This is my new Red State piece dealing with the attempts to repeal Stand Your Ground laws.
In the summer of 2008, 27-year-old Sergio Aguiar stood on the side of a busy country road in California and kicked his infant son to death. Multiple people stopped at the scene to watch the beating, which went on for some time, but did nothing more than call the police and wait. By the time police arrived and killed Aguiar, the infant was so badly disfigured by the savage attack he had to be identified with DNA testing. Some of the witnesses claimed they would have acted had they been armed, but no one seriously believes that because many were armed with tire irons, wheel locking devices, and all the other sundry makeshift weapons found in a car. No, the inaction of these people was not because they couldn’t do anything, but because they didn’t know what they could do. They were residents of a state where self-defense itself is suspect and acting on behalf of others when you yourself are not threatened is an invitation to legal prosecution.
Residents in many states and cities know that they are at the mercy of politically driven prosecutors and government officials anytime they act with force–even if they are justified. Thus, they are trained to not act unless they have no possible alternative to save their lives. We often comment on the callousness of bystanders who do nothing when crimes are being committed, but such apathy is a direct result of the leftist legal theory that people have a legal and moral responsibility to retreat from violence and crime before being “allowed” to act with force. Stand Your Ground laws are a small step toward providing rationality to civil society by recognizing your individual right to protect yourself and others as well as protecting citizens who end up in physical confrontations through acts of good faith.
People like hypocritical NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg and professional grievance monger Jesse Jackson are trying to sway public opinion against these laws and reenforce the notion that no matter what is going on you have a duty to retreat from the aggression of criminals.
But think that idea through.
People who did nothing while Sergio Aguiar kicked and stomped an infant to death reported that Aguiar threatened them and they retreated. They did what Bloomberg and Jackson wanted and a child died. For Mayor Bloomberg and Jesse Jackson, this is how civil society should work. If I’m up late, my wife is asleep, and someone kicks in the door, if I can get out the house without confrontation Bloomberg and his ilk want me to abandon my wife to a criminal’s tender mercies. Or if we can both escape, we are morally obligated to allow someone to destroy that which we worked hard to build, steal our hard earned wealth, and desecrate the sanctity of our home–because we have a “duty” to retreat.
Is that a civil society? Is society obligated to retreat from the Sergio Aguiars of the world and be culpable in the death of their victims? Do we really have a duty to spare criminals the repercussions of their criminality?
The left has always maintained just that. It is basic Marxist class conflict theory, taught in every major university under the guise of “sociology” and other so-called social sciences: criminals are the victims of your wealth, your prosperity, your morality, and your goodness. Your desire to protect your property, your family,or an innocent child on the street all conflict with the criminal’s desire to steal, rape, murder, and do evil. Thus, you have a duty to stand aside and allow the most degenerate among us free reign on our streets.
It comes as no surprise Bloomberg would push this view in light of not just his extreme anti-gun positions, but his tacit support for Occupy Wall Street. Bloomberg allowed occupants of a communist-organized encampment to terrorize NYC residents, shut down businesses, and assault and rape people. He only acted against them when public support for the movement amongst the rich liberal elite waned. The supposed Republican mayor implicitly supports that movement through his words, policies, and actions and his attack on stand your ground laws is another facet of that support. His vision of the limitations on your rights is designed to allow mob rule, to give any special interest group that can mobilize an unruly crowd the ability to force you to accept their random demands with threats of violence you cannot defend against and from which the state is unwilling to protect you.
How many lives will be lost when Bloomberg-enforced cowardice is perceived as weakness by these drug addled “revolutionaries” during the coming spring offensive? Criminals are like animals–their attacks are triggered by weakness and fear. Most people attacked by mountain lions are attacked from behind while jogging or riding a bike, which to the big cat looks the same as a prey animal fleeing. The perceived flight from the beast triggers the attack. In the same way, fleeing thugs or giving into them escalates their attacks on your person. Bloomberg and Jackson are advocating behavior that they know will trigger more vicious attacks by criminals, all for political purposes.
In states where there are strong legal protections for citizens defending themselves from threats of any type, OWS has done nowhere near the damage that has been done in places like NYC, Oakland, and other liberal bastions. Zuccotti Park occupiers invaded businesses and assaulted the people within. In Oakland they committed dozens of acts of violence. Occupy has caused tens of millions of dollars in damages that will never be replaced in Obama’s new economy. Bloomberg, Jackson, and their allies are trying to ensure these people can do more damage, that they have free reign to enter your business, your house, and even your personal space and do whatever they want while you are “duty bound” to surrender all you have–your goods, your pride and your dignity–to the neo-bolshevics they intend to put on the street.
And this is in addition to the common street thugs these people want to have absolute sovereignty over your streets, your homes, and ultimately your friends and family. Imagine the world viewed through Bloombergian lenses–you stumble upon a rape in a park and the rapist threatens you. You’re obligated to flee and if you don’t you must rely on the largess of civil servants to stay out of jail. You witness a man beating his wife and if you step in to stop the beating you may face a court date where you have to explain why you didn’t flee as the law requires when the wife beater attacked you. If home invaders kick in your door you should slink out the back while who knows what happens to anyone left in the house because they were too slow. That rape victims, abused wives, and victims of home invasions are routinely murdered can’t be your concern because Michael Bloomberg, Jesse Jackson, and every other thug-hugging social engineer who has a public platform will make sure you’re punished for not following your “duty to retreat” which is nothing more than mandatory cowardice.
Infants like Sergio Aguiar’s son are the price Bloomberg and Jackson are willing to pay for their liberal pretensions and civic power grabs.
A little more than a year after Sergio Aguiar killed his son, a 15-year-old California girl endured a two hour gang rape where she was so badly beaten she needed to be flown to a trauma center. It was widely reported that dozens of people witnessed the attack, but did worse than nothing. They laughed, took pictures, and recorded the attack on cell phones. Reporters were at a loss to explain how such a crime happened but are you? That attack is the end result of Bloomberg’s world view. When state empowers criminals by suppressing the natural rights of all citizens to ensure their own security, barbarity flourishes. For people like Bloomberg this works out well as the powerless citizenry must turn to politicians for safety, and the Jesse Jacksons of the world gain near godlike power by controlling mobs you can’t defend against.
But how does that work out for the rest of us?
Stand Your Ground laws save lives by disempowering criminals. We cannot allow the left to reverse our country’s course toward rational civic life and return us to the days of criminals running the streets.