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Can Self-Defense Really be “Senselessly Expanded”?

Attorney General Eric Holder believes that we go too far in allowing law-abiding citizens to defend their lives in attacks by criminals:

Separate and apart from the case that has drawn the nation’s attention, it’s time to question laws that senselessly expand the concept of self-defense and sow dangerous conflict in our neighborhoods. (emphasis added)

Speaking about broader self-defense laws beyond the Zimmerman case, Holder calls putting the duty on the law-abiding citizen to retreat from attackers “common sense.”

29 Responses to “Can Self-Defense Really be “Senselessly Expanded”?”

  1. Sennin says:

    Consider the source …

    • Arnie says:

      Agreed! I’m not one given to hyperbole, but Holder needs to be deported…to anywhere…preferably to North Korea…or to the middle of some ocean. He’s an idiot…and a traitor! There, I said it!!!!

      • Sigivald says:

        You can’t deport a citizen.

        That’s the sort of thing North Korea would do, ironically. Well, if they didn’t have forced labor/death camps and summary execution.

        He’s also not a traitor, since he is not “offering aid and comfort to the enemy in time of war”.

        He’s a disgrace to his office, but that’s another matter entirely.

        • Arnie says:

          Yes, as I hinted above, I was being somewhat hyperbolic. Seething with anger at Holder’s lunacy does that to me.

          However, since we are supposedly in a state of war – against terrorism, drug cartels, poverty, obesity, you name it – the actions of this AG to try to undermine our right to bear militia arms does aid our Enemies by making their job easier for them. A bit of a stretch, I admit, but so is “senseless self-defense” and just about everything this AG supports under the auspices of the commerce clause.

          Nevertheless, points taken, Sigivald. Thank you!

          – Arnie

  2. The Jack says:

    Ah yes, the duty to retreat. And if you’re corned or already knocked to the ground and being beaten, well tough luck.

    Amazing, a case where SYG wasn’t invoked *clearly* shows why SYG is bad.

  3. Gary says:

    Avoiding a confrontation is always best. However, if you believe Zimmerman had a duty to retreat, didn’t Martin also have the same responsibility to avoid a confrontation?

    • Bob T. says:

      Zimmerman did retreat – from standing to flat on his back. He couldn’t retreat any farther than the pavement.

    • Geodkyt says:

      Kinda-sorta. But yeah, Martin had broken contact and had more than enough time to get to his destination, which would have been a place of pretty much absolute safety. Hell, the cops (who were only a couple of minutes out – they rolled up TWO MINUTES after the fight started, so Martin would have been behind a locked door by the time they arrived) probably never would have even figured out who or where Martin was.

      Instead, after breaking contact and having time to stop running and call a girl to brag about how tough he is (you think it was coincidental that this avowed streetfighter and thug left the line open right up to the first punch?), Martin voluntarily chose to turn around and follow Zimmerman and purposefully initiate a violent confrontation. That’s from the girl’s testimony as a prosecution witness, and her later (albeit unsworn) statements on TV about how Martin was going to whoop up on Zimmerman, and how that’s magically different than “attacking” him.

      Right up to the point where Martin came up and sucker punched Zimmerman, nobody had a legitimate self defense claim. Afterwards, Zimmerman had a clear claim, even without Stand Your ground, because he was on his back getting whaled on. Martin would have only had a self defense claim if he again broke contact in such a way that indicated clearly the desire to end the fight, and Zimmerman continued to attack.

      Hell, Zimmerman already did that before the final confrontation, by giving up on following Martin and heading back towards his truck when the dispatcher told him he didn’t need to keep following him. Pretty clear indication that Zimmerman was not interested in a physical confrontation.

  4. Chas says:

    Holder is an anti-American, crackpot commie wannabe. We need better self-defense laws to better enable us to protect ourselves against Holder’s criminal compadres. It should not have been possible for Zimmerman to even be tried. Abuse of prosecutorial discretion is what needs to be curbed, not the ancient right of self-defense that binds our society together with the basic, common sense recognition in law of the personal imperative of self-preservation. We have a right to live, and Eric Holder has a problem with that. Therefore, we should have a problem with Eric Holder.

  5. NUGUN Blog says:

    Ironically, Holder could always ask the NSA for a copy of Jeantel’s phone conversation. I wager it would be insightful, and devestating.

  6. chiefjaybob says:

    I agree with Comrade Holder. After all, the restriction of self defense is working quite well in formerly-Great Britain. Soon, they will rewrite their racist history and remove all of the racist oppression they committed throughout the world. Forward!

  7. S.Lynn says:

    I’d like to see him cornered with no body guards.

  8. Carl from Chicago says:

    NAACP demands civil rights charges. Holder knows he can’t deliver that. So he deflects by railing against self defense. Hope the CP aren’t dumb enough to buy that.

  9. JKB says:

    But what about the civil right to life the NAACP wants Holder to enforce? Not to mention the civil right to be where you can lawfully be?

    Is Holder anti-civil rights?

  10. Asdf says:

    Self-defense is racist because…. well, because.

    • tkdkerry says:

      I think you’re on to something. Self-defense is “racist” because clearly you think you’re better than the person attacking you. Can’t have that sort of supremacist thinking, can we?

  11. SDN says:

    The true problem is that you in fact have answered that question “Yes”.

    I’m sure you’ll deny it, but when when you say that George Zimmerman was reckless because he acted on concern for his neighbors, you have ceded the public space to thugs like Trayvon as long as the alligators aren’t biting you.

  12. Andy B. says:

    Reading commentaries on the Old West, I gather at the time it was considered justified to kill someone (shooting them in the back or bushwhacking them if necessary) if they made a terroristic threat against you that you (or more importantly a judge or jury) believed was credible. You didn’t need to actually hear the threat firsthand.

    I only cite that as an example that, the boundaries of what is considered self-defense do expand and contract, and could expand to a point that even the majority of RKBA self-defense advocates would question. Politically, if there developed a perception that more lives were being lost because of a prevailing self-defense doctrine, than were being saved by it, I guarantee the envelope of what was acceptable would tighten.

    • Archer says:

      Philosophically I might agree, but in Holder’s context, his next spoken line (which I don’t have the exact quote for – sorry) boils down to a “too many innocent victims” argument.

      Keep in mind that to people like him, criminals shot during the commission of their crimes are “innocent victims”, the defending would-be victim is a “vigilante”, and there are “too many” of both.

      IOW, Holder is saying that acting in one’s own self-defense is becoming too socially acceptable, so we need to make it politically and legally unacceptable – and to HELL with public opinion.

      “Society does not control crime, ever, by forcing the law-abiding to accomodate themselves to the expected behavior of criminals. Society controls crime by forcing the criminals to accomodate themselves to the expected behavior of the law-abiding.” — Jeff Snyder

      Besides, it’s not the first time they’ve used a tragedy to attack a freedom completely unrelated to the event. Would “Universal Background Checks” or a full national registry have prevented the Tuscon, Fort Hood, Aurora, or Newtown shootings? Would repealing or federally pre-empting SYG have changed ANYTHING about the Zimmerman case (wherein SYG wasn’t even invoked or considered)?

      It’s like they’re disconnected from reality, or something.

      • Archer says:

        Also, don’t expect him to produce a list of cases, or what number of self-defense cases where SYG is invoked constitutes “too many”.

        Additionally, he’s forgotten why SYG was passed in the first place: as an additional protection against malicious prosecution. He’s a prosecutor and a statist – laws limiting his power and/or discretion and protecting the citizenry are anathema to him.

        He doesn’t have or care about the numbers. He doesn’t care about justice. His target is the freedom provided by SYG, not “saving innocent lives”.

        • Andy B. says:

          Here is an honest question (i.e., I don’t know the answer, so it’s not just rhetorical): Is there a body of data yet on how many times SYG/Castle Doctrine has been invoked in cases involving the use of deadly force? And, if so, in what percentage of those cases was that defense successful, including cases where prosecutors declined to press charges?

          We will need that information for coming fights. Even though SYG was never cited as a legal consideration in the Zimmerman trial, the juror who came forward has stated that they discussed it at some length in deliberations.

          • Archer says:

            Off-hand, I don’t believe there is an authoritative data set. We could get a group of people to go over court briefings, but because criminals have been claiming self-defense (mostly failingly) for centuries, there’d be a lot of false positives (i.e. Marissa Alexander, who invoked SYG where it CLEARLY didn’t apply, and got 20 years).

            Cases where prosecutors decline to press charges are even harder to track, as there’s usually no court records to search through (having not made it to court).

            I think those numbers will be like the attempts to figure out how often gun owners defend themselves against criminals. If there’s no shots fired, it doesn’t make the news or warrant police/prosecutor action, so there’s effectively no record. The BEST estimates put the number somewhere between 100,000 and 4 million DGUs per year, which is a HUGE margin for error.

            I’d like to know the answer as much as you do, I’m sure, but I have precisely zero idea how to find it or make it happen.

  13. Bubblehead Les says:

    Couple of things to Ponder. Holder would NOT, repeat NOT have decided to go after “Stand Your Ground” unless Obama ORDERED it. Why? Because Obama was shocked to find out, that with all the “Ginning Up” this Regime tried along with their Useful Idiots to Convict Zimmerman, that the Verdict came back “NOT Guilty” AND the Inner Cities didn’t explode in Outrage like LA did in the Rodney King Verdict.

    So one of the the messages that was sent and received was that, as long as one has Good Self Defense Laws in their State, it’s okay for the Ordinary Citizen to Defend themselves so long as they follow the Law.

    Which means “No Nanny State Required.” Which goes directly AGAINST the “Fundamental Transformation of America.”

    Another reason is that Alan Gura is now on the Wollard Case, and since that affects just where the Self-Defense Line can be drawn (In the Home Only? How about Shopkeepers? What about helping a Neighbor down the Street? etc.), this is probably a Pre-emptive Strike attempt at “Jury Tampering” so that when Wollard hits SCOTUS, one of the Supremes (ROBERTS!) will hold up his Finger to the Wind and Play Politics, like he did with Obamacare.

    Stay Tuned.

  14. jerry says:

    Will this guy stay on the entire second term?

  15. AntiCitizenOne says:

    We need to use his own words against him. Holder will turn us into the UK, where homeowners are jailed for defending themselves against home invaders.

    Lash every single Democrap politician to him and watch them sink in 2014.

  16. Sorry, Mr. Holder, some of us have brains. Self Defense isn’t a “concept”; it’s a FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT.

    • Seerak says:

      When a man is effectively prevented from taking care of himself and is left with nothing but calling the police for protection, he becomes far more sympathetic to calls for expanding the police power.

      “They’ll turn us all into beggars because they’re easier to please”.

      The Left knows this. So should we.

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