Category: - Conservative Voice
Is it time to topple the castle?  Many in Sierra Vista now believe the Castle Doctrine over extends the rights of gun owners and the associated use of force that consequently comes with it.  And do you know what?  All things considered right now, I really can’t say that I blame them. 

The general problem is the big picture and the specific problem with the Castle Doctrine is what preceded it. 

Once upon a time, and not too long ago in Arizona the dilemma was not whether you owned a gun, but whether you were foolish enough to use it.  If you did, not matter the situation, you were GUILTY and then had to justify your choice of force, which is incredibly subjective, as to why you used it.  Because of this,many a zonin’ Arizonans are confined to very small spaces courtesy of state  thanks to the liberal la la land 9th District Court.  The law was a layup shot for prosecutors because, believe it or not, a person, BY LAW, was guilty first and to be proven innocent, had to prove their own justification.  The subjectivity of the situation failed to accommodate the fact that all people react differently when threatened.  All it took was the wrong person to say they would have run away instead of use a gun. 

The Castle Doctrine returned the right to be innocent until proven guilty.  It however, is an aggressive, expressed legal representation of the right to self defense.  “I would have run away.” becomes absolutely meaningless under the Castle Doctrine.  “You messed with the wrong dude.” is what the doctrine very overtly states.

The Castle Doctrine returned rights to the people and in doing so, a significant amount of the prior “subjectivity” was suddenly removed in ways that some may find surprising.  The Castle Doctrine is based upon five sweeping principles.

1)      Justification defenses were removed.  The burden of proof was returned to the prosecution; not the defense (self defender).

2)      No duty to retreat.  This also expanded beyond the home and vehicle, but also to include wherever the self defender was present.

3)      The self defender is presumed to be justified in using force if he or she believes that they OR ANOTHER PERSON is / are in immanent peril.

4)      The self defender is presumed innocent when using force if the perpetrator is unlawfully entering their residence or vehicle.  It is the prosecutor who must prove force was not justified.

5)      If the aggressor sues and the self defender wins, the aggressor is required to pay all legal fees and lost wages.

Though the Castle Doctrine is not all that new to Arizona, it is the mindset of the years preceding it that persist.  A handful of years or so ago, a self defender was pretty much hauled straight to jail because they were by law guilty until they proved themselves innocent.  Today that is not the case.  The burden is on the prosecution.  If there is to be a case against a self defender, it will not instantly appear.  The prosecutor will, through due process, first have to establish a winnable case.  This, though correct in all reasonable legal terms, defies the expectation that was built on a hijacked legal process against Second Amendment rights to give prosecutors victories through an essential default of guilt.

In short, what this means is that when a self defender actually is not, it takes more time to bring the case forth.  Any such perceived delay, does not proclaim a perceived innocence.  The due process is appropriate given the return of the burden of proof to where it should always lie; on the prosecution, not the defense.

On the other side, the Castle Doctrine represents an air of caution when confronting another.  Because the doctrine reaches the physical presence of the self defender “castle” should not be thought of as (it was intended,) the home.  This extension of presence enables force under due threat regardless of location.  A force that is protected by a law that sides with the self defender.

I hope this helps.