For those outside the regular confines of the debate over armed self-defense, Stand Your Ground laws can be confusing, and are perceived—wrongly—as provocative. Recent news from Iowa and Florida have thrust the statutes once again into the limelight, as the Hawkeye State seems poised to add an SYG statute, and the Sunshine State to protect theirs. In the simplest terms, these laws say that you don’t have to retreat to the last possible extremity before you defend yourself with force up to and including lethal means (generally, a handgun).
Assaults on such statutes are routinely, hysterically squealed by the regular-folks-are-incompetent crowd, and betray just how sheltered these elitists are. Their lack of knowledge of how attacks actually unfold—in a few seconds, even fractions thereof—was never more transparent. Instead, they insist such laws are “shoot first” laws, and shield criminal murders under the guise of self-defense. Legally coerced retreat is supposed—we guess—to allow third parties to intervene, or for law enforcement to be summoned, but a scan of this sort of data is not remotely encouraging.
Yet the problem for good guys remains. The absence of Stand Your Ground represents just one more advantage to aggressors: They’ve already chosen time, place, weapon(s), method and numbers, now they’ve got you backing up, or simply running.The playgrounds of youth should have taught these folks the hazards of such a plan.