Review 'Stand Your Ground' Laws (in all applicable states) and Oppose New Concealed Gun Carry Reciprocity Bills S. 2188 and S. 2213
"Stand your ground" has been invoked in 93 cases involving 65 deaths in Florida alone. We will not wait for more loss of life to lead to the repeal of "stand your ground" state by state, we want these laws reviewed in all 24 states including Florida, now. We also oppose the NRA-backed concealed carry bills, S. 2188 and S. 2213 providing for people to bring concealed weapons over state lines regardless of differences in gun regulation. At least 402 people have been killed in 32 states since 2007, in deaths involving private citizens that are legally permitted to carry concealed weapons**. These disturbingly lax laws completely ignore the nation's emotions on gun safety and violence, especially as we mourn the loss of an innocent child. Review "stand your ground" out of respect for the many people like Trayvon Martin whose killers have gone free and oppose S. 2188 and S. 2213 as they will endanger Americans across the nation if passed.
Why S. 2188 and S. 2213 MUST NOT BE PASSED:
Under the provision of these newly proposed bills to loosen gun regulations even more,an individual who is legally carrying a gun and has a concealed weapons license, would be able to take his/her gun along outside his/her home state to any state in America other than D.C. and Illinois where concealed weapons are prohibited..
The passage of these bills, as the Huffington Post writes, "would allow the tens of thousands of concealed carry permit holders… to take their guns and their "shoot first, ask questions later" mentality into Times Square, downtown Los Angeles, Main Street in Des Moines, Iowa, or to your community. If your state has tougher, more sensible laws that might prevent someone like George Zimmerman -- who had an arrest record -- from getting a concealed carry permit, tough luck. This new bill would force your state to honor concealed carry permits of other states, even states like Florida, with abhorrently low standards.” The NRA believes that an American's right to use deadly force against their perceived aggressors, whether wielding a deadly weapon or skittles, is more valuable than an innocent American's right to life. How are such laws not endangering Americans in general more than protecting them with the trigger-happy mentality that accompanies the lax SYG law
Why we need to review all “stand your ground” laws:
The tragic death of innocent teenager Trayvon Martin had brought to light not only the serious issue of racial profiling, but had proven how dangerous a false sense of authority can be when exercised under the provision of a ‘license to kill’ law like “stand your ground”.
Sanford Police said what held them back initially from arresting or further investigating known killer, Zimmerman, was the "stand your ground" law. In a document released by the Sanford City Manager, the Chief of Police’s response to frequently asked questions regarding the Martin case stated that “when the Sanford Police Department arrived at the scene of the incident, Mr. Zimmerman provided a statement claiming he acted in self defense which at the time was supported by physical evidence and testimony. By Florida Statute, law enforcement was PROHIBITED from making an arrest based on the facts and circumstances they had at the time.” We conclude from this experience and other cases that have used “stand your ground” to justify homicide, that the facts prove “Stand Your Ground” to be detrimental to the judicial process in addition to even serving as motivation for individuals to resort to using deadly force, not as a last resort, but because they feel they have the “right” to. The "stand your ground" law is an NRA-backed law that takes the "Castle Doctrine" to new levels, basically making your home, and almost any public place, your castle. As the Tampa Bay Times writes “The old law gave you the right to protect yourself with deadly force inside your home. The 2005 law gives you the right to protect yourself in a park, outside a Chili's, on a highway — just about anywhere. You need only to "reasonably believe" that pulling the trigger or plunging the knife or swinging the bat is necessary to stop the other person from hurting you.” In court, proving that a person didn’t “reasonably believe” that they were in danger is difficult when the only real witness to the situation is dead. So often, the judge will dismiss the case before it even goes to trial. The Tampa Bay Times continued, “Reports of justifiable homicides tripled after the law went into effect, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Last year, twice a week, on average, someone's killing was considered warranted. The self-defense law — known as "stand your ground" — has been invoked in at least 93 cases with 65 deaths, a St. Petersburg Times review found.” There is no doubt that if the NRA had it their way, "stand your ground" laws would be adopted in all 50 states.
Who are we asking for help from, and what do we want them to do?
We want our Senators to know that we oppose S.2188 and S. 2213 (as well as H.R.822 which passed the House in November of 2011) and do not wish to extend the opportunity for killers like Zimmerman to bring their concealed weapon into states with different gun laws, defeating the purpose of any other state’s stricter gun regulation laws.
The right to bear arms needs to be considered in a rational context where the sacrifice of innocent human life is not up for discussion. Please join us in fighting to repeal these active laws and stop the passage of bills which deny states their ability to enforce safer gun regulation.
*States with "stand your ground" laws:
Washington, Oregon, Nevada, S. Dakota, Illinois, N. Carolina, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Arizona, Michigan, Kentucky, S. Carolina, Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Indiana, W. Virginia, Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama, Kansas, Florida, Tennessee
**according to the Legal Community Against Violence