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Pennsylvania: Law would restore right to self-defense

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Pennsylvania: Law would restore right to self-defense

Posted: 05.19.11 01:36 AM

DARYL METCALFE: Law would restore right to self-defense

By Daryl Metcalfe 4:42 p.m. EDT, May 16, 2011

The Pennsylvania Castle Doctrine legislation, House Bill 40, is necessary to restore our rights that have been violated by current law, which is not aligned with our constitutionally-affirmed God-given right to defend our lives, loved ones and property with lethal force when necessary.

"The right of citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned."

Ratified in September 1776, Article 1, Section 21 secured Pennsylvania's legacy as the first state in the nation to adopt explicit language in our constitution affirming that private citizens have the right to bear arms for the purpose of self-defense.

Philadelphia's Benjamin Franklin and our Founding Fathers had the common sense and understanding of personal responsibility and self-government to recognize two undisputable truths.

First, a truly safe and liberty-advancing society is an armed society. Second, innocent lives are needlessly lost anytime government takes action to leave law-abiding citizens disarmed and defenseless against violent criminals who, in many cases, obtain their weapons illegally.

Castle Doctrine corrects three primary flaws in current law.

There is no presumption in current law that if a criminal breaks into your home he intends to harm you. Castle Doctrine will change the law so that if a criminal invades your home in the middle of the night it will be assumed he is there to do you and your family harm, not deliver fresh-baked cookies. The use of force, even lethal, will be the expected lawful reaction by a homeowner against a home invader.

Current law also requires that as a law-abiding citizen, if you are confronted by a criminal during your own pursuit of happiness, whether you are walking back to your car after shopping or hiking the Appalachian Trail, you have a duty to retreat or surrender your wallet before using lethal force. House Bill 40 will change the law to support a law abiding citizen's right to "stand your ground" and confront the armed criminal with no duty to retreat or surrender.

The third primary correction to the law under this common-sense legislation is to protect law-abiding citizens who use force from civil liability. When a criminal has been stopped by the use of force, the person intended to be the victim should not have to fear a lawsuit being filed by the criminal or his family.

All of which brings us back to the no-nonsense, original intent of our Founding Fathers when they ratified Article 1, Section 21 of the Pennsylvania Constitution:

"The right of citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned."

State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler, is chairman of the Pennsylvania House State Government Committee and a cosponsor of House Bill 40.
The Morning Call

Source: http://www.nraila.org/News/Read/InTheNews.aspx?ID=15142
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