Here in North Alabama, personal firearms are as common as farm tractors. I have not found anyone who attacks the 2nd Amendment around here, like I’ve read about anti-gun people doing in other areas. However, I still felt the need to write about “Our Right to Bear Arms.”
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a Free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Even our Supreme Court has ruled that In Parker v. District of Columbia (March 2007), the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Washington, D.C.’s handgun ban on the grounds that it violates the Second Amendment’s guarantee of an individual’s right to bear arms.
Do you believe that the police are required to protect you by law? That is NOT the law. The police cannot be there to protect individual citizens from attack or harm. When seconds count, the police are just minutes away. In Warren vs. District of Columbia, the court found that the D.C. police “owe no specific duty” to protect individuals from criminal harm. Therefore, the District was held harmless. Ms. Warren and her two female roommates were brutalized horribly after the D.C. police were called, but never arrived to help.
I saw a paragraph the other day which really sums it up. “Oh, so you’re against private ownership of guns? I’ll bet you don’t believe in fire extinguishers, either. I mean, you can always just call the fire department, right?” I personally believe that I must, under my moral code, be willing and able to defend myself and my loved ones. To cower in a corner, frozen by fear, is just not something this “sheep dog” is going to do.
Now, what about the tools of self defense? If someone is trying to kill you, would you agree that it is ok to use a hammer as a tool to stop them? How about a baseball bat or a frying pan? Is it fair for you to use a knife to defend yourself or a loved one? How about hitting them with a coffee pot? Why isn’t it ok to use a gun to stop them if they are trying to kill you? When your life is in danger, does the tool used for self-defense have any bearing on whether or not the defense was justified? Now, let’s not jump to any misguided conclusions. Self defense is exactly that and no more. Self defense is NOT getting even with someone. Self defense is not retaliation for what they did or said yesterday.
BASIC RULES OF CLAIMING SELF DEFENSE
1) Innocence: You cannot be the aggressor!
2) Immediate: The threat MUST be right now, not earlier in the hour, day, week, month or year!
3) Proportionality: Your defense MUST be NO greater than needed to stop the threat.
4) Reasonableness: Your action to defend yourself must be reasonable.
5) Avoidance****: If there is a SAFE retreat, you must retreat!
*** Alabama is a “Castle Doctrine and Stand your Ground State.” However, retreat might be the wisest and safest thing to do.
ALL OF THE ABOVE ELEMENTS MUST BE PRESENT TO CLAIM SELF DEFENSE!
Gun Free Zones: Wow! Free Guns? I wish I could find one of those zones! There are several guns on my wish list that I want to get for free! Gun Free Zone signs should also state, “Crime Free Zone, any criminal is free to come here and attack innocent people, because no one here is allowed defend themselves!” I do see a few “Gun Free Zone” signs around Athens. Those business owners should be ashamed of themselves. I have actually brought up to various business owners or managers the futility of such a sign. The typical answer has been, “Oh, I have no control over that sign, it is corporate policy” or “The owner of the building put that sign there.” Let’s speak up and stop this insanity. All the mass shootings, in schools, malls, theaters and churches have been in gun free zones. It did not stop the murders. I do believe that armed citizen MUST be trained to safely and properly use a firearm, to defend themselves and their loved ones.
By: Paul Foreman
Paul Foreman is a retired Deputy Sheriff. He is also a Certified NRA Firearms Instructor. You can reach Paul through his web site at www.PaulForeman.com.