Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Stand your ground is on faulty footing

I've long felt that the "Stand Your Ground" legislation passed in 25 states is on faulty footing. This law defends people who shoot others they feel are dangerous to them. Hence, they're justified in ending the life of another if that person is perceived as threatening.

Jim Wallis, the editor of Sojourners magazine has written an article "Stand your ground has no moral ground". He notes that such a law is based on fear, rather than the common good, and justifies taking life, while codifying fear.  Mr. Wallis believes that such a law supports racism and may often lead to wrongful deaths.  He concluded...

Two boys — among others — have been killed and their families ripped apart by gun violence. The law that is meant to protect fails them. Not only do Stand Your Ground laws institutionally legitimize racism by mostly white men carried out against mostly black men, instead of reconciliation and peace, gun violence and racial fears are allowed to win the day. Where just laws were meant to preserve the common good, unjust laws like Stand Your Ground excuse us from living out our best values. It is time to make that clear from our pulpits, starting in Florida.

Editor's note, I wrote about the phenomenon of "Stand Your Ground Squirrels" in an earlier blog. 

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