The Nashville based Tennessean newspaper has four opinion page articles relating to Concealed Carry and Castle Doctrine presently.
Things are heating up here as there was a shooting by a gas station clerk (reported here on this site) that involved shooting a fleeing thief in the back. There is also the (failed) recent bill proposing extended allowance of concealed carry into public parks.
Here are a few quotes, and all four links.
Please feel free to add polite, reasoned comments on all four topics. They do get published.
LINKMost Americans believe that self-defense is protected under the law. However, until recently, most Americans would be mistaken. NRA reviewed state statutes and case law history across the country and we were astonished to find that many laws favored the criminal and burdened the victim.
In plain words, if attacked and you shot or injured your attacker in self-defense, you could be prosecuted, or sued for millions by the criminal or their survivors. As a victim, you had one solitary option — to retreat. Indeed, for the victim, these laws were a sad testament to the old proverb: bad was never good until worse happened.
That is fundamentally wrong. Victims who act in self-defense must not be victimized a second time by the criminal justice system, the criminal or the criminal's relatives. So the NRA began working with a bipartisan group of lawmakers to change that.
LINKThe recent legislation makes one immune to both criminal and civil liability under this new, greatly expanded definition of righteous gunplay. We have all but done away with government sponsored executions but now allow our citizens the right to impose capital punishment on a trick-or-treater who bangs too loudly at the door. This new "taking-the-law-into-your-own-hands" mentality has manifested itself into a legislative reaction that our police and prosecutors can no longer protect us. I reject that idea.
LINKI believe it to be a very important right for people to be able to defend themselves in their homes, their cars, and their businesses. This year we extended that to "curtilage" as well, which refers to the area around your home. I have always supported the use of deadly force — if you, your loved ones, or your co-workers feel that your lives are threatened, you should be able to defend yourself.
The opposition often says that this puts us all in danger; some even believe that guns should be banned outright. But extensive proof exists confirming the exact opposite.
The facts show that in countries where gun control laws increase, so too do the crimes that those laws attempt to prevent. For example, according to the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, in Luxemburg, where handguns are totally banned, the murder rate is nine times higher than in Germany, which has one of the highest rates of gun ownership in Europe. Although Russia has one of the lowest rates of gun ownership in the world, between 1998 and 2004 Russian murder rates were quadruple American rates.
Bottom line: criminals can and will get weapons regardless of whether or not they are legal —after all, they are criminals. And law-abiding armed citizens do not go on shooting sprees. They use their weapons legally, and to defend themselves. Allowing citizens to carry guns and use them if necessary actually reduces crime rates.
LINKThe law may result in more criminals getting their hands on guns. That's especially true if more citizens seek permits to carry guns in their vehicles and those vehicles are broken into.
The General Assembly has been wise to put on hold a bill that would have expanded the places permit holders can take their handguns — places such as parks, zoos, auditoriums and other public facilities. It would have been just as wise if it had not expanded the rights of citizens to use force against criminals. When these types of laws are passed, many people tend to believe they have the right to take the law into their own hand.