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The Columbus Dispatch is horrified by the thought of “stand your ground” protection for Ohio’s gun owners. They’re happy with the state’s duty to retreat requirement and shocked that the state’s gun owners (AKA “the gun crowd”) would object to such a “common sense” doctrine.

To most people, the duty to retreat is common sense, a recognition that the Second Amendment does not give people the right to kill other people just because they are frightened. To gun fundamentalists, the duty to retreat is akin to guilty-until-proven-innocent, because someone who has shot someone else has to prove that he acted in self-defense. They ask, “What about the presumption of innocence?”

But in cases where the duty to retreat is an issue, there is no doubt about who shot whom. A person asking to be excused for shooting someone should have to justify the action.

Gun zealots would dearly love to see a “stand-your-ground” law in Ohio, which would erase the duty to retreat. They maintain that requiring people to think before firing a gun robs them of the ability to defend themselves; hence the notion that the safety-and-responsibility pamphlet could “get gun owners killed.”

– Columbus Dispatch Editorial, For state lawmakers, no demand of the gun crowd is too absurd

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  1. Do criminals have a duty to retreat? Why give murderous criminals a tactical advantage over law abiding citizens?

    • C’mon Gov. have a heart. Good jobs are hard to find and these criminals more than likely had a poor childhoods. You know things like not knowing which one of the many guys that spend the night with mom is their real father can really mess a kid up.

      • You’ve got to be pretty messed up to take up a career that will either land you in prison or a cemetery within the first few years.

    • Come on’, Gov.

      To quote a typical “victim’s” relative: “He was not supposed to die like this. He had a future ahead of him. He had goals… he was a funny guy, very big on education, loved learning. You have to understand… how he gonna get his money to have clothes to go to school? You have to look at it from his point-of-view.”

      • We do look at it from the criminal’s point of view. From his point of view (the real one, not the one they phony up for the camera), he knew that his criminal activities were dangerous and could get him jailed and/or killed, and he chose to take that risk anyway. If he dies in the commission of his crime, so what? He knew the risk and didn’t care. If he doesn’t care about his own life, why should I?

      • Or, put another way, why should I give a shit whether this guy blows up on the launch pad, or successfully “jumps the shark”?
        He knew his behavior was risky, and whether it kills him, or makes him famous (it didn’t), isn’t any of my business. And it isn’t any of any government’s business either. He can do whatever he want that doesn’t harm another. If he harms another, NOW it’s supposed to be the authorities business.
        If he only harms himself, oh well. That’s what liberty is. The right to pay one’s own way in life, make one’s own mistakes, and pay the consequences thereof. That means some will make poor choices, and some will die because of them. But at least they got to pursue happiness in their own way.
        This is the simple logic that Statists can’t fit into their precious little heads. Its not the right to BE happy, its the right to LOOK FOR (“pursue”) happiness in whatever way each one wants. And if that happens to be by strapping rockets around his waist and lighting a fuse, well, good luck, Jethro! Not a choice I’d make, but they make life interesting anyway. It might not be any of my business, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the show. 🙂

    • One of my adult offspring has a nice large Victorian house in a hood. He wanted to replace the 100+ year old fence with a nice, period matching brick wall that would blend well into the neighborhood and greatly increase the security of his property. He tasked me with checking local codes to see what impediment nearby overlords had thrown in his way. After some research, I concluded that the overall thrust appeared as if it was written over time to give advantage to the criminal and place the occupant behind the eight ball. The sum effect of the codes makes the properties very difficult to secure; even though his project would be safe, very pleasing to the eyes, add value to the neighborhood, and match well with all of the surrounding buildings and structures. (We’re still mulling over if we want to pursue a variance… I’ve successfully traveled down that road before but can be a real PITA.)

      Duty to retreat does much of the same; leaves the innocent behind the 8-ball when it comes to protecting one’s self. I think, for government, that’s a feature and not a bug. Government has to gain and retain as much of a monopoly on force as the serfs will tolerate.

      • That is indeed their very large problem. The serfs, at this point in time, are in no mood to tolerate further encroachments, and are attempting to roll back the already established ones. The plan was to have all of the firearms confiscated by now, but they failed and their time is running out. It’s the reason they are so desperate and crazy now.
        “This manual is in itself an analog declaration of intent. Such a writing must be secured from public scrutiny. Otherwise, it might be recognized as a technically formal declaration of domestic war.” -Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars, Operations Research Technical Manual TM-SW7905.1
        Available in printed form under FOIA from the Dept. of the Navy, Office of Naval Intelligence, or one can read the document (minus the illustrations) here:

    • And what about the presumption of innocence for the victim that had to use deadly force to protect themselves.

  2. Something about “Rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6”. If, even in a Duty to Retreat, you shoot and kill, you will have to now “prove” that you did in fact retreat until you were incapable of retreat. Thus, it’s still a guilty until proven innocent scenario. Nobody really wins in a self-defense scenario.

    These people appear to be anti-self-defense, and feel that the POTG are blood-thirsty individuals that are itching for a fight.

    • These people are anti self defense. They’re statists. The state will protect you (maybe). You should be dependent on the state. Lenin said that ‘free health care’ was essential for the revolution since once you control their health care you control their lives. If the state has a monopoly on self defense this allows them even more control than having a monopoly on health care. The self reliant individual is the enemy of the state.

      • The state will protect you if it is convenient and benefits them some how. It is not their obligation.

        Duty to retreat is to their benefit because you must prove innocence while they have an opportunity to disarm you.

    • “These people appear to be anti-self-defense,”

      Rampant criminality, or even the illusion of such, is good for big government. Where the rubber meets the road, statists are indeed anti-self defense.

      “and feel that the POTG are blood-thirsty individuals that are itching for a fight.”

      Only the useful idiots actually believe that. Those really in control know exactly what this is about; retaining as much of governemnt’s monopoly on force as possible. The “conversation” is a farce; a delay tactic and talking point used as a wedge.

      • “Rampant criminality, or even the illusion of such, is good for big government.”

        That is very evident where I live in Montana. The conservatives ship their homeless veterans and other mentally defective people into the cities and the liberals are gaining power because of it. The liberals profit from the social services, and NGOs and the conservatives profit from corrections and enforcement, and WE Citizens lose.

        “and feel that the POTG are blood-thirsty individuals that are itching for a fight.”

        Just because I have no issue with dropping an evil person, doesn’t mean I want to. I am in a deadly force encounter at least once a month on the bike trails in the summer time, when the junkies come back from the coast. Fortunately all of them have realized that they were never the threat. I always leave them with a memento, so they never think of harming another.

  3. I’ll always opt to retreat over the alternative. There’s just less bullshit involved. If, however, retreat should prove impossible I’d appreciate suffering less bullshit for defending myself.

    • I’ve never lost a fight I could outrun, but when cornered, fight like a coyote.

  4. The same fear-mongering BS I’ve heard from the left a million times. Blood in the streets, yada yada.

  5. Retreat is frequently the best choice, but as a legal requirement it fails the simple test of logic, of course Democrats fail to apply logic even more than most criminals.

  6. This is the same mindless crap I have been hearing since 1968.
    “let the nice burglar, robber, murderer have what he/she wants then call the police if you survive.”

    P.S. Who started this crap? I remember the police start saying “don’t fight back, leave it to the professionals” in as a small child in the late 1960’s. It sounded crazy then and now I know it is crazy.

    • Plenty of dead women took the advice of letting the rapist screw you and he’ll let you go.

  7. Me: “California has a strong Castle Doctrine and no duty to retreat.”

    Columbus Dispatch: [sweating rivulets] “Ah think Ah have thu vaypohs…..”

    • They are also constantly making it more difficult to procure the means to defend your castle….

  8. Fundamental misunderstanding of Stand Your Ground. SYG doesn’t give you the right to shoot someone just because you are frightened. It means if you are faced with a clearly lethal threat, and depending on the circumstances of the situation, the threat may not even be armed, you may use lethal force to avoid injury or death. Sometimes running is the best option and sometimes it isn’t.

    I am so tired of this mentality that screams “Don’t blame the victim” when someone is injured or killed by a criminal act of violence whenever a preventive measure is suggested, while at the same time insisting that preventive measures are outlawed.

  9. The Columbus Dispatch missed the bus on this one. While stand your ground was stripped from the final version, the bill it was part of moved the burden of proof from the accused to the prosecution, and became effective the first of this year.

    It’s almost as if the anti gun crowd don’t know what the law currently is or what changes are being propossed. . .

    What’s next is eliminating the duty to retreat from the Ohio code, and at the same time passing constitutional carry, which, with that Rino Kasich out of the governor’s mansion, is highly likely now.

    Ohio is becoming a very serious gun rights haven, our permits are good in 39 states, and our of our 5 neighbors, all are included and 3 have gone constitutional carry. There are still the big things above to fix, and myriad little things, but it’s good here already, and getting better all the time.

    • Beat me to it. It seems that this paper cannot accept that one need not justify a self-defense shooting, but that it is now the law(as it is everywhere else apparently) that the prosecution has to prove that the accused did NOT act in self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt. Requiring a defendant to prove his innocence is contrary to the fundamental precepts of American criminal law and constitutional freedoms.

  10. Retreating and shooting are not mutually exclusive. Most SD training focuses on putting distance between you and the attacker while shooting at the sob. I recommend 3 shots per back step. 🙂

  11. One of the reasons Neanderthal went extinct , No Pointy Sticks outside of the cave. Law

    • Extinction of the Neanderthal is a myth, the homo sapien females found them more attractive as hunter, gatherer, protector (that “BAD BOY” thing) and just diluted the bloodline.. look around you will see the occasional Neanderthal traits are still alive and well….

  12. Too bad the former governor didn’t rectify this situation. Thank God he isn’t president.
    Saw him on CNN yesterday, seems bizarre to have a former Fox news contributing anchor on the hate network these days.

  13. When they get through wetting themselves, maybe they’ll realize that many other states have SYG laws, and somehow thousand of people aren’t getting summarily executed in those states on a daily basis.

    • The “conversation” is a tactic. Only the useful idiots really believe the lies. It isn’t a matter of getting them to see the truth. It is a power play. SYG could be a success in every state other than the one they are trying to disarm. It wouldn’t matter and they would use the same lies.

      Dealing with leftists is somewhat like being in a boxing match but not initially realizing. If we keep wandering around the ring asking why this other guy keeps hitting us and if we could just get him to understand he would stop, then we will never successfully defend ourselves. The quicker we all realize that the other guy is going to hit us and try to beat our brains out, the quicker we can come out of the corner and try to win.

  14. We should be pushing laws that encourage you to kill the attacker. Dead bad guys have a recidivism rate of 0 and cost the tax payers nothing more than a nominal disposal fee.

  15. Well, the quoted part ran 2 misrepresentations per sentence, so there’s that.

  16. Interesting read. They demonstrated pretty well that “editorial” is not fact-based reporting, althougb I’m so old I remember when asserted facts in editorials were in fact true and accurate.

    These days, not so much.

    Also, they forgot to say “deplorables.” (“Bitter clingers” is so three elections ago.)

  17. Dear TTAG Overlords,

    I’m curious. Did they thank you for the link? Invite you for a dialog on this topic, perhaps something with their commentariat and yours?

    Asking for a friend … from another planet.

  18. “Innocent unless proven guilty” is a burden of the State, not an individual. Individuals are not bound by the presumption of innocence unless they are engaged in jury duty.

  19. Good lord, cowards are pathetic. They equate any form of physical resistance with unjustified aggression. Talk about a bunch of farm animals.

    I don’t understand how either SYG or DTR laws are able to survive in a courtroom; lethal force justification is lethal force justification, and even the defense laws in NYC give deference to a person’s state of mind above all this mandated-tactics nonsense. If in fear for your life, per the ‘reasonable person’ test, lethal force is one of your justified courses of action. SYG is entirely redundant, DTR is overruled by the threat to life test, every time.

    It’s akin to a law requiring warning shots or shots to the extremities before center-mass; if you are justified in merely drawing the gun, you’re already justified in killing the person. Any court that would find otherwise is so obviously corrupted against justice, that it doesn’t matter what the law says anyway. And it further doesn’t matter what the law says, since you’d likely be dead had you failed to act as you did in any ‘good shoot’ so the whole point is moot. If you’re in a situation where the courts seek to punish you for acting righteously to defend yourself, they’re already beyond all logic & reason so none of this debate matters.

    People need to teach their kids they don’t always have to obey a red light or stop sign.

  20. If cops were held to the same “Duty to retreat” law, it’d be better. But, they’re gonna keep on shooting dogs and people with virtually no consequences.


    Self-Defense and the Ohio Castle Doctrine
    The Castle Doctrine is intended to protect homeowners from being threatened inside their own homes, but it is complicated. If you’re claiming self-defense, you need an experienced attorney at your side.

    BurglarWhen do you have the right to use deadly force in self-defense? When will the law work with you, rather than against you, in the face of threat? In Ohio, the ability to use deadly force for self-defense – and not go to jail for manslaughter or murder – must meet certain standards.

    Duty to Retreat

    If you are in public, on a street or in a public place, and you face a physical threat, you have what’s called a “duty to retreat” – in other words, rather than face the threat, you are required by law to do your best to escape from the threat by leaving, running away, or getting help from a peace officer. Only when the use of force is your only alternative will self-defense be found legitimate by a jury. Currently, the law in Ohio requires a defendant asserting self-defense to prove three things by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not):

    (1) That the defendant was not at fault in creating the situation giving rise to the “affray.”

    (2) That the defendant “had a bona fide belief that he was in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and the only means to escape such danger was in the use of such force.”

    (3) That the defendant “did not violate any duty to retreat or avoid the danger” as discussed above.

    The Castle Doctrine

    While you have a duty to retreat when threatened in public, Ohio is a “stand your ground” state when it comes to being threatened in your own home. You do not have to retreat if an intruder enters your home and threatens you or your family.

    And intruders are the clearest cases where the Castle Doctrine applies and your argument of self-defense will not be questioned when someone breaks into your home and threatens your safety or the safety of your family. At that point, you are within your rights to use deadly force to defend yourself and your family from the intruder.

    In order to be protected by the Castle Doctrine, the intruder must actually be inside your home or attempting to enter (coming in/breaking through a door or window). If the intruder is simply peeking through a window and has not made an attempt to enter, you need to call 9-1-1 and request assistance from the police. For the Castle Doctrine to apply, you must actually believe that your life or the lives of your family members are in grave danger.

    There are limits to the application of the Castle Doctrine.

    Invited Guests

    You will not be able to use self-defense against a threat from someone who has been invited to be in your home, even if it was someone else (a spouse or child) who invited the person in. There are, of course, extenuating circumstances where this would not apply and you would be allowed to use the self-defense argument, but it is rare.

    Other Residents

    You cannot claim self-defense against other residents of your home. For example, you cannot kick your adult child out of the home then shoot them when they try to come back in.

    Departing Burglars

    As much as you might think you have the right, if the burglar or intruder is leaving your home, you are no longer protected under the Castle Doctrine, because your life is no longer in imminent danger.

    Delivery People

    You cannot use self-defense against postal workers or FedEx drivers who have short-term rights to be on your property. You also cannot use self-defense if you’re not home and arrive to find someone breaking in. Then, you must call the police.

    The only other time the Castle Doctrine applies is if you are in your car and must act in self-defense to preserve your life. The same elements apply: you must not have invited the person into the car with you, you must not be able to flee or retreat, and your life must actually be in danger.

    The Castle Doctrine is intended to protect homeowners from being threatened inside their own homes, but it is complicated. If you are being charged with a crime and believe you acted in self-defense, you need an experienced Ohio criminal defense attorney to help you navigate the criminal process. For more information and a free consultation, please contact Jeff Hastings, experienced Cleveland Criminal Defense Attorney.

    Author hastingslegal
    Posted on July 13, 2015
    Categories Criminal Defense, Ohio Gun Laws
    Tags Cleveland criminal attorney, Cleveland criminal defense attorney, criminal defense attorney, criminal defense attorney Jeff Hastings, criminal defense in Cuyahoga County, lethal force, Ohio Castle doctrine, self-defense
    Post navigation

    • The “M” word, vlad. The “M” word.
      This isn’t going to just go away. Your fear and ignorance are showing. Why not just save yourself all the constant embarrassment and just go look it up already? Pull up your pants, as it were. 🙂

    • This doesn’t change or correct anything. It merely highlights — yet again — the moral repugnance of requiring an innocent person to give way to an unlawful aggressor.

    • Oh wait… Wasn’t that part of the “fig leaf” that they added to constitutional carry in the latest committee meeting? They wanted that sort of document included with every gun purchase to remove plausible deniability and keep the peons from defending themselves.

      You still get the ‘atta boy and pat on the back for posting truth but believe I understand your motive now. At first, I thought you might have had a stroke or something. 😉

    • What if your underage daughter or granddaughter invites an adult male in to have felony sex in your home?

      There is no way I would consider the homeowner guilty of murder or manslaughter for killing that rat bastard.

  22. I haven’t lived in Ohio in a decade but IIRC the main complaint against the “duty to retreat” that I heard while living there was that it was sometimes abused by prosecutors.

    While I was there I had a conversation with one of the nice older gents at Butts & Barrels LGS about a case which I think was out of Dayton. A guy is attacked with a knife on the street, flees into an ally, finds his way blocked by a fence, turns, draws his CCW pistol and tells the attacker to stop. He repeats this command to the advancing BG repeatedly until he feels he has no choice and he shoots the guy.

    BG doesn’t die and admits he was told repeatedly to stop but didn’t. He obviously gets convicted on a slew of charges but the defender also gets taken into court where the prosecutor alleges that since the defender had time to repeatedly warn the BG to stop advancing that he had ample time to scramble over that fence, time he wasted. Essentially arguing that he didn’t meet the qualifications for “duty to retreat” because he decided not to scramble over the fence and essentially wasted that time laying an “ambush” for the BG.

    I never found out what happened, and maybe old homie at that gun store was full of shit. I kinda doubt it since I knew him pretty well, but it’s possible I suppose. Even if what he said wasn’t completely true it’s still illustrative of how people see “duty to retreat” in terms of wondering “how far do I have to retreat in reality?”.

    It’s also true that Cbus is a pretty liberal city where most people assume you can’t carry a gun without a license. Go OC a pistol around, say the Olentangy Commons area, and you’ll rapidly find cops talking to you about how you’re breaking a law that doesn’t exist. And the Dispatch isn’t a paper I ever found worth my time to read.

    • “Go OC a pistol around, say the Olentangy Commons area, and you’ll rapidly find cops talking to you about how you’re breaking a law that doesn’t exist.”

      It’s been a while for me and CBus but this, AFAIK, isn’t as correct anymore; at one time, yes. I haven’t gotten any reports from people having that problem so I’m not so sure it’s still an issue. In Cincinnati, it used to also be that way but I OC everywhere/everyday in the hoods now and cops pretty much ignore me (which is how I like it).

      • Could be that it’s changed since I was there. Dunno.

        At the time that little area was a nightmare due to the number/type of people in that shopping district. All OSU students and soccer moms. A couple of blocks in either direction on Bethel and no one cared but that specific area sucked.

        • You have raised my interest on how much has changed. If I get time late Summer~ early Autumn, I might get a buddy to take a walk with me there and see if it has reverted back to previous SOP.

  23. I think I found the problem….

    “..does not give people the right to ”

    Rights aren’t given, and rights don’t give. We have rights, they exist regardless of any law.

    And no one, besides idiots like you I mean, ever thought the Second Amendment was some kind of blank check for killing people.

  24. “A person asking to be excused for shooting someone should have to justify the action.”
    The translation for that is “stand trial for murder.” Someone who defends themselves is the victim. Haven’t they been traumatized enough that their house was broken into, their and their family’s lives threatened or endangered, possibly have been assaulted with deadly weapons, and then had the horror of being forced to kill someone? That’s enough to send most people into therapy. They don’t deserve to be put in arrested, lose money for bail, possibly lose their job, spend a long stressful time preparing their defense, and giving an attorney tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. That makes them a victim a second time. We don’t broadcast a rape victim’s picture to ask for witnesses that she wasn’t being provocative and it wasn’t consensual. We don’t arrest burglary victims for insurance fraud until they prove otherwise.
    Duty to retreat means you get to hide in your bathroom and pray the police get there in time as robbers ransack your house. Stand your ground doesn’t mean you get to shoot anyone who scares you. It’s a defense. You still need to tell your side to the police, and they and the prosecutor decide whether you acted reasonably. If they think you didn’t, you have to convince a jury that you did.

  25. “But in cases where the duty to retreat is an issue”
    Some folks just don’t have that “run away” gene… I’m not built that way and no one I know is going to turn their back to some punk and “retreat” all that gets you is shot in the back… Besides, bad hips, lower back pain, arthritis. I’m too damn old to start running now, let the lawyers fight it out, that’s why I have shooters insurance..
    And to the seven Marines who lost their lives in New Hampshire this past weekend “SEMPER FI” my Brothers and may God grant their families peace…

  26. What about your precious police department? Do they get the privilege of shooting people dead when they are scared and the victim doesn’t have that right? Sounds like a well off white privileged person’s idea.

    I wonder who wrote this editorial.

  27. “A person asking to be excused for shooting someone should have to justify the action.”
    The translation for that is “stand trial for murder.” Someone who defends themselves is the victim.

    Indeed, they are. It’s called an affirmative defense, if I remembe right. In immanent fear of death or grievous bodily harm seems a good standard. Stopped when the threat stopped seems a pretty good standard, too. In smaller words; “I thought I was gonna die if I didn’t.”

    Duty to retreat in practice means: “someone coming along later with infinite resources and an agenda can find a hypothetical alternative vs.your choice in a startled, instant.” Reigning that in a bit seems pretty common sense.

  28. If theres no physically threatening criminal actvity: there is no reason to fear or dislike a “Stand your ground Law”.

    On the other hand:

    If you are physycally threatened and “Have a Duty to Retreat”: It forces you to delay your potential life saving or injury avoiding measures WHILE the Bad Guy Aggressor continues the attack (approach, contact, injure, render unconscious or unable to mount an equal unmolested defense). This gives clear advantage and likelyhood of success to the criminal attacker. How do you execute a family/group “Duty to Retreat”? Do these asshats expect the persom with a firearm to leave others behind and in the path of the attacker?

    Take a group of these Duty to Retreat proponents and do 21 Foot Knife Rule Drills. Its a well respected LE Exercise. Make them show you the retreating distance they achieve AND the Retreat Defense they can muster!

    Force a reality check in what they think is “common sense”. Make those “Moms” retreat with their darling kids and protect them too. Stack the DEAD to one side and any survivors go to the other.

  29. RE: They maintain that requiring people to think before firing a gun robs them of the ability to defend themselves; hence the notion that the safety-and-responsibility pamphlet could “get gun owners killed.”

    They do? Who is “they”? Specifically. If so, how about giving readers the cite that proves this. These government-worshipping snowflakes always make claims that are never backed up.

  30. Do women have a duty to be raped…or can they defend themselves with a gun?
    Just curious…

  31. The Constitutional Carry bill is out of committee and going to the Ohio House floor. Reportedly (I haven’t read the bill myself), it is Constitutional Carry, removes duty to notify, and the “fig leaf” (Duty to Retreat summary with every firearm sold) was removed. Governor DeWine has said that he will sign the bill if it gets to his desk.


    Kentucky’s Constitutional Carry law goes into effect Thursday.

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