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
- New UNH logo draws mixed reactions - 10
- Nashua school board approves changes in design, hospitality, music programs - 0
- Claremont seeks alternatives to demolishing Stevens High School stage - 0
- UNH unveils new 'shield' logo - 26
- UNH lecturers seek to unionize - 12
- Jump seen in number of free, reduced-price meals at NH schools - 1
- Policy change on school milk may cut food waste - 0
- Youngsters show how they would battle 'Nature's Fury' - 0
- Exploring the dark side of social media - 0
READER COMMENTS: 33
- Town's Visiting Nurse Service to get new lease on life in 2014 - 0
- Volunteers sought for discipline committees - 0
- In Portsmouth, ACA primer fails to draw much interest - 0
- Heating fuel assistance funding cuts draw ire of Rep. Kuster - 0
- Nashua aldermen vote for new leadership - 0
- Negotiations with city teachers collapse; Gatsas to take over talks - 0
- Wildcats hockey team falls from national rankings - 0
- Dave D'Onofrio's Patriots Notebook: Another battle looms for Gronk - 0
- Former Kennett quarterback bowl-bound as BC lineman - 0
Wreaths Across America get big send-off
Where’s Waldo? Just ask the NSA
New UNH logo draws mixed reactions
John DiStaso's Granite Status: National Democratic chair to speak at NHIOP in January; Cataldo backs Kenney for Executive Council