The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Two Significant Articles on Repealing Stand Your Ground Laws

If you've read my blog before, you know I despise what I refer to as the "007 license to kill laws" in 26 states that allow people to gun down those they THINK might be a danger to themselves. This is vile and runs counter to everything I believe in. One of the powerful arguments countering this law was written as an open letter to Floridians by the pastor of Riverside Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., Pastor Michael Bledsoe. I'm proud of his efforts and the way he's standing up for his church's (and his own) cornerstone Christian belief that loving God and neighbor (your neighbor is everyone, by the way) has primacy. Baptists have a long and notable history for standing up for human rights ... a history that makes me proud to be an American Baptist. Take a look at the letter for yourself: http://riversidedc.org/dear-white-christians-of-florida-an-open-letter/

If that doesn't move you, try the column written by Jordan Davis's mom, who lost her 17 year old son (African American) to a white man with an itchy trigger finger and overactive imagination, Michael Dunn, in a gas station lot over loud music. She speaks eloquently, especially for a mom in grief. One powerful point she makes is that she believes culture had more to do with the tragic outcome of the argument than race. She states, "While I understand the racial significance of this discussion, I believe the blame lies with the culture that emboldened Dunn to pull a loaded gun from his glove compartment and a law that encourages unnecessary violence. Florida's 'stand your ground' is the reason my son is dead." See the whole article at: http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2014/02/20/stand-your-ground-michael-dunn-jordan-davis-column/5655819/

There are endless arguments being made on both sides of this issue. For me, these laws are obscene. They cater to our worst instincts and lead to horrendous tragedies that may never be taken back. Yes, we have problems with crime. Yes, people feel insecure. Yes, we need to have ways to counter crime and to counter those sick individuals with truly evil intent ... but, for me, this is not the way. This path is as sick and twisted as the problem it seeks to solve and that never works.

I'll not argue this point with anyone. I have neither the time nor the patience for it. I'll busy myself working with those who would see these twisted laws repealed. I hope I'm on the right side of history with this one and I'm willing to take the chance I'm not and speak out. 

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