To the Editor: Ohio needs to enact Stand Your Ground laws

The following letter to the editor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer was published last week.

The letter does an excellent job of addressing the supposed racial aspects of certain self-defense laws.

It is apparent elected officials and anti pro-rights groups in the state of Ohio are in an uproar regarding the implementation of Stand Your Ground. These individuals fear more people will be gunned down at an increasing rate if this law is passed. Unfortunately there is the constant comparison of Trayvon Martin case being precedent.

Let’s set the record straight. I attended the Gun Rights Policy Conference in Orlando, Fla., in 2012. Mr. Mark O’Mara, the attorney for George Zimmerman, held a press conference. By law he could not discuss the facts of the case, but stated it was about the justifiable use of deadly force and not Stand Your Ground. You are allowed to use force to react to force. As usual, some in the media and anti pro-rights organizations continue to ignore this stated fact.

Let’s take a trip through memory lane via American history. Charles Evers, the former mayor of Fayette, Miss., and brother of slain civil rights pioneer Medgar Evers, wrote a book entitled “Have No Fear.” He talks about the threats from the KKK as they recruited NAACP membership in Mississippi. Mayor Evers kept a pistol in every room and also carried one due to constant death threats. Mayor Evers should not have had a duty to retreat when being attacked. Remember, his brother was murdered in cold blood.

On another note, after a small bomb was exploded at his home in Montgomery, Ala., Rev. Martin Luther King applied for a pistol permit and was denied along with his request for personal protection. Isn’t it strange in 2013 we have anti pro-rights individuals with the same mentality as it relates to denying the constitutional rights of we the people to keep and bear arms?

Pro-rights organizations and its members have been accused of being racist. Again this is another blatant lie constantly distorted by those who choose to do so. Former president of the NRA Charlton Heston marched with Rev. King during the civil rights movement and met with Rev. King per request to address the mistreatment of blacks in the movie industry with great risk to his reputation and family. The bottom line is pro-rights organizations fight for the right of we the people to keep and bear arms. This right is guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America and the Constitution of the state of Ohio. It is not race-based.

In conclusion, Stand Your Ground is needed in the state of Ohio. This bill, if passed, will allow people to use force to defend themselves without having a duty to retreat first.

Unfortunately, black elected officials have launched a campaign to defeat this bill. They have forgotten their constituents, some of whom live in fear from murderous thugs that terrorize citizens without regard to life and liberty. These elected officials plan to use the church as a platform for the compilation of petitions against this proposed law. They have forgotten the Deacons for Defense. They practiced self-defense methods during the 1960’s fighting against oppression carried out by Jim Crow laws. Should they have been denied the right of self-defense?

Today the enemy is within our community. I urge pro-rights legislators to Stand Your Ground and pass this important piece of legislation for We The People.

Frank M. Reed

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