You have the right to keep and bear arms, but the obligation to run and hide if the occasion for using them arises — at least in Pennsylvania.
Over the weekend Gov. Ed Rendell vetoed a bill that would have beefed up the state’s so-called Castle Doctrine, which allows people to defend their own property, to one that allows people to stand their ground when threatened anywhere.
The measure was attached to a bill that would have strengthened reporting requirements concerning sex offenders under the state’s Megan’s Law, which lawmakers apparently thought Rendell would not veto. But he did.
One newspaper website reported that the governor said “the bill also would allow use of force in self-defense when retreat could serve as the better recourse for victims, he said.
"’It promotes this violence first (mentality),’ he said.
“Better, he said, to ‘promote the sanctity of life.’”
(Nevada appears to be a stand-your-ground state under NRS 200.120.)
Investor’s Business Daily noted Rendell, who leaves office Jan. 18 vetoed the bill on the last possible day before it would automatically become law. It passed 45-4 in the Senate and 161-35 in the House. The incoming governor said he would have signed it.
Rendell told reporters, according to IBD, "I support the Castle Doctrine. I support the right to use deadly force on an intruder in a person’s home. I think that’s in a totally different category. What this would do is expand the Castle Doctrine to outside the home, to a city street, for example, and eliminate the principle of law that we’ve had since English common law: the duty to retreat."
Retreat is not always at option.