Kimberly Scott at St. George News in covering my bill HB129, Self-defense Amendments, asks the question in the headline, Should victims be able to defend themselves without facing criminal charges?
What do you think? Should people be able to defend themselves? The article goes on to state that David Spatafore, a lobbyist for the Utah Chiefs of Police Association asked legislators not to support the bill last year, saying the bill's passage could send the wrong message to would-be vigilantes.
Let's keep this bill in perspective. The bill sends the correct message to citizens of this state that they have the right to defend themselves from villains. The bill reiterates the original intent of the law safeguarding the right of all Utahns to protect themselves from unlawful aggression. The language of the bill and the law is very clear, those using any form of self-defense -- guns, knives, fists, martial arts, flight -- are well within their rights to protect themselves. To suggest otherwise is absurd. Those against this bill and the self-defense law want to make law-abiding citizens who find themselves in harms way, criminals.
Spatafore also suggests, "civilians are not trained to know whether to flee or fight within a matter of moments during a confrontation." I disagree. The instinct to survive and protect oneself is not only natural and correct; it is a right. This bill is for all law-abiding citizens of Utah. It ensures their right to self-defense. It does not protect criminals, encourage vigilantism, or permit unlawful aggression by those who may try to use self-defense as an excuse. For once, let's side on the protection of the innocent, the victims of an attack.
It would have been great if Ms. Scott had also interviewed self-defense experts or perhaps even the bill's sponsor.
A. Cory Maloy
A. Cory Maloy (R) was elected to the Utah House of Representatives for District 6 on Nov. 8, 2016