10 September 2008

Your Home as Your Castle

Some interesting news out of Ohio in the US. Interesting if you are into legal, law, and legislation like I am. If you're not then you might want to skip this post.

The Ohio Legislature has passed a law which states that a home-owner who wounds or kills an intruder in their home is going to be presumed to have been acting in self-defense. This is known as the "Castle Doctrine". It interestingly also applies to motor vehicles.

If you have read my previous posts you will know that I am not a fan of guns or weapons in general. They have a purpose, but I am not sure that a society armed to the teeth is any safer than one where no or very few guns exist.

The previous incarnation of the law required that a home-owner prove that they were acting in self-defense. However, the new law shifts that burden to prosecutors to prove that the home-owner was not acting in self-defense. This is going to be very much a case of shoot first and ask questions later. There may be times where a home-owner acts in legitimate self-defense and other times where they do not. There would seem to be plenty of scope for a defense attorney to use the provisions to get a defendant a free pass for a wounding or death that was not self-defense but because it occurred in a home or a car then the presumption is that it was self-defense.

I wonder whether in 12 months time there might be some regret at this new law. It certainly seems to make it easier for all people to carry concealed weapons. This is likely to make the lives of some public servants such as police officers even more dangerous than it was prior to this piece of legislation being enacted.

Some of the things that citizens can now do and the protections afforded them include, among others:

• Home-owners are presumed innocent where an intruder is wounded or killed;

• The law applies to vehicles as well;

• Home-owners who rightfully use self-defense are immune from civil lawsuits initiated by the intruders, if they survive, or their families; and

• A landlord cannot evict a permit-carrying tenant for keeping a firearm on the rented premises.

The land of the free and home of the brave just became a little scarier by my reckoning.


Anonymous said...

Could you do me a favour and investigate, then report back, as to why you and some other bloggers refer to their wives as "the better half"??


Rob Baiton said...


Who are you? :D

I do not know why other people call their spouse "the better half" and I am not sure that I am all that interested in why they do.

It is a turn of phrase that traces its history back to the 1500s apparently.

I use it as a term of endearment. It is really not based on a belief that my wife is better than me. It is more to acknowledging the fact that I got lucky when she chose me and I her.

I am sure for some the fact that one half is better than the other suggests inequality, perhaps it does. Yet, maybe at some conscious level it does...

The other reason is that it is a running joke between my wife and I. I am the other half and she is the better half.

Rob Baiton said...

The term "the better half" is generally attributed to Sir Philip Sidney after it was written in Arcadia in the late 1500s.

Anonymous said...

thanks for that.I guess you can handle the fact that you know she is better than you..... a better person: psychologically, emotionally, genetically, morally, spiritually, culturally dll.

I am also interested in "running jokes". E.g. How long they can run in marriage before ? .... before they are dead in the water....

Rob Baiton said...


I would be interested in knowing who you really are. Yet, in the big scheme of things it matters not, I suppose.

Yep, I guess I am comfortable with knowing that she is the better person. I would have guessed that you are Indonesian with the "dll", but I know a lot of foreigners with an excellent grasp of Indonesian and would use dll as easily as they would etc.

I am not sure that I get the running joke about the dead in the water, though. If you have the time or inclination to explain, it wouldbe appreaciated. I think I get the 'running jokes' and 'how long they can run' part (I think being the key phrase). As I said the dead in the water part has tripped any switches in my brain.

Rob Baiton said...

"has not tripped any switches"...oops!

Anonymous said...

Dont worry about an ID just now. Further, Im sorry that we are almost in chatting mode within "your castle"; in fact we are almost in the midst of a running joke ourselves; except we are not sure who the joke is on. But then again, I would think that a running joke in on no one, that is, until it runs foul. Like if you flippantly used or overused the "better half" line. Then again, could one ever be offended by being told he/she is better?

No, apart from my concern that running jokes can run thin I remain more interested in the basis of the (old) chestnut that one should never compare yourself with another - a belief which I think is quite rife here in this country. Or at least it seems so e.g. when you put someone in a situation where they are required to compare.... no??
Maybe your wife realises that this is just a meaningless expression and accepts it ....... but then why use it if it is so hollow?? Yes that's what I wonder about...and if your wife can really write better than you??

Rob Baiton said...

Almost chatting...

It's a turn of phrase. So, I guess meaningless or not it has perhaps entered into the realm of habit for me and I do not think about it.

I am sure that the turn of phrase could be deconstructed into what it "really" means. Better does entail a comparison so your point is taken on that front.

I was not trying to be flippant in suggesting my wife writes better than me. It was with a degree od seriousness and perhaps even reflection.

I might be a native speaker and done some university subjects on linguistics and the like. The missus has done more university courses on English and English language than I have. I think that was the point I was trying to allude to.

I will keep trying to convince her to start up a blog or something.