A few states still have laws on the books requiring crime victims to attempt to retreat before using lethal force to protect themselves from deadly danger.

Nebraska lawmakers, understandably, saw a need to change that and join the majority, with a “Stand Your Ground” law eliminating that requirement. As usual, the mainstream media misunderstood.

As you read the above article, note that most if not all of the cited cases of what might be called “stand your ground abuse” were never really Stand Your Ground cases at all.

Nebraska, like every other such state, ONLY required retreat if it could be accomplished in complete safety to oneself and other innocent parties.

It is hard to imagine a case where a decent person would shoot someone to death if they could have safely walked away.

Laws that quantify Stand Your Ground simply clarify the matter. Apparently, though, it hasn’t been clarified enough for certain pundits, who appear to literally not know what they are talking about.


  1. Complete safety is in the eye of the beholder among whom are rogue prosecutors. Obviously Kyle Rittenhouse couldn’t safely retreat but there was an argument that he shouldn’t have been there in the first place (which was perfectly legal). And Daniel Penny was locked in a subway car with a violent crazy guy. No retreat possible there but the prosecution is happening anyway. Not sure if retreat will play in this trial but the prosecution has to have some sort of theory as to why this was a crime. Disproportionate response seems like a loser.

    • @ Richard – “…but there was an argument that he shouldn’t have been there in the first place..”

      I would like to make a point about the duty to retreat that seems to be generally misunderstood.

      The duty to retreat, like the use of force, must also involved an imminent threat. Do you see my point?

      When one undertakes to use force in self-defense, the threat (that one is defending against) must be imminent. It must be happening RIGHT NOW. One cannot use force in a preemptive fashion to counter a speculative future threat.

      For example, suppose that someone threatens to do harm to you or your family at some point in the future. You cannot (legally) decide that you will hunt that person down and kill him so as to eliminate that speculative future threat. If you do launch such a preemptive attack, you will be guilty of murder. It will not be self-defense because you were given time to apply to the law for protection. Instead of doing so, you took matters into your own hands which would be seen (correctly) by the courts as “Vigilante Justice”.

      Unfortunately, people do not seem to understand that the duty to retreat must also be judged in terms of imminence. People seem to have a foolish tendency to go back and apply judgment retroactively without regard to imminence. This is illogical and wrong.

      Your point above about Kyle Rittenhouse is an example. They retroactively judge Mr. Rittenhouse and say “he shouldn’t have been there in the first place”. Don’t you see that this judgment lacks imminence? That it is speculative?

      Mr. Rittenhouse does not possess a crystal ball. He cannot forecast the future. While he might have thought that some general violence might break out that night, he had no specific knowledge that he would be attacked (not once but on multiple occasions). It is just as illogical to expect Mr. Rittenhouse to respond to a speculative future threat, by retreating in advance, than it is to accept that he should respond to a speculative future threat by launching a preemptive attack. Either approach is assuming that humans can forecast the future WHICH THEY CANNOT DO!

      You see the same thing with the George Zimmerman case. Everything would be OK (they say) if only Old George had “not got out of the car” but had instead driven away. Don’t you see that such a claim is speculative? It lacks imminence. Mr. Zimmerman (also) could not see into the future and he had no idea that, by getting out of his vehicle in order to determine the direction that the suspect was going, he would expose himself to a vicious attack.

      The decision to retreat, like the decision to deploy force in self-defence, must be made in the “Here-and-Now” based upon the immediate knowledge of the involved individual. Force cannot be deployed based upon a speculative future threat nor can a person’s actions to retreat (or failure to retreat) be judged, retroactively, based upon a speculative future threat.

      Do you see my point? Imminence must used to judge any action taken. Whether it is to use force, to retreat, or to “Stand your Ground”. These complaints that people develop regarding what one “should have done” based upon a speculative future forecast are not helpful at all. They are nothing more than an illogical deflection and distraction from the real issues at play.

      • Please consider for the sake of discussion that a mixed group of five or six supposedly grown-up adults are approaching you along a sidewalk at night in a disorganized manner. One man in the group, looking straight at you, says loudly “we’re going to kill you.” Only God knows why somebody would be that stupid, but I have literally seen that happen. I can see that the speaker should not necessarily be assumed to represent the future actions of any of the other people in the group. On the other hand, the foolish speaker would seem to be skating on somewhat thin ice as far as having much of a long future ahead of himself. I guess that I MIGHT look for some further evidence of a genuine personal threat before presenting my own weapon, but I might NOT refrain from presenting, given my personal assessment of the situation. One possible choice would be to try to wipe out the whole group at once just in case they are in cahoots, to try to insure a lack of adversary witnesses? At any rate, this scenario gives a good reason not to go anywhere without a friendly witness handy.

      • Cases like Rittenhouse are the reason why I stay far away from protests, matches, rallies, and the like. When the BLM useful idiots staged a march in my town, I called the police station, and asked for details. When they asked if I was planning on attending, I told that I needed details so I could stay as far away as possible.

        “Smart decision” was their answer. I agree.

      • @ Emmett – “Cases like Rittenhouse are the reason why I stay far away from protests…”

        No doubt, you have a wise policy. It is a policy derived from long-term life experiences. It is an adult policy. However, it is not the policy of enthusiastic youth.

        Kyle Rittenhouse says that he went to the protests because he thought that he might do some good. He tried to help clean up riot damage. I understand that he brought medical supplies to aid anyone who might be lightly injured. An experienced adult can see the danger in such actions. An experienced adult could (reasonably) think that more harm than good might come from going downtown during that night of protests.

        I take Mr. Rittenhouse at his word as to the reasons for his being downtown that night.

        Young people have a built-in tendency to think that they are immortal. That no harm will come to them. They have the enthusiasm of youth and do think in terms of doing something effective. Of doing something good (if they are, themselves, a good person). Youth seldom thinks of the consequences. You need the life-experience of being an adult to think that way.

        The “Reasonable Man Doctrine” says that you must judge a person’s actions by “standing in HIS shoes”. You must try to view the World through his eyes and with the mindset, experience, and knowledge available to him AT THE TIME.

        The “Monday-Morning-Quarterbacks” who, with hindsight, go back in time and pass judgment upon Kyle Rittenhouse and who say “he should not have been there in the first place” are not applying the “Reasonable Man Doctrine”. They are not stepping into Kyle Rittenhouse’s shoes. They are arguing from their own point-of-view (not his) and applying knowledge (in hindsight) that Rittenhouse did not have at the time.

        It is an unreasonable approach and it is an unfair practice to do this kind of thing.

        If one must judge the actions of Kyle Rittenhouse, then use the Reasonable Man approach. If you are male, think back to your youth and the enthusiasm of your teen-age years. Be optimistic and think that you have the power to change the World for the good (life usually beats this out of us old timers 🙂 ). Think, as a youth does, that no harm can come to you. Disregard your after-the-fact knowledge of how future events actually unfolded. Do not apply hindsight. Apply only what Kyle Rittenhouse would have known at the time.

        Then, with the mind of a youth and with only his limited knowledge, you may judge Kyle Rittenhouse. I think that, if you are a “Reasonable Man”, you will not judge his actions as so foolish or wrong.

      • @ Richard – “I was talking about the perspective of rogue prosecutors.”

        Please don’t take my comments (above) as being critical of your original comment. I fully understand that you were illustrating the perspective of left-wing prosecutors.

        Leftists have a Big Government Worldview. To their mind, the sheep should never do anything to help themselves. It should all flow from Big Brother Government.

        From the perspective of a leftist:

        1) The Government should provide us jobs. It should feed and clothe us. It should provide us housing.
        2) It should provide our education (indoctrination). It should raise our children (“It takes a village” – Hillary Clinton)
        3) It should provide and control our healthcare. It should provide for our retirement.
        4) It should oversee our finances.
        5) It should monitor our speech so that we say nothing that reflects “WrongThink”. It should control our environment and feed us propaganda so that even the thoughts in our heads are under Government Control.
        6) It should totally provide for our defense. At the National level (Armed Forces) and at the personal level (Police). Under no circumstances should we own firearms and think that we can defend ourselves (WrongThink to the Max!).
        7) Overall, it should create an environment of total dependence whereby the people are reduced from citizenship to utter slavery to the State.

        Therefore, from the perspective of a left-wing prosecutor, self-defense CAN NEVER BE LEGITIMATE! Self defense is always wrong even if the circumstances show it to be justified under historical measures.

        Thus, we see why people like George Zimmerman, Kyle Rittenhouse. Daniel Penny, etc. get the book thrown at them by left-wing prosecutors. They took action to defend themselves (or others) independent of the State. That is not the way good sheep behave. A lesson must be taught to correct such behavior!

        Thus, the criminal charges are brought. From the perspective of the left-wing prosecutors, even if they lose the criminal case at trial (like with Zimmerman and Rittenhouse), it was still worth doing. That is because the Process provided the Punishment!

        Anyway, my comments (above) were directed at this sick, Government-Worshipping mindset. I did not write them to be critical of your initial comment. 🙂

  2. The media always goes for blood or the prospect of it. Funny how “hanging” prosecutors don’t seem to get bad press…..unless they’re unjustly persecuting select groups and the down trodden.

    Here in Virginia there’s actually an appellate court decision that notes that if the speed and violence of the attack prevent retreat, one doesn’t have to attempt it. That there had to be an appellate case on what seems obvious says something about the mind (or lack thereof) of some attorneys. That mindset is what prompts legislators to pass things like SYG and/or Castle Doctrine laws.

    Some time back there was a video showing a gunfight between an off duty female Brazilian police officer and some thug. That a slew of people stood in the line of fire to record the incident brings up a point about virtually everyone having video capability. Between static surveillance cameras and the folks who’ll whip out their cell phone you’re likely to be on video.

    The point I’m raising is that if speed and violence don’t prevent it, retreat to a place where you have a safe backstop or other tactical advantage looks a whole lot better than channeling your inner Rooster Cogburn. [The “fill your hand, you SOB bit” in response to an insult.] If you can set up where you can dominate the situation, the aggressor just might be bright enough to look for easier pickings. If that’s what happens, notify the police immediately. That way you’re the complaintant, not the wild person with a gun.

  3. Let us be reminded…

    Excerpts from “The 2A Papers,” by Allen L. Matter:

    “What person of sound, honest mind would ever say that an individual does not have a natural right to self defense by any means necessary? Even in war, the opposing sides have a natural right to put up a defense against enemy attacks. And in war, both sides will naturally use whatever weapons are available to them to fend off or defeat their attackers. Why would the natural right of self defense be any different for an individual than it would be for warring armies, or one’s own government?”

    “The people who settled at Jamestown in 1607 didn’t have the Second Amendment to authorize their use of weapons in self defense against marauding Indians. Nor did they need such a document to justify their natural right to keep and bear arms to defend themselves. Defending oneself against physical attack is a natural right inherent to all humans and animals on the planet. No stipulation or legislation should ever be made, that requires any person being attacked to make a prior assessment or the seriousness of intent of their attacker, or the level of danger such an attacker presents, in order to justify defending themselves by whatever means is available to them to stop the attack. Meaning, if you attack me with a baseball bat, and I have a gun, the law of nature and self-preservation says I get to shoot you dead and you go to the morgue while I go safely home to my family, free of any criminal charges, and speaking for myself—free of any feelings of guilt whatsoever. End of story.

    No reasonable, honest person would dispute that argument but unfortunately, millions of rights abrogators who live among us do. Unbelievably, we see more and more every day, that there are millions of gun control activists who refuse to hold criminals accountable for their actions. They don’t want to talk about cause and effect; ( i.e., the attacker died because he chose to attack someone). Instead, they try to put the blame for the attacker’s death on the innocent victim who shot the attacker in self defense, instead of stating the obvious which is, if the attacker simply didn’t commit their criminal act of violence, they’d still be alive. It’s all part of the immoral agenda of gun rights abrogators and it’s up to us gun owners to stand up and fight back against such tyranny, with factual information concerning our natural right to self-defense.

    Simply put, the right of self defense is inherent to our humanity, and it comes from God, or—if you don’t believe in God, you may correctly say it comes from nature because everyone believes in nature. People have defended themselves from attack by whatever means they could muster long before the Second Amendment was ever written, and it was their God-given, or natural right to do so. Our natural rights pre-exist any government, and that means they were not “given” to the people by any government, and therefore they can not be taken away by any government.”

  4. Seems to me the only way the Arbery case could have been construed as SYG would have been for Mr. Arbery to have pulled a gun of his own and shot the idiots who were pursuing him. According to NC law (which my wife & I teach for CCH classes), pursuit of a felon is forbidden, as it essentially makes the pursuer the instigator of a new conflict.

    Also noted that AP made no mention of the outcome of that case – all three men were convicted of major crimes and imprisoned for their misunderstanding (I’ll be charitable) of GA law.

    • FWIW: Andrew Branca’s analysis found the shooting lawful and the attempted citizens’ arrest lawful — under Georgia law at the time. (Since changed.)

      I only know what I read in the newspapers.

  5. I live in Orlando right next door to Sanford. The Zimmerman case was not a stand your ground case. His attorney never raised stand your ground as a defense. It was a plain old self defense case. And Rittenhouse was not a stand your ground case. Rittenhouse did not stand his ground. He ran as fast as he could to escape, but the “victims” chased him and caught him.

    • That’s a part that the “talking heads” never want to acknowledge: Rittenhouse attempted to retreat. Multiple times. Each time, he was pursued and overtaken by his attackers (who eventually pulled a gun — what’s he supposed to do, outrun a bullet?).

      The Leftists who like to say, “Why didn’t he just run away instead of firing?” HE WAS RUNNING AWAY! He was chased down, tackled, and assaulted on the ground with deadly force!

      By continuing to press that question, they (intentionally) conflate “attempt to retreat” with “retreat”, as if fulfilling the “duty to retreat” requires one to successfully escape. If you try but you don’t/can’t get away, you still don’t have the right to defend yourself because you just didn’t try hard enough, or something.

  6. “If it could be accomplished in complete safety to oneself and other innocent parties.”

    Should that not be judged in the same vein as reasonably belief in the use of deadly force? It seems a sloppy and potentially unjust decision for a jury after the fact to say “Nah, we think you could’ve’ gotten away” when the actor believed there was no possible safe escape route. I didn’t look up the Nebraska statue, but it clearly needs phrasing that hinges the entire decision on the actor’s reasonable belief at the time of the incident.

    An open 30 foot long hallway leading to a backdoor, a wooden deck with a set of stairs leading down to a backyard bordered by a 4 foot fence may seem a clear, easy route of escape to a 31 year old fit male, but not to a 68 year old arthritis-inflicted grandmother.

  7. I read he linked article and had to groan when the wroer falsely stated that Zimmerman’s defense used “stand your ground” laws in Florida as part of his defense. Hogwash. DIRTY hogwash!!

    George was lying on the ground in a sidewalk the perp astraddle him, and repeatedly slamming George’s head against the concrete sidewalk, ignoring his own carry gun on his hip. It was ONLY when the perp atop him discovered the gun as they moved about on the ground, attempted to get control of it and largely did, when George pulled the trigger as it was held by his attacker. At that moment it happened to be pointed at his attacker’ chest… who got precisely what he was asking for. Stand your ground? No one can “stand their ground” when lying on his back with an attacker astraddle him. Liars in the press need to be taken to task. But WHO will bell THAT cat? . Challenge them inn curt they hide behind “faulty information”, “its only an opinion”, “freedom of the press”, and other such claptrap.
    One other juicylittle titbit I picked up as I followed that whole debacle ofher the years it ran: when the coppers searched the angelic “twelve year old choirboy” Tray-Tray’s residence they just happened to discover some specific items that had been reported stolen from burgled homes in precisely the area where the choirboy was introduced face to face with his lifelong Master….. proof positive that that rat had in fact been inside some of the homes in the same neighbourhood where he met his well-deserved end. It also just so “happened” that the string of housebreakings in that neighbourhood suddenly came to an unexplainable end…….. one must be cautioned against drawing any causal relationship between these two perfectly random obviously unconnected factoids…….

    • “when the coppers searched the angelic “twelve year old choirboy” Tray-Tray’s residence they just happened to discover some specific items that had been reported stolen from burgled homes in precisely the area where the choirboy was introduced face to face with his lifelong Master….”

      I would appreciate a reference to that, if you can find it. I have long described Travon Martin’s behavior as “suspicious but innocent.” (I.e. it seemed suspicious because he was a stranger walking in a gated community; residents had no reason to assume he was there to visit a parent temporarily, though that was in fact the case). But your source insinuates that his suspicious behavior wasn’t even innocent in actuality.

      • @ fsilber – “I would appreciate a reference to that, if you can find it…”

        I am not aware of the results of searches made after the shooting. However, there was certainly a history of theft, violence, and drug use prior to the shooting. The media, of course, did everything in their power to sweep such information “under the rug” so as to not disturb the “Racist, killer, white-Latino guy” narrative that they had built.

        See this link for further details:


        P.S.: There is some idea that TM intended to steal codeine cough medicine to combine with the skittles, that he had just purchased, to make a batch of the “Lean” drug cocktail that (reportedly) he favored. This is speculative but it might explain why TM appeared to be “casing” the local houses as per GZ’s police call description.

    • Tionico,

      What you wrote is excellent. I just want to add a tiny piece of information. George Zimmerman only fired one bullet. All of his actions showed restraint, and firing just one bullet also shows restraint.

  8. Given itis an AP article no wonder it would be critical. As Mr. Ayoob noted the two examples at the end of the article were not stand your ground candidates. And no mention of lives saved by the application of such laws.

  9. Regarding the AP News article cited in the above article (“Lawmaker looks to make Nebraska the latest state to enact controversial ‘stand your ground’ law”), I must just be a dummy who grew up on a Stupid Farm eating Moron Seeds. Because I’ve thought and thought about it, and for the life of me (no pun intended), I cannot think of what could possibly be “controversial” about a law that confirms our God-given and/or Nature-given right to defend ourselves. Would these people who find this legislation “controversial” also insist that a rabbit must never bite the fox trying to kill it without first trying to run away? Apparently these people are much smarter than me and know things I do not know.

    • It’s “controversial” because they don’t like it, and they don’t like it because they only see the horror stories that exist in their own minds.

      (And that’s being nice. If I were not nice, I’d say they don’t like it because they’re addicted to the government propaganda teat and will say ANYTHING to avoid having to do actual JOURNALISTIC INVESTIGATION instead of parroting what they’re told.)

      To them, “Stand Your Ground” is “controversial”, but kindergartners changing gender, Drag Queen Story Hour, 13-year-olds getting abortions on-demand, and experimental medication mandates are “science-backed solutions”. The only difference is this: One of them they don’t like, the rest they do.

  10. “Stand Your Ground” laws typically contain more important provisions, e.g. that a prosecutor should not levy charges unless there is _evidence_ that a shooting was not in self-defense. (The prosecutor is nevertheless free to ask police to continue investigating.)

    The “stand your ground” provision of these laws are mainly to prevent prosecutors from deliberately misinterpreting the law, e.g. prosecuting someone for failing to attempt a retreat that would NOT have been safe, or for not surrendering _other_ rights (such as Freedom from Unreasonable Searches and Seizures) as an alternative to self-defense.

    I’ve only heard of one case in which the _actual_ duty to retreat would have made a difference. This was an argument between two criminals, one of whom despite being confined to a wheelchair went after the other criminal with a knife. The other criminal shot the crippled knifeman, though he could easily have outrun him.

  11. @TN Man Thank you for the clarification. It was as I thought.

    I recently read an op-ed by a (left-wing) Israeli general. i am not going to second guess him about Israeli military policy because he is a professional and Israeli and I am neither but one omission struck me. He said nothing about civilian self-defense. It is the definition of terrorism to strike soft targets. If the police are minutes away, the army no matter how good it is, is hours away. You are your own first responder and you need the tools. And not only weapons either. Medical, transportation and communication tools are important as well.

    • Richard,

      Of course you are correct. Those Israelis trusted in their high-tech wall, watched over by the Israeli Defense Force. Their government failed them.

      I’m sure we all agree everyone needs the tools and training for self-defense. Women need guns more than men do, because they are frequently more vulnerable than men, and targeted by criminals more than men are. Men only get raped in prison. Jews need guns more than women do, because Jews have a lot of enemies in this world. I believe anti-Jewish hate is irrational, but it sure is common.

  12. Laws that quantify Stand Your Ground simply clarify the matter. Apparently, though, it hasn’t been clarified enough for certain pundits, who appear to literally not know what they are talking about.

    The key word is “appear”.

    I believe they understand it just fine; they’ve been told too many times not to.

    However, they also know that most of their indoctrinated viewers don’t understand it, and so they know they can trigger fear and outrage amongst low-information voters if they pretend it’s the worst and scariest thing ever.

    “License to kill!” “Shootouts over fender benders and parking spaces!” “Blood in the streets!!!”

    We’ve heard all the soundbites, and they get repeated every time gun and self-defense laws are loosened to benefit peaceable citizens. And yet, it’s never happened. (If it did, do you think they’d ever let us hear the end of it?)

    As has been pointed out: When someone who is honestly mistaken gets corrected, one of two things will happen:
    1. They will cease to be mistaken; or
    2. They will cease to be honest about it.

    The pundits have had guests explain the issue and the changes in the laws, on live television, too many times. If they were honestly mistaken before, they have been corrected; they can no longer credibly claim to be mistaken, ergo they must not be honest.

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