Shoot First, Ask Later General Nonsense 07 NOV 2007

Armed HouseownerDo know which law I would like to see passed here in South Africa? USA’s so-called …Stand your ground’ or …Shoot first’ law, which was first adopted by Florida in 2005 and has since been passed in 19 of the USA’s 50 states, with similar legislation pending in about a dozen others.

Basically, in contrast with traditional self-defence laws, this legislation allows you to legally open fire on any intruder that breaks onto your property, without having to be able to prove that either you were physically threatened, that the force used was as a last resort or that you had first tried to hide.

What’s nice about the law is that it brands anybody breaking into a home or car as a real threat of injury or death to its occupants, automatically making you the victim and thereby allowing you to shoot to kill, without asking questions first. And although it is a very debated and topical law, it is busy proliferating throughout the States, mainly thanks to the pressure exerted by the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA), the main weapons lobby in the United States.

As spokesperson for the NRA, Rachel Parsons says …This law will bring common-sense self-defence protections to law-abiding citizens. If someone is breaking into your home, it’s obvious that they are not there to have dinner with you. You do have a right to protect your belongings, your family and yourself. …

I like the idea of this one because it now puts the law on the side of the victim and not the side of the criminal. You can’t be sued or tried if you do happen to injure or take out a criminal and in fact, it may just prove to be a real deterrent to the not so harmful part-time opportunistic crooks in the country as well.

It also means you won’t have pesky neighbour snooping around your yard.

But jokes aside, our country needs to – desperately look towards new legislation that will put more power into our hands so that we can somehow break this cycle of fear that is gripping all law-abiding citizens in South Africa :(

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.