Since the expansion of the Castle Doctrine in December 2011, every argument, altercation, and confrontation has the potential added element of a weapon. The intent maybe different, as written, but the results are not.
Trayvon Martin is only one story of how the gun laws have enabled the over-zealous to "shoot first." Elected officials across the country are already speaking out against "shoot first" laws, and many of the original supporters of the legislation have made it clear that given a second chance, they would oppose “Shoot First.”
Fourteen NC Representatives have taken a second look at the new version of the law. Ours is similar to the one in Florida, which enabled George Zimmerman to shoot unarmed Trayvon Martin because he claims he thought the teen posed a threat in his neighborhood. The bill they introduced, HB 1192, titled “Amend Castle Doctrine/Repeal Stand Ground” is a reasonable law. We will all still be able to protect our homes and families if necessary.
Contact your representative now! Then send the link below to your family and friends so they can contact their representatives as well!
More on the law as it is now -
Castle Doctrine: Legalizes Murder and Vigilantism
In North Carolina every citizen has the right to use deadly force to defend themselves or their families. If someone protects themselves with force they will not be prosecuted as long as they had no opportunity to retreat. Our current law removes this “duty to retreat” and is an invitation to the reckless use of deadly force.
Where Does Your Castle End?
The “Castle Doctrine” implies that this law applies only to a home or residence. However our current law extends past the individual’s home to their workplace, and vehicle. The shooter could receive immunity for shooting recklessly into a crowd, as long as he thought he was in serious danger. This law provides the shooter civil and criminal immunity for any death or injury whether to a hardened criminal or a helpless child who was only a by-stander.
Encourages and Excuses Vigilantism
America’s police officers undergo months of intensive training to learn the judicious use of deadly force in a public setting. They learn, through that training that the use of deadly force in public is excruciatingly dangerous, and that innocent bystanders can easily be injured or killed. Police leaders and prosecutors in numerous states are concerned these laws will send a message of empowerment to the most aggressive individuals in society – that rather than serve to defend people who use deadly force in a truly life-threatening situation, it will serve as an excuse to edgy individuals.
Who Does this Law Endanger? You.
This law provides protection for someone using deadly force -- it provides no protections for the innocent victims caught in the crossfire. Worse yet this law directly threatens North Carolinians whose jobs require them to visit others homes and properties. For example a social worker on an unannounced home visit, volunteers distributing materials door to door, or even a mailman delivering a package.
The Threat is Real.
After passing similar legislation:
Kenneth Allen, 58, twice shot his neighbor, Jason Rosenbloom, 30, in early June 2006. Rosenbloom went to Allen’s house about a complaint filed. “I was no threat. I had no weapon… He had a gun. I turned around to put my hands up. He didn’t even say a word, and he fired once into my stomach. I bent over, and he shot me in the chest,” Rosenbloom told the New York Times. [New York Times, 8-7-06]
Christopher Cote, 19, of The Acreage, Florida was shot twice with a shotgun and killed by his neighbor, Jose Tapanes, 62, September 17 after an argument began when Cote walked his dog on Tapanes’ property. Tapanes has been charged with first-degree murder and has argued that the new Florida law gave him the right to kill the teen. [Miami Herald, 9-18-06]
Gary Lee Hill got in an argument with a group of people at his house. There was a physical fight, but as the group of people drove away, Hill walked out away from his house with a gun, and shot one of the group, John Lee Knott, in the back. Mr. Hill was found “not guilty’ according to the standards of Colorado’s “Shoot First” law.