Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Right to Self Defense

In England, burglars didn't merely loot Norfolk farmer Tony Martin's property once. They kept coming back. Finally, he waited with a shotgun and shot the repeat offenders, killing Fred Barras and wounding Barras' accomplice, Brendan Fearon.

In 1999, Martin -- that's right, the burglars' victim -- was convicted of murder, reduced to manslaughter on appeal. He will serve more time than the surviving burglar, who was sentenced to 20 months and long since freed.

Greatfully we don't have that here, but some would like it to be more like England. But some have been charged for self defense which has caused quite a stink. This has in turn brought about legislation that protects self defense.

In April 2005, with a lobbyist for the National Rifle Association at his side, Gov. Jeb Bush signed a bill making it clear that victims have a right to defend themselves on the street, meeting "force with force" without fear of being prosecuted.

The measure says any person "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."

This common-sense bill, restoring a right to self-defense which American used to assume was widely understood, has proved so popular that similar measures have now been approved in 15 states including: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, and Michigan -- and have been
proposed in eight more, including Maryland, Ohio, and Virginia. Read More.

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