Sunday July 21, 2013
The ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law, Starring Yellowbelly
Opponents of Florida's “Stand Your Ground” law are attacking the wrong aspect of the law.
Here's an Op-Ed in the New York Times:
Police officers are trained to de-escalate highly charged encounters with aggressive people, using deadly force as a last resort. Citizens, on the other hand, may act from emotion and perceived threats. But “stand your ground” gives citizens the right to use force in public if they feel threatened.
Proponents named it well. “Stand Your Ground” plays upon Western lore and Hollywood mythmaking. It recalls John Wayne and Clint Eastwood, tough men who stood their ground and won the day. This is how the laws' proponents want to see themselves. You get nowhere attacking that.
You should attack the “feel threatened” part. I mean, who doesn't feel threatened? We all do. I do every day. What does that mean? If I were in Florida, could I shoot whoever threatened me? Who I perceived as a threat? Is Yellowbelly, a John Candy character from SCTV, the ultimate proponent of “Stand Your Ground” laws?