What Does Stand Your Ground Mean?
Written by: Lt Terry L Choate Jr
What Does Stand Your Ground Mean?
Yes, you are reading that correctly – NOTHING! At least as long as you are a responsible firearm owner and someone who will do anything possible to avoid using deadly force on another human being; NOTHING if you are not someone craving an opportunity to use deadly force on another human being!; NOTHING if you make good, responsible decisions should you ever have to use deadly force!
The very first Stand Your Ground Seminar that we did as a new company, I posted an ad for it on a local, well utilized shooters forum. At this time I had always been a staunch believer in the 2nd Amendment Right to Bear Arms. And a staunch believer that if you had not committed a felony or crime of violence that you should be allowed to own and carry a firearm. After the response that I received to this post not only was I highly disappointed and ashamed (this was never the attitude of any guns owners that I’ve ever known), this interaction completely changed my views on who should and should not own/possess firearms. Why? Here are some of the comments that my post received:
“Legal advice from police. Fantastic”
“If I’m threatened I will shoot. That simple”
“In my castle, doctrine says I shoot you”
“You break into my house you get ventilated”
“Ethical considerations regardless of the law? LOLWUT”
Practical Defensive Mindset – “Not necessary. I have a gun”
“It’s ten pounds of @#$% in a five pound bag”
“If anyone takes this seminar, they will probably be thinking way too much about irrelevant BS to be able to defend their life”
“All you are doing is slowing them down if they are in a fight for their life for no reason at all because NH law doesn’t apply to any of this nonsense. Shame on you”
“Reality check: Most people you serve don’t trust or like you, but they are polite enough to not say it to your face”
It became clear very quickly that what I was dealing with here were potentially irresponsible gun owners and possibly even fanatics! I quickly came to realize that, in fact, not everyone should be allowed to own a firearm, even if you have not committed a crime of violence or felony. I now believe that if you are craving or looking for an opportunity to use deadly force on another person, and/or if you hope for the day where you will be afforded that opportunity, then you should not be allowed to own a firearm. It has also became clear to me that these types of people, along with actual criminals themselves, are the very people that anti-gun people are afraid of! Think about this:
As firearm owners, we are currently in the fight of our lives to retain the right to possess and own them. As a result, it is critical that we are responsible, that we make responsible decisions, that deadly force is a last resort, and that we train for it to be used only as a last resort! AND that we don’t care what a Stand Your Ground law allows for us to do, or not do – We will retreat, regardless of whether or not we have to, until we can retreat no more and only take a life as a result of “no other choice” rather than simply because a law says that we can or had a right too!
Stand Your Ground Laws are good in my opinion. I will tell you this, however, if you choose to take another’s life:
You will be the subject of a homicide investigation. You will be subject to a jury of your peers, a Judge’s decisions, a Prosecutor and/or Police Officer’s decisions. Did you make a “reasonable” decision in the eyes of 12 Jurors, a Judge, a Prosecutor, or a Police Officer. I will tell you this and will follow-up with numerous articles over the next few months to support this position:
Deadly Force is a crap-shoot!
I have numerous examples where people who used deadly force in what appeared to be situations with a very, very clear justification for doing so landed them in jail. Where situations in the same jurisdiction with the same details landed one person in jail and the other exonerated!
The bottom-line is this, and again I will justify this over the course of several articles, you need to retreat regardless of what the law says. This is for your own well-being! Picture the difference in these two scenarios during a trial in front of a Judge and Jury:
• I heard someone in my house, went to confront them, and shot and killed them because I felt as thought they were a threat to me.
• I heard someone in my house and, rather than confront them, I ran to my bedroom, closed and locked my bedroom door and stayed there. It was only after several warnings this person broke down my bedroom door and, having nowhere left to retreat to, I shot him because I thought that they were a threat to my life.
Which one do you think has a far better chance of being considered “reasonable”?
Think about this and stayed tuned for additional article on Stand Your Ground and Making Good, Responsible Use of Force Decisions.
Blue-U Defense provides high level training in the areas of Workplace Violence, Active Shooter, Drug Recognition for Employers, Incident Command, Practical Personal Defense to large corporations, small businesses, public/private school systems, nursing homes, and hospitals as well as physical site security, and development and enactment of live drills. Their training is highly unique, extremely effective and very practical. Training is delivered via classroom lecture, live drill, video, and webinar.
Lt Terry L Choate Jr
Terry Choate is a full-time Lieutenant with the Jaffrey NH Police Department where he has served for the past 10 years. Prior to a career change to law enforcement, Terry has served in several executive level leadership positions in several large corporations to include Fortune 500 and in positions Vice President of Sales/Marketing; Vice President of Operations; Vice President of Distribution; Human Resources; Customer Relations; Manufacturing and more. Terry is the Team Commander of the Monadnock Regional Special Response Team with extensive training in high risk tactics, tactical team management, investigations and drug work.
Terry’s passion since his teen years has been criminal psychology, understanding of the human mind to include the criminal mind, and how this understanding can be practically and effectively applied to keeping people and businesses safe and how this understanding provides methods for mind manipulation that can be used to raise success levels in any area of life to new heights, and provide for a foundation to win during a violent confrontations.
Terry’s passion is in continuous improvement of skills, product improvement, and increasing knowledge in the areas that Blue-U Defense instructs in to ensure that the company is providing the most complete, practical and effective methods available. He reads 100’s of books each year, attends numerous training courses, watches 100’s of videos, etc in pursuit of these goals.
Terry also has extensive training and expertise in the areas of physical site security, threat assessment, and executive protection. Terry was responsible for and successfully completed the Security Assessment for the Jaffrey Fireworks Festival, a venue of 35,000+ people, following a bomb threat.
Terry lives in Hancock, NH with his wife of 28 years. He is a father of one son and grandfather of a beautiful baby girl.
Some of his training includes:
N.H. Tactical Officers Association – SWAT 1&2
LEADS Consulting (LAPD) – SWAT 1&2
LEADS Consulting (LAPD) – Team Commander School
FBI Crisis Negotiator
Field Training Officer
N.H. Prosecutor School
Response to Active Shooter
Isreali Response to Active Shooter
C.A.R.V.E.R Vulnerability Security Assessment Training
Executive Security International