The Castle Doctrine; What is it?

One of my favorite things to talk about is the second amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America. “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

These 27 words have been interpreted, reinterpreted, maligned and ignored, but they have for the last 219 years been the keeper of our rights. It was adopted 19 December  1791, along with the other nine amendments, called the Bill Of Rights. It was first written by James Madison “That right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country; but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.” Gouverneur Morris was poet and reworded James Madison’s words into the second amendment. He was a great writer and  “Gouverneur Morris, who represented Pennsylvania at the Convention in Philadelphia in 1787, was the author of much of the Constitution.”[i] He truly knew his words.

Where did the second amendment come from and why? To answer this question we are going to discuss some 3,000 years of history. This will take many pages, therefore I will discuss it, in installments. We will start with the right to bear arms and eventually we will get to the militia. In today’s installment we will discuss the Castle Doctrine.

What is the castle doctrine?

The castle doctrine comes in many styles and flavors. In England today it is practiced as, when a person breaks into your home and your hurt them trying to defend yourself and your home; you go to prison. Apparently in England criminals have more right to your home and your body than you do.”On August 22, 1999, Tony Martin of Emneth, Norfolk, England, killed one burglar and wounded a second. In April, 2000, he was convicted and is now serving a life term.”[ii] How foolish he actually thought he had the right to defend himself and his family.

In Washington D.C. it means that if someone breaks into your home, your only recourse, if you are a woman, is to let them beat you and rape you. The police have no obligation or duty to render assistance. There is judicial precedence that the police do not have a obligation to protect you. “The respective trial judges held that the police were under no specific legal duty to provide protection to the individual”[iii] In 1977 Washington D. C. passed the most restrictive gun rights law in the history of the United States. Residents of Washington D. C. are not allowed to even carry a working firearm in their own home. June 1976: Eighteen months after Congress established home rule for the District, the D.C. Council votes 12 to 1 in favor of a bill restricting city residents from acquiring handguns.[iv]

What does it mean in history  The Code of Hammurabi number 21. If any one break a hole into a house (break in to steal), he shall be put to death before that hole and be buried.  The Torah reduces the requirement a little, such that death is not required. Exodus 22:2 in different versions, tells us that “If a thief is caught breaking in and is struck so that he dies, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed;” [v] and ” If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him.” [vi] God gives us the right to self defense. This is a natural right, as stated in the Declaration of independence. “they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”. The right to self defense is one of these rights. Unfortunately, what God gives, man thinks he can take away, which is true if we let man take away what God gives us.

What does the “castle doctrine” mean in Arizona? It means that if someone breaks into your home and you kill them the state must prove that you acted beyond the law, the burden of proof is on the state. That was not always the case, from 1995 to 2005 if someone broke into your home and you killed them you had to prove that you were correct in your self defense, the burden of prove was on you. If you were in a state park and someone attacked you, you defended yourself and killed them you had to prove that they attacked you. Today the burden of proof is on the state.

Why did this law change? It was because an organization called the Arizona Citizens Defense
(AZCDL) worked with the state legislature to correct the law and make it better. The AZCDL believes that your right to defend yourself is a natural right.

Gouverneur Morris, Pennsylvania.
Retrieve 16 July 2011


Life in Prison for Armed Self Defense. Allsafe Defense systems. Retrieved 30 June



Warren vs. District of
Columbia. 444 A.2d 1, *; 1981
D.C. App. LEXIS 412, **
Retrieved 16 July 2011



Carliner, Leah. Smith, Meg. (2008)  A
History of D.C. Gun Ban. The Washington Post.
Retrieved 16 July 2011


New international Version (1984)

American King James version

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