NRA Can’t Stand “Stand Your Ground”

The National Rifle Association’s silence on the Trayvon Martin shooting has been deafening, but predictable. The gun rights org didn’t want to draw fire from the media-fueled mob who considered the killing a racially motivated crime. So, just like Mr. Zimmerman, the NRA STFU. This despite the fact that the homicide triggered ill-informed and misleading calls for repeal of “Stand Your Ground” laws. The Martin homicide occurred on February 26, 2012. Yesterday (May 4), the NRA finally released a statement defending Stand Your Ground laws. Only the NRA calls them “Self-Defense Laws.” This from the group that condemns the term “assault rifle.” Make the jump for the NRA’s weasel words . . .

Statement from NRA on Self-Defense Laws

The National Rifle Association always has, and always will, advocate the passage and preservation of self-defense laws.  The alternative leaves the innocent in danger.

The vast majority of states do not impose a “duty to retreat” and most Americans support laws that clarify that Common Law, common-sense right.  It empowers lawful people to defend themselves, and deters would-be murderers, rapists and robbers.

It’s a natural right:  No law “gives” it or can take it away.  It’s yours.  It works.  And its only alternative– the idea that distant, disinterested third parties can dictate after the fact that “you must retreat”–will never be accepted by the American people.

For these reasons, NRA will work to protect self-defense laws on the books, and advocate for their passage in those states that do not fully respect this fundamental right

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

63 Responses to NRA Can’t Stand “Stand Your Ground”

  1. avatarmikeb says:

    Whenever the stfu thing comes up, you can be sure we’re dealing with moral criminals.

    • avatargej88 says:

      Are you saying that self defense should be against the law like pre-2006 Italy?
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4645228.stm

      • No, I’m saying when the STFU defense is employed you can bet there’s a shady character or a shady organization involved.

        Wasn’t that clear from my first comment?

        • avatarNate says:

          So you feel anyone utilizing the 5th Amendment is either a shady individual or organization?

        • avatarmikeb says:

          No i don’t think that. But i do think your gravatar is a secret swastica

        • avatarParthenon says:

          shady character or a shady organization involved.

          you mean US law enforcement?

        • avatarGS650G says:

          Boy, Mike is good at taking his opinions and pawning them as facts.

        • avatarDubya Bee says:

          Mike – there you go again – all Joe McCarthy on us.

          How dare you assume that exercise of our American freedoms equates to criminality?

          You are indeed a petty tyrant.

    • avatarCarlosT says:

      And the Founding Fathers loved to protect “moral criminals”, so that’s why they created the Fifth Amendment.

    • avatarSilver says:

      Maybe if the world wasn’t filled with morally bankrupt, soft-minded wannabe tyrants, people wouldn’t have to STFU about their opinions to protect themselves from easily-led fools and corrupt political systems.

      • I’m a gun-control advocate. How do you get “wannabe tyrant” from that?

        • avatarMatt in FL says:

          I believe the terms are synonymous.

        • avatarSilver says:

          Exactly.

          Substitute any other Constitutionally-recognized right for “gun” and there you go. And then look at history’s greatest gun control advocates, proudly heading such utopias as the former USSR and North Korea.

        • avatarJOE MATAFOME says:

          TYRANT=GUN CONTROL ADVOCATE

        • “I’m a gun-control advocate. ”

          Please put this sticker on the rear bumper of your car.

          http://i.imgur.com/yrtg8.gif

        • avatarDubya Bee says:

          You want to take away our rights – both our 2nd amendment (remember, all 9 of the justices in Heller agreed it is an individual right), and our 5th amendment rights.

          A common definition of a tyrant is one who takes away the rights of a people. That’s what you’re advocating.

        • avatarJake says:

          You wish to control others without their consent.

    • avatarC. Walther says:

      “Whenever the stfu thing comes up, you can be sure we’re dealing with moral criminals.”

      I believe the word you’re looking for is District Attorneys. Seriously though, even if there’s only the thinnest case against a person (and this is in general; the issue goes far beyond DGUs), DAs can take that person to court, which is almost as punishing as a jail sentence, with no fear of blowback or reprisal if they lose. I have a feeling that if it wasn’t for that situation,

      A) people might not STFU as much
      B) our system wouldn’t be as messed up as it is

      I guess what I’m trying to say is STFU isn’t an issue of moral criminality—it’s a matter of trying to survive in the system that’s currently there.

      • avatarmikeb says:

        Dubya, i want only what scalis said is ok-reasonable restrictions. Only an extremist like you cslls that tyranny. Good news is you have lots of company arounf here.

        • avatarMoonshine7102 says:

          “A Bill of Rights that means what the majority wants it to mean is worthless.” — Justice Antonin Scalia

        • avatarDan says:

          Right, we’re all ok with reasonable restrictions. The problem is that what you think is reasonable, what I think is reasonable, and what everyone else here thinks is reasonable are all different. I think it’s reasonable to limit the ownership of firearms to those who have shown no history of violent crime (innocent until proven guilty and all that). You think it’s reasonable to limit the type of firearms law abiding citizens can own under the theory that most people are “secret criminals.” What’s reasonable? How about the side with the evidence that shows that liberalized gun laws correlate strongly with reduced violent crime and reduced property crime. How about the side with the founding fathers backing it? How about the side who’s not interested in telling law abiding citizens what they can and cannot own?

        • Please if you’re gonna put words in my mouth, try to be a little
          more slick about it. “You think it’s reasonable to limit the type
          of firearms law abiding citizens can own under the theory that most
          people are “secret criminals.”” I’ve never said most FLAME DELETED

        • avatarDan says:

          Mike, maybe you forgot that you’ve got a manifesto available on this site. http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2012/04/mikeb30200/theres-at-least-one-gun-control-law-i-can-do-without/ Maybe not most, but wanting draconian new gun control based on “some” “a few” or “one” “secret criminal” is even worse than “most.” Regardless, this is tangential to my point that “reasonable restrictions” is a meaningless term because it can mean anything to anyone.

  2. avatarKYgunner says:

    The cartoon above makes me sick. It shows how twisted the media wants the story to be in the public eye. Trayvon didn’t get shot because he had a f^cking bag of skittles and a hoodie. He was shot as he assaulted Zimmerman with potentially deadly force. The word bubble should say “He’s bashing my head in. I’m protecting myself.”

    • You weren’t there, and the fact is many supposedly legitimate DGUs are not defensive at all.

      • avatarC. Walther says:

        I have a feeling a lot of the people in those DGUs would echo your first sentiment: you weren’t there.

      • avatar"Dr."Dave says:

        You weren’t there, either, and neither were you there for any of the DGUs that you claim were not defensive. So, yeah, about that whole STFU thing…

      • avatarMatt Gregg says:

        Got any references to back up your “facts”?

      • avatarJOE MATAFOME says:

        “You weren’t there, and the fact is many supposedly legitimate DGUs are not defensive at all.” The FACT is that you weren’t at any of these defensive DGUs and you don’t have a clue as to what happened and that’s a FACT.

      • avatarJake says:

        good lord he has hit warp ten he is in ten million places at once sees all knows all

      • avatarDan says:

        Got some evidence to support your “fact”?

        • Well, there right there before your eyes. Read the news, man. Remember the Oklahoma Pharmacist? He was a notable case, and not a singular example either.

          All it takes is a tiny bit of honesty to recognize the fact that there have been others who’ve gotten away with it. But, by refusing to accept it and demanding proof which you know, by the very nature of the situation does not exist, you’re the one putting your child-like fingers in your ears and refusing to listen.

        • avatarDan says:

          Congratulations, you have found an Anecdote. It’s almost like evidence, but not quite. It’s a good start, though, so Bravo.

          So, you said many were like that. Do you have any studies that present any data supporting that? I’ve been citing primarily peer reviewed academic studies, government studies, and the occasional Supreme Court Decision. I’ve never cited an anecdote and claimed it as evidence.

          Anyway, if you believe that the Police can’t figure out a bad shooting without a video of the event, how do murder prosecutions (with no claim of self defense*) work? Do they use a dowsing rod? Do they ask the dead guy? Because your contention is that without a second eyewitness, “many” murderers get off scott free *after* admitting to killing someone.** Per my footnote, looks like there are about 6 convictions for every 7 murders, so that “many” looks a little off.

          Finally, is there any *possible* evidence that I can present that will change your mind about gun control? You keep avoiding that question. What’s up with that?

          *claiming self defense requires the defendant to admit to killing someone (something that most criminals like to avoid)
          ** Combining 2 Bureau of Justice Statistics studies, I get 6 murder convictions/100,000 population, and about 7 murders/100,000 population in 1995. While this isn’t a great method of getting precise information on the national murder solve rate, and it’s not enormously timely, it’s close enough for this debate.
          http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/html/cjusew96/cpp.cfm
          http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/htus8008.pdf
          If you’re unwilling to accept the Bureau of Justice as a respected source, please define a respected source for me.

    • avatarJoe Grine says:

      “He was shot as he assaulted Zimmerman with potentially deadly force.”

      Perhaps I missed something… Where did you get this information from? Or are you just jumping to conclusions?

      IMHO, none of you out in internetland know what happened in that case, and neither do I. The media is spinning this case like a top so you really can’t trust anything you read. Truth is, there are probably only two people who really know what happened, and one of them is dead… and the other is not talking.

      • avatarDubya Bee says:

        The information, when one considers both the MSM and the blogosphere reporting of the uncomfortable (to the MSM) facts from the police reports, indicates that Zimmerman broke contact with Martin for 93 seconds, as recorded by 911 system. He then returned to his truck and was confronted by Martin, after which he ended up on his back with Martin bashing his head on the concrete. That can certainly be considered deadly force.

        You are indeed missing something. Try to keep up with the class.

        This is all from police reports and evidence – Zimmerman’s back being wet, his head bleeding from a couple large splits in his skin, his nose bleeding and reportedly broken. Honestly, what are your sources of information? CNN? MSNBC? Try to broaden your world.

    • avatarbruce says:

      And you know Zimmerman was getting assaulted how? Because he said
      so? Uh-huh….

  3. avatarthe last Marine out says:

    Note to all Florida gun owners, they now have a safety group , govern, people and the black church pastor to see about changing our bad stand your ground laws , NO one , And i said NO gun rights groups , non from Florida is in this group to take the side of stand your ground, I have wrote Gover. Rick Scott and everyone else i can get a address on ,, WAKE UP gun owners, speak up now or lose your rights FOREVER , all of them…

    • avatarLT says:

      I certainly will be speaking out if there’s a meeting of the “special group” to address this near me… but I think Governor Scott will be giving this a fair look.

      I’m absolutely pro-SYG and pro other gun rights I have as a Floridian/CWFL holder but even I thought the whole “giving SYG a second look” after this incident wasn’t such a bad thing – it was an issue with national implications and, as recent articles here have shown (the DGUOTD award for a woman this week, actually), there’s some ambiguity as to how this law should really be implemented. Clearing everything up isn’t so bad as long as we keep the reality of things in sight.

      That said, Florida Carry (an excellent organization) and the NRA have come out in support of SYG and I believe we’ve got a good chance of keeping it as-is.

  4. avatar101abn says:

    I’ll wait till the trial comes out………

  5. avatarSilver says:

    Projection as usual; the drawer (I loathe to use the word “artist” here) is either afraid of what he would do in a split second self-defense scenario, or is subconsciously certain that he’s a violent person who can’t be trusted with the responsibilities of self defense. Antis per usual.

    Or, equally likely, he’s stoking the flames of the stupid sheep to get pageviews or sell rags.

  6. avatarasia331 says:

    “It’s a natural right: No law “gives” it or can take it away. It’s yours. It works. And its only alternative– the idea that distant, disinterested third parties can dictate after the fact that “you must retreat”–will never be accepted by the American people.”

    So what’s the weasel part sir?

    • avatarRobert Farago says:

      The fact that they abandoned the term “Stand Your Ground.”

      • avatarJacob says:

        I don’t see what you’re getting your back up about here. It’s actually better that the NRA didn’t insert itself into the Trayvon Martin controversy, and their statement defends the underlying principles of ‘stand your ground’.

        Perhaps they recognize that Zimmerman’s defense doesn’t actually rest on SYG and so saw the opportunity to promote the legitimacy of self defense w/o further propagating the lie that this is a SYG case.

        • avatarJake says:

          +10 right here. If a law is inapplicable in a situation then thatsituation cannot be used to undermine the protections that law offers to those law abiding citizens it actually covers. A thug breaking into a person’s house thought he had the right to shoot first in self defense because he was afraid the homeowner would shoot him for pete’s sake, still can’t understand it while in jail for the act. Does his belief undermine the value of SYG laws? No, because they had NOTHING TO DO WITH HIM.

  7. avatarSteve says:

    Maybe because “stand your ground ” is misnomer in the first place? Who created the phrase? The media? The anti’s? The left? Maybe IT IS a tag that needs to be tossed into the bin. It’s certainly a bad descriptor at best. It’s simply the flavor of the month sort of like “gun show loophole” or “Saturday night special”. Or the ever popular “assault weapon”. Ever think of that?

    Is it waffling doublespeak, or a proper and skillful attempt to re-frame the argument?

    I think it’s the latter.

    • avatarMatt in FL says:

      Unlike gun show loophole, assault weapon, and the like, Stand Your Ground is a term taken directly from (many of) the laws in question. For example:

      FL Stat § 776.013(3) A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony. (Emphasis mine)

      • avatarSteve says:

        Taken from….. BY WHO? And for what reason?

        Why could it not be the “no duty to retreat” law?

        Because critics don’t want it to have anything but the most aggressive sounding catch phrase. Why play that game?

        • avatarRobert Farago says:

          What’s wrong with Stand Your Ground?

        • avatarSteve says:

          Because it’s a vast over-simplification of what the law is and does. And mainly what the law in question does is protect the the person found to be justified in using lethal force of having their life ruined by the system in the process of making that determination. GZ notwithstanding. If race wasn’t involved, it would be a non issue.

          A previous poster was correct in that you have a common law right of self defense regardless, and the even in “duty to retreat” states, such a “duty” is not all encompassing and seldom applicable. The Florida law in particular simply clarifies and underlines that common law right.

          The phrase “stand your ground” is being used by the anti’s as a pejorative, one used to mislead as to the facts of the law, and we should outright refuse to play that game. Instead of bandying a new politically and emotionally charged phrase, we should remain focused on pointing out the facts of what the law does and does not do, and why we need enhanced self defense laws that protect individuals who justifiably use lethal force.

        • avatarJJ Swiontek says:

          Steve, it’s “by whom?” :)

  8. avatarJoseph says:

    Read “1984″……answers all the above questions.

  9. avatar"Dr."Dave says:

    Just a quick note, good on anyone who rejects the term “Assault rifle”. It is a technical term that is applied almost religiously to firearms that do not fit the description.

    • avatartdiinva says:

      Just because it’s Saturday night it’s time for a non sequitor …

      An Assault Rifle (Sturmgewhr) is a select fire infantry long gun chambered for a shortened rifle cartridge, i.e., it’s a carbine. The M-2 carbine is the closest weapon to a true assault rifle that the US military has ever fielded. Neither the M-14 nor the M-16 are an true assault rifles. The M-14 is a battle rifle (Kampfgewhr) while the M-16 is just a small bore rifle. The M-4 is short barreled M-16 and not a true carbine because it used the same cartridge size as the M-16.

      Bottom line: If it’s not a carbine and not select fire it isn’t an assault rifle.

    • avatarmikeb says:

      Agreed. Plus the descriptions are often lacking

  10. avatargemalo says:

    That cartoonist, Jeff Parker, and the liberal rag Florida Today, that he works for, are P’sOS and their 100% anti-gun stance is a good part of the reason I stopped getting that paper.

  11. avatarMark says:

    NRA is to gun owners what AARP is to seniors.
    Send your money to GOA, SAF, CCRKBA, JPFO instead.

    • avatarDubya Bee says:

      That’s pushing a metaphor to the point of slander.

      Please compare and contrast the accomplishments of NRA vs. the others.

      • avatarCarlosT says:

        SAF backed Gura, who won Heller and McDonald. That’s pretty damn significant, if you ask me.

  12. NRA the 800 lbs self castrated gorilla in the room. While yes I am a life member of the NRA it seems to me they only get into a situation unless they feel they can get some good press and new members out of it. They need o be out in front of all gun owners in trouble no matter what the “crowd” (drive by media) is going to say. I will not mention other groups that do here, however the NRA just needs,,,,,,,

    • avatarSteve says:

      Well, whenever anti’s talk about their woes, NRA is at the top of the list. They talk about the NRA’s membership numbers. They talk about the strength of the NRA’s lobby.

      They fear the NRA. Good.

      Fighting gun control isn’t a zero sum game, or a competition. GOA, SAF, CCRKBA, JPFO are all great outfits, but dismissing the NRA is to dismiss a great weapon in the fight.

      Each has it’s own specialty. NRA’s seems to be keeping congresscritters on edge. SAF and CCRKBA do well at trial. GOA does well in PR. And JFPO does well at pointing out the bigoted history of gun control and the historical results of same.

      If there is a necessity to question any group right now, start talking to the NSSF.

  13. avatarTom says:

    And its only alternative– the idea that distant, disinterested third parties can dictate after the fact that “you must retreat”–will never be accepted by the American people.
    Duty to Retreat is a Monday Morning Quarterbacking loophole to hose those who wer in a DGU.
    Retreats turn into routes.

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