On Thursday in Washington, D.C., people surrounded a conservative think tank, the American Legislative Exchange Council, to protest the controversial "Stand Your Ground" law that has played a part in Trayvon Martin’s death in Florida. ALEC helped promote the law when it was originally passed in Florida and has played a key role in helping similar legislation in 20 other states. I’m no expert on the law but I don’t actually think it’s that terrible of a law.
Trayvon’s death is a tragedy and I completely understand the demand for justice. It’s actually refreshing to see people from all different persuasions unite and demand justice. I have stayed more to the sidelines, personally, but I will be interested to see what the investigation and possible trial brings. If Zimmerman is guilty, I hope he is brought to justice. Whatever the outcome, I hope the truth comes out.
Having said that, I’m not sure that just because someone who attempts to justify his actions by using a valid law means that the law is “poisonous” as the CEO of the National Urban League says in referencing legislation that ALEC supports. Any law can be used to justify evil which is the exact reason we have law enforcement and a court system — to examine laws and protect innocent people. If someone is doing something illegal or unjust, even if they claim protection under a law, our law enforcement will investigate the circumstances and see what the real story is. I have seen some legitimate criticisms of the Stand Your Ground law in Florida, legislations which may have been written too vaguely. If this is the case, then hopefully Florida legislators and other states with similar laws will work to better define the law so that there is not another situation like this where someone tries to hide under the law.
What is so terrible about citizens having the opportunity to protect themselves? There seems to be plenty of stats showing that crime decreases, or at the last does not increase, when conceal and carry laws are passed. Vermont, for example, has one of the lowest crime rates in America despite the fact that they allow conceal and carry without a permit. Washington, D.C., on the other hand, a gun-free zone, has one of the highest crime rates in the country. Coincidence? I doubt it.
Every time any type of gun crime or tragedy happens, people are all up in arms (no pun intended) and attempt to start pushing their anti-gun agenda. It's interesting to me because there is no evidence that stricter gun laws would prevent these crimes. Kids are never supposed to have guns at schools, right? They also can't legally own guns ... so the fact that they showed up to school with a gun means they have already broken a few laws before they even started shooting. No one really talks about that point. If Zimmerman had a chip on his shoulder, it's likely he would've snapped at some point and killed someone else whether or not the Stand Your Ground Law was existent or not.