Monday, January 31, 2011

Another Attempt for the Castle Doctrine

A new legislative session means renewed hope for state lawmakers whose pet projects still haven’t become law.
Every two years, the General Assembly hits reset. So in the early weeks of the new session, a lot of familiar proposals are resurfacing.
That includes the so-called “Castle Doctrine” measure, which would expand a person’s right to deadly self-defense.
Senate sponsor Richard Alloway, a Republican, says last year’s debate focused too much on the criminal aspect of the argument, and not enough on its implications in lawsuits filed against people who defend themselves.

"What’s happening is, maybe you’re not getting charged with a crime, but the person who was the attacker ends up either suing you or his family sues you for some type of wrongful injury. And then they get a settlement. So they benefit from their wrongdoing."

Alloway was asked whether the Tucson shootings this month will impact this year’s Castle Doctrine debate.

"I think some of the anti-gun politicians in Pennsylvania will probably bring that up. I think it’s absolutely absurd. When you’re talking about guns, anything could be a weapon. What about knives? What about clubs, baseball bats?"

The Castle Doctrine passed the House and Senate by wide margins, but then Governor Ed Rendell vetoed it.
Other old but new proposals include a ban on texting or talking on a cell phone while driving, a push to mandate more medical treatment for high school football players who suffer concussions, and a call for a constitutional convention.

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