Gun Owners Peeved Over Eric Holder's "Duty to Retreat" Remark

| by Dabney Bailey
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U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is under fire from pro-gun advocates and Republicans for denouncing Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.

"There has always been a legal defense for using deadly force if – and the 'if' is important – no safe retreat is available," said Holder. "But we must examine laws that take this further by eliminating the common sense and age-old requirement that people who feel threatened have a duty to retreat."

Holder was clearly playing to his audience. He was speaking at an annual NAACP conference in Orlando, Florida. 

Pro-gun advocates have unleashed a flood of criticism against Holder. John Gibson of Fox News Radio wrote, “What Eric Holder proposing is the worst possible outcome of the George Zimmerman verdict.”

Robert Farago of thetruthaboutguns added, “The attorney general of the United States must be really busy these days. Too busy, apparently, to have noted that Florida’s ‘stand your ground’ law played absolutely no role in the murder trial, much less the exoneration, of George Zimmerman.”

A user from the Indiana Gun Owner forum wrote, "We should retreat even if from our own houses... So a burglar breaks into my house and endangers my family and it is MY duty to retreat? What the heck kind of pretzel logic is that?"

That is almost certainly not the case. The Washington State Supreme Court has ruled that there is no duty to retreat when a person is assaulted in a place where he has a right to be. It is quite likely that other courts would make a similar ruling.

Additionally, other gun rights supporters have argued that Zimmerman had no way of retreating because Trayvon Martin had allegedly pinned Zimmerman against the pavement. That means that Holder was wrong in three different ways: Zimmerman couldn’t have retreated, SYG wasn’t even relevant during the trial, and legal precedent supports the idea that a duty to retreat is not necessary in some situations.

Considering all of those details, do you agree with Holder’s assessment of Florida’s Stand Your Ground law?

Source: USA News