Stand Your Ground against reckless journalists and mayors
Editor's Note: The following article was written in response to an op-ed by E.J. Dionne published in The Washington Post under the title "Why the NRA pushes stand your ground." It was also published around the country in other publications, including the Greene County (OH) Dailies under the title "Stand ground against guns - Reckless politicians fail to act after Trayvon killing."
by Larry S. Moore
The Opinion piece by E.J. Dionne charges that "Reckless politicians fail to act after Trayvon killing." His byline says he offers "reasoned political analysis from an energetic progressive viewpoint. That's a lot of words to say "mainstream liberal who hates guns." Perhaps he gets paid by the word. His reasoned political analysis absolutely parrots the Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) to the point that Dionne barely had to type the words. Cut and paste would have saved him considerable effort.
The only people acting recklessly in the wake of this tragedy are those who seek to exploit it and the family for their gain. Largely this effort has been led by MAIG headed by New York City Mayor Bloomberg. The piece credits Boston's Mayor Tom Menino as the co-chair for these efforts. Columbus anti-gun Mayor Michael Coleman is certainly worthy of distinction for his efforts. He has been busy sending letters to mayors across the state and within Greene County imploring them to join MAIG. Mayor Coleman's letters proudly carry the seal of his office and the Mayor's address and urges anyone interested to contact personnel within his office. A private campaign against freedom and the right of self-defense is being conducted from offices funded by the taxpayers of Columbus. And he dares to speak about ethics. That's what I expect from a reasoned progressive; telling me how to conduct my life while they live off others' money.
MAIG and their friends in the mainstream liberal media would have us believe that the Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground laws are a menace to society. Perhaps they are something dreamed up by the NRA and foisted onto legislatures across the land. These legislatures must tremble at the mention of the NRA according to Dionne.
Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground Laws trace to Blackstone and old English Law. English Parliament passed a law for excusable homicide if you were attacked. The year was 1532. Many states in the United States had abandoned any duty to retreat with a majority of states having no duty to retreat within your home. This was years before the "Stand Your Ground" laws started moving through more current legislatures. The presumption of the law is that you have a right to defend yourself. Most of these laws use terms indicating a fear of life or great bodily harm is required to be justified in using deadly force. However, cases were often prosecuted inconsistently within a state.
So the Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground laws are an attempt to apply the law consistently. Castle Doctrine applies in the home and stand your ground when you are in public. They generally put the burden of proof on the prosecutor to prove one did not act correctly rather than solely on the defendant to prove innocence.
The MAIG and the press supporting them are reckless in their rush to judgment. I've read various accounts of what happened, didn't happen or might have happened leading up to the shooting. It is premature to offer conjecture whether Zimmerman was within the law and his rights to fire in self-defense or whether he is guilty of manslaughter. The wheels of justice grind slowly. Hopefully we will eventually get to the truth at a trial.
Until then the MAIG has made their points, scored their victory, raised their money and fooled a few more mayors into joining their misguided attempts at restricting the right of self-defense, all the while supported by those reasoned progressives in the press. The facts are that concealed carry and Castle Doctrine laws are, unfortunately, needed in our society today. There are those who will attack unsuspecting people. Most of us don't have around-the-clock police protection afforded to Mayors such as Bloomberg and Coleman. Our right of self-defense, Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground, may be all that affords us protection. And if used incorrectly, we can still go to jail.
Outdoor writer and hunter education instructor Larry S. Moore is a long-time volunteer leader for Buckeye Firearms Foundation and winner of the 2005 USSA Patriot Award, the 2007 League of Ohio Sportsmen/Ohio Wildlife Federation Hunter Educator of the Year and the 2010 National Wild Turkey Federation/ Women in the Outdoors Hunter Education Instructor of the Year.