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: 0
- Supervised visitation: The metal detector problem - 1
- Charter cap trap: A restriction to repeal - 0
- Taken for a ride: Hooksett’s Pinkerton deal - 4
- Bedford’s road bond: A good deal for a big fix - 1
- Legislative ethics: NH way works better than most - 0
- Blue shame: Obamacare's big change - 19
- Obamacare's new trick: Only temporary relief - 21
- Banning cell phones: Impulse shopping in the House - 10
- Bad Joe: Levasseur stalls again - 2
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Excess school money may target crowded classes in Manchester - 0
- Nashua board members apologize for signingCommon Core letter - 0
- Sen. Shaheen participates in all-night climate change ‘talkathon’ - 0
- Ian Clark's On Hockey: Monarchs' Derek Forbort in the right place at the right time - 0
- Educators, advocates speak to new standards for use of force - 0
- Two Manchester health clinics working on merger plan - 0
- Manchester CrimeWatch: City woman connected to fatal crash in court again - 0
- Franklin’s newest police recruit, a German shepherd pup, can smell trouble - 0
- VFW still eyeing old Crown Hill fire station in Nashua for new home - 0
Allenstown rejects town and school budgets
Crowley elected in Northfield
John DiStaso's Granite Status: Shaheen among speakers at Senate Dems' climate change 'talkathon'