Holder Criticizes Stand-Your-Ground Laws
Attorney General Eric Holder attacked "stand-your-ground laws" three days after the acquittal of a man in last year's shooting of an unarmed Florida teen, saying in a speech that such laws encourage more violence than they prevent.Except, of course, "Stand Your Ground" laws were never in play here. It was floated in the very, very beginning of this whole sorry affair, but quickly vanished once the particulars became known. You see, there is no "Stand Your Ground" when you are pinned to the ground with an assailant on top of you beating you severely. "Stand Your Ground" would have been applicable if, say, Martin had threatened Zimmerman with a knife from 10 feet away. "Stand Your Ground" removes the concept of an innocent person having a "duty to retreat" when they are outside of the home. While, personally, I find "running like a scared jackrabbit" to be a perfectly valid defensive tactic, I understand that not only are some people physically incapable of running away, but also that some agree with Edmund Burke and his observation that evil wins when good men do nothing.
Speaking to the NAACP's annual convention in Orlando, Fla., not far from where George Zimmerman was tried for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, Mr. Holder denounced laws that permit a person to use force in self-defense without first attempting to retreat from the situation.
I am fairly confident that Eric Holder, as the Attorney General of the United States and someone that has paid a fair amount of attention to the goings-on in Florida, knows this. I am also fairly confident that the whole Zimmerman/Martin fiasco was never about race but, in fact, the concept of self-defense. Impugn "Stand Your Ground", muddy the water so that people construe it to mean "Open season on [people we don't like]" and you make it more likely that future localities won't enact such legislation and perhaps even repeal it in existing areas.
The concept that we have the right - some might say duty - to confront evil when it happens rather than cowering and wait for the authorities does not sit well with those who wish to control us. People that are empowered to take control of their own safety are far less likely to cede liberties to the government in the name of illusory safety. By and large they prefer dangerous liberty and claim responsibility for providing for their own safety - and the fewer roadblocks the government places in their quest for the right tools and laws to keep themselves safe the better.
If you want to control a people, you make them dependent on what you have to offer. This is an axiom, nearly an absolute truth for about as long as man has been around. In many cases, all that is needed is a steady check; a roof over your head, food on the table, and a decent cable package. For others, it's the fear of evil, whether in the guise of the unstable gun nut or the shadowy terrorist, that allows the government to chip away at our inalienable freedom. Fear of terrorists got us the Patriot Act; fear of mobsters got us the Federal Firearms Act of 1934. It's all part of the same package - use fear as a wedge to divide and conquer.
Holder knows that he's lying. "Stand Your Ground" laws aren't the issue. Concealed carry isn't the issue. Firearms aren't the issue. The issue is the mindset that says the proper response to some "creepy-assed cracka" following you is to beat the living hell out of him. However, that's the kind of thing that leads to hard questions and even harder choices, ones that involve cultural norms and mores that no one wants to talk about, lest one be accused of racism. So it's easier to blame guns, or "Stand Your Ground", or George Zimmerman, or anything other than a broken culture of misplaced machismo, broken homes, and gang violence.
That our African-American Attorney General, as part of our African-American president's cabinet, can somehow claim racism as a motivating factor in this is a subject for another time. I do have to respond to this bit of tripe, though:
Mr. Holder is the nation's first black attorney general, and his speech to the NAACP turned personal at one point. He said that after Mr. Martin's death last year, he sat down with his 15-year-old son and discussed how to respond if he were stopped by police, just as his own father had done with him decades earlier. "This was a father-son tradition I hoped would not need to be handed down," he said.My father gave me the very same lecture. "Say 'yes sir' and 'no sir'. Don't make any sudden movements. Treat the officer with respect." It's never a bad idea, and especially now where we're seeing ever-increasing militarization of police forces. Mr. Holder, I've been stopped by the police for bogus reasons. Many times. Tail light out. Music too loud. Squealing tires. Heck, I was once stopped because my license plate was dirty (I kid you not). Discussing with your child - specifically your male child - about the way to respond to authorities when they run afoul of the law (or are being hassled) is never a bad idea.
And many times it has nothing whatsoever to do with racism, but just being a teenaged male that's the issue...
That is all.
Another dispatch from...
(image courtesy of Robb Allen)