Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
NRA behind 'stand your ground' laws
Encourages use of deadly force
More shocking to me than the apparent facts of the tragic Trayvon Martin case is the role the National Rifle Association has played in pushing “stand your ground” laws. [“Major corporations drop ‘stand your ground’ group,” News, April 11.]
I’ll assume, for the sake of argument, that the NRA was originally an organization dedicated primarily to protecting (what many view to be) individuals’ constitutional right to own guns. While it’s not the Second Amendment I would spend my time defending, there are reasonable arguments that support both this constitutional interpretation and the desirability of policies allowing individual gun ownership.
What I find highly objectionable, however, is the NRA’s strident support of laws that often create a presumption that the killing of another human being is legally justifiable. What, exactly, do laws that significantly lessen the likelihood that a killer will be subject to legal process have to do with protecting the Second Amendment’s gun-ownership guarantees?
While I think that most policy debates have well-intentioned, reasonable people on both sides, these laws, and the NRA’s advocacy thereof, seem morally indefensible. By eliminating a person’s duty to retreat from a threatening situation (even, apparently, one that the killer created) these laws do no less than encourage deadly force as a first option.
— Matthew Viers, Seattle