Stand Your Ground Movement, Part IV: Legislation
By John Longenecker
Grab a cup. This one’s about 2,000 words. [Dates reported in the following quotes were erroneous and have been corrected.]
Citizens For A Safer Minnesota have a most mistaken notion of that state’s adoption of the Stand Your Ground movement. In their May 4th, 2006 press release, Citizens For A Safer Minnesota referred to the Florida birthplace of that movement and cited three incidents where people died in the commission of a crime. The thrust of the position is that the law promotes murder as the recent experience with its new legislation.
For instance: “Let me be clear: People are dead because of this law elsewhere, and the people who killed them are using the law to try to get away with murder,” said Sarah Brady. “This law encourages the most aggressive people in society to act more aggressively than is necessary. I urge the Legislature to reject this.”
Mistaken again, Mrs. Brady announces that the people of Florida are somehow identical to the criminal shooters, the hot-heads, the aggressive who shouldn’t even be in possession of any weapon, madam. The acts Brady cites are likely criminal in nature, and not at all likely to meet a standard of self-defense. Her angle is that the Stand Your Ground doctrine is applied as a legal defense in indictment for criminal acts. Mrs. Brady conveniently – intentionally, I believe – ignores the facts that the law does not shield individuals who are part of a crime, or an ongoing altercation or shouldn’t even have a weapon – any weapon, Mrs. Brady – to begin with. The law is much more sensible than Mrs. Brady will admit.
The Stand Your Ground Movement is making its way across America.
In that same announcement, it’s touted that In numerous states including Florida, police leaders and prosecutors have urged that the bill be defeated. “We’re concerned that it will provide a defense to someone who uses force that doesn’t necessarily have to be done,” said Willie Meggs, president of the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association. “The law isn’t age specific, it’s not intent- specific,” St. Petersburg, Florida Police Chief Chuck Harmon said. “Can a sixth-grader retaliate against a bully? If you’re in a bar and you’ve been drinking, maybe you think you’ve been threatened, but what about your judgment in those cases? I just think the citizenry could misinterpret this law.”
You know, this is getting obnoxious, as if they lack critical thinking skills, but certainly have no problem with arguing skills. One is more important than the other. Except when you’re making political rhetoric, I guess.
Let me explain.
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First of all, public servants don’t get an opinion, they get instructions. For all their expertise and acquired wisdom, it doesn’t hold a candle to the authority of the people. We have the right to decline their wisdom. This is a perfect example of another attempt to fool the public and talk citizens out of their liberties. The public forgets that these officials have no authority over them that isn’t granted them by the people, and in many instances, officials are downright wrong; wrong in their authority and wrong in their position. [It doesn’t matter who voted them in: what matters is that they serve all, not just their supporters, and than means they don’t do what they want, they do what they’re told.]
The authority of the office-holder or appointee leaves when they leave office, but the authority of the people lasts forever no matter who’s in.
The people hold all the rights and authority to dictate to officials, and not the other way around. If the people say they want backing to stand their ground, then they get backing to stand their ground. Officials have no say-so on the subject. Why would officials try and talk people out of standing their ground, anyway? Because crime serves officials. It is their stock in trade, isn’t it?
Stand Your Ground applies not only to meeting aggression with lawful force and the security of not being sued by the victim or by the victim’s survivors, but also to the obnoxious, ill-informed and hostile officials who want to continue their political gain by the continuation of violent, unresisted crime. Without crime, these people would be out of work. Without crime to cite, billion-dollar corporations (National ID Cards, Security firms, RFID Chip makers) would have no purpose. The criminals aren’t the only ones gaining from crime.
In another release this week, The CNHI News Service, publishing the article at Mankato Free Press – Deadly Force Proposal Unwise, May 7th, 2006 – talks about resisting a knife attack with a gun, but seems to believe that it would be unwise for a person to have the legal backing to draw superior force (a gun) to meet an aggressor who brandishes a knife. Knives kill, too, and rather quietly, I might add. They also don’t run out of ammunition. They can be thrown. The editorial obviously takes the side of the innocent knife-wielding aggressor in order to discourage violence. But isn’t there violence when police have to handle it? Or is it after the fact?
Two of the most obnoxious statements in that report are these: first, by Public Safety Director Jerry Huettl, “The proposed law creates an incentive for violence. If the plan is approved, any “citizen” who also happens to have a propensity for getting liquored up and picking fights at saloons will have to worry less about facing prosecution.”
Ladies and gentlemen, this is what officials think of you. It is at the core of their values system. Some people call it Potomac Fever, the pre-existing impairment of officials that convinces them that they are smarter than the people who have to live with the reality of the official silliness they impose. This is one such example of it. The idea that violence is somehow to be discouraged sweeps up practical life-saving resistance in that model. The end result is, of course, that the aggressor prevails. Crime serves officials.
Now dig this next reported statement from Mr. Huettl in opposition to your standing your ground: “Unfortunately, police officers will pay once again for the decisions of politicians to create laws that really don’t make average people more safe, but create more stressful and unsafe situations for police officers.The legislation has been pushed by the National Rifle Association and several states have approved it.”
Stressful? Unsafe? Officers will pay once again..?
First of all, carrying a weapon does make people safer. It does so by dint of the fact that they are already on scene when officers are not, by dint of the fact that the victim and the source of resistance are one and the same, and by the fact that individuals have not merely the right, but also the authority to act in self-defense. Especially in the absence of police officers.
There is something more Huettl forgot: the decisions made by the victim belong to the victim alone. The decision of whether to resist with lethal force is not yours to make, Mr. Director Of Public Safety, but entirely the victim’s to make under the doctrine of the average reasonable person and the doctrine of reasonable apprehension of grave danger. He/she may have to prove it later, but why tie the hands of the victim beforehand and put them at risk? Because crime serves officials. (Like stopping emergency assets at the state line, releasing prisoners for their safety and confiscating weapons of the law-abiding when police took a powder.)
A Director Of Public Safety has positvely no say in whether a victim must surrender to the aggressor. Why pretend that you do? Why would you want someone to surrender to an aggressor? Merely to avoid violence?
[Plug: On the cover of my book, Transfer Of Wealth, I selected a compelling photo that shows a broken-hearted man being comforted by a doctor at the hospital, obviously after the fact of some violent crime taking the life of his loved one. This is the message of the left: give them what they want. But when violent crime is so much the anti-social anger that it is, it is not material things the criminal wants, it is you. Time and again, surrender has proven to be very bad advice, but useful if you farm crime. It is one of the most strategic moves to keep crime alive. As the head of a household, how will you make household safety decisions from now on when you come to understand the greater scope of your personal authority, your personal, inalienable rights and the motivation and ambition of officials to keep violent crime going?]
This is why I say that officials do not get an opinion, they get instructions. Because their silly opinions can be mistaken for authority, an authority not granted them. A bluff. The cooperative nature of Americans doesn’t make them stupid, but cooperative. And used for that cooperation. It’s time for officials to cooperate with their constituents and do what they’re told by us, not colleagues and special interest groups who oppose the safety and sanctity of the household.
Second, the National Rifle Association Of America is the nation’s oldest civil rights organization. The mischaracterization of liberty rights groups by politicians is unethical. Officials do not stand up to liberty rights groups, the liberty rights groups stand up to officials. This is not a matter of perspective, it is a fact. Most civil rights organizations speak for their constituents, do they not, and constituents instruct officials and not the other way around. You don’t stand up to constituents, do you.. Or do you? Huettl thinks that you do. Huettl thinks wrong.
Opposing liberty rights groups is, of course, to oppose liberty. Self-defense is a safeguard of our liberty in the face of immortal crime that serves officials. Who’s bullying whom?
Time for officials to back down and remember who the real authority is. If the people want official backing to stand their ground, then officials are instructed to carry it out as the professional executives they were elected to be.
Lastly, on the issue of police officer safety, remember that resisting aggression is up to the individual, and in the absence of officers, it is purely the individual’s decision to make. How is officer safety for police who are not on scene more important than the safety of the individual who must face grave danger alone?
Unless the police somehow believe that the citizen will turn on them after the threat is reduced — an idiotic assumption, don’t you think? – there’s little to worry about. What about the criminal who turns on them? Fortunately, the majority of our officers are also citizens, and these men and women support concealed carry, realizing that citizens and police are allies, not adversaries. Huettl believes that citizens are adversaries.
The movement opposing the Stand Your Ground Movement to transfer the wealth of your sovereignty out of your hands into a reliance on official agencies is un-American, and individuals who champion reliance on agencies to the exclusion of personal self-defense do so at the expense of your personal sovereignty and personal safety. This is the looting of America. And at the expense of their patriotism and professional integrity.
Individual officials who encourage your surrender of personal self-defense to the local assets who are not even on scene – and who are not likely to be in time – are setting up adults and children alike for more and more horrific fates, and that soon becomes the fate of the community. And then, worse. Think New Orleans. [Where incoming rescue assets were stopped at the state line, where criminals were released from jail “for their safety”, remember? and where guns of the law-abiding were confiscated.] Think New York, think Kalifornia, Washington D.C. and other countries where violent crime prevails. In thoseplaces, law-abiding are ordered without legal authority to turn in weapons. When do the cirminals to turn theirs in?
Most heads of household do not know that police have no mandate to protect individuals, and that means the police don’t have to be there. Tactically, practically and any way you figure it, they cannot be everywhere, and do not promise to be there at the second you need them most.
You, on the other hand, are there. Alone.
And it doesn’t even matter whether you own a gun; this isn’t about guns; it’s about standing your ground, Mr. and Mrs. America, and now, it protects you when you are away from home, with the extension of the Castle Doctrine to defend yourself outside the property line anywhere, any setting, where you have a right to be. It’s about your standing your ground with a shocking device, a stick, a flashlight, baseball bat, you name it, officially supported. It’s not about your choice of weapon, it’s about official recognition and official backing of your choice not to be a victim.
It never was about guns, it’s about your right to act with up to lethal force in time of facing grave danger when police aren’t there to face it with you.
And when it comes to character of citizens which is so disparaged by these press releases, let’s remember that the police they hold in such high esteem draw from the American public as the pool of their very best officer candidates. One does not become a great police officer in the Academy; one receives superb training, yes, and becomes a great officer over time, but one has all the right character, guts and morals to become an officer long before putting in an interest card. It’s called background check and suitability. Either they have it or they don’t. The pool of this candidacy for their finest is the very people they serve.
You know, at the time of the Declaration of the Republic as a free nation, the founding fathers based the concept on the idea of what they had just emerged from and most precisely of what they didn’t want any more of. No more imposition against the will of the People.
– The very same thing we’re facing today.
Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. — James Madison, The Federalist Papers, No. 46.
Isn’t it about time officials remembered who the real authority is in America? Isn’t it about time officials trusted their citizens?
That would be good for the country.
John Longenecker’s book, Transfer of Wealth: The Case For Nationwide Concealed Carry is in its Second Edition and it would make a great gift for the non-gun owner. You can purchase his book at Transfer of Wealth. You can also read other articles by John Longenecker here.
Stand Your Ground Movement, Part III