Anti-gun groups target stand your ground lawsÂ in the wake of Zimmerman acquittal. This narrative was practically tailor made for them. Of course, it’s complete hogwash that this case hinged on Stand Your Ground at all, such that they have to reach for minor changes in jury instructions to have any case at all. But really, the truth doesn’t matter. The narrative was perfect.
What the gun control groups have achieved is raising the perception of cost for passing these laws, and in politics, perception matters a lot more than reality. Previously, these had been passed fairly easily and with wide margins. Why?
- It was an easy way to please a constituency perceieved as important.
- It materially did not alter self-defense laws all that much. Most cases don’t rise or fall on a duty to retreat.
- The civil immunities are hard to argue against.
- States that traditionally were SYG states historically, didn’t seem to have too much trouble prosecuting actual or attempted cases of murder and manslaughter.
- There was little downside, short of opposition from Attorneys General, who don’t like the idea of limiting their discretion and making it harder for them to win marginal cases.
Now every lawmakers will be wondering if their names will be all over the papers as having voted for the next Zimmerman acquittal. The media is happy to drive false narratives that hurt us, and the Zimmerman case was also gift wrapped for the Obama Administration and his re-election. The case may have been the perfect storm for the left and their media allies, but every lawmaker will be wondering if it could happen again. Despite the fact that it takes dishonesty, the anti-gun folks played this one well, and it will hurt us going forward.