Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Standing on Dangerous Ground

Today marks a tragic anniversary. Today marks the second anniversary of the untimely death of Trayvon Martin. Two years ago, George Zimmerman decided to try, convict, and execute Martin for the "crime" of walking outside while black... And Zimmerman then literally got away with murder.

He was able to do so thanks to Florida's "Stand Your Ground" statute. This statute came into being thanks to the aggressive lobbying of the NRA, the (rest of the) gun industry, and their shady "TEA Party, Inc." allies. And they've managed to spread "Stand Your Ground" beyond Florida.

Believe it or not, even Nevada has a somewhat milder version of "Stand Your Ground" on the books thanks to the stranglehold the NRA and its "TEA" powered allies have over Carson City. Just like the "license to discriminate" legislative franchise, "Stand Your Ground" was cooked up in the back rooms of "TEA Party, Inc.", then quickly exported across the nation.

Yet unlike the "license to discriminate" bills sweeping across the nation, the "Stand Your Ground" bills have already been becoming law. And they've already been claiming lives. We're now quite familiar with the horrifying death of Trayvon Martin. More recently, we've witnessed the aftermath of Jordan Davis' untimely passing. And just last month, we learned about the slaying of Chad Oulson... Over texts to his 3 year old daughter's babysitter before a movie. All of these deaths were untimely and unnecessary, yet they all occurred because the respective perpetrators claimed "Stand Your Ground" as a legal defense.

Sadly, this is what happens when we allow a handful of well heeled corporate interests to hijack our legislative system and turn it into their own policy laboratory. We're now uncovering the dangerous consequences of this practice. And as long as the likes of the NRA, ALEC, & other shadowy "TEA" fueled groups continue to call the shots in the halls of power, we will only see more lives lost over this nonsense.

When Florida legislators got the ball rolling on "Stand Your Ground", they thought they were just "helping those who are trying to defend themselves". We're sure Nevada legislators felt the same way when they passed the Nevada version of "Stand Your Ground". What they failed to realize is that they didn't actually do that. Rather, they opened a "Pandora's Box" full of danger. It remains to be seen how many more lives must be lost before we can retreat from this dangerous ground we stand on.

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