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Do you agree with the Castle Doctrine?

I was reading The Essential Second Amendment Guide by Wayne LaPierre, and I was reminded of the Castle Doctrine. Defined by Google as, "a common law doctrine stating that an individual has no duty to retreat when in his or her home, or 'castle,' and may use reasonable force, including deadly force, to defend his or her property, person, or another."
Your thoughts?

By dustindareawf4
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It seems much worse for you stateside folks, but often it seems to come down to interpretation and when there is doubt, police seem to have some wildly overblown powers of 'discretion', effectively permitting them to become judge jury & executioners. You should have reasonable right to defend yourself, your family and your property but I never liked any laws using such ambiguous subjective terms as 'reasonable' as what is reasonable is not being decided in an egalitarian, democratic way; or in any way by a consensus. The law is interpreted by the same unaccountable, untrustworthy agency (the state) that writes it down in the first place. Subjective, ambiguous, provisions in law for killing another human are not the sort of legislations I would think it advisable to test, while the transparency, accountability and equanimity of the whole system is so... so... ughhh!!, beneath contempt.

Skepticus Level 5 Nov 25, 2017

You should not have to retreat from your home. you have the right to defend yourself and your family. I was home and a kid jumped the gate into my patio and tried to steal a small bicycle that I keep for my nephew.I just yelled at him and he ran away. There is no need to take his life over something as trivial as that. However if someone came into my house and my life was in danger then I would do whatever i have to do to protect myself and my family.

noworry28 Level 7 Nov 24, 2017

Its a nice thought but its a dream. Fact is a gun in the house almost never is used in defense. They're used for suicide and domestic violence.

JLFowler Level 6 Nov 23, 2017

It doesn't have to be a gun. Could be a hammer, or a shovel, or a knife. Things found around the house.


LaPierre is a ultra-greedy, manipulative, lying demagogue who has long since sold out == in totality-- to the gun industry. Nothing this man says is to EVER be believed?? I say as a gun own (although I would never own a pistol, assault rifle, or any automatic weapon who was rated "expert" with an M-1 rifle in the US Army. I oppose those weapons, gun shows, open carry, and concealed weapons carry. They all threaten the safety of our society.

wordywalt Level 8 Nov 23, 2017

If someone enters your home uninvited and it is clear that their intentions ae malevolent, then you most certainly do have the right to protect yourself and your family with deadly force if neccessary.

Too bad that in some states this only seems to apply if you are white.

webbew1 Level 7 Nov 23, 2017

I believe that reasonable force can be a fairly subjective term, but yes, if someone's home is broken into, they have every right to respond with a gun.


I personally hold the protection of my family and property in the highest regard. I'm from Texas, a Castle Doctrine state. I have no reservations whatsoever about doing that which is necessary in order to protect what I hold most dear. Including using deadly force.


As with all such definitions, while it may give the core idea, it is silent about a lot of factors which may be relevant in "real life". I would be prepared to used deadly force only when the life of another person in my house was being threatened.

Broadening this into my discussions with theists, I often find that they will cherry pick a dictionary definition to suit their own narrow agenda and ignore the wider context.

irascible Level 8 Nov 23, 2017

Well, I was just being broad because the doctrine varies by state. But, if we want to be specific, I could ask if Texas has it right under Penal Code 9.31, under which,

angel.gif?Except as provided in Subsection smile035.gif, a person is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect the actor against the other's use or attempted use of unlawful force. ?The actor's belief that the force was immediately necessary as described by this subsection is presumed to be reasonable if the actor:

(1)?knew or had reason to believe that the person against whom the force was used:

angel.gif?unlawfully and with force entered, or was attempting to enter unlawfully and with force, the actor's occupied habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment;

smile035.gif?unlawfully and with force removed, or was attempting to remove unlawfully and with force, the actor from the actor's habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment; ?or

coffee.gif?was committing or attempting to commit aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery;

(2)?did not provoke the person against whom the force was used; ?and

(3)?was not otherwise engaged in criminal activity, other than a Class C misdemeanor that is a violation of a law or ordinance regulating traffic at the time the force was used.

smile035.gif?The use of force against another is not justified:

(1)?in response to verbal provocation alone;

(2)?to resist an arrest or search that the actor knows is being made by a peace officer, or by a person acting in a peace officer's presence and at his direction, even though the arrest or search is unlawful, unless the resistance is justified under Subsection coffee.gif;

(3)?if the actor consented to the exact force used or attempted by the other;

(4)?if the actor provoked the other's use or attempted use of unlawful force, unless:

angel.gif?the actor abandons the encounter, or clearly communicates to the other his intent to do so reasonably believing he cannot safely abandon the encounter; ?and

smile035.gif?the other nevertheless continues or attempts to use unlawful force against the actor; ?or

(5)?if the actor sought an explanation from or discussion with the other person concerning the actor's differences with the other person while the actor was:

angel.gif?carrying a weapon in violation of Section 46.02 ; ?or

smile035.gif?possessing or transporting a weapon in violation of Section 46.05 .

coffee.gif?The use of force to resist an arrest or search is justified:

(1)?if, before the actor offers any resistance, the peace officer (or person acting at his direction) uses or attempts to use greater force than necessary to make the arrest or search; ?and

(2)?when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect himself against the peace officer's (or other person's) use or attempted use of greater force than necessary.

smile036.gif?The use of deadly force is not justified under this subchapter except as provided in Sections 9.32 , 9.33 , and 9.34 .

mail.gif?A person who has a right to be present at the location where the force is used, who has not provoked the person against whom the force is used, and who is not engaged in criminal activity at the time the force is used is not required to retreat before using force as described by this section.

smile019.gif?For purposes of Subsection angel.gif, in determining whether an actor described by Subsection mail.gif reasonably believed that the use of force was necessary, a finder of fact may not consider whether the actor failed to retreat.


Good luck getting away with that today.
The police will kill you before you even have a chance to mention it. Especially if you're black.

Paul628 Level 8 Nov 23, 2017

In my state, Iowa, we had a "duty to retreat" law, but it wasn't until April of this year that we adopted a castle doctrine. I guess I'm a bit confused.

@dustindarewf I guess I just don't understand how the police will care about this castle thing when they have swat teams that can take over your property in a blink.

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