What’s the difference between the Castle Law and the Make My Day Law?
The Castle Law is a hot topic for discussion these days thanks to the recent shooting deaths of three masked and armed intruders into the Broken Arrow, Oklahoma home of 23-year-old Zachary Peters, who successfully used his AR-15 rifle to defend himself inside the home.
More details on that case in a minute.
Castle Law vs Make My Day
It should be noted that castle laws vary widely from state to state and I’m not an attorney, so this isn’t to be considered as legal advice, but rather a public discussion of morality and ethics.
In general the Castle Law or Castle Doctrine refers to a person’s right to defend themselves with force (even deadly force) inside of their home (and vehicle in some states).
Originally under the common law variant of the Castle Doctrine a person could use deadly force only after having tried other, non-lethal means.
However, as innocent citizens kept getting killed by morons and thugs it became clear that people shouldn’t be slaughtered because they were afraid of getting into trouble for defending themselves and their homes.
So now most states have castle laws that allow home owners the right to use deadly force whenever they’re afraid of serious bodily injury or death to themselves or others, or just loss of property in some states.
The “Make My Day Laws” refer to the notion that a law-abiding citizen hadn’t ought to be required to retreat in fear of their lives, that they instead can exercise their God-given and inalienable right to self-defense.
It’s a sort of taunt to bad guys, a stern warning if you will, that good people are tired of being victims and are NOT afraid to use force. In fact, as Colorado adopted the law that seems to have been a common sentiment. Sort of “Come on, break in to my house, I dare you.”
Go Ahead, Make My Day
It’s of course a play on the Clint Eastwood character, Dirty Harry, who uttered those famous words (“go ahead make my day”) to a thug who was contemplating using his gun. If you haven’t seen that movie reference scene, or just want a refresher, here’s a 3 minute clip. You’ve gotta love swift justice.
Colorado’s Castle Law was adopted in 1985 and it was among the nations first such Make My Day laws, which recognized a homeowners right to self-defense.
According to Avvo.com, Colorado’s law, for example, permits:
“any degree of physical force, including deadly physical force, against an intruder who 1. made a knowing, unlawful entry into the dwelling, and 2. the occupant reasonably believed the intruder was committing or intended to commit an additional crime against a person or property in the dwelling, other than the illegal entry, and 3. the occupant reasonably believes the intruder might use physical force against any occupant.”
What About Stand Your Ground Laws
Stand Your Ground Laws are very different in that they don’t pertain to just a person’s home or dwelling as do most Castle Laws.
Instead, Stand Your Ground is exactly what it sounds like, that people have a right to not retreat and to defend themselves then and there, wherever that is.
You’ll hear it referred to as the “Line In The Sand” doctrine or the “No Duty To Retreat” law.
In some states progressives would love to require innocent victims to either run or scream or flail, anything rather than actually killing a bad guy who is hurting innocent people. You know, thugs got rights!
A Stand Your Ground law is a use of force defense; citizens can “stand their ground” and use force without retreating if they need to so that they can protect and defend themselves or others against threats or perceived threats.
Smart states have enacted laws like Stand Your Ground specifically to shield innocent Americans from the fangs of rabid progressives.
Can You Shoot Someone In Your House
As you’ve read from the discussion on Castle Laws and Make My Day Laws, yes, in many cases you can shoot someone in your home.
But remember, while the laws vary from state to state (so check Castle Doctrine States here), typically there are some criteria that must exist before you can shoot someone in your house.
While I’m offering general information, your best course of action is to take a CCW course near you (because they’ll cover the laws for you and your area), and ask a local lawyer about these laws, many of them will talk to you about it for free.
Below are three things you should consider in determining if you can shoot someone in your house; a rapist who is breaking in, for example.
Before you can shoot someone in your house in defense of your life (or the life of someone else) the following must be true in many states.
- The first element of a Castle Law defense is that a person must be inside of their home. You can only use the Castle Doctrine defense in most states if you are inside of your home or dwelling.
- The second element that must exist is that the victim/suspect/deceased/injured must be attempting to commit or have committed an unlawful entry into your home. If they are just walking across your lawn or backyard it won’t typically be a self-defense claim under the Castle Law. There must exist some actual evidence that the suspect was at least attempting an unlawful entry. Also, the Castle Doctrine defense may not apply to a person who was in the home lawfully, but because of an argument or dispute, force was used.
- Finally, in many (though not all) states, the use of force must have been reasonable. This can be a problem because in this situation it’s up to interpretation of the degree of reasonableness. You’ve heard the argument… that a burglar was only after a TV and he shouldn’t have been shot for that. Right, whatever.
That argument forces the VICTIM to be accountable and responsible for the outcome (rather than the thug) and make a split second decision that could cost them their lives. Many states have followed the lead of Florida and Mississippi, and have added a presumption in their Castle Laws that if a person is entering a home unlawfully, that he is doing so with the purpose to commit an act of force or violence.
What that means is that if yours is one of those presumptive violence states, your burden of proof regarding the use of force is reduced because you won’t have to show your level of force was reasonable. But know your state laws! Some states don’t have this presumption. Instead of proving just an unlawful entry you would also have to show that you were in actual danger of death or major bodily injury from the person trying to enter your home.
Example of Castle Law in Use
I was telling you earlier about the home invasion case from Broken Arrow, and how a young man (Zachary Peters, 23) was forced to use his rifle in defense of himself and the home.
Three men entered the Peters home on March 27, 2017 with the intent to burglarize it, and were dressed in dark clothes/hoodies, had dark masks on, and were wearing gloves.
Police say that at least one of the suspects was armed with a fixed blade knife and another with Brass Knuckles, so they didn’t show up for a friendly ice cream social.
Yet some people believe (like suspect Jacob Redfearn’s grandafther, Leroy Schumacher) that Peters acted too severely and that he didn’t need to kill the armed and masked men who had just forcibly broken into his home.
Schumacher is quoted as saying “Brass knuckles against an AR-15, come on, who was afraid for their life?” He continued, “There’s got to be a limit to that law, I mean he shot all three of them; there was no need for that.”
So now innocent victims have to know within split seconds what three masked intruders are armed with, their age, their records, their intent… come on!
If you kick in someone’s back door, masked and dressed in black and are armed with knives and brass knuckles (or even if you aren’t), then you can expect to get shot and killed. Justice served swift and efficiently. There won’t be a “next victim”.
It is very unfortunate and a sad loss of life, that’s for sure, but as a society we have got to stop this coddling of criminals and minimizing victims… crime is getting worse, not better, as a result and it’s become crystal clear that progressives are destroying society one stone at a time.
They had previously that morning burglarized the detached garage of the same residence, taking electronics and liquor, and apparently had come back for even more loot from inside the home.
At about 12:30 PM, as Peters heard the men breaking through a glass door in the back of the house, he armed himself. Shortly later the confrontation occurred inside a hallway of the house. After a few words were exchanged Peters felt that he needed to shoot in order to protect himself.
Being startled from inside your home to the sound of a breaking glass door, then being approached by three masked men dressed in black, how would YOU feel?
The level of fear these victims must feel is extraordinary, not to mention the life-long anguish they live with knowing that they were forced to take a life. All because some criminals wanted to take someone else’s stuff. What if the victim had not been armed? Would he still be alive?
There would be no way for Mr. Peters to have known they were teenagers. No way of knowing they weren’t actually armed with a pistol which they could pull out at any minute. No way of knowing their intentions or their backgrounds. These moments, these split seconds filled with fear and anxiety likely even further diminished his capacity to fully analyze his options.
It’s a very frightening experience and the very reason why Castle laws were created.To read more about this incident here’s a great article at Heavy.
Here’s law enforcement’s press announcement of the filing of charges against their accomplice in a getaway car. And also announcing that the victim, Zachary Peters, would not be charged due his use of Oklahoma’s Stand Your Ground law.
Innocent, law-abiding citizens shouldn’t have to die because they were afraid to defend themselves, or go to jail because they chose to do so, all because a scum bag thought the laws didn’t applied to him and that he could just do whatever he wanted to.
I don’t care how “sweet” or “nice” or “caring” someone is to their family, the minute you commit an act like these guys did its unfortunately likely to cost you your life.
As it turns out, the three dead men had help; at least one accomplice was waiting in the driveway in a getaway car and is now in custody.
21-year-old Elizabeth Rodriguez of Collinsville, OK was the girlfriend of deceased suspect Max Cook (19). It’s reported that Rodriguez planned the crime.
Preliminary information indicates that none of the deceased knew the victim, though Miss Rodriguez is believed to have known the Peters family. Could she have known he was going to be home?
Mr. Peters, acting in self-defense, must have been overwhelmed with fear given that these three men had just broke into his house, were all dressed in black and ski masks. Plus he had no way of knowing they were teenagers given they were all clad like thieves and thugs.
What would you think? How would you feel? Does your state have a Castle Law?
Make My Day… leave a comment. How do you feel about these self-defense laws?