Sunday, April 15, 2012

Stand Your Ground or License to Murder?

One of our readers works for the IRS, catching people for cheating on their taxes.  Certainly this is a job where you can make enemies very quickly.  We were thinking, what could happen to such a person in a Stand-Your-Ground state?  One very pissed-off individual could follow you until you go into some dark, isolated place, shoot you point blank, hit themselves a few times in the face, and claim that the shooting was self defense for you attacking them.  Yes, this sounds a bit like a plot for Law & Order.  Ten states already have, or are considering enacting, stand-your-ground laws.  If there are no witnesses and one person is dead, it is very challenging for the police to distinguish between legally-justified homicide and cold-blooded murder?  At least in most states, you need to at least try to run away, and it is very difficult to carry a gun on your person.  When the law clearly states that you are immune from prosecution for killing a person in self-defense without first trying to run away, very few obstacles remain from turning that gun into a license to kill.

Concealed weapon permits and stand-your-ground laws may provide personal security and liberty to the gun holder, but as we have seen from the Trayvon Martin case, they steal those same rights away from the victim.  

The Second Amendment does not give the right to any person to weaponize in public.  Although it is ambiguously written, it should be clear enough that "a well-regulated militia" is not a random group of unsupervised armed citizens.  Conservatives might counter that it takes considerable time, money and training to secure a concealed-carry permit, but is this any guarantee that the person will not mow down someone with that pistol in a moment of haste, stupidity, hatred or bigotry?  

Is it time to take control of gun laws by returning to the text of the 2nd Amendment and not the lobbying efforts of the NRA and their gun-loving associates?  Mr. Martin is just the notable case of the day, but how many innocent people are killed by gunfire per day?  According to wikipedia, in 2000 there were 75,000 non-fatal injuries and 31,000 deaths from firearms.  Whether homicide or suicide, intentional or accidental, over 100,000 people were hurt or killed with guns.   It shouldn't require a boy who could have been the President's son to turn our attention to this issue, but now that we are facing it, let's really do something.

Write your lawmakers and tell them that the 2nd Amendment clearly limits gun ownership to "a well-ordered militia" meaning a supervised group of trained and accountable citizens, not a random collection of people who can afford a pistol and few weeks of training.  

No comments:

Post a Comment

There was an error in this gadget