Oklahoma Democrat Wants People To Run Away Before Standing Their Ground

Here’s an idea that will surely be mimicked by Democrats across the country

(Huffington Post) Oklahoma state Sen. Kevin Matthews (D) is seeking to amend his state’s “stand your ground” law in the wake of a 2015 shooting that led to the death of a young man.

In February 2015, a security guard at a Tulsa apartment complex shot 21-year-old Monroe Bird III in the spine, paralyzing him. The guard, Ricky Stone, argued that he was acting in self-defense because Bird had allegedly backed his vehicle into him.

Oklahoma’s “stand your ground” law, enacted in 2006, authorizes a person to use force — even deadly force — when attacked. They are not required to try to retreat first.

Matthews’ amendment would change that, stipulating that people must attempt to retreat before they resort to using force.

“I just want to take away an excuse for me to be able to shoot somebody, leaving me all the options to leave rather than shoot someone,” Matthews told The Huffington Post. “I think that’s what we need to be doing as human beings, and definitely as Oklahomans.”

Here’s the thing: you do have the option to leave. The law itself says a person has “a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force,…” It doesn’t say that one cannot simply retreat (or call 911) before standing their ground. The vast majority of the time that people use their Castle Doctrine legal right they are in imminent danger.

Now, if possible, one should try to call 911 or retreat, rather than shooting. Requiring anyone standing their ground to retreat and/or call 911 before defending themselves will put many people in danger, both from the person(s) threatening them, and from the legal system, where they could be held criminally and civilly liable.

I will say this: Matthews does, to a degree, a point. There are uses of Castle Doctrine which are rather dubious. Taking a look at the incident mentioned in the article, Mr. Stone could have, and should have, backed away from the vehicle. There was zero need to fire his weapon.

Another incident was mentioned, where a man shot a 14 year old in the back who was playing a “ring the doorbell and run away” game. What isn’t mentioned is that the homeowner, who had stated he thought the kids looked threatening, being in the middle of the night, has been charged with multiple felonies. Oklahoma law doesn’t allow people to be charged or sued when Castle Doctrine is involved.

Regardless, forcing retreat when in danger puts the person who is being threatened in danger.

Matthews opposed the original “stand your ground” bill when it was introduced in the state legislature in 2006. “Initially when it came here, I said on the floor that I feared that African-Americans and others will be killed,” he said. “Since this law has passed, it has not only been African-Americans, it has been others. Some may have been justified, but to be able to shoot people when you have an option to leave [or] they are leaving — they’re not pulling a gun on you, they’re not aiming a gun at you, they’re not committing violence against you … It’s a dangerous law.”

Would this be the Oklahoma in which only 7.4% of the population is Black, per the 2010 census? Sounds like someone is pandering. It’s more dangerous to require anyone to run away. He also wants to require that people not chase, which is actually common sense, and part of many other States’ Castle Doctrine.

One can expect Democrats in other States and in the US Congress to attempt to push the retreat part.

Crossed at Right Wing News.

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6 Responses to “Oklahoma Democrat Wants People To Run Away Before Standing Their Ground”

  1. John says:

    Teach do you really believe that it is ok to kill someone when there are other options available
    Is that some sort of Christian cult dogma I am unaware of ?

  2. drowningpuppies says:

    Teach do you really believe that it is ok to kill someone when there are other options available

    Like abortions?

  3. gitarcarver says:

    What many people don’t realize is that “stand your ground” laws still require that the use of force be justified.

    The only difference is the “duty to retreat.”

    As seen by john’s post of above, leftists always seem to want to support the criminal activity and not the honest, law abiding citizen.

    BTW drowningpuppies, great response to john’s inane rambling.

  4. Jeffery says:

    If Security Officer Stone was indeed intoxicated the night he shot Mr. Bird, is it good law to protect him with Stand Your Ground? If Stone had missed Bird, would Bird be justified in running down Stone?

    http://www.kjrh.com/news/local-news/family-of-monroe-bird-iii-says-they-have-new-developments-in-mans-shooting-by-security-guard

    The laws may be appropriate but not if they protect killers from receiving justice.

  5. Teach do you really believe that it is ok to kill someone when there are other options available

    Yes, John, I do, but, you are missing the point, probably because you failed to read what I wrote.

    If Security Officer Stone was indeed intoxicated the night he shot Mr. Bird, is it good law to protect him with Stand Your Ground?

    Well, not intoxicated, but reportedly high. If that was the case, than Stone should have been charged. Quite frankly, Stone should have been charged, as all he had to do was step away from the car, which would have been the responsible, and smart, thing to do. HE put himself in the situation. And, per Oklahoma law, Castle Doctrine would not apply. As I pretty much wrote.

  6. gitarcarver says:

    If Security Officer Stone was indeed intoxicated the night he shot Mr. Bird, is it good law to protect him with Stand Your Ground?

    Stand Your Ground laws were never an issue in the Stone case. It is silly and a distortion of the law to argue that they were.

    In order for a person to claim self defense, there are four elements they must meet:

    Innocence: You must not have been the aggressor.
    Imminence: The threat you perceive must be imminent.
    Proportionality: You must use no more force than necessary.
    Reasonableness: Your conduct in self-defense must be reasonable.

    Some states add a fifth element:

    Avoidance: You must retreat if safely possible before using defensive force.

    States that do not have the duty to avoid are “Stand Your Ground” states.

    “Stand Your Ground” laws have been around for a long time – over 130 years. It is nothing new. The important thing to remember is that Stand Your Ground laws do not allow people to go on shooting sprees or killing sprees. A person still must meet the other legal requirements of self defense.

    One of the reasons SYG laws have made a comeback is because people who were otherwise legally defending themselves were convicted for failing to run away. As one writer put it, (paraphrasing) “in a cold, calm courtroom, it was easy for prosecutors to point out avenues of retreat that the defendant could have taken.”

    In the Stone case, for whatever reason (and we can argue about that reason all day) the police and prosecutors felt that Stone met the four elements of self defense.

    They did not charge Stone because his right of self defense does not and should not include the duty to run away.

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