At Large

Caring for Criminals

What's more notorious: Stand Your Ground laws, or the New York Times editorial board?

By 7.18.13

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In an editorial at the height of the Great Leftist Zimmerman Delusion and Spasm, the nation’s leading leftist newsletter claimed that the jury, which acquitted a diligent neighborhood-watch volunteer, “reached its verdict after having been asked to consider Mr. Zimmerman’s actions in light of the now-notorious Stand Your Ground provision in Florida’s self-defense law.”

Hives and Hemorrhoids! Did anyone at the New York Times pay the slightest attention to the Zimmerman proceedings beyond acting as a megaphone for every phantasm of the race-baiting racket? Stand Your Ground was never invoked in that trial, as the hapless crime-watcher was pinned to the ground before he successfully defended himself by shooting his attacker. It’s hard to Stand Your Ground when someone is pounding your head into a sidewalk. It would also have been difficult, were Stand Your Ground not part of Florida law, for anyone to flee under this melancholy circumstance. One would think this obvious enough even a NYT editorial writer could grasp it. But alas….

And by the way, Florida’s Stand Your Ground provision is only notorious among leftists, who have an exaggerated concern for the care, comfort, and convenience of criminals. For regular, walking-around Americanos, NYT editorials are far more notorious than Florida’s sensible attempt to give potential victims a (excuse the expression) fair shot in any brush with predators.

Attorney General Eric Holder kept this non-sequitur rolling Tuesday in a sermon in Orlando (just a few miles from the very sidewalk Zimmerman got his head pounded into) before the annual convention of the NAACP, a once noble organization that is now little more than an organ of the racial indignation industry. He attacked Florida’s Stand Your Ground law and similar laws in other states. His claim, which comes with as little evidence as Zimmerman’s prosecutors brought to court, is that these laws contribute to “more violence than they prevent.”

What a remarkable assertion. Let’s take an un-fevered look at Stand Your Ground, which simply relieves Floridians who are threatened with great bodily harm or death from attackers of the responsibility of trying to flee before defending themselves with deadly force. This sensible provision tilts the odds a bit in favor of victims over predators. Because the Stand Your Ground provision only applies when someone has been attacked and is in dangers of death or great bodily harm, how it could, as Holder asserts, “sow dangerous conflict in our neighborhoods,” is unclear.

But then Holder’s remarks are not about rationality. They’re not about any real concern for the victims of violent crime. They are cheap partisan remarks aimed at keeping the true believers titillated and firm in their delusion that they are being victimized by a white establishment made up of folks who are little more than closet ku kluxers. 

Why should violent criminals make honest men and women flee? Why should they set the rules of engagement on our streets, in our businesses, and in our homes? Why should there not be risk of serous harm or death for those who would rob, rape, assault, and murder? In every precinct on the globe where the non-directive counseling approach to crime has been practiced, crime has gotten more prevalent and more vicious. See the formerly peaceful UK, which now has about the same gun control laws as Cuba, and where citizens are now far more likely to be assaulted or robbed than in the U.S.

I’m not offering advice to Holder, Obama, and the party of government. They can ham it up all they want about the need for honest Americans to turn the field over to predators. But they should not be surprised when they find that a majority of American voters, weary of crime, criminals, and their enablers, are on the other side on this one. Keep it up Eric, and you can talk your party right out of power.

No surprise here if TAS readers find this related to the efforts Democrats have made over the years to have states automatically restore the voting rights of felons when they’re released from prison. It’s been shown by charts and graphs that of felons who vote, more vote for Democrats. Thus the urgency to get them into voting booths to help select the officials who make and administer the laws these guys have so much trouble abiding by. You can sort of understand the political calculation, and how Holder doesn’t wish to inconvenience villains so friendly to his party. But it is sort of astounding that Democrats evince no shame at all about one of their reliable voting blocs: criminals.      

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About the Author

Larry Thornberry is a writer in Tampa.