…Other attractions include lifetime wrongful incarceration and getting gunned down in the street. Here’s what you may not know about the
Kill At Will Stand Your Ground laws.
According to a Quinnipiac University poll, 53% of Americans sampled, support these laws, whereas only 40 percent weighed in as being opposed to them. The laws are in force in 30 separate states including Texas, Wyoming, Utah and even Pennsylvania.
In each case, the laws specifically state that the perpetrator does not have to be in actual physical danger, but merely feel the presence of a threat.
Among Whites sampled, 57% approve these laws. But, only 37 percent of Blacks do. Latins are a 44 to 43 split. Men of all ethnicity showed a 62% preference, while women oppose them by an equal number. And of course, 75% of those supporting the laws identify as Republican, but interestingly – a clear majority of Independents are also in favor of them.
Surprisingly, in the face of the above poll, Attorney General Eric Holder – who’s own poll numbers have been abysmal since the revelations about NSA spying – got a 12 point boost in his approval rating since his denouncement of Stand Your Ground.
Yesterday, Florida Speaker of the House, Will Weatherford (R), announced that the state will review the law, sometime this Fall. The laws have been publicly protested by both African American and White activist groups, and denounced by President Obama as well as AG Holder.
During the Zimmerman trial, his attorneys never mentioned the Stand Your Ground law, but the jury was instructed about it, by the judge.
Florida’s version of the law was passed in 2005 under Jeb Bush. The major lobbying force behind the law was none other than Wayne LaPierre and the National Rifle Association – an advocacy group, funded primarily by weapons manufacturers. The poster boy for the effort was James Workman who, in 2004, shot an intruder in his home, and had to wait months for a self defense ruling. Florida law enforcement however, fought vehemently against the law, saying it would increase the number of homicides in urban areas such as Miami.
Since the law’s passage, the number of justifiable homicides in Florida has tripled. But those who defend Stand Your Ground are claiming an overall reduction in violent crime. As was argued however, against the Red Chinese during the Nixon era, changing the status of a crime doesn’t reduce the activity, it merely bumps up your positive stats. In other words, 3 times as many Floridians are killing each other, but since we’re calling it justifiable, we can say the crime rate is dropping.
The state of New Hampshire recently, held a vote to try to repeal their version of the law, but was unsuccessful. The general consensus is that these laws are exceedingly difficult to repeal. This is due in large part to the continuing efforts by the NRA, and by the fact that the public is still overwhelmingly in favor of them.
The impetus behind these laws, is of course fear. Fear that centers around class distinction and racism. Since Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin first sat down and tossed around the idea of creating a Republic – in fact, since that fine honey, Eve, first bit into that Granny Smith – those who have wished to control us have used fear and divisiveness as their tools to do so. The problem in America isn’t scary Black men who want to rob your crap. It’s that through your own fear of a non-existent bogey man, you’ve created a place where people shoot each other in the streets. A place where we kill at will.
My thanks to the Washington Post, and to Wikipedia for research data for this article.
BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.
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