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How did we go from a "revelation" on Sunday in the Illinois Review  that Obama supported "stand your ground" in Illinois back in 2004 to a Dave Weigel debunking in Slate by Tuesday?

It all starts with a poorly researched article in the Illinois Review (remind me not to hire that author) claiming:

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.

Hint: Any story with Democrat-controlled in it is suspect from the get go (the proper term is Democratic). But note the word "dwelling."

Then it gets picked up by NRO's John Fund: Obama Voted to Strengthen Illinois’s Stand Your Ground Law in 2004 and the Washington Times (Then-Sen. Obama co-sponsored ‘stand your ground’ law in 2004 in Illinois).

Throw in The Blaze, Newsbusters and Powerline (I won't link but you can google). Add a healthy dollop of conservative social media, and voila: a controversy! A scandal!

Except it isn't true.

Dave Weigel felt obligated to point out Obama's vote was about the "castle" doctrine and trespassing, not out on the street use of force. Weigel includes language from both states' bills and compares:

It's a pretty obvious difference, which probably means that the "Obama used to support this" theory is essentially trolling.
Yes, it is.

I'm shocked that there's gambling in this casino.

Originally posted to Greg Dworkin on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 08:34 AM PDT.

Also republished by Land of Lincoln Kos and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (28+ / 0-)

    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

    by Greg Dworkin on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 08:34:59 AM PDT

  •  Though it bears pointing out (3+ / 0-)

    that "Castle doctrine" laws can also lead to some pretty horrendous miscarriages of justice...

    When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

    by litho on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 08:49:26 AM PDT

    •  There was a case in Virginia a few months back (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, Catte Nappe, Ian Reifowitz

      A 17 year old was totally wasted and went into a house that he apparently believed was his (it wasn't). The homeowner shot and killed him because he was a trespasser and she feared she was in danger. No charges filed.

      •  I think that one is a bad example. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        oortdust, KVoimakas, Ian Reifowitz

        If someone is actually inside your house, especially if he is wasted, it is understandable that you may be in fear for your life. Most of these SYG incidents are situations where the victim is out in the open and is not really threatening the shooter at all. If someone is so wasted that they enter the wrong house, they are putting themselves in grave danger.

        •  How so? (0+ / 0-)

          How is it imminent danger merely because a person is inside your house? Potential danger, perhaps, but it doesn't become imminent danger unless a person acts aggressively or refuses to leave. Shoot first and ask questions later does not seem like good public policy.

  •  Is there a there there? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    Of course not, it's a trollworld after all.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 09:02:51 AM PDT

  •  A resource for gun laws and how they are changing (4+ / 0-)

    http://smartgunlaws.org/...

    To push back against false memes we all need to know which laws apply. The best single resource I have found is the Law Center for Prevention of Gun Violence.

    They have a well organized website where you can search gun laws by federal, state, or policy. They have excellent digests of Heller and MacDonald and are tracking all the gun laws that are currently percolating up to SCOTUS.

    They are also tracking changes to gun laws proposed by some states and local jurisdictions.

    Illinois gun laws: http://smartgunlaws.org/...

    "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

    by LilithGardener on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 09:27:02 AM PDT

  •  A truism if there ever was one. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tonedevil, Ian Reifowitz

    Hint: anything with Democrat-controlled in it is suspect from the get go.

  •  The evil racist R's want 'stand your ground' in OH (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    This is a serious problem.

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 10:11:44 AM PDT

  •  Something you might want to add to your article. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz

    There is no concealed carry in Illinois. Not yet. They were just told to pass a CPL law (and did) but it hasn't gone into play yet.

    So the Republicans could go with: "OBAMA STRENGTHENED STAND YOUR GROUND IN A STATE WHERE YOU'RE NOT ALLOWED TO CARRY GUNS!!!"

    Idiots.

    Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

    by KVoimakas on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 12:23:41 PM PDT

    •  ha ha ha (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ian Reifowitz
      Illinois Concealed Carry: Prosecutors Give OK While Governor Delays
      by G&A Online Editors | June 17, 2013

      Read more:

      Piatt, White, Madison, Peoria, Randolph, Tazewell, Shelby, and Macon counties are among those now turning a blind eye to those who carry concealed weapons.

      Read more

      July 11, 2013 (WLS) -- Illinois gun owners are looking at a long wait to apply for concealed weapons permits. State police say ramping up the application process will take months.

      But on Thursday, the ABC7 I-Team has learned that more than dozen Illinois counties aren't willing to wait.

      Read more

      give the NRA the Royal Flush join Stop The NRA

      by 88kathy on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 02:01:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  GOP wants everyone to believe the SYG is in the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ian Reifowitz

      Mercurial 2nd Amendment, which says anything gun nuts want it to say.

      give the NRA the Royal Flush join Stop The NRA

      by 88kathy on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 02:17:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Stand Your Ground a new law. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ian Reifowitz

          Alabama (enacted: 2006)
          Alaska (enacted: 2011)
          Arizona (enacted:2006 )
          Florida  (enacted: 2005)
          Georgia (enacted:2006)
          Indiana (enacted: 2006)
          Kansas  (enacted:2006)
          Kentucky (enacted:2006)
          Louisiana (enacted:2006)
          Michigan (enacted:2006)
          Mississippi (enacted: 2006)
          Missouri (enacted: 2007)
          Montana (enacted: 2009)
          Nevada (enacted:2011)
          New Hampshire (enacted:2011)
          North Carolina (enacted:2011)
          North Dakota (enacted: 2007)
          Ohio (enacted: 2008)
          Oklahoma (enacted:2006)
          Pennsylvania (enacted:2011)
          South Carolina (enacted: 2008)
          Tennessee (enacted: 2007)
          Texas (enacted: 2007)
          Utah (enacted:2010)
          West Virginia (enacted: 2008)
          Wisconsin (enacted: 2011)

      Read more: here

      give the NRA the Royal Flush join Stop The NRA

      by 88kathy on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 05:35:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Illinois Review = a distortion rag for the ILGOP. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz
  •  Huh. Sorry I missed your post, nice work. (0+ / 0-)

    And I really like your image. I need to learn how to do that kind of stuff.

  •  The idea is that somehow, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian Reifowitz, Yoshimi

    he's a hypocrite merely for sympathizing with the Martin family.

    Disgusting.

    I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

    by CFAmick on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 02:01:35 PM PDT

  •  It's not only the shills and sponsored stuff, (0+ / 0-)

    but the paid emailers are out in force sending garbage out that gets forwarded zillions of times by outraged drooling knuckledraggers.  Stuff that's, as usual, flagrant lies, which pass from inbox to inbox until people believe it's the truth.

    Example:  Trayvon Martin had a criminal record.

    Yes, that's the type of crap that people get, forwarded by people they know, that gets believed and spread.

    It's a stinking disease and everything from Obama Care to poor people are getting trashed tens of thousands of times per day.

    There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

    by Puddytat on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 02:13:07 PM PDT

  •  The quick and easy rebuttal (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    Even if the president supported SYG at one time, it doesn't make him a hypocrate for wanting to review the law now.

    Done. No need to deal with the BS from the right. The more you fight the BS, the easier it is for them to distract us from the real issue.

  •  only gun nuts read those sources anyway (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    Blaze. com has hardly on ounce of truth on it. Their readers are mostly, tea party, gun toting racists.

  •  Yeah, seems to me this is a non-story (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    andalusi

    While it's true that SYG is just an expansion of the "castle doctrine", it's not the same thing. This is kind of silly.

    Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

    by Pi Li on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 02:26:16 PM PDT

  •  In the end, what does "Stand your ground" really (0+ / 0-)

    mean, anyway?

    I know the Zimmerman trial wasn't about stand your ground, but it's caused me to do a whole lot of head scratching on the subject.

    Your diary makes an excellent pont -- at least in places like Illinois -- "stand your ground" and the right to defend yourself in your home are related, but not necessarily the same.  You are not necessarily expected to assume that somebody who has broken into your house and threatened you won't shoot you in the back on your way out, etc.

    But that's the problem with stand your ground, except, perhaps, where the self-defense laws are poorly written.  You're not generally expected to retreat from a situation if it is reasonable to believe that your effort to retreat will fail, leading to grievous injury or death.

    So where exactly does it fit?

    If it primarily to save the jury from trying to decide if a reasonable person would believe they could safely flee?
    Is it to keep people in dangerous situations from having to do that calculus?

    Doesn't seem to fit either case.  When somebody is threatening your life, you're not going to perform the calculation anyway.  If you think you can get away, you will. If you don't, you'll try to protect yourself.

    As to the jury,  that's a stickier problem.  Defendants almost never testify in cases like this -- and, truth be told, they never should testify. So -- you've got to rely on your lawyer to create the sense of terror at the time of the incident.  Not too bad for people with resources.  Not so hot for people with public defenders.

    Maybe it's all a matter of emphasis.  Maybe instead of stand your ground laws, we need don't get yourself killed laws.  run if you can, but defend if you must.

    Which, oddly, is what I think the current state of most self-defense law is already.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 02:27:25 PM PDT

  •  Typical rightwing lie and smear. Thanks (0+ / 0-)

    for shining light on yet another piece of bullshit false rightwing propaganda. We need more of it to be debunked so quickly. Not likely, considering the composition of the corporate-controlled mainstream media.

    Not to nitpick, but the use of "Democrat-controlled" is correct in this instance. The meaning is "controlled by Democrats". Few deliberate Republican distortions of the language annoy me more than the misuse of "Democrat" as an adjective, but this was not one of those cases. Had the author written "...Democrat bill" or "a Democrat legislature" or "signed by the Democrat governor", it would have gotten my blood boiling.

    "Bernie Madoff's mistake was stealing from the rich. If he'd stolen from the poor he'd have a cabinet position." -OPOL

    by blue in NC on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 02:32:46 PM PDT

    •  rubs me the wrong way (0+ / 0-)

      perhaps because of misuse elsewhere.

      But to support your point, it's the wording in the NBC/WSJ poll.

      "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

      by Greg Dworkin on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 02:37:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  When will this crap end? I mean, it feels like a (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    True North

    "sewing circle" of stupid talk, as referenced in Pulp Fiction.  I mean, good gawd!  We have a country to run.  We have many problems to fix.  It is not 1500 AD where there might remain lingering, valid questions about the shape of the earth.  

    The President did this or that about a castle doctrine this or that?  Who gives a shit!  These right-wing-searching-for-any-consipiracy-to-confirm-illegitimacy-of-President-Obama is the same as a spoiled brat crying over something he or she destroyed on purpose.  Zero rational thought.  It is 2013, and we have hungry kids in our midst!  We have struggling families voting against their own best interests.  What is wrong with us?  

    It is like I said to my best friend in Utah, who indicated that folks around him are extremely worried about the ACA destroying the state.  I want all of Utah to be covered--every Utah loser included.  We have to pay for it.  Okay--let's pay for it.  It is our collective responsibility to ensure we have a healthy society.  How is this not elementary obvious?  You not coughing on the subway in my face directly benefits me!  Even selfish people can agree on this.  It benefits:  ME.

    So here is something simple that I propose:  Let's figure out how to get Americans to realize that paying $100,000,000.00 in taxes on $1 billion dollars of income (this is just a 10% simple example) is fair.  From my perch, we Americans seem to have no problem telling the $30,000.00 per year worker to fork over only $3000.00.  But when you tell a billionaire to fork over $100,000,000.00, something stupid happens to us, and we think that is insane!  Too much!  That is so crazy!    

    WTF, I say.  The percentages are identical.  If we can adjust American society to comprehend this one, super simple point, we are off to a good start.  It is not about a flat tax, BTW.  It is about getting people to fork over a fair and consistent percentage of the very money they were able to gain from the system, itself.

    Rant complete for now.

    Mix the blood and make new people!

    by Yonkers Boy on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 02:48:23 PM PDT

  •  From Weigel, italics added: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yoshimi
    No: "Stand your ground" is substantively different than what Obama backed in Illinois. He backed a tweak to the "castle doctrine," which reads like this:

    A person is justified in the use of force against another when and to the extent that he reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to prevent or terminate such other's trespass on or other tortious or criminal interference with her real property (other than a dwelling) or personal property, lawfully in his possession or in the possession of another who is a member of his immediate family or household or of a person whose property he has a legal duty to protect.

    "Stand your ground" takes the concept of the castle doctrine and turns it into a traveling force field of sorts. Here's Florida's language:

    A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

    For the record, this IS an extension of the reasonable thought that a person in his own dwelling need not retreat, expanding it to all real estate.  But it's not the same as sayi9ng there's no need to retreat ANYWHERE.

    "We're now in one of those periods when the reality of intense pressure on the middle class diverges from long-held assumptions of how the American bargain should work" --James Fallows

    by Inland on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 02:57:06 PM PDT

    •  I get that SYG can be thought of as an extension (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Inland

      of the concept of what you can do in your home. But a rational person could also see enough difference to understand that one could, in theory, support one but not the other without being a hypocrite. It's that simple.

      "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

      by Greg Dworkin on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 03:10:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  RWing long conflated 'castle' with stand your grou (0+ / 0-)

    nd, for the simple reason that the former has much common sense support (why retreat from your home?) which they seek to appropriate to the latter by confusing the issues.

    That they did so here again -blatantly and blatantly in service of thier cult - is not surprising.

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