State Rep. Margo Davidson, D-164, of Upper Darby, turned heads on the House floor Tuesday during a debate on expanding the “Castle Doctrine” of self-defense to areas outside the home when she asked if current Pennsylvania law would protect her for dispatching a fellow legislator.
“If the gentleman from Butler County stood yelling, knowing that he’s a gun-toter, and I felt threatened, would I be protected under current law if I blew his brains out?” asked Davidson.
Her comment, about state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler County, was one of a series of hypothetical scenarios Democrats posed during the debate on House Bill 40.
Davidson said Wednesday she was trying to illustrate that current gun laws already protect victims who use deadly force to fend off attackers, albeit with the retreat caveat. Removing that provision would remove a “moment of pause” before taking someone’s life, she said.
Metcalfe said he was shocked by the question. He described at least a cordial relationship with Davidson and said he doesn’t believe there is any bad blood there, or with any other member of the House.
Metcalfe noted Republican Speaker of the House Sam Smith struck Davidson’s comment from the record, indicating her language was beyond the pale.
While Davidson acknowledged she could have chosen her words more carefully, she said she was hoping the shock factor of her question would help fellow lawmakers understand House Bill 40 deals with real-life situations that shouldn’t be allowed to fall into the realm of “knee-jerk” violent reactions.