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Illinois Review broke the story over the weekend that Barack Obama actually co-sponsored a “Stand Your Ground” type law back when he was a State Senator. Yes, the same Barack Obama who now claims to oppose the same kind of law that exists in Florida.
This past week President Obama publicly urged the reexamination of state self-defense laws (see remarks below). However, nine years ago then-State Sen. Barack Obama actually co-sponsored a bill that strengthened Illinois’ 1961 “stand your ground” law.
The Obama-sponsored bill (SB 2386) enlarged the state’s 1961 law by shielding the person who was attacked from being sued in civil court by perpetrators or their estates when a “stand your ground” defense is used in protecting his or her person, dwelling or other property.
The bill unanimously passed the Democrat-controlled Illinois Senate on March 25, 2004 with only one comment, and passed the Democrat-controlled Illinois House in May 2004 with only two votes in opposition. Then-Governor Rod Blagojevich (D) signed it into law.
Illinois Review now has a follow-up piece that dives deeper into the issue of Stand Your Ground in Illinois. The follow-up seeks to clarify whether or not Stand Your Ground actually exists in Illinois.
Note to Obama…
Article 7 of the Illinois Criminal Code includes a law that is similar to Florida. It’s a “self-defense” that can defeat both criminal and civil liability.
The three main parts of the Illinois law apply to the use of force: “in defense of person,” “in defense of dwelling,” and “in defense of other property.”
The “force” the law refers to is force applied to other people, and comes in 2 different levels: regular or deadly.
For any force to be ok for self-defense, you must “reasonably believe that such conduct is necessary.” It’s not self-defense if you are over-sensitive, over-react, or overdo it. You must act reasonably.
To defend yourself or someone else, regular force is OK to defend against the “imminent use of unlawful force.”
To defend a dwelling, regular force is OK to prevent or stop someone’s “unlawful entry into or attack upon the dwelling.”
To defend “other property”—real property that’s not a dwelling, or personal property—regular force is OK to prevent or stop someone’s “trespass on or criminal interference with” that property.
“Deadly force” means “force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm.” When you’re defending yourself or someone else, deadly force is OK only if you reasonably believe it’s necessary “to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm” to yourself or another.
When you’re defending yourself or someone else, or stopping that “trespass on or criminal interference with” other property, deadly force is also OK to prevent “the commission of a forcible felony.”
Now, let’s remind everyone that Stand Your Ground had nothing to do with George Zimmerman. In the case of Zimmerman, he was simply authorized to use deadly force because he believed his life was in imminent danger. Why Obama chose to dive into the Stand Your Ground debate is anyone’s guess, but now that he’s dragging us all along, we might as well point out that he was for it before he was against it.
We’ll close with today’s LibertyNEWS TV Report, which hits on all of this and more.