Jan 31, 2012

Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground

A House committee this afternoon approved House File 573.  Oversimplified, it embraces the sensible notion that your right to defend yourself against violence is well-nigh universal and that you have no legal duty to retreat from threat, in your home or on the streets.

I like to think of it as putting the fear of God into violent criminals, one thug at a time, any time, anywhere.

The antis will resume their snide characterization of a "shoot your neighbor law."

That is their understanding of reasoned discourse, and they will not admit to being persuaded that (a) little, if any, additional gun play will occur as a result of HF573 and (b )the value of the policy is in making thugs think twice before they sneak into your bedroom or grab your wife's purse (or something) as you stroll home from the movies.


The politics of the thing is iffy. Conventional wisdom has it passing the GOP-controlled house but faltering in a Senate laden with Democrats and some Republican metrocons.

While that may be a smart-money bet this early in the legislative goat rope, it's also the same conventional thinking that was dead wrong on shall-issue in 2010. Liberals that year eyeballed an upcoming election and scurried to the camp of most Iowa voters, a peaceable lot who really hate shooting other folks but reserve the right to do so when there's no time to summon a cop or even a government-trained crisis counsellor.

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