Gun bill takes aim at "Castle Doctrine"

KETK
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POSTED: Thursday, May 2, 2013 - 6:12pm

UPDATED: Friday, May 3, 2013 - 4:37pm

In the batch of gun-related proposals in the hopper in Austin, is a bill that many say might weaken your right of self defense.
The bill has been introduced by a Houston Representative.
And he says, it is intended to help prevent spur of the moment mistakes.
But gun advocates disagree.
Its official name is House Bill 3773.
The author is Houston Representative Garnet Coleman.
And its purpose is to add some layers of restraint on the doctrine of Stand Your Ground.
Some of the changes are to wording which defines when you can defend yourself with a gun outside the home.
Under the old law, you needed to “reasonably believe” you or a third person were in danger. That phrase would be changed to you must be “substantially certain.”         
It also returns to the principle that before resorting to force, you must try to leave the situation.        
It removes simple robbery as a reason to use deadly force.
The general trend nationally has been toward more permission to, as the phrase implies, stand your ground and not retreat from a threatening situation.
Some have argued that is an invitation to overreact, as many believe happened in the shooting of Trayvon Martin in Florida.
Coleman admits though, the bill has little or no chance of passage in this session.
 

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As for the Trayvon Martin case. If someone was on top of me banging my head against a concrete sidewalk, I think that I could reasonably assume that he was trying to kill or seriously injure me. If he only seriously injured me, I could, in retrospect, be 'substantially certain" that his intention was to serious injure me. I still wouldn't know whether he intended to kill me and failed. I am "substantially certain" that Martin would still be alive if he had not attacked that man.

"substantially certain"? What the heck does that mean? A jury may decide if they believe that someone was reasonable in believing that the use of deadly force was justified. How can a jury decide whether someone was "substantially certain?" I guess you could ask the person who used deadly force if he was "substantially certain." If he answers "Yes" then he goes home. If he answers "No" then he goes to jail. How about this? Criminals should simply not try to pry on honest citizens.

Sorry, but Martin had to be doing more than eating skittles and drinking a coke for Zimmerman to pull out a gun, I don't care what color Martin is. Just because he was black made it racial.

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