Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Obama on "stand your ground." Things just turned really weird.

From John Lott's Website -- President Obama vs. state Senator Obama on Stand Your Ground laws:

"Illinois is one of the states that don't demand that people retreat as far as possible before defending themselves. Little did I know that Obama was one of the people who helped push for this change to become law."

Wow. I said previously that as a lawyer, Obama ought to know that he is misrepresenting the law in this matter. Turns out I was righter than I thought.

For those new to the subject, "stand your ground" is legal shorthand for no, or very limited, "duty to retreat." When you hear the one you should think of the other, for they are paired concepts. Imposing a duty to retreat whenever someone is attacked raises more problems than it solves, in rendering fair judgement later, which is why most states and federal precedent too have some or other recognition of the "stand your ground" principle. As Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes put it, "detached reflection cannot be demanded in the presence of an uplifted knife."

As a state senator, Obama sided with Holmes. Now... Well, that was then, this is now. I guess he evolved again. He was 'for it before he was against it.'

For the Illinois Review blog post that broke the story, go here:   http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2013/07/obama-strongly-supported-stand-your-ground-when-in-illinois-senate.html

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