Do you think there is enough tension and division in the United States right now? Are folks hot enough around the collar? Y’know what might cool things off here in Ohio?

Opening up our gun laws to “stand your ground” so that Ohioans have no duty to retreat and can kill each other whenever they feel under attack. Great. Perfect. Run with it.

That’s apparently the thinking of some Ohio Republicans.

From the Columbus Dispatch:

“We want to eliminate your duty to retreat when you are under threat of violent attack,” said (state) Sen. Jay Hottinger, R-Newark, a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 180, which was introduced Tuesday. “It’s difficult to defend yourself when you are running away or your back is turned.”

Pending companion House and Senate bills also would expand the so-called Castle Doctrine, which allows people to act in self-defense, without retreating, when in their homes, cars or relatives’ cars. Under the new legislation, that would be changed to allow people to act in self-defense without retreating when also anywhere a person has a legal right to be, such as on a sidewalk or in a parking lot.

What about wanna-be vigilantes stalking kids armed with Skittles and Arizona tea through their neighborhood, like George Zimmerman did to Trayvon Martin? Legal right to stalk, provoke, and “stand ground” to kill? This doesn’t sound like it will end well; it obviously hasn’t before.

But wait! There’s more! From the Dispatch:

The bills also would shift the burden to prosecutors in self-defense cases to prove that criminal defendants did not act to defend themselves, others or their homes. Hottinger said Ohio is the only state in which people must prove they acted in self-defense in using deadly force.

The Republican-controlled House passed a wide-ranging, pro-gun bill in late 2013 that included stand-your-ground language, but the Senate removed the provision amid objections from prosecutors and police.

Ah, yes, but now the “law and order” party wants to make law enforcement and prosecutors’ jobs harder against their objections. Makes sense. Or maybe police and prosecutors have changed their minds?

The Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association and the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio have not changed their positions.

Well then.

“We think a person who has a safe way of avoiding a confrontation should take advantage of that rather than just stand there and blast away,” said John Murphy, executive director of the prosecutors group.

Murphy also said it is reasonable to require a defendant to prove a self-defense claim by a preponderance of evidence — a lesser standard than beyond reasonable doubt. Current laws have worked well with no evidence that prosecutors are improperly pursuing charges against people who properly act in self-defense.

And what of the police?

Michael Weinman, governmental affairs director for the FOP, said the organization continues to oppose stand-your-ground legislation.

“Even officers have a duty to de-escalate the situation before it gets to the point of using deadly force,” he said.

De-escalation, what a concept.

  • At the time he was shot by George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin was already a suspected serial burglar, stolen gun trafficker, and multiple drug abuser with a self-documented history of committing violence against other people, and enjoying it. It is nothing more or less than a statement of absolute fact to describe Trayvon Martin as matching the dictionary definition of a “thug” well before he ever encountered George Zimmerman.

    George Zimmerman was on his way to the store when he noticed a figure in the rain lurking outside the window of a home in his community which had just recently been burglarized. This is very suspicious activity, and Zimmerman called 911 and followed the suspicious character from a distance while relaying information to the dispatcher, including when asked that he was unsure of the race of the individual.

    When that figure noticed Zimmerman following him in his truck at a distance, he sprinted away between buildings, and quickly disappeared in the dark. Zimmerman left his truck in a vain effort to keep the suspicious person in sight for responding officers, but gave up his attempt when the dispatcher told Zimmerman “we don’t need you to do that.” Zimmerman then walked to the next cross street to provide the dispatcher the address of the last known location of the suspicious person, hung up his phone, and began walking back to his truck.

    The first part of the whole Martin-Zimmerman incident was over when Martin was standing safe in front of his home, and Zimmerman broke of to return to his truck to meet the police. More than four minutes had passed since Trayvon Martin ran away.

    The second part of the whole M-Z incident was initiated by Martin when he CHOSE to double back, confront and assault Zimmerman. Trying to blame Zimmerman for that decision is pure dishonesty.

    Out of the darkness, Trayvon Martin came up behind George Zimmerman, and said “what you followin’ me fo’?”

    Martin then sucker punched Zimmerman, knocked him to the ground, mounted him like an MMA fighter, and began raining down blows along with smashing his head back into the concrete sidewalk. Zimmerman repeatedly cried for help from his neighbors, and while several called 911 at some point in the fight, only one man stepped out briefly to yell at Martin to stop attacking Zimmerman, but he offered no help in stopping the attack. Rachel Jeantel, the girl who was on the phone with Martin, later said in an interview with Piers Morgan on CNN that she believed Martin thought Zimmerman might be gay, rendering the attack a gay-bashing.

    After enduring an attack estimated at more than 40 seconds in length Zimmerman drew his pistol and fired one shot in self defense. It was later proven in court that Zimmerman shot Martin in self-defense. The use-of-force expert who testified during the trial said that he was surprised that Zimmerman waited as long as he did to draw his gun and fire upon Martin, and that he would have been justified in doing so much earlier.

    George Zimmerman was reacting to suspicious behavior, and did not know or care about the race of the person he was following. He did not initiate contact, and did not fire until well after he was attacked and well after he was legally justified in using his gun in self-defense. He did nothing criminally wrong the night he was forced to shoot Trayvon Martin, and only made the tactical mistake of leaving his vehicle and exposing himself to attack from a violent young predator.

    The facts are in. The jury decided correctly. It is up to each individual whether to accept the clear facts, or stand on illogical emotion. Standing on emotion means helping perpetuate the race problem. Yes, it is sad that Martin was killed in this incident, but the facts show that he wantonly attacked Zimmerman, and Zimmerman had every right to defend himself against this unlawful, felonious, and deadly aggression.

  • Jay Eimer

    Stand your ground doesn’t legalize Vigilantism or anything similar. The laws pertaining to when homicide is justified by self defense have several parts. The threat must be real/viable, it must be immediate/imminent, the defender must be innocent (can’t have started the fight or be in the act of committing another crime), proportional (can’t over-react or use excessive force against a NON deadly threat), etc. Avoidance (a “duty” to retreat) is one more of these elements.

    SYG law ONLY removes the duty to retreat. Someone claims self defense and must meet ALL of the elements. Passage of a SYG law just means that not running away can’t be second guessed by a prosecutor playing armchair quarterback just as a means to defeat the self defense claim.

  • fsilber

    “Current laws have worked well with no evidence that prosecutors are improperly pursuing charges against people who properly act in self-defense.”

    The very same case that the author cited — the George Zimmerman / Trayvon Martin episode — is an example of someone who engaged in legitimate self-defense threatened by prosecutors improperly pursuing charges.

  • Jonah Hirsh

    Any law that protects people who use justifiable force in defense of themselves is a good law, not a bad one.

    The burden of proof must always rest with the government, not the accused, who in our system is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, and if enough exculpatory evidence exists to foreclose charges and a trial, a hearing must be made available to present it.


  • Freodo

    Having the grace of being old and an easy target what would you suggest as an alternative of being armed? Stay home and watch the antifa start riots on MSNBC

  • ExNuke

    Ohio desperately needs an Outrun Your Wife and Children Law. As long as she is wearing heels you can easily leave them behind and YOU will be “safe”. It’s the proper Liberal reaction and I’m sure you will be upset that she couldn’t outrun your children and “feeling” bad for her is the proper progressive emotional response while you forgive the unfornunate victim of society who can’t be held responsible.

  • Sy Colepath

    ^^^^^Total fucking bullshit. Every last word.^^^^^

  • Sy Colepath

    Looks like the gun nuts have hijacked this thread. Hopefully, they won’t become victims of their own stupidity.

  • And ~that~ is the best that sy can do, eh ?

    No facts. No reasonn. No rationality. But it makes him fffffffeeeeeellllllll ggggggoooooooddddd to express himself like a child and that is all that counts.

  • cieran58

    What a load of misinformation and fear this article is. From the lies about the Trayvon Martin self defense shooting,(Zimmerman exonerated by the jury of all charges) to the pearl clutching panic that citizens be allowed to defend themselves from criminal attack, rather than fleeing from violent thugs,which allows them to attack from behind, all this editorial shows is a distaste for the possibility that the people of Ohio be allowed to defend themselves.

  • The author is quite ignorant of what SYG even is.

  • The power of belief is strong in you. You must overcome it if you want to understand gun matters.

  • You really need to get informed.

  • Sho Rembo

    SYG wasn’t used in the Zimmerman/Martin case. Unless you get your facts straight why would anyone continue reading?

  • Imperial Survivor

    Run along, gutless yellow-bellied American Liberal

  • Sy Colepath

    I won’t waste my time with liars. GFY.

  • Sy Colepath

    Ha-ha. It’s your ilk that are pant-wetting scared of your own shadow. So sad.

  • Aww… We hurt sy’s widdle feelz, eh. Now he’s gone all pouty pouty on us. Don’t worry Sy, we know that school has started, so now that you’re in 7th grade you’ll have plenty to keep you busy busy busy.

  • CindyLouTerror

    Jack – Sy is the perfect example of the leftist insanity and stupidity. You are 100% correct on all the facts you presented about the Zimmerman case. He should have shot Martin as soon as he was assaulted. I like “stand your ground” rather than getting killed as you try to run away; G-d forbid you should kill a criminal even in self defense, (which is mankind’s right to do per the laws of Almighty G-d.) De-escalate is nonsense especially when attacked and cops carry guns. Concealed carry areas are less likely to have criminal activity, even Bernie Sandman agrees.

  • CindyLouTerror

    You are absolutely correct yet our corrupt criminal justice system is no different than the Napoleonic Code system of law wherein the accused must prove his innocence. The accused in America must likewise prove their innocence. After all defense lawyers must make a living also.

  • CindyLouTerror

    It was a racially biased case in favor of the criminal – a very common thing in today’s insane society.

  • CindyLouTerror

    I truly hope you soon are involved in an assault upon your leftist piss ant self and you are sans any weapon except your inane comments.

  • CindyLouTerror

    Almighty G-d has given mankind the right to self defense.

  • CindyLouTerror

    You obviously misspelled your name, it should read Sy Copath.

  • saltysailor

    Sy is a criminal enabler & apologist.

  • Oh, Sy, you’re so droll. Have you considered a career in stand-up comedy when you grow up?

  • Martha Bartha

    Allah be praised!

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