Stand your ground

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mexi cali
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Stand your ground

Post by mexi cali »

I posted to the Travon Martin and the stand your ground law but no one really responded to that question so i was wondering if anyone here might be interested in discussing it. Or may be we could talk about gun control and self defense in Canada as a sub topic to the topic. They're kind of related.

These are issues I definitely have an opinion on and if anyone else wants to talk about it, I think we would see some spirit.

Conversely, we could kill it before it starts and call it a day.
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steven lloyd
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Re: stand your ground

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I’m wondering what your issues are and which direction you expect this discussion to go. My personal opinion is that Canadian Law, as written (as opposed to necessarily enforced), is entirely adequate and, in fact, much more conscionable and reasonable than the “Stand Your Ground” law of some States. Under section 34.(1) the Canadian Criminal Code defines self-defence as “Every one who is unlawfully assaulted without having provoked the assault is justified in repelling force by force if the force he uses is not intended to cause death or grievous bodily harm and is no more than necessary to enable him to defend himself. Section 34.(2) goes on and states “Everyone who is unlawfully assaulted and who causes death or grievous bodily harm in repelling the assault is justified if (a) he cause it under reasonable apprehension of death or grievous bodily harm from the violence with which the assault was originally made or with which the assailant pursues his purposes; and (b) he believes, on reasonable grounds, that he cannot otherwise preserve himself from death or grievous bodily harm.

Under this law it would likely be quite clear that a person such as Zimmerman had no right to shoot Travon Martin as he did, and not being accidental or unintended, would constitute second degree murder (as opposed to manslaughter, or pre-meditated first degree murder). What we know is that a police operator told Mr. Zimmerman to back off and quit following Travon. We also have information that suggests there is a recording of a phone conversation that Travon was having with his girlfriend (or that she will make the statement) that Travon was pleading for his life saying “Please don’t shoot me”. Under Canadian Law there would be no way Zimmerman could argue self-defence, and I believe most people of reasonable intelligence would agree this was not a justifiable case of self-defence. My personal opinion of the “Stand Your Ground” law is that it is a poorly thought out. I suppose there is some rationale to support it, but without qualification (such as provided under Canadian Law) it will be (and perhaps is?) a recipe for vigilantism and reckless endangerment. It is my opinion the American Justice system would be well-served to be very prudent in its response to this incident.
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Re: stand your ground

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removed by author.
Last edited by mexi cali on Apr 24th, 2012, 8:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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mexi cali
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Re: stand your ground

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This was my post from the original thread and should answer your question.

There is much about the Zimmerman case that is disturbing. That he continued after the victim despite being told that "we don't need you to follow him". That he wasn't smart enough to know that the guy with the gun is in charge and that he didn't merely order Trayvon to stop, hold him there and wait for police. Maybe most important would be that he failed to realize or forgot that he was acting as a neighborhood watchman and that his primary responsibility is to observe and report.

Regardless of this situation which will work it's way out in court, my personal preference would be to support an amendment(s) to our own constitution which would allow citizens to protect themselves and their property with whatever force is necessary without fear of repercussion from the legal system given that the circumstances indicated that force, excessive force or deadly force was justifiable.

Yes, before you all grab your pitchforks and warm up the typing fingers, I realize that there is no cut and dry way to support that a given situation warranted these types of force which would satisfy everyone and that there would still be issues. The Zimmerman case is a shining example of this.

But there are many, many examples where this law works well and one poster provided some great links to some.

Consider the example of the video of the thug(s) who fire bombed a mans home while yelling at him to get himself gone and threatening to kill him if he didn't. The man is a firearms instructor with weapons on premise. He accesses them, loads one at least and fires 3 warning shots. Problem is solved, bad guys leave, police come and because he hadn't properly re stowed the remaining guns, was charged with improper storage and illegal use of a firearm with respect to the discharge of the warning shots.

What kind of messed up country is this? The message is clear and it is that we are NOT allowed to protect ourselves or our property with firearms and that the State has an agenda to prosecute virtually any and all instances of use of said firearms in an effort to ensure that no private citizen is able to acquire a restricted weapon.

Many, possibly most Canadians might think that the US is crazy and overly lenient with their defense of the second amendment and maybe they are to a degree but we are just as crazy with our manic and ridiculous laws when it comes to the restriction of the use and procurement of firearms and the allowable punishment for the use of a firearm in the protection of our selves and property.

Just for a second, forget guns. Club an intruder over the head with a bat or stab an attacker with a legally possessed knife and you will quickly understand the lengths that our system will go to to prosecute you for self defense.

Anyone who illegally enters a building must be considered a threat of the highest order and treated accordingly. The police consider any criminal activity as potential threats and they will act accordingly. Take the thread regarding the grad prank gone wrong. They assume the worst until it is proven otherwise and the situation is diffused. And rightly so.

Why then are we not allowed the same rights in the event of personal attack or illegal entry to our property?

If you choose to physically assault someone for whatever reason or break into their home, again, for whatever reason, you are a threat to life and liberty and if you get pummeled, maced, stabbed, shot or dead, that should be the price you pay for your actions.

As a citizen, father, husband and property owner, I will do whatever is necessary to stop anyone who tries to harm me, my family or my property with whatever force I have on hand and I would like to know that I live in a country where my state protected my right to do so.

We currently live under a system which says that we must not exacerbate a situation by using excessive force. I would much prefer to stand my ground.

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Captain Awesome
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Re: stand your ground

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The less access ordinary people have to firearms the better. Last thing you need is everybody carrying a gun "for protection".
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Re: stand your ground

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I agree with that cap, to a point. I think that the degree of difficulty involved in firearm acquisition is excessive. i do not think that if the system were made less onerous that you would have a flood of people looking to get a permit though. Those who feel strongly about gun possession on either side will still feel the same.

Just so we're clear though, I am all for gun possession. I have had a restricted weapons permit and am strongly considering reacquiring it even though the laws have become much more stringent.
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Re: stand your ground

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To Mr. Loyd. I expect this to take whatever direction it will take.
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steven lloyd
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Re: stand your ground

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Captain Awesome wrote:The less access ordinary people have to firearms the better. Last thing you need is everybody carrying a gun "for protection".

Absolutely. Owning hunting rifles is one thing, but everyday people carrying handguns for "protection" ? Very scary concept.
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Re: stand your ground

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I think you're making an assumption and that is that ordinary people are not capable of responsibly carrying a firearm.

While I agree that there are some who definitely should not, you cannot paint us all with the same brush. It is conceding victory to the system and disallowing those who are responsible from owning a restricted weapon.

It irks me that the law seems to believe that only peace officers are capable of properly carrying a weapon. Yes they receive extensive training but so does the average citizen. It is required that they know how to fire a gun and how to disassemble and reassemble it and what all of the working parts are so they understand them thoroughly.

To say that Police officers are somehow more responsible than the rest of us is ludicrous. The uniform does not make for an automatically responsible and trustworthy individual. There are many, many stories of unlawful death and accidental discharge attributable to police and if you like, i will dig up some links.

While this wasn't intended to be a thread on gun ownership, it is linked quite tightly with the stand your ground debate.

We are handcuffed to laws which have no business being laws in the first place. Steven, you posted excerpts from the criminal code and contained within this document which is used and has been used many times in the past to prosecute the victim are the words Reasonable Grounds and they are words that will hang you because in Canada, there does not exist a reasonable circumstance where a weapon was used in self defense.

Yes, there are some instances, few are far between where the victim was acquitted but only after their lives were irrevocably changed by having to defend themselves through a trial. And that is plain wrong and that is what I am against.

If I have a legally acquired firearm in my home, someone breaks in and I am able to unlock the storage case, load the gun and the perpetrator is killed in the process, so be it.

I can assure you that in this situation, I am not thinking about how to convince this person to leave peacefully. I am thinking how to end it and if deadly force is used then again, so be it.

I could care less what the motivator was for this misguided individual to want to take what is mine. I don't care if it's drug addiction, gambling debts, initiation, thrill, desperation or any reason at all. If he breaks into my home, the likelihood of it ending well for him or her is slim.

And our laws will protect that individuals life over my right to protect myself.
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Re: stand your ground

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ledzep77 wrote:I think you're making an assumption and that is that ordinary people are not capable of responsibly carrying a firearm.

Assumption? That's a fact, that's not assumption.
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Re: stand your ground

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ledzep77 wrote:I think you're making an assumption and that is that ordinary people are not capable of responsibly carrying a firearm.

Captain Awesome wrote: Assumption? That's a fact, that's not assumption.

Most ordinary people are not capable of making an intelligent decision voting at election time, let alone demonstrate the responsibility of owning a restricted handgun. The proof of this has been demonstrated over and over again and one doesn’t have to look farther than this province for evidence of that (see last three provincial elections). God forbid we start having these same everyday people walking around with restricted sidearms who think they have the right to shoot to kill if someone looks at them in a threatening manner (and yes, as evidenced by incidents in the States, this is exactly what we are trying to avoid).

People who can’t make an intelligent decision at voting time but we want to entrust them to assess “justifiable” in a split second. I served in the CAF and was trained and practiced in the use of multiple restricted weapons and still don’t see the need to own or use one in our Canadian Society. As a highly trained soldier who was at one time prepared to fight and die for the freedoms of Canadians I recognize how scary it is we have minimally trained wannabes (“Oh yah – we’re more trained than police”) who want to play heroes.

In Canada you already have the legal right to own a gun (even a handgun if you meet the qualifications) and have it secured within your home under proper regulations. Under existing law if you shot and killed an intruder who broke into your home in the night and was threatening you with immediate grievous harm or risk of death to yourself or someone you loved you could claim self-defense. What more do you need? However - the right to walk the streets with a concealed and loaded restricted weapon just daring someone to look at you the wrong way? That is definitely not the Canada I want to live in. If that’s the power trip someone is looking for they should move to at least Florida, or better yet, maybe even Somalia. I hear Mogadishu is very nice this time of year and people there hardly ever care if you shoot someone.
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Re: Stand your ground

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I never stated that I wanted the right to carry a sidearm on the streets. If the law allowed it, I might but I did not say that that was what I was after. I am after a balance somewhere between what The US laws allow and the draconian laws we are forced to endure allow.

As for CA stating that it is "fact" that ordinary citizens are incapable of owning a firearm, what is that based on? If you looked at the number of firearm owners currently registered versus the number of hand gun incidents, the percentage is small. So in my estimation, that would suggest that most who own firearms are responsible and capable.

As I said earlier, if the laws were changed to allow easier access to gun ownership, I don't see there being a rush to go out and buy one because views on both sides are strong.

You casually suggest that in your opinion at least if i were to shoot someone in my home who was their uninvited that I merely have to say that it was self defense and that's it. All good.

Nope. Too many cases where the shooter was dragged through the system because the states agenda is to eradicate private gun ownership because that is what will solve violent crime in the opinions of the "experts" or alarmists, as I call them.

My brother in law lives in LV and several years ago the state made it legal to carry a sidearm in public as long as it was visible and guess what, violent crime involving fire arms actually went down. Reason? Who would be stupid enough to pull a gun on someone when there is a better than even odds chance that they too are armed. Simple logic really.

He carries a gun in his car as does his wife and he keeps one with him when he drives for work and he has never had occasion to use any of them but he is fully prepared to if the need arises.

My uncle was a long haul driver for years and carried a gun both legally and illegally as he transported state to state and he too never had occasion to show it let alone use it but it sure let him sleep better at night.

The problem with guns is that when something goes tragically wrong, the media is all over it but the simple truth is that there are few incidents compared to the number of weapons out there. It happens and it's tragic when it does but that does not mean that the answer is elimination or restriction of rights. If that were the answer then the same logic could apply to the sale of tobacco, alcohol, automobiles, knives, prescription drugs and the list goes on and on.

And no, I don't think that this is an unfair comparison.
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Re: Stand your ground

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ledzep77 wrote:As for CA stating that it is "fact" that ordinary citizens are incapable of owning a firearm, what is that based on? So in my estimation, that would suggest that most who own firearms are responsible and capable.

Owning a firearm is actually quite easy. The problem comes in when people start walking around with them or using them for "protection". Vast majority of people are not mentally prepared to use firearms for protection and simply rely on having it as deterrent without ever using it. It's my general opinion that people are becoming more and more psychotic with every generation as population grows. Giving these people guns is like giving a monkey a grenade - nobody knows what it will do with it.

My brother in law lives in LV and several years ago the state made it legal to carry a sidearm in public as long as it was visible and guess what, violent crime involving fire arms actually went down.

That's a nice story and everything but let's not forget that crime rates have been falling for totally different reasons for years - trying to tie it to lax firearms laws is somewhat naive.
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Re: Stand your ground

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ledzep77 wrote: You casually suggest that in your opinion at least if i were to shoot someone in my home who was their uninvited that I merely have to say that it was self defense and that's it.

Not quite. However, once again, Section 34.(2) of the Criminal Code states “Everyone who is unlawfully assaulted and who causes death or grievous bodily harm in repelling the assault is justified if (a) he cause it under reasonable apprehension of death or grievous bodily harm from the violence with which the assault was originally made or with which the assailant pursues his purposes; and (b) he believes, on reasonable grounds, that he cannot otherwise preserve himself from death or grievous bodily harm”. In other words, you would have to do more than merely say it was self-defence, and likely might even have to testify in Court as to how your actions met the standard of the Criminal Code – and thank goodness for that in my opinion.
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Re: Stand your ground

Post by mexi cali »

I may be a lot of thngs CA but naive is not one of them and if you re read my statement< I said that gun related crime involving firearms went down. While I respect and appreciate your input, I don't appreciate the unwarranted and misguided criticism.
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