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: 6
- Jury overrules panel, awards malpractice verdict in son's death - 21
- Judge continues case against Keene parking meter 'Robin Hoods' - 35
- Teen told no fish story: He's the official derby winner - 0
- Pembroke man's family stunned by his shooting by Manchester police - 0
- New Conway library director coming from Manchester - 0
- Updated: Old Epping cemetery disturbed - 0
- Naturalization ceremony welcomes 26 new Americans - 1
- Pinkerton students pause to remember Lt. Paul DeMeo - 1
- Merrimack student’s death called suicide - 0
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Nashua couple's deaths called suspicious - 0
- Camper fire leaves Bridgewater man severely burned - 0
- Woman rescued after Franklin accident, 50-foot plunge - 0
- UPDATED: Judge strikes down state education tax credit program, appeal expected - 1
- N.J. woman injured in Moultonborough motorcycle crash - 1
- UPDATED: Little agreement on Medicaid expansion or revenues - 1
- Powerful storm wreaks havoc in Portsmouth - 0
- Former Londonderry coach indicted in sex assault of two girls - 1
- Weather Service warns of severe thunderstorms in southern NH - 0
Big Moose RV moves to massive Route 16 lot
Traffic stops in spotlight
One era ends, another begins at Union Leader
A Medicaid reduction? That is not likely
Study recommends Millyard parking garage