The Brady gun control operation (as they’re currently known; that name is subject to change without notice), is taking advantage of the death of Ahmaud Arbery to criticize a law that protects Georgians’ self-defense rights and to further attack the right to keep and bear arms.
Yesterday they tweeted:
Ahmaud Arbery’s murderers may walk away free because of Georgia’s racist “Stand Your Ground” law.
Sign @CJACTIONFUND‘s petition and demand that your governor take action to dismantle this law in your state!
— Brady | United Against Gun Violence (@bradybuzz) May 13, 2020
That’s three lies in one brief tweet. As things look now, it seems highly unlikely that the McMichaels will walk free. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has taken the case away from the local good ol’ boy network and both men have been charged with murder. And the feds are considering charges as well.
Nor will a stand your ground (SYG) defense help them. Georgia Code § 16-3-21(b) does not allow a SYG claim when the shooter initiated the encounter. The McMichaels blocked the road (see video here), and Travis McMichael, holding a shotgun, attempted to stop Arbery. Arbery then tried to avoid Travis by going around the other side of the truck and Travis again intercepted Arbery.
Note that neither the McMichaels or their attorney have invoked a SYG defense, and the video makes it unlikely that a judge would allow if they do in the future. But that hasn’t stopped Brady from claiming the law will spring Arbery’s killers.
Further, the stand your ground law is not racist. Not unless Brady believes that a black person isn’t capable of “reasonably believing that such a threat or force is necessary to defend himself or herself,” that they lack the mental capacity to do so. That would be racist.
Otherwise, the code as written in no way distinguishes between people on the basis of their color, sex, sexual orientation, religion marital status, or anything else other than which party is the criminal aggressor. The law is available as a defense to any honest person, regardless of race.
Or perhaps Brady thinks stand your ground is racist because blacks might be more likely to attack people, and thus be shot in self defense. If so, they might want to inspect their own beliefs, and why they hold them.
Some might hold that SYG can still apply in the McMichael case because Arbery effectively initiated the encounter by “burglarizing” an under-construction house and the McMichaels were lawfully attempting a “citizen’s arrest.” (That is not just speculation on my part; Twitter twits have tried that argument on me.)
The problem with that is multi-part. While it appears that Mr. Arbery did enter the house, under § 16-7-21, entering an open structure and just looking around isn’t a crime. It would rise to misdemeanor trespass if he was told to leave and did not do so. But that didn’t happen…he left on his own.
§ 17-4-60, only allows a “citizen’s arrest” “if the [felony] offense is committed in his presence or within his immediate knowledge.” Even if you claim Arbery entering the building was attempted burglary (something the owner himself says it was not), the McMichaels didn’t see that. Gregory McMichael only reported seeing “a black man running down the street.” The 911 call reporting someone in the house came from a different person not involved in the pursuit.
Ahmaud Arbery did not “initiate” the encounter by committing a crime that day. The McMichaels chose to initiate it and therefore do not have SYG immunity.
And the McMichaels weren’t attempting a “citizen’s arrest.” They never claimed that they were. That excuse was invented in April by Waycross DA George Barnhill as he recused himself from the case.
So to sum up the assertions in Brady’s purposefully incendiary the McMichaels likely won’t walk free, the stand your ground law doesn’t apply, and it isn’t in any way racist.
“…henceforth no negroes or Indians, although servants to the English, shall be armed or pmitted to trayne…”
The “Jim Crow” laws of the Democrat-led Southern states were just as racist, targeting blacks.
So if Brady is concerned with racist laws, they should direct their outrage at gun control restrictions.