Imagine that you and your family find yourselves in a potentially deadly situation in which an armed thug has entered your home in the middle of the night with the intent to rob your home and to physically harm, even kill, your loved ones. In a perfect world, you would defend your family by exercising your God-given (and constitutionally-recognized) right to self-defense by brandishing a firearm to scare off the criminal or, if necessary, to fire upon him to neutralize the threat that he poses, exerting the same deadly force he had intended to use upon you.
But, this isn’t a perfect world. In the more liberal states the Laws of Nature are minimized by the Laws of Man, and you don’t have a right to protect yourself, your family, or property without making some accommodations for the invader. Even though the burglar — whose title could easily escalate to “rapist” or “murderer” in the home invasion — obviously does not have your or your family’s best interests in mind, you must afford him a certain level of safety with your state-mandated "duty to retreat."
Duty to Retreat laws — or standard-setting rulings by the courts — require that you (the victim, not the criminal) forgo immediate acts of survival. The laws demand that you do everything in your power to avoid conflict and/or the use of deadly force. Before assuming the responsibility to protect your loved ones, you must resort to mandated cowardice by seeking retreat. Following that, the situation must escalate to the point that the courts see "reasonable" belief that injury and death could occur (if they haven’t already due to the retreat) and then, and only then, can you take up the measures necessary to suppress the attacker. In some states — such as New York — the insanity of the law is taken even further to where you have to verbalize to the perpetrator that you intend to harm him so he knows that either he’s on equal ground or you possess the advantage.
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Bob Confer (photo)