21 thoughts on “Attempt to Repeal Castle Doctrine in New Hampshire”

  1. I’ll admit that I’m aware my first instincts are always to look at things in a contrarion way, but, I have always smelled a rat around Castle Doctrine (born full-grown and passed in too many states too easily and too quickly?) that I couldn’t put my finger on. So, please excuse me for thinking out loud in this venue.

    I never saw CD as a “gun rights” issue, per se, only related via the issue of self-defense. I did not see, and have yet to see, where it would accomplish a great deal in modifying the legal theories of self-defense. But now I’m thinking that having existed, if it is repealed it will somehow be a setback to the theory of self-defense, greater than anything it contributed in the first place. It may be cited as a bad example of self-defense theory in future court cases involving self-defense. And, I think it was anticipated that every fool who ever engaged in any kind of bad shoot was going to appeal to it in their court defense, no matter how baseless their claim, so it would be sort of self-discrediting, so, repeal in many places would be a distinct probability, sooner or later.

    But I will say again, I started out smelling a rat I couldn’t identify, so I’m just straining to vindicate my instincts.

    1. “castle doctrine” was born to combat “duty to retreat” doctrine spawned in states like California. In that state, if the criminal comes through the front door, and you have clear access to the back door you are not allowed to defend your property but instead must retreat and let the criminal have his way with your home.

      1. Duty to retreat did not come out of California. It’s history is goes way back, but the modern ideas of it came about when states started codifying their self-defense laws back in the late 19th century.

        And California actually has fairly typical self-defense laws for a western state. For the most part, there is no duty to retreat in California law.

        1. What Sebastian said. I practice law here in California. There is no duty to retreat in our self-defense law.

    2. I think you’re straining.

      Do you ever have anything positive to say about anyone but yourself?

  2. If this passes, I will move the family to NH and begin a crime wave of epic proportions. I mean, it seems like the legislators in NH are inviting me to do so, doesn’t it?

  3. Many of these laws were introduced as a result of gun ownership. Removal of it is a way to effect gun ownership by causing homeowners to second guess whether they should keep a gun in the home. I’m very surprised you didn’t pick up on this Andy. They don’t ever repeal these things without an agenda behind them.

    Before we ever get wrapped up in what we think about it, we must first know what the proposers think about it.

    1. “causing homeowners to second guess whether they should keep a gun in the home.”

      I guess this is only an unknowable matter of opinion, but I can’t see anyone anticipating that having much of an effect. I think most people who own guns for self-defense are always going to think “better to be tried by twelve than carried by six,” and would quietly keep a gun for that purpose even if guns themselves were banned outright — much less, acts of self-defense. But that’s just my opinion. Someone who shall remain nameless carried concealed weapons when they seemed to be called for, long before carry permits were so readily available in PA.

      “They don’t ever repeal these things without an agenda behind them.”

      My personal problem is that I tend to believe that these things are also not necessarily passed without there being additional agendas behind them — even if I can’t figure out what they are. I’m not much of a believer in altruism anymore, on the part of anyone in government.

      One interesting observation about PA’s Castle Doctrine: The first version introduced had language throughout that defined “in the workplace” as being protected area. It appeared in enough places I wondered if perhaps it didn’t have some purpose in the events of labor disputes. I asked a state rep if they had any idea what that meant. They said they’d get back to me, but didn’t. Then when a later version was introduced, the one that passed, I noticed all the “workplace” language was gone. I never heard anyone discuss the issue, but language in legislation doesn’t come and go for no reason, or on a whim. So, there was something going on there, that to the best of my knowledge was never addressed in public. Which of course leads me to wonder what else may have been going on.

      I’m sorry, but I take very little at face value, including things that are alleged to be all to the good.

  4. You can’t repeal what is impossible legislate. I’m not a “get off my lawn” type of person, but I’m old and grumpy enough that if you ring my doorbgell, you’d damn well better be wearing a smile and have a friendly word at the ready.

  5. I grew up in NH in the 60’s/70’s, they have the same disease that we have in WA now. Their infection comes from MA/NY, ours comes from CA.

    1. Which means that there is an agenda behind this, and it stems from the Left. Which is why we must fight it.

      We’re trying to win a cultural battle here. These laws were passed because gun owners *pushed* for them. To not understand they are part of the gun rights fight is to be missing an understanding of the various ways we’ve made strides forward. Castle Doctrine was indeed passed with an agenda behind it – OUR agenda. We need to stop being so afraid of that. I can assure you the Left doesn’t have our cowardice problem.

      1. ” Castle Doctrine was indeed passed with an agenda behind it – OUR agenda.”

        I guess I missed the call when they wanted to know what I wanted included in it.

        Sorry for cracking wise, but per my comments above, I become concerned that “our” agenda may sometimes carry baggage with it we don’t see, because we are so focused on the happy-talk laid out in public, that we’re not looking for the man behind the curtain. That baggage can prove to be the fatal flaw that harms what we want to be our agenda.

        You can and will call me paranoid, but my most memorable experiences are of being involved in things where people came to us smiling, talking good talk, but lying through their teeth, and subverting us at the best, or stabbing us in the back, at worst, in attempts to advance a concealed agenda.

  6. To split hairs, the way the link reads, this is a “stand your ground” law -no duty to retreat anywhere you have a right to be- not a narrow “castle doctrine” law -no duty to retreat from your own home, business, private property, perhaps by extension car or vehicle-.

    The latter are relatively uncontroversial, the anti-rights crowd find little support from the general public for the claim you should have to flee your own home, it’s the former that get the bad press and push back from folks who don’t understand the realities of the use of deadly force in self-defense.

    We do ourselves no favors conflating them in speech or statute for just that reason. If NH had separate laws for the two concepts, or if the “anywhere you have a right to be” could be severed from a list of locations with no duty to retreat, they wouldn’t be facing an all or nothing situation at the whim of the electorate.

    Now supporters have to fight on two fronts: they have to deal with inevitable “Trayvon Martin vigilante” comments while also defending their right to defend their own property.

  7. So, if “stand your ground” is repealed, and a I see a whacked out skinny teen in black walking into a school with an AK at port arms chanting “Kindergartners must die!” then I have an obligation to retreat if I can do so in safety, right? :-\

    1. Not in Alaska. Every state is different but most have an exception for situations like that.

      Again, we need to stick to facts, give the anti’s an opportunity to show you are wrong or lying and you blow your credibility with the undecided.

      In AK you only have a duty to retreat when you “know you can do so with complete safety for yourself or a third party.”

      That’s why I’m not against AK getting “stand your ground” but, given the statute as written with all the existing exceptions to the duty to retreat, and it being Alaska, no prosecutor will get overzealous. It isn’t really necessary.

      “Stand your ground” laws, as far as the literal duty to retreat goes in most state statutes, are really about making it clear to anti-rights prosecutors to not try to abuse the law as intended when written to “send messages” about their distaste for use of force in self-defense.

  8. This is the response that my NH State Rep sent:

    Thank you for your email. The bill passed the House and is now headed to the Senate. This vote was one of the harder decisions I have had to make as a legislator but when the vote was called I ended up voting in favor of the bill AS AMENDED. Let me first state that I am a gun owner and avid hunter and have always been a supporter of the right to bear arms. This bill though is not an issue about the ability for someone to own or carry a firearm. I capitalized the as amended above because I would have not supported the bill without the amendments.The amendments left the ability for someone to brandish a firearm as well removed the civil liability portion only returning the language that was in the previous law that stood with no issues for nearly 40 years. As stated before, the law still allows for a person to brandish a firearm anywhere if they feel threatened and still allows someone to use deadly force in their home if they feel it is warranted. The bill as passed by the House simply states now that if you are in public and you can safely retreat without using deadly force you should do so. The law also still clearly states that if you are in public and you do feel threatened and feel you do not have the ability to mitigate the situation with non deadly force then you are still justified in using deadly force. In the end my moral compass is what lead me to my vote. I feel strongly as a society that we should have the right to defend yourself but we also owe it to one another to try to solve problems without deadly force if the situation allows that. I know I have been placed in situations throughout my life where I simply walked away from a confrontation in order to mitigate it. In those situations, if I had felt threatened to the point I felt I needed to use deadly force then the law as amended would still allow me to do so. I think this bill balances the right to defend oneself and the issues other members of our district had regarding public safety. I thank you for your email and although I know most people that are passionate about this issue may see my vote as a vote against gun owners but I do hope I explained how difficult it is to balance the view of ALL members of our district especially on something as polarizing as this.

    Please do not hesitate to contact me anytime.

    Ben Lefebvre
    NH State Representative
    Sullivan County, District 1
    Chair, House Fish & Game & Marine Resources

    1. I feel strongly as a society that we should have the right to defend yourself but we also owe it to one another to try to solve problems without deadly force if the situation allows that.

      I know Sebastian doesn’t care for profanity in his comments section, but seriously: fuck that noise. If a situation evolves such that you have to either defend yourself or run away, we are long past the point of having any communitarian obligation to our fellow man. He’s in breach of the social contract, not me; accordingly, if he doesn’t go home on a slab, he ought to consider himself fortunate.

      Representative Lefebvre ought to get his priorities straight.

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