Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Legalized Mayhem of 'Stand Your Ground'

Repeal the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law - The Washington Post

These laws encourage hotheads to go into potential confrontations with loaded firearms. They give permission to shoot first and ask questions later. This may be good for gun manufacturers, funeral homes and the NRA, but it’s tragic for justice in America. - Gene Robinson
How far right will we allow America to go?  Righteous ideological purity demanded this law. The myopic focus on the right to own and use a gun, regardless of the consequences to law-abiding citizens is fast bringing our society to true lawlessness.

Arming gangs and hotheads and giving them permission to shoot each other?  Nobody thinks that's a great policy of governance, yet that is one effect of this law.  Declaring a bag of skittels and a can of ice tea a deadly threat? Nobody thinks that's a particularly smart idea, yet that is another effect of the law. Encouraging hotheads at frat parties and playgrounds to settle their arguments with deadly force?  Anyone who believes in safe communities, family values, or a high quality of life in the wealthiest most privileged nation on earth thinks that's a pretty bad idea, yet the law gives license to this aberrant activity as well.

Making policy according to fundamentalist, dogmatic, ideological purity is  folly. The defenders of the law are sincere, sober and thoughtful as they make their arguments.  They will say that the police should have done a more careful and thorough investigation into the incident to determine if the law did indeed apply.  Consider this.  The violent act is allowed to occur, followed by careful and thoughtful consideration with regards to its legality.  Think about that for a bit.  Is "Shoot first, ask questions later" good governance?  'Stand your ground' is legalized mayhem.  That's not the moral fiber of a great nation, it's guerrilla warfare.

More work to do.