Stand Your Ground Against Paranoia (5 Responses)

Even knowing about the tragedy that cost Trayvon Martin his life in Florida, and despite less well publicized shootings where such laws protected assailants, Massachusetts may try to join the trend with its own “stand your ground” legislation.

According to the Wellesley Patch,

State Sen. Stephen M. Brewer, D-Barre, proposed a stand your ground gun, self-defense law.

The law, which was passed in 2005 in Florida and is also in 21 other states, “would allow for all civil and criminal liability from people who use deadly force against their attackers in public, and it frees them from having to first try to escape the situation,” according to the Boston Herald.

“This bill was proposed four months ago by Brewer, before the attack on Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old boy who was allegedly shot and killed by George Zimmerman, who was part of a neighborhood watch and claims he shot Martin in self defense.

The Patch’s Web poll on the subject has 354 respondents currently, 87% in favor of enacting such legislation, 11% opposed to it. I don’t understand where this suburban fervor for legalizing vigilante justice comes from.

Governor Patrick has said he will veto any such bill, but let’s not allow it to get even that far. I hope Will goes on record as being against any measure that enables citizens to use deadly force on the streets without fear of consequences.

A WAPO article describes how the Martin case is putting the brakes on similar legislation in various states, including ours. It says that the laws are being pushed by the NRA (natch) and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC, motto “Sabotaging American democracy one draconian state law after another”). Let’s stop this nonsense and send the NRA back to the firing ranges where they belong. And no Mass state legislator should take any of ALEC’s model legislation seriously. That’s where we should stand our ground.


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    Will Brownsberger
    State Senator
    2d Suffolk and Middlesex District