The winds of political change are blowing strongly in the direction of gun safety. The NH House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee voted 12 – 6 to recommend (HB 135) to the full House the repeal of the infamous Stand Your Ground law. This law allows people to use deadly force to defend themselves [...]
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“It is not looking good for maintaining our right to self-defense, anywhere we have a right to be, here in NH. The proponents of HB 135 are making headway. The vote in the House Criminal Justice Committee is expected soon; we think the vote will be close, most likely OTP (ought-to-pass). … If HB 135 passes the House we are doubtful we can stop it in the Senate.”
NPR reports researchers who have studied the impact of “stand your ground” laws have determined states with “stand your ground” laws have a higher homicide rate than states without the laws.
Texas A&M University economist Mark Hoekstra’s study of crime data from 2000-2010 found that homicides went up by 7% to 9% in states that enacted “stand your ground” legislation relative to those that did not. Hoekstra found no evidence that the laws reduced crime by creating a deterrence for criminals.
To explain the increase in the homicide rate, Hoekstra did not find a corresponding rise in self-defense killings nor an increase in criminals using lethal force. Hoekstra concluded “stand your ground” laws lead to an escalation of violence in otherwise nonviolent situations.
[B]ased on the available data, it appears that crafters of these laws sought to give good guys more latitude to defend themselves against bad guys. But what Hoekstra’s data suggest is that in real-life conflicts, both sides think of the other guy as the bad guy. Both believe the law gives them the right to shoot.
Stanford law professor John Donohue, who has been studying crime and violence for more than two decades, agrees. He says “stand your ground” has become a legal refuge for defendants:
“I’ve been hearing from defense lawyers around the country that if they happen to have a criminal defendant in a stand your ground jurisdiction, pretty much no matter what happens, you can say, ‘Well, I shot the guy, but I felt threatened and had a reasonable basis for fearing injury to myself,’ ” he said.
Criminals have a real hard time in public when we are armed and do not have to run. Rep Shurtleff wants us to run first. This will give the criminals a second chance. Those poor criminals this past year. How they worry who and who does not have a gun. Rep Shurtleff’s HB 135 bill will help them a lot. Maybe we should support his bill to help the criminals sleep a little better at night.
The Attitude with Arnie Arnesen WNHN 94.7FM 11-1pm Monday-Friday streaming live at nhnewsviewsblues.org (podcasts and RSS feeds available) Thursday's Attitude (8/23/2012) 11am: The morning puree….Hyper Local NewsDan Tuohy, Associate Regional Editor Patch.com (NH) 11:30am:2012 Study on stand your ground laws and the spike in homicides Professor Erdal Tekin Department [...]