Stand Your Ground Laws are Bad for Society

- by NRA Critic (PWC, Virginia )

Trayvon Martin isn't the only one. In fact, I'm not even going to discuss that case in this thread. The issue is bigger. People who carry guns, especially concealed, loaded ones -- are being treated better by the law than those who don't. If you aren't packing heat in many states -- you better not get in an argument with someone who does -- cause, if at any time in that argument, the other guy (or gal) feels threatened -- he can legally kill you in states that have "Stand Your Ground" laws.

Our society is becoming less civil, more coarse, more violent, and a big reason is the NRA and the gun lobby. Numerous killings are happening all around the country now where normal neighbor disputes escalated and resulted in someone (or both people) being killed.

This is happening for two reasons -- the NRA being behind both.

  • First, the liberalization of gun laws has introduced many more guns onto the streets. George Zimmerman, for instance, had an arrest record and a history of violence, yet he had no problem legally buying a gun and even obtaining a conceal and carry permit to allow him to carry a loaded, hidden handgun on the streets.
  • Second, the proliferation of "Stand Your Ground" laws has caused a great escalation in the violence of normal disputes. It encourages aggressive people to use their guns, allegedly in "self-defense." It allows them to use deadly force when they feel threatened and they never have any duty to, if possible, take reasonable steps (retreat) to avoid a fight -- even in public places.

What these SYG laws encourage is aggressive behavior, pursuing people you "have a problem with" and when you catch them, everyone can "stand their ground" go toe to toe, nose to nose, and if one guy blinks and the other feels threatened by that -- boom -- he can kill the other guy, no problem.

Before SYG, if the other guy blinked and you felt threatened by that, you would have had to step back away from him -- now, you can just waste him. Legally.

Obviously, in many of these cases there are no witnesses (or maybe all the witnesses are friends of the aggressor/killer) -- so after the person pursued is killed, the story will be -- oh, he turned and faced me and I thought he was going to attack me, I thought I saw a gun, I killed him....

These laws are returning us to a wild-west, vigilante justice, coarser, less civil society. And, if you aren't packing heat too -- you are at a disadvantage, cause if you get in a dispute, any fight, and you both feel threatened by the other guy -- well, you need to be prepared to kill the other person before he or she kills you. That's the law -- in SYG states.

And the NRA (and the gun manufacturers) love it. They get to sell more guns. Guns in the hands of everyone, everywhere. Never mind more people being killed -- it's about the guns and the money. Is it any wonder we are the most violent, deadly, society in the developed world?

This article talks about several SYG cases in Florida. For example, there is one where a neighbor was upset about a kid skateboarding in front of his house. He gets in an argument with another neighbour about it, shoots and kills the man, and may be acquitted at trial based on a "stand your ground" defence.

There's no disputing he aggressively pursued the person he shot and initiated the argument, -- but -- he says at the moment he pulled the trigger, he had began to leave the scene and the other guy came at him, so, boom, under SYG he is authorized to kill the man since he felt threatened. But he says at the time of the killing, he was leaving to return home and the other guy came after him, so he shot him dead. No problem legally. All he has to show is that he felt threatened during the argument -- if so, SYG allows deadly force in "self - defence."

Thanks to SYG we all should be more fearful of confrontations in public since people now can shoot and kill us legally if they "feel threatened."

I think we'd be better off moving back to a more civilized society where we rely on law enforcement to do its job -- rather than each of us serving as the judge, jury and executioner.

By the way, the NRA wants to federalize these gun laws. They are pushing a bill in Congress that would force all states to recognize the gun rights that even the most extreme, pro-gun rights, states confer. If George Zimmerman returned to Prince William County, if this law passes, we'd have to allow him to walk the streets, packing heat, since Florida allows it.

You might think that's crazy, the thing is, the NRA usually gets its way.

Here's a great reply and SYG debate.

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