Keep standing your ground

South Carolina self-defense law doesn't need changing

Does your natural, God-given right to defend yourself cease to exist once you go out into public?

Unfortunately, some South Carolina lawmakers think so.

Members of the Legislative Black Caucus are proposing to change the state’s “stand your ground” law to prohibit citizens from using deadly force to defend themselves against attackers while in public places.

Backers say some South Carolinians are abusing the law in its current form – too often using deadly force instead of walking away from a confrontation. State Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, D-Orangeburg. said people are “very, very tired of seeing black and brown parents crying and praying over their dead sons.”

So are we. No parent should have to live through the death of a child.

But not even everyone in the Legislative Black Caucus agrees with changing the law. House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford, an attorney, has represented clients who used the “stand your ground” law in their defense.

He said he has yet to see a criminal set free under the current law.

“I believe (‘stand your ground’) is simply a codification of common sense,” said Rutherford, D-Columbia. “People should have a right to defend themselves.”

The proposed law change would not alter the way citizens defend themselves in their homes, vehicles or businesses.

So why change it at all?

Law-abiding citizens absolutely have the right to stand their ground, regardless of where they are. That is a natural right – a right the
government cannot rescind because it was never its to offer. Laws merely codify that natural right.

Is flight preferable to fight in many instances? Possibly. But you are under no natural obligation to do so. You shouldn’t be under any legal obligation, either. Nor should we codify second-guessing in the law.

Leave the law alone.

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