Letter: Duty to retreat: the basics

When an armed person is the subject of a violent attack, there can be two general outcomes, regardless of “stand your ground” or “duty to retreat” laws. The attacker either retreats or continues the attack. (If the person being attacked shoots when the attacker is retreating, that is always against the law.)

If you “stand your ground,” the attacker is more likely to retreat, and if he does, no one gets hurt. If he continues his attack, the chances are better for the victim and poorer for the attacker. 

If you “retreat,” the attacker is more likely to view you as unwilling to defend yourself and is more likely to continue his attack. If he does continue, the chances are poorer for the victim and better for the attacker.

And if the attacker does get shot, the victim may have to convince a jury that he retreated enough before defending himself. A subjective issue, and bad law.

Being against violence and in favor of the attacked, “Stand Your Ground.”

— Ronald Drozdick

Eagle River