Weekly Posting of the Conservative Cow Doctor


Stand Your Ground

When my brother’s in-laws remodeled their kitchen, Dana inherited their old stove, oven and refrigerator. This unexpected windfall happened while he was visiting them in Nebraska over Christmas, so he rented a cargo van to haul his booty back to Wyoming. After completing the paperwork at the rental service, he thought it wise to check the air pressure in the spare tire before hitting the open road. Dana ranches so hauling trailers filled with critters over miles of rough gravel roads has conditioned him to expect flat tires. He futilely looked under the bumper, in the back, under the hood, and behind the seat before asking the service technician, “Where is the spare tire?”

“They do not come with a spare tire.” The rental technician announced. “Simply dial this 800 number if you have a flat and roadside assistance will come repair it for you.” His answer was not reassuring considering the minimal cell coverage between Omaha and Ranchester. A simple twenty-minute flat repair could become a half-day nightmare thanks to the national trend of dependency. Did you ever wonder why modern day Americans are being conditioned to turn to others in a mishap rather than addressing a problem themselves? Under progressive tutelage, American’s “can do” attitude has been replaced and today we are a 9-1-1 society who hits the speed dial at the first sign of trouble. This is purposely done and this brings me to my point.

The left is training the citizenry there is a government solution to every problem. If the earth is too hot, cold, wet, dry or windy, turn to government. If gas, electricity, or healthcare costs are too high, they have a program to help you. Do you have too many wolves, bears or bison roaming your rangeland? Call the government. Not enough wolves, bears or bison, call the same darn number because bureaucrats are ambidextrous and can work an issue from either side. Ironically, it is self-reliance which is on the endangered species list and barring drastic changes it will become extinct over the next decade. Now, to why I mention this today.

In the 2009 session, I was honored to escort HB228, Montana’s Castle Doctrine bill, through the legislative process. Without the aid of Senator Dan McGee (R-Laurel) and Representative Deb Kottel (D-Great Falls), our Treasure State version of the stand-your-ground bill would not have become law. Montana Code now clearly states citizens have a fundamental right of self-defense in any place they can lawfully be. Be it your home, the city streets or a quarter-section of sagebrush, you have no obligation to retreat first or dial 9-1-1 prior to asserting your natural right of self-preservation. Obviously, this runs contrary to the left’s desire to train the citizenry to collapse into the loving arms of big government and HB228 encountered fierce opposition.

Since its implementation, the provisions of HB228 have been argued in court multiple times and it has functioned exactly as intended. Previously, a person who stood their ground in the face of an attack had to prove their innocence. Now it is the obligation of the prosecutor to prove guilt; prove a victim’s defensive action to avoid being killed or suffering serious bodily injury were not justified. This is difficult and it also happens to be the founding principle of American jurisprudence. You are innocent until proven guilty.

This topic is timely with extremists, such as the president, attacking stand-your-ground laws in the wake of the George Zimmerman trial. Regardless the decision, liberals were planning to use this incident as an excuse to disarm the common man and empower government. The race issue is being fanned just to capture the headlines. As such, a repeal of HB228 will likely appear in the 2015 Montana legislative session and it will be supported by most Democrats and opposed by most Republicans. The question, and ultimately the fate of your ability to protect yourself and family, will fall to the crossover coalition of soft Republicans who hold compromise as the supreme virtue. Vote wisely Montanans because just like in a critical stand-your-ground attack, you will not get a second chance to get this right.

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