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.

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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 Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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