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
- Arsenault boyfriend's expenses billed to diocese - 0
- Bow police officer continues trek up Mount Everest - 0
- Latest Groton wind farm fight: Snow plowing - 5
- AG to appeal ruling reinstating County Attorney Jim Reams - 3
- Supreme Court: Liquor Commission, trial judge did not follow right-to-know law - 1
- Judge reinstates suspended Rockingham County attorney - 4
- Former Manchester school chief Tom Brennan dies a year after he retired - 6
- Speedway, NH casino called a natural fit, track's GM says - 8
- Federal data shows which doctors reap Medicare millions - 3
READER COMMENTS: 0
- UNH library halts book disposal after complaints - 0
- Tom Herzig's Trackside: Valenti Modified race was top shelf - 0
- Manchester school official points to 7 weapons cases not brought to conduct committee - 0
- Edie Loeb Tomasko dies, leaves UpReach Therapeutic Riding Center legacy - 0
- Witt named UNH women’s hockey coach - 0
- Ian Clark's High School Lacrosse: Bedford boys remains focused on third title - 0
- Fisher Cats steal home, beat New Britain - 0
- Executive Council vote: Centralized immunization registry becoming a reality - 0
- Littleton music store still playing the right notes - 0
New Hampshire Club Notes
Younger of two brothers convicted of murdering parents quietly released after 18 years in prison