Home » Opinion » Editorials
Shooting first: Fear and the 'stand your ground' law
For those who irrationally fear guns, evidence and data are irrelevant. The use of firearms is to be restricted and curtailed to the greatest extent legally possible regardless of the consequences - because guns are scary things. That impulse is the motivating force behind House Bill 135, to repeal the "stand your ground" law.
Thankfully, the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee removed the two worst parts of HB 135. One would have undone the "Ward Bird" law, which clarifies that merely brandishing a weapon is not a criminal use of deadly force. The other would have made people who use deadly force in self-defense civilly liable for injuries caused when protecting themselves from imminent harm. Still, the bill should not pass.
Testifying against the "stand your ground" legislation in 2011, Associate Attorney General Ann Rice said, "Historically, this committee's first question is 'What problem is this bill trying to address?' If you apply that question to these three bills, there is no problem that needs fixing."
Applying that standard to the law now would generate the conclusion Rice came to in 2011: "there is no problem that needs fixing." We do not have shootouts in bars and restaurants by gunslingers whom the law has emboldened. That is because responsible New Hampshire gun owners are not bloodthirsty desperados itching to kill, which is how so many legislators seem to imagine them. Repealing this law now would be a premature and irrational act based on fear and mistrust. It would be the legislative equivalent of shooting first, asking questions later. How ironic if the bil passes.
READER COMMENTS: 1
- Where is Benghazi? Kuster's refusal to stand - 42
- UNH's logo: Hip ... for now - 3
- Bird blenders: 'Green energy' sacrifice - 9
- Joseph W. McQuaid: Prizes & playoffs: Well done, UNH - 2
- Where’s Waldo? Just ask the NSA - 13
- Joseph W. McQuaid: Keeping public in the dark isn't helping find Abigail - 26
- The Peace Light: A Christmas reminder for all - 0
- Doing 'less with less' Is that Gov. Hassan's new motto? - 11
- Washington Jeanne: Will Shaheen face her state? - 44
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Dartmouth skaters dealt another close loss - 0
- Gaming authority offers regulatory structure - 0
- Portsmouth man gets prison for sex assault of disabled woman - 0
- Wolfeboro nursing home evacuated after minor chemical spill - 0
- Dover woman admits to bank robberies in two states - 0
- Motorists injured in two car collision on Route 9, Spofford - 0
- Arrest made in attempted robbery of Littleton gas station - 0
- Ex-Littleton man sentenced to prison for DWI crash - 0
- Greenfield planners seek input on Heritage District plan proposal - 0
Symphony NH plans pair of holiday events
Driver was trying to kill himself
NH reps eyeing budget deal
Decision to tap F&G habitat fund explained
A chief walks: No charges in New London
Big tipper stops for lunch