In defense of gun rights, the National Rifle Association has jumped into the argument over Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black child who was killed in Florida.
Today, the NRA published a statement saying it will continue to support the “Stand Your Ground” self-defense laws that it has helped push through the legislatures of several states.
I was surprised that NRA would have an opinion on the Zimmerman case, since they typically stay out of individual cases. After looking around on their web site a bit, and not seeing anything, I contacted NRA’s Public Affairs Director, and asked if they had released a statement. Apparently no. There has been no statement. The article continues:
The NRA ought to be careful about adopting Zimmerman as its poster child for responsible gun ownership and usage. Responsible gun owners know the limits of their right to carry a weapon and are well aware that they cannot use deadly force indiscriminately, without reasonable, justifiable cause. Sane and upstanding gun owners also know they shouldn’t take their guns to go pick a fight then expect to use a self-defense law as protection.
That has certainly not been the case for NRA, and I don’t think it’s been the case for the gun owners NRA represents either. To sum up the general consensus of the gun blogosphere community, as far as I’ve been able to see, it would be the description of Zimmerman as a racist cop-wannabe mall ninja who’s mall ninjary and cop-wannabeism got a 17 year old needlessly killed.
But being that we gun folks tend to come to our activism out of a desire to see our Bill of Rights protected, we tend to like our governments restrained, and look more favorably on due process, and abstract concepts like innocent until proven guilty. We look less favorably on mob justice, trial by media, and suppression of individual rights due to public outcry. In short, don’t mistake a respect for the rule-of-law, of restrained government, and due-process for support of Zimmerman. Those are two separate things. We believe everyone in this country is entitled to presumption of innocence, regardless of color or creed, or how heinous the accusation. These are bedrock principles of American law, and it’s been real disheartening for me to see how readily they are disrespected by an angry public.
I should note that in conclusion, I’d like to think better of the Washington Times than to think they’d publish something that makes up facts like NRA support for Zimmerman, out of whole cloth. I thought they had higher journalistic standards than that.