights at some point, and the reality is that the opposite must have occurred - "liberal" (i.e. anti-gun) laws about retreating must have been established decades if not centuries ago (when?!?!?). Only in the past decade have these retreat first laws given ground in the last decade to conservative values about standing one's ground in public were swept aside.

In short I would have assumed all 50 states originally had stand your ground laws and 29 adopted retreat first laws, when in reality all 50 had retreat first as the law in 2004 and 21 adopted stand your ground since 2005. Surprising to me.

So when did liberal laws mandating the requirement to retreat became the law in all 50 states? When did that happen and how it it come about? It seems stand your ground has only been in effect since 2005. So, what changed and when exactly did it change? Frankly, I never would have thought my best legal defense was retreating when I was in a fight. I would have always assumed that I had a right to defend my honor and myself in a public place. What an eyeopener for all of us. I would have thought we were historically a society of shoot first crazies and not run first cowards.

I have not heard a peep on this aspect of the stand your ground concept on the news and consequently it might seem like an odd question but if you get my point please offer some insight.
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Fordama
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Re: Stand your Ground Question

Post by Fordama »

America hasn't ever been a "shoot first" kind of nation. That's a creation of 'Old West" fiction writers and Hollywood. Pop culture has greatly over-romanticized the use of the gun. Muzzle loading guns were never very effective as personal weapons. One shot, and then they became clubs.

Western writers of the late 19th and early 20th century greatly exaggerated gunplay in the old West. Then Hollywood took it even further. Heck, even notorious "gunfighter" Doc Holliday only shot at anybody twice in his whole life before the OK Corral.

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barstow wiz
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Re: Stand your Ground Question

Post by barstow wiz »

very good and thought provoking question.
:)
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John Q. Public
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Re: Stand your Ground Question

Post by John Q. Public »

Mr. Grady wrote:I would have always assumed that I had a right to defend my honor and myself in a public place.
We still don't have a right to defend our honor with force, even in stand your ground states.

I have a feeling that the responsibility to avoid deadly confrontations predates the country.
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barstow wiz
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Re: Stand your Ground Question

Post by barstow wiz »

yeah, we really avoided deadly confrontations with the native americans didn't we jqp.
:eh?:
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Re: Stand your Ground Question

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Ummm....then would you conclude those confrontations were the result of irresponsible leaders...or something else?
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Re: Stand your Ground Question

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barstow wiz wrote:yeah, we really avoided deadly confrontations with the native americans didn't we jqp.
:eh?:
We didn't consider them as equal human beings.

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Re: Stand your Ground Question

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barstow wiz wrote:yeah, we really avoided deadly confrontations with the native americans didn't we jqp.
:eh?:
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Troglodyte
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Re: Stand your Ground Question

Post by Troglodyte »

Nobody is talking about "High Noon" here...
It sure beats our present situation where we have to wait until the other person beats you up, stabs, or shots at you before you are allowed to defend yourself, or the cops can step in. We've turned into a nation of wimps.
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Re: Stand your Ground Question

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You appear to like and approve of the idea of kicking the crap out of people to resolve issues, Trog.
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Troglodyte
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Re: Stand your Ground Question

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Parrotpaul wrote:You appear to like and approve of the idea of kicking the crap out of people to resolve issues, Trog.
Kinda got that backward, Paul.. I don't like the idea of someone kicking the crap out of me.
I usually do not start fights, but finish them.. Yeah, I got my share of getting my ass kicked too..
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Re: Stand your Ground Question

Post by kramer »

Troglodyte wrote: We've turned into a nation of wimps.
Without a doubt.

Maybe we're all turning into Frenchmen?
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Re: Stand your Ground Question

Post by John Q. Public »

Cops can't even shoot without there being a clear threat, Trog. It's been that way for centuries.
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Troglodyte
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Re: Stand your Ground Question

Post by Troglodyte »

John Q. Public wrote:Cops can't even shoot without there being a clear threat, Trog. It's been that way for centuries.
Cops have the training and where with all to deal with those situations, we don't..
Even so they defend themselves as best they can, and sometimes get it wrong.
As the saying goes; it's better to be judged by twelve than carried by six.
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Re: Stand your Ground Question

Post by Parrotpaul »

Zimmerman wasn't a cop. He was told not to personally deal with the situation. He disregarded that advice from someone we can presume had some training. A young boy died as a result of Zimmerman's decision making.
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Re: Stand your Ground Question

Post by joefutbol »

Troglodyte wrote:Nobody is talking about "High Noon" here...
It sure beats our present situation where we have to wait until the other person beats you up, stabs, or shots at you before you are allowed to defend yourself
If it was allowed, would that be called defending or attacking?
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Re: Stand your Ground Question

Post by kramer »

Parrotpaul wrote:Zimmerman wasn't a cop.
And neither are people fireman or EMT workers who stop and help people in accidents. Yet they do and there is no outcry from some people for them to stop. And don't some states have laws that require people with no firefighter or EMT training to assist others in need which includes accident victims?
Parrotpaul wrote:He was told not to personally deal with the situation.
And did he confront Martin he or did he just keep following him until Martin confronted Zimmerman?

The thing I want to know is, is it true that Zimmerman referred to Martin as an "f****** coon" in the police call he made? (Nancy Grace said this the other day on her show. If so, that to me shows Zimmerman to be quite possibly a racist).
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Re: Stand your Ground Question

Post by joefutbol »

kramer wrote: And did he confront Martin he or did he just keep following him until Martin confronted Zimmerman?
At what point do you confront someone who is following you? You act as if that is an absurdity.
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Re: Stand your Ground Question

Post by Fordama »

Troglodyte wrote:Nobody is talking about "High Noon" here...
It sure beats our present situation where we have to wait until the other person beats you up, stabs, or shots at you before you are allowed to defend yourself, or the cops can step in. We've turned into a nation of wimps.
Zimmerman did not have to wait to defend himself. It just turns out he was a pansy and couldn't do it.

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Re: Stand your Ground Question

Post by Parrotpaul »

Parrotpaul wrote: Zimmerman wasn't a cop.
kramer wrote: And neither are people fireman or EMT workers who stop and help people in accidents. Yet they do and there is no outcry from some people for them to stop. And don't some states have laws that require people with no firefighter or EMT training to assist others in need which includes accident victims?
There is a difference between people trying to save lives and give assistance to the injured and shooting someone because you think they need to be shot. That said, I believe any unqualified person who attempts to give aid to someone and causes further harm is subject to being sued....probably also happen to someone who was qualified and caused further harm.
Parrotpaul wrote:He was told not to personally deal with the situation.
kramer wrote: And did he confront Martin he or did he just keep following him until Martin confronted Zimmerman?
Dunno....only Zimmerman and Martin know that...and Martie can't relate his side. Zimmerman shot the boy to death. How long would you need to be followed before you at least asked the guy what he wanted?
kramer wrote:The thing I want to know is, is it true that Zimmerman referred to Martin as an "f****** coon" in the police call he made? (Nancy Grace said this the other day on her show. If so, that to me shows Zimmerman to be quite possibly a racist).
I have no idea. If Nancy Grace said it was true, what reason would we have to doubt it?
"I think I may say that of all the men we meet with, nine parts of ten are what they are, good or evil, useful or not, by their education." John Locke
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