In an extremely lengthy column in the May 2 Neosho Daily News, Rep. Marilyn Ruestman, R-Joplin, again bragged about the positive effect of her so-called Castle Doctrine bill:
Our Founding Fathers had the wisdom and foresight to give us the right to protect ourselves and our homes with the Second Amendment. Currently, home owners can only use necessary force if they have reasonable evidence to believe their lives are in danger. Additionally, after an intruder has illegally entered one's home, a property owner has a duty to retreat and could be held civilly liable for using deadly force against the intruder. The Castle Doctrine we approved will protect individuals from civil liability when they are protecting their homes and property from criminals. With this protection, property owners will not have to face the same agonizing fate as some Missourians who have been subjected to lawsuits when they did nothing more than to defend their property. Also, this legislation changes the law so that you will be justified in using force if someone enters and remains in your house unlawfully and you can reasonably assume physical force will be used against you. Provisions of this legislation also remove the requirement to retreat from your home, property or vehicle if someone has unlawfully entered.
Ms. Ruestman has constantly assured us, since she first introduced this legislation in the 2006 session, that she did so at the request of many constituents. In the first place, I have a hard time believing that any constituents, unless at the behest of the National Rifle Association, were clamoring for this bill. It is being proposed in Missouri simply because the NRA is proposing it in states across the country.
And where has the media been? Ms. Ruestman and the Senator whose bill finally made it through, Jack Goodman, R-Mount Vernon, have firmly insisted that Missourians have faced nuisance lawsuits when they were simply defending their lives or property, but so far neither has produced any of these cases. If they existed, I would think either Ms. Ruestman or Goodman would be champing at the bit to parade the people in front of the media to bolster the case for the bill. Of course, they have not had to since no one in the legislature or in the media has questioned these lawsuits.
Goodman even said there have been no such lawsuits in southwest Missouri (so where are these people coming from that have been begging Ms. Ruestman to push this bill). As far as I can tell Dave Catanese with the KY3 Blog is the only one (other than The Turner Report) that has even posed the question.
The so-called Castle Doctrine bill (Frontier Justice is a more accurate description) is an unnecessary waste of time. Missourians have always had the right to protect themselves and use deadly force if necessary.