Do you have a RIGHT to be where you are? Standing your ground and duty to retreat

Dec 2018
This is a discussion on self defense. I don’t really want to get dragged in to the weeds of “gun control.” This is about use of force for the average citizen and when it is applicable. And WHY.

So that said. Let’s ask this: if you are in an area lawfully, let’s say a park/parking lot/mall. Someone attempts to attack you for whatever reason (trying to take your money, wallet, your hat, your bag, because they don’t like you, etc ad naseum)...should you have to try and run away? Keep in mind that if you have a legal duty to retreat, you have to prove you tried.

Or? If you are lawfully in this area and you did not do anything wrong...should you be able to resist their attempt to harm you or steal from you right then and there?


I personally have a mode of acting as if I have a duty to retreat, but only within reason. If I can extract myself from a situation? I will. I have had to on only a few occasions. I don’t get paid to deal with morons. But if the situation does not allow? I am covered by stand your ground and do not have the burden of proving I tried to get away (which is good since I’ve had injuries and am not very fast).
Likes: orangecat

Ian Jeffrey

Council Hall
Mar 2013
Vulcan, down the street from Darth Vader
First of all, your position is premised on the assumption that retreat is possible in a given circumstance. Obviously, if it is not for some reason, a duty to retreat would not come about. This applies not only to circumstances allowing for a retreat, but also - as you allude to - in cases an individual is incapable of retreat. (And like you, I have injuries that prevent me from running anymore).

As to the use of force ... it must be reasonable and proportional, and only enough to repel the attack. An unreasonable escalation turns the original victim into the new aggressor. That does not get the original aggressor out of criminal charges for his conduct; it just means the victim who unreasonably escalated could also get charged.

As a general principle, I agree with "stand your ground," however. While I am certainly concerned for my own safety, as is anyone, I simply do not recognize that a person has the right to force another to move from a place he has a lawful right to be. And, of course, if it is simple bullying, then one cannot really get away until the aggressor gets bored.
Nov 2010
You shouldn't have the right to kill somebody because you are a chicken shit coward. You already have the right to self defense. And you can't start a fight, then hide behind your gun and kill someone, if you do that, you are the aggressor

The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
Number of questions here.

A. Is this an armed confrontation, or just someone coming at you with their fists?

If the latter, I am good with standing ground. I can handle some drunk guy or whatever trying to swing on me. Hand him off to the cops after haha

B. If the assailant is armed; even if I am also... to be honest, I might just choose to withdraw if possible and call for help. Many factors here like

C. Are we in a crowded area, say in or near a busy mall or, God forbid, a school?

In that case, I am not sure I would want to start a fucking shootout and potentially myself be responsible (morally, to myself, even more if not legally, in front of a judge) for deaths of innocent bystanders...


D. If my family is there, if someone is threatening my wife and sons with a gun, probably I would go all the way... Their lives are more important to me than my own, or anyone elses...

Lot of very complex critical decisions to be made in such a situation, none of them lightly...
Likes: Ian Jeffrey