Another overreaching Castle Doctrine bill

The welcome mat might be the last thing you see:

The following definitions apply in this section:

Dwelling. – A building or conveyance of any kind, including any attached porch, whether the building or conveyance is temporary or permanent, mobile or immobile, which has a roof over it, including a tent, and is designed to be occupied by people lodging therein at night.

Bolding mine. According to this bill, the porch is no longer outside the dwelling; once you've climbed the steps and are getting ready to knock, you've already crossed the legal threshold into someone's dwelling.

While this bill doesn't include Doug Berger's previous craziness about carrying the Castle Doctrine wherever you go and preventing treason and such, it still allows for a hell of a lot of perception on the part of the might-be victim:

A person is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another when using defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another if both of the following apply:

(1) The person against whom the defensive force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a dwelling or residence, or if that person had removed or was attempting to remove another against that person's will from the dwelling or residence.

(2) The person who uses defensive force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred.

We've already established that just standing on the porch meets the criteria for #1, but what about #2, specifically the part in bold? Exactly.

House has been broken into before? Rash of break-ins in the neighborhood? Cars driving by slowly earlier in the day? An episode of Unsolved Mysteries featuring porch-snatchings? Somebody knocking on the door a little too loudly?

If you think my imagination is running wild, well, you're right. That's what imaginations do. And that's why we can't rely upon someone's imagination when it comes to lethal force.


At least it'll give canvassing

more of a rush

Canvassing with Kevlar

And I'd be careful what kind of t-shirt you stretch over that body armor, too. Even a Lolcats "I can haz ur Hamburger Helper?" shirt might get you into trouble.

Meh, I'd probably shoot somebody if they showed up at my front door with a Lolcats t-shirt...

Castle Doctrine

I'm undecided about the post.

I share your concerns about perpetually terrified people with guns and/or those harboring a genuine desire to kill someone but ... As one whose home has been broken into and a few years later had an attempted home intrusion at 2 o'clock in the morning, I must tell you that I decided years ago (after buying a gun as a result of the 2 a.m. incident)that I would shoot the SOB on the porch if possible or on the lawn if necessary and take my chances in court with a good lawyer. I definitely will not wait until the intruder is inside the house, try to determine whether or not he is armed, and attempt to clarify his intentions.

No-one MISTAKENLY breaks into another's home.

As I said, I'm sort of undecided on expanding the Castle doctrine but I must admit it would not influence my actions one way or the other.