Self-Defense Free Zones

Gun control groups take aim at Michigan deadly force bills

Brought to you by the same people who predicted that there would be blood in the streets when Michigan eliminated its entirely arbitrary rules for issuance of concealed carry permits.

Now, they want to ensure that if someone breaks into your home, and if you defend yourself rather than retreat, then you will remain subject to civil suit by the criminal or his family.

Shikha Hamilton, head of the state’s Million Mom March chapter.

“The scariest part is that you’re removing the duty to retreat. That’s really there to preserve life,” said Hamilton, of Grosse Pointe. “And if you take someone’s life you should have to answer to the police. … No one is in jail right now for protecting their family.”

First, Michigan law already includes the provision that I don’t have “the duty to retreat” in my own house.

Second, whose life are we concerned about?

Third, Ms. Hamilton doesn’t mean the Dozen Mom Marchers don’t want to put you in jail if you have the effrontery to defend yourself. What they do want is a British-style gun ban, where, as Cato reports, this is the reality:

A homeowner who discovered two robbers in his home held them with a toy gun while he telephoned the police. When the police arrived they arrested the two men, and also the homeowner, who was charged with putting someone in fear with a toy gun.

An elderly woman who scared off a gang of youths by firing a cap pistol was charged with the same offense. The government is now planning to make toy guns illegal.

…In 1999 Tony Martin, a 55-year-old farmer living alone in a dilapidated house, woke to the sound of shattering glass as two burglars broke in. Martin had been robbed six times before, but like 70 percent of rural English villages, his had no police presence. He crept downstairs in the dark and shot at the burglars, killing one and wounding the second. Both had numerous prior convictions. Martin was sentenced to life in prison for killing one burglar, 10 years for wounding the second, and 12 months for owning an unregistered shotgun. The prosecutor claimed Martin had lain in wait, then caught the burglars “like rats in a trap.”

The wounded burglar was released after serving 18 months of a three-year sentence. He then sued Martin for injury to his leg, claiming it prevented him from working and interfered with his martial arts training and sex life. He was awarded £5,000 of taxpayer money to prosecute the suit.

Martin’s sentence was reduced to five years on a finding that he had had an abusive childhood, but he was denied parole because he had expressed no remorse for killing “one so young” and posed a danger to other burglars. As the Independent newspaper reported, “Government lawyers say burglars ‘need protection.’” “It cannot possibly be suggested,” the attorneys argued, “that members of the public cease to be so whilst committing criminal offences, and whilst society naturally condemns, and punishes such persons judicially, it can not possibly condone their (unlawful) murder or injury.” The Law Commission advised the government: “Even a criminal who had committed a serious offence must be allowed to exercise his civil rights

The Brady Bunch and the Dozen Mom Marchers agree on the criminal’s civil rights. They just don’t think you have any right to protect your life.

Fourth, this bill is mainly about civil suits – for example, by a criminal convicted of home invasion who is shot in self-defense by the homeowner. The real question would be whether anyone can be bankrupted by a civil judgment. The answer to that is yes.

Finally, you already do have to answer to the police, but if it is determined that you acted in self defense, that should be the end of it.