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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Empowering the Jeopardized

Within the next week, Governor Rendell of Pennsylvania has been given the choice to sign Pennsylvania House Bill no. 1926 into law. The bill expands upon the existing "castle-doctrine" or the ability to use one's firearms in self-defense in their home. Here is the language of the bill:

"The General Assembly finds that:

"(1) It is proper for law-abiding people to protect themselves, their families and others from intruders and attackers without fear of prosecution or civil action for acting in defense of themselves and others.The bill passed easily in Pennsylvania's state House and Senate this past week. The bill's sponsor is an Iraq war veteran, who finds it preposterous that some people have to fend off a civil trial after using their weapons in self-defense. I happen to concur wholeheartedly. Why should a legal burden befall someone who has their life in jeopardy?
"(2) The castle doctrine is a common-law doctrine of ancient origins which declares that a home is a person's castle.
"(3) ... The Constitution of Pennsylvania guarantees that the 'right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the state shall not be questioned.'
"(4) Persons residing in or visiting this comonwealth have a right to expect to remain unmolested within their homes or vehicles.
"(5) No person should be required to surrender his or her personal safety to a criminal, nor should a person be required to needlessly retreat in the face of intrusion or attack outside the person's home or vehicle."

Pennsylvania law already establishes a right to defense in their home. However, in almost half of U.S. states the law goes further to remove "a person's 'duty to retreat' - say, to rush inside and bolt the door - before using deadly force.'"

The only barrier for 1926's implementation is the veto pen of Gov. Rendell, a proponent of gun control. Though when one considers that "the wording was attached to a bill that would spell out that convicted sex offenders who are homeless or had come from other states must register with local police," it's passage looks promising.

(In a totally unrelated note: I stumbled upon a great highlight reel from G.W. Bush's appearance on Jay Leno this past Thursday.)
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  1. One big reason I chose to live in Texas is that our laws follow common sense...at least more than other states.

    In Texas, you are not required to flee from an attack. You are allowed to stand and defend.

    Seems only rational to me...

  2. I don't know the rules of PA, but Here in Texas, if the bill passes both houses and is on the Governor's desk, he has three choices, he can sign it into law, which if the bill is written properly it becomes law immediately, he can chose to veto it, which if the legislature is in session they may attempt to override, or he may ignore it and it becomes law automatically without his signature on Sept. 1. So what happens if he does not sign the law?

  3. That's pretty good when you've got Instapundit linking to what you've written, Kathleen. (But looks like he unknowingly credits the Professor.)