Joshua Prince and Allen Thompson have written a law review article which was just published on The Inalienable Right to Stand Your Ground that was published in the St Thomas Law Review journal.
Many of our clients seek to protect their firearms by suing Gun Trusts or NFA Trusts, This article seeks to explore what rights we have to firearms and when our rights to use them should be protected.
This Article seeks to open a dialogue about an individual’s inalienable Right to Self-Defense and the interplay between that Right and Stand Your Ground doctrines.
In Section II, the Article presents an overview of what, precisely, a Stand Your Ground statute actually encompasses and permits, as many misconceptions have arisen as to the effect of a Stand Your Ground law. Due to the position many political groups have taken,16 as well as inaccurate news reporting by the media, there is a mistaken belief that Stand Your Ground laws allow a shooter to become “judge, jury, and executioner.”
In Section III, the Article seeks to explain that, contrary to the contention that there is a “fundamental duty to avoid conflict,” the right to defend oneself—self-preservation—is a Natural Right, not granted to the individual by the state.
In the conclusion, Prince asks whether a state Stand Your Ground statute is even required to extinguish the Duty to Retreat, given the inalienable right of the individual to defend himself. Correspondingly, the question must be asked as to whether a state is even authorized to abrogate the right to self-defense and require an individual to retreat. For if the right to self- preservation is a fundamental, deeply rooted, and inalienable right, the state’s ability to infringe upon it is “off the table.”
The article is well written and is worth reading. If you can’t wait to hear how it ends, the article concludes with:
Like the Bill of Rights, Stand Your Ground laws do not grant positive rights to individuals. In other words, a Stand Your Ground law does not create a new right for an individual to shoot someone whenever he feels the least modicum of anxiety, fear, or danger. Rather, these laws reverse the (relatively) recent legal trend started in the Progressive Era to require a threatened individual to “retreat to the wall,” unless absolutely necessary rather than immediately defend himself.
It is unfortunate that a Stand Your Ground statute is needed at all. The right of an individual to defend himself in case of attack is inalienable; it cannot be rightly separated from him, be it attempted by the state or another individual. But, to the extent nearly half the states in the Union have codified the natural right, applause are in order. All states should be so cognizant of the individual, natural rights of their citizens.