Holder: Stand your ground has got to go
If Eric Holder didn't exist, someone would have to invent him.
As a fanatical anti-gun crusader, the attorney general's myopic view of "stand your ground" laws encapsulates everything that's illogical and unreasonable about gun control advocates.
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. strongly condemned "stand your ground" laws Tuesday, saying the measures "senselessly expand the concept of self-defense" and may encourage "violent situations to escalate."
The statutes, which have been enacted in more than 30 states, have become the focus of a complicated national debate over race, crime and culpability since the shooting of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old, by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Fla. The volunteer, George Zimmerman, was acquitted of murder charges Saturday.
Zimmerman's attorneys did not try to get the case dismissed based on Florida's stand-your-ground law, which says people who feel threatened can defend themselves with deadly force and are not legally required to flee. Still, the jury was instructed that as long as Zimmerman was not involved in an illegal activity and had a right to be where he was when the shooting occurred, "he had no duty to retreat and the right to stand his ground."
"These laws try to fix something that was never broken," Holder told cheering delegates of the annual convention of the NAACP, which is pressing him to file civil rights charges against Zimmerman. "The list of resulting tragedies is long and, unfortunately, has victimized too many who are innocent."
OK, Mr. General. Let's have that list of "resulting tragedies" from people defending themselves. You say it's a long one so why not publish it? Make your case - go ahead.
Holder is talking through his hat. There are no official statistics that show how many "innocents" are killed as a result of a stand your ground defense.
And, oh - by the way - about those who are "victimized" and who are innocent? How many innocent lives were saved by stand your ground laws?
As the Daily Caller reports, at least in Florida, blacks have been the beneficiary of stand your ground defense:
But approximately one third of Florida "Stand Your Ground" claims in fatal cases have been made by black defendants, and they have used the defense successfully 55 percent of the time, at the same rate as the population at large and at a higher rate than white defendants, according to a Daily Caller analysis of a database maintained by the Tampa Bay Times. Additionally, the majority of victims in Florida "Stand Your Ground" cases have been white.
African Americans used "Stand Your Ground" defenses at nearly twice the rate of their presence in the Florida population, which was listed at 16.6 percent in 2012.