Saturday, August 24, 2019

If A Woman is Attacked Is Her Only Option to Outrun the Man?

Picture your 45 year old mom being attacked by a 20 year old man who has already hit her and says he intends to rape her.

In a few states she has no legal right to defend herself except to turn her back and try to out run the man.  If she does escape.  Great.

If however she pulls a legally owned and permitted pistol out of her purse and turns and shoots her pursuer she is guilty of murder and sent to prison.

It's just too bad for her.  There is no common sense law in those states that says you don't have to try to outrun your attacker.

But Florida has this common sense law (that you probably won't take 10 seconds to read):

A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity 
and who is attacked  
in any other place where he or she has a right to be 
has no duty to retreat 
and has the right to stand his or her ground 
and meet force with force, including deadly force  
IF he or she reasonably believes it is necessary
to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm 
to himself or herself  
or another or to prevent the commission 
of a forcible felony.

That is the never read, never put in print by the media, but much attacked "controversial" Florida Stand Your Ground Law.

You could walk down the streets of Portland Oregon, Boston, New York City and just ask people to read it and (without identifying it as Florida's stand your ground law) say that their State legislature is considering this law and overwhelmingly they would say it makes perfect sense.

Why?  Because the law has these common sense elements:

1. You an innocent person being attacked.
2. You think that turning your back and trying to escape you will be killed.
3. Then you can use whatever force to save your life.

Picture your grandmother in the above scenario.   She has been attacked in a place she has every right to be.  It's life or death---she has a split second.  She can't possibly outrun or overpower her attacker hand to hand.  But she has a legal gun in her purse which she has drawn.  The attacker continues to approach menacing her.  She shoots and her life is saved.

That's all Florida (and many other states') law says.  It does not excuse shooting an attacker who is already backing off or who has indicated they have stopped.  And it does not excuse shooting someone who is not attacking you with the intent of great bodily harm or to kill you.  You can't shoot someone stealing your hub caps on a public street.

However if you say "Stop" then they approach you and menace you with a pry bar and are about to strike you with it, then you can pull a gun and if they continue you may shoot to defend yourself.  Duh!


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