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Karnib Project 4RD

Page history last edited by Rabeeh Karnib 8 years, 12 months ago

Rabeeh Karnib

Professor Todd Breijak

ENG 1020 Project 4

December 1, 2014

Self Defense is a Natural Right

Back in ancient Rome, self-defense was considered a natural right for defending honor, property, and family. Romans in the ancient time would use protect themselves with violence as if it was in their blood and the government actually condoned this. In fact, an entry in AD sixth-century Roman law code known as Codex Justinianus reads:

We grant to all persons the unrestricted power to defend themselves, so that it is proper to sugbject anyone...to immediate punishment in accordance with the authority granted to all. Let them suffer the death which he threatened and incur that which he intended (&Self-defense Laws&).

Obviously in today's day we do should not go this extreme, however the general idea is the same. We as people should be able to protect ourselves without the laws bondong us from doing so. We do indeed have the second amendment which state that we have the right to bear arms. However, what the amendment does not mention is when and where we can use our arms. The main problems that these laws do not cover is the use of self-defense outside our homes like in public areas and the fact that we can not carry arms unless we have a permit. By accumulating these points, I argue that the government should extend and elaborate on self-defense laws because the laws we currently have do not fully protect citizens and allow them to express their freedom.

There are many problems associated with the lack of self-defense laws. One main problem is the fact that some laws are only in effect if the situation is occuring the defender's own home. According to the Castle Doctrine laws, you have the right to self-defense by eliminating the duty to retreat from a threat in one's  own home or on one's own property (&Self-defense laws&). This law dos not even allow us to defend ourselves in the site of danger. All this law tells us is that we can run away if we are threatened in our own homes. So, for example, if a thief would break into your home and begin to steal your belongings, are we supposed to sit and wait for the police to come and stop him. What happens if they are too late? Sure some people have insurance but what about the people who do not? I guess you can try to overpower him but what happens if he pulls a weapon on you? You are then unarmed, in danger, and maybe even dead if the case presents itself. Another main issue is if the same situation would occur but instead of being in your home it would be in a public area like a park or a workplace. When this situation does present itself are we supposed to just let it happen or get into danger? Lastly, our current gun rule is another reason why this is a problem. For us as citizens to own and carry a gun we need a permit. The requirements for a permit includes background check and safety training, and has passed written and performance-based tests showing that the applicant knows how to safely load, fire and store a gun, and has knowledge of relevant firearms laws (&Licensing Gun Owners & Purchasers Policy Summary&). These are very safe and reasonable rules and requirements; however, when most people decide to get a permit is when something dangerous happens to them and they live through it. What happens if poeple do not live through it and they get seriously injured physically and mentally? All these problems can cause injuries and death because the current laws do not do a good job keeping us safe. This is why there must be an expantion on the current rules we have because the laws we do have are not just doing a poor job but are not keeping us safe as a society.

There are many people who believe that the lack of enforcement and laws dealing with self-defense is a problem in the U.S. However there are just as many people saying that self-defense should be implemented but the word self-defense is being used lightly. What I mean by lightly is that when people do get into trouble and end up harming others they cry self-defense in front of the court. This is a problem but not the biggest problem we have. There are many cases that show this as well. For example, the Trayvon Martin case where Geroge Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman, shot and killed a young man by the name of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman pleaded ot guilty to the courts due to the fact that it was self-defense. Prosecuters say that Zimmerman deliberately pursued and murdered the teen while Zimmerman says that he shot Martin during a physical struggle where he feared for his life (&Self-Defense Laws&). Yet the only thing Trayvon had on him druing this assualt was a bag of candy and a can of iced tea where on the contrary, Zimmerman was carrying a handgun out of its sheath. Many people feel like that Zimmerman was wrong for claiming self-defense and that self-defense is just a word that people hide behind. What people are not realizing is that Zimmerman is still going to jail for second-degree murder (&Self-Defense Laws&). So even though it is wrong to plea self-defense even when it was not, Zimmerman still serving his time. Another example of a case where people plead self-defense was in a case in 2013 of Jodi Arias who was facing first-degree murder charges in Arizona. Arias stabbed her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander twenty-seven time, slitting his throat from ear to ear, and shooting him in the forehead. At first, Arias claimed she had no knowledge of the killing and blamed it on robbers. Later on in the trial, she changed her story and claimed it was self-defense sayig that her boyfriend was abusing her physically. The court literally laughed it off and called it &a mockery of domestic violence cases&. Arias was sent to prison for I believe was a life sentence. So not only did she get sent to prison but was mocked in the middle of court for even proposing self-defense. So even if self-defense is being used as an excuse for murder, its not like most cases are in favor of those people. So in conclusion, some people are in deed saying that self-defense is a great right that we have bt there are people that believe that the phrase &self-defense& is just an excuse. These people are wrong because not many juries or judges will fall for that plea and if they do then its not causing more harm then the people who are dying because they can not defend themselves. There are many solutions to the problem of not having stricter self-defense law. There isalready one solution being implemented in states around the country and it is called the Stand Your Ground (SYG) laws. These laws state extend on the Castle Doctrine mentioned earlier but in these laws it extends to any place where a person has a right to be, such as one's car, workplace, or public sidewalk (&Self-Defense Laws&). The SYG also allows someone who feels threatened to stand their ground and respond with force rather than retreat, even if they aare safely able to do so. This law was implemented in 2005 by Florida and now twenty-four states have these laws. However, that is only half of the country where the other 50% have to make sure they are fast enough to run away from the danger. So in order for the laws to be implemented in the other states the citizens should write letters to anyone that would listen to them whether it's the government or whoever. NAother way we can try and persuade these laws to be passed would be to protest. A protest wuld show the government that this is an imprtant matter to us and that we deserve to pass these new laws. Another possible solution would be to implement a new kind of permit for guns. The permits we have right now are very well documented and are a safe way to trust the right people with arms. However, for example, let us say there is a woman who went to jail for lets say using drugs and she gt released and does not have a dime to her name. If this woman would somehow get into some trouble she would not afford to pay for lessons for the permit and not only that but she would not be eligable to get one because she went to jail since they do a background check. How would this be fair for her if she can not protect herself. A way to fix  this problem is to make the permit requirements a  little less strict. Instead of putting a price on the lessons , they should be free. Also intead of requiring no jail time, the backgorund check sgould be reviewed by a judge and allow them to decide if the person is sane enough or not dangerous to carry a weapon. Another problem would be that, as stated earlier, people usually decide to get a gun after something tramautic happens to them. So to make sure people know about the benefits of having a gun permit, a couple of things should be done. One, there should be a seminar held that gives information about the benefits of having a gun in the house. Second, volunteers should go around door-by-door and explain the importance of having a gun in your home. Either way at least people would think about trying and getting a gun before something dangerous happens and changes there mind that way.  In conclusion, there are a few solutions that should be implemented in order to make sure the people can use self-defense without getting in trouble with the law even when they have not done anything wrong. This includes stressing the imprtance of having a gun permit, changing the permit requiremnets, and implementing SYG laws to every state in the U.S.

All in all, self-defense laws need to be implemented more and become a stricter issue and the government need to realize this. Many people are have no idea of the danger that can exist in their own homes and the laws as of now are restricting their ability to defend themselves like they should be. Laws like the Castle Doctrine are giving the residents the right to &run away& when given the chance instead of defending themselves and stopping the attacker from doing whatever they are doing wheter it is rape or robbery. Also laws like the SYG are being implemented and is the right path but should be in all states instead of just half of them. Even though people believe that self-defense is a natural right, they do not feel like they are given the chance to follow through with that right. Also the fact that gun permits are not being pushed on people or that no one is telling home owners the benefits of owning a weapon is in a crime itself. These problems can easily be solved with just a few seminars, door to door informational visits, and protests to show the givernment and everyone who listens that self-defense should be natural right like how its was back during the time of ancient Rome.




Work Cited Page

&Self-Defense Laws.& Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection. Detroit: Gale, 2014. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 3 Dec. 2014.

&Licensing Gun Owners & Purchasers Policy Summary.&Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence RSS. Web. 4 Dec. 2014. <http://smartgunlaws.org/licensing-of-gun-owners-purchasers-policy-summary/>.





Comments (1)

Adam Goryca said

at 12:50 pm on Dec 4, 2014

1. Yes, forms of self defense should not be prosecuted.
2. Yes, you discuss how unclear the laws are leaving too much up for interpretation.
3. Yes, you include the SYG laws as a solution.
4. The problem. You spend most of the time explaining the problem as opposed to describing your solution.
5. The audience feels very closely tied to this topic as it could affect anyone one of us any day.
6. Not that I found
7. Besides implying the obvious outcomes you do little to explain the consequences.
8. Using examples from history and our current society for support.
9. C. While most of the required information is present, the grammar and spelling needs to be revisited.

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