What happens when someone threatens you or your property?
Well, you stand your ground, right?
So is the unofficial name of state law that allows a person to use physical force to protect themselves and their property from someone who wants to hurts, damage or take it — the Stand Your Ground law. As it stands now, state residents are allowed to use physical force to keep home intruders or attackers at bay.
But a group of 11 House of Delegate members want to expand the definition of “ground,” it seems. A bill proposed earlier this month would allow residents to also use force to defend another person being attacked or even to defend a piece of moveable property.
I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a car. I guess if someone is trying to steal your car, the law would allow you to use force to protect it. And as far as defending another person, that just kind of makes sense to me in a way. After all, if someone I loved was being attacked, you wouldn’t be able to hold me back from the assailant. In fact, I’d probably come to the defense of a casual acquaintance who was being attacked. But there’s one more change lawmakers are suggesting — to remove the language from the law as it is now that requires self-defense to be proportionate and allows a person to use deadly force against someone they believe to be committing a robbery.
So, if someone comes at you with fists now, you can fight back with your fists. If someone comes at you with a knife, you can defend yourself with a blade as well. But if the law changes, you can use a gun to stave off a knife attack, if the jury agrees it was self defense. And that’s pretty much what laws like this end up being — a legal arguing point for defense attorneys and something for judges and juries to determine.
But since it’s getting a little chatter, we thought we’d see what our readers had to say on the issue.
Last week on our online poll question, which is found at www.timeswv.com each week, we asked our readers “A bill proposed in the House of Delegates would expand the state’s “stand your ground” law for citizens to protect themselves, others and their property. What are your thoughts?”
And here are your answers:
• Do we really need to give people permission to use “deadly force” to protect their property? — 2.59 percent
• If it passes, we might as well change our name to The Wild West Virginia — 8.62 percent
• People should be able to defend themselves by whatever force necessary from attackers and thieves — 88.79 percent
Sounds pretty loud and clear to us. Our readers believe in standing their ground.
This week, let’s talk about some recent and serious findings about energy drinks and health risks. Do you think they ought to be regulated?
Log on. Vote. Email me or respond online.
What happens when someone threatens you or your property?
Time is now for Tomblin to support King Coal Highway
U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., is asking Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to add the King Coal Highway project to West Virginia’s six-year highway improvement plan. It is a logical request, and one that Tomblin should act promptly on.
United effort to keep NASA in Fairmont is essential project
The high-technology sector is obviously vital to the economy of North Central West Virginia.
That’s why a strong, united effort to keep the NASA Independent Verification and Validation Program in Fairmont is absolutely essential.
COLUMN: Calling all readers: Be heard
I love to talk to readers.
I love to hear concerns they have about stories we’ve written, things they think should be included in the newspaper and things they think shouldn’t be.
Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial
NEEDED: A total of $10,000 for the Korean War Memorial this year.
And a good man has been placed in charge of the funding. Charlie Reese, former president of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, is now director of the Marion County Development Office. His task was to make a recommendation as to what steps are necessary to keep the project moving.
Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives
It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.
Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely
The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.
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Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.
COLUMN: Are we people watchers or people judgers?
Let me tell you about my little friend Robby. Well, actually, it’s more about his family and especially his mom. I didn’t get her name. I heard Robby’s name quite a bit, though, during a trip home from Birmingham, Alabama.
I noticed the family in the Birmingham airport immediately. They were just the kind of family you’d notice.
Relish the rich bounty of state’s diverse, unique food traditions
This week, a group of federal officials on a three-day culinary tour of the state visited the Greenbrier Valley to find out what most of us here already know — we have a rich food tradition in West Virginia.
The group was made up of officials from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
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