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Castle Doctrine for PA

March 29, 2009
By Bill Waugaman
Here are some dates to remember. Ohioans…Sept. 8, 2008; West Virginians…April 10, 2008. Residents of these states are very fortunate to have legislators and a governor that understand the phrase, “A man’s home is his castle.” On these dates, your governor signed into law is commonly referred to as a ‘Castle Doctrine’; Senate Bill 184 in Ohio, Senate Bill 145 in West Virginia. In general, this law clarifies the use of force when protecting yourself from another individual. The legislation is state specific and you should read it to understand the full scope of the law. As a resident of Pennsylvania, I envy you and the residents of the 20+ other states who have enacted similar legislation.

For Pennsylvania residents, you have three dates to remember…Nov. 15, 2005, May 6, 2007 and Jan. 26, 2009. On the first date, House Bill 2231 (Castle Doctrine legislation) was given to the House Judiciary Committee; it never made it out of committee for a vote. On the second date, House Bill 641 (the same Castle Doctrine legislation) was again sent to the Judiciary Committee only to die in committee again. On Jan. 26th of this year, House Bill 40 (the same Castle Doctrine legislation) was sent to the Judiciary Committee for the third time. If you are a resident of the state of Pennsylvania, it’s time for you to make a decision. If you believe that running and hiding is the right way to deal with an armed intruder in your home, then do nothing. If you believe in letting a carjacker assault you and take your car, then do nothing. If you believe in letting a criminal attack your spouse or children in a public place, then do nothing. In its current form, House Bill 40 is legislation written to protect the victim in certain circumstances from criminal and civil actions. Just to further clarify a ‘Castle Doctrine’, even protecting yourself with a baseball bat makes you vulnerable.

Me? I cannot believe that we have elected politicians that are stonewalling this legislation. I’m going to write, call and email every Representative on the Judiciary Committee; I’m going to write, call and email Governor Rendell; I’m going to write, call and email my local State Representative and State Senator and anyone else who needs to know what I believe. The challenge is that I’m only one voice. Until more people stand up and let their voice be heard, common sense legislation like this, which protects law-abiding citizens, will not happen.

Repeat after me…”I’m mad as Hell, and I’m going to voice my opinion.” Now, call or write your local Representative or Senator. Let them know you support House Bill 40.

Fact Box

Repeat after me…”I’m mad as Hell, and I’m going to voice my opinion.” Now, call or write your local Representative or Senator. Let them know you support House Bill 40.

 
 

 

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