“Stand Your Ground” Laws Fuzzy on What “Your Ground” Is

Today, Raul Rodriguez, a 47-year-old man in Texas was convicted of murder and sentenced to 40 years in prison.  He shot and killed his next-door neighbor after a dispute over a birthday party with loud music that escalated into a situation where Raul feared for his life.  He even called 911 beforehand and told them that he felt threatened, was using the “stand your ground” law and was probably going to have to use his firearm to protect himself.

Raul Rodriguez is an elementary school teacher for God's sake. Maybe 40 years at the prison law library will help him understand why he's there.

Dozens of states have these so-called “stand your ground” laws enacted.  Basically, the law’s intended purpose is to give people the right to defend themselves if they perceive a threat on their property.  The spirit of the law goes like this:  someone is breaking into your home…you don’t know if they are armed or not…you fear for you and your family’s life…so you shoot first and ask questions later.  The idea is that if a homeowner waits until they are sure there is a true physical threat, it may be too late to save themselves.  So, if someone has the audacity to infringe on “your ground” in this manner, you have the legal right to use deadly force against them without the fear of legal consequences.   Most people agree with the law in its intended purpose, but the problem here lately is that the law is being misinterpreted and then still used as a grounds for defense.

The phrase “stand your ground” has multiple meanings.  Think about it.  Standing your ground can mean not backing down when threatened.  If you interpret it this way, then you have the “stand your ground” right wherever you go, if you feel you are in danger.  It can also mean defending your property.  Meaning that you have the right to “stand your ground” in your home and defend it at all costs.  This is the actual meaning of the law, but the misinterpretation is causing some people to think they have the right to go out and use deadly force on individuals and not call it murder.

Everyone knows about George Zimmerman and the highly controversial Trayvon Martin case.  Zimmerman, like Rodriguez, claimed he was acting under the “stand your ground” law in Florida.  Prosecutors didn’t agree with him, and he is now awaiting trial for second-degree murder.  Obviously, the Texas jury did not side with Rodriguez.  But why?  Well, if you take a common sense approach to either situation, you can easily understand the difference between an authentic “stand your ground” defense and a fraudulent one.

The question is simple and we encourage our readers to pose this question if they ever find themselves in one of these unfortunate situations:

If I stay in my home and refuse to open the door, will I be safe?  Is there a reasonable suspicion that I am in danger even if I stay indoors and wait for authorities to arrive?

If the answer is yes, you have no right to kill anyone.  If the answer is no, fire away.  But remember, you are already in your home when you answer no, right.  If you are in your home and someone comes into it and you perceive that they are a threat to your safety, you have every right to kill them.  “Stand your ground” is not a bubble that travels with you everywhere you go.  It means that you have a right to defend yourself, not attack someone else on their property.  In the case of Rodriguez, he complained about the noise.  The neighbors got belligerent.  He came back with a gun this time to complain again.  First of all, he should have never left his home with a gun, or why even go back a second time?  Call the cops.  Sit back and pop some popcorn.  It’s not that damn serious, people.  But he went back with the gun which further enraged the guests.  Then, they threaten to do bodily harm to him.  He goes back home again, calls the cops again, tells them he fears for his life.  But does he sit tight.  Nope.  He goes back again to finish the game.  That’s not self-defense.  He went back because he thought he could commit murder and get away with it.  I’ll bet if you could find out, these guys have a long history of strife between them.  He didn’t want to go to sleep afraid or wait for the cops.  He pushed the issue with gun in hand, and the result, as it so often is, is a dead body.  And now for Rodriguez, who claimed the law as his only real defense, it means 40 years in prison which considering that he is quite overweight, will probably amount to a life sentence.

Stand your ground.  You got the gun.  Wait for the cops.  If they rush your house, shoot them.  If not, then you are nothing but a murderer, and it seems that the law is not on your side.

And as a side note, these situations are not good for the gun control agenda.  It makes the government happy to see people going crazy murdering their neighbors.  It only makes it a better sell for when they try to take the guns away from all of those who use them only legitimately.