There are lies; there are damn lies; then there are the claims of gun control advocates.

I am fairly sure that neither Matt Nowling nor the Ohio Democratic Party has actually made any effort to understand SB 237. To be honest, I am not sure they have even read it.

The characterization of Stand Your Ground (SYG) laws as "kill at will" legislation is fear-mongering. SB 237 does not change the existing standards for the lawful use of any force, including lethal force, in self-defense. There still must be a clear and immediate threat of death or serious injury.

Ohio enacted a Castle Doctrine law in 2008. If a person is attacked in their home or vehicle, the person can forcibly resist the attack. There is no duty to retreat. The proposed Ohio legislation simply takes that and expands it to any place a person has a lawful right to be.

SB 237 also shields a person who defends themselves from an attack against civil suits stemming from any injuries or death the assailant might suffer because they attacked someone who resisted.

A person attacks you and Ohio law says you have the right to defend yourself. This isn't just Ohio law, it's law stretching back to the dawn of life on this planet. You have the right to resist being eaten; to use any means at your disposal to resist; and you have that right no matter where you might be.

Just what is so difficult to understand about that? And why does the Ohio Democratic Party want to deprive people of that right?

The Trayvon Martin incident is actually a failure on the part of the criminal justice system.

Florida's SYG law is fairly easy to read and understand and a person who is a senior in high school, let alone college, should be able to figure out that the proposed Ohio law is very similar.

George Zimmerman should have been convicted of at least manslaughter. He was the aggressor; he ignored the 911 dispatchers instructions to stay in his vehicle and wait for police to arrive. Trayvon Martin should have just ignored Zimmerman; Zimmerman had no legal right to detain Martin or to prevent Martin from simply walking away. Only a sworn law enforcement officer has that kind of authority.

Martin vigorously physically resisted, which may have been an unlawful use of force; Zimmerman escalated to lethal force, which was also unwarranted.

To be honest, I don't think SYG laws were even applicable to what happened.

I do know that the Trayvon Martin incident is no excuse to make the claims bandied about whenever another state has enacted SYG laws.

Right now, 34 states either have actual SYG laws or have expanded existing Castle Doctrine statues to apply them outside of the home. Have we seen a raft of Trayvon Martin incidents? No. There have been some cases in which a person tried to use a SYG defense in an incident where it was not applicable. These people are generally serving fairly lengthy sentences in prison for convictions for offenses ranging from manslaughter to first-degree murder.

Lies such as the one advanced by Mr. Nowling and the Democratic Party are poisoning any chance for a dialogue.

Professional writer. Passionately interested in facts. Founder of onewordtexas.org

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