Friday, March 23, 2012

Stand Your Ground

Pardon me if I momentarily abandon my usual snarky humor and address Florida's Draconian and ridiculously unnecessary Stand Your Ground Law, which also has equally awful cousins in some 30 or so other states.

First of all, the name itself signals a dare, a challenge. It sounds like a command, "Stand your ground!" The very name encourages people to take action they might not normally take. It urges confrontation, instead of retreat. And as any self-defense expert can tell you, retreat is the best option if possible.

Secondly, we already have self-defense statutes on the books nationwide. If one is compelled to use deadly force to save one's life or the life of another, it is unlikely to result in harsh punishment. But how many of us want a person to be able to simply claim they felt "threatened" as a justification for killing another citizen and skirt any legal responsibility?

Finally, I think we all know that this Stand Your Ground Law would not have been of much use had the races of the two people, Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman, been reversed. Had Martin been the shooter, he would be in jail right now. So this law was not enacted to protect the general population, but a select segment of it from another segment of it.

Oh, one other thing. The Stand Your Ground Law was signed into existence by Jeb Bush. You know, the smart, moderate, compassionate Bush brother.

©2012 Kona Lowell

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