“Mr. Holder's comments rankled gun-rights groups and other supporters of [Stand Your Ground] laws.... Erich Pratt, spokesman for the Gun Owners of America, said the attorney general ‘wants to take us back to the days where those who are under attack are forced to retreat.’” -- Wall Street Journal, July 16, 2013
It was a good week for gun owners in many respects.
First, unless you were living in a cave the past few days, you have surely heard about the acquittal of George Zimmerman in Florida.
While this was certainly a tragic case, the jury followed the law and acquitted Zimmerman of second degree murder -- in the case which has now become internationally famous.
Predictably, the Obama administration is using this case to demonize gun owners and attack Stand Your Ground laws around the country -- laws which remove a person’s duty to retreat prior to using deadly force when facing “death or great bodily harm.”
GOA has fought to get these laws enacted in the past, and we will continue lobbying to keep them from being weakened or watered down.
As an aside, the Zimmerman defense team NEVER invoked “Stand Your Ground” as a defense. So all these attacks on Florida’s SYG law are simply disingenuous attempts to use a manufactured “crisis” to advance their left-wing agenda.
Nevertheless, Attorney General Eric Holder announced this week that he wants us to return to the dangerous doctrine that requires citizens to retreat before they can protect themselves.
This thinking comes from the same school of thought where college students in Colorado were recently told they must urinate or vomit on themselves to prevent rapists from attacking them.
In other words, people should think of every way possible to NOT use force in protecting themselves. Never mind that George Zimmerman couldn’t retreat because Trayvon Martin had him pinned down while beating his head into the cement.
GOA has called on Eric Holder to issue an apology to George Zimmerman and his family. The Justice Department used taxpayer dollars last year to organize protests against George Zimmerman -- long before the trial ever occurred.
“We are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, and Lady Justice is supposed to be blind," GOA’s Erich Pratt was quoted as saying in the Wall Street Journal.
Yes, justice is SUPPOSED to be blind. Sadly, the DOJ had its hand on the scales long before the Zimmerman trial even started.
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Senate victory preserves Gun Owners’ ability to defeat anti-gun judges
Gun Owners achieved another victory this week and can report that our ability to filibuster anti-gun Supreme Court Justices -- and preserve the Supreme Court’s Heller decision -- remains intact.
Granted, this victory has come at a price, and many conservatives in Washington are saying that Senate Republicans “caved” in their dealings with Senator Harry Reid.
While there may be truth to that assertion, the facts are this:
* The time-honored right of Senators to filibuster has come under increasing attack, especially since pro-gun forces have used the Senate filibuster to defeat anti-gun judges (like Caitlin Halligan) and anti-gun legislation (like the Toomey-Manchin registration amendment).
* GOA worked with pro-gun Senators in January to beat back attempts by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to blow-up the filibuster rules, via the so-called “nuclear option.”
* Recently, Senator Harry Reid engaged in another all-out assault on the filibuster, but he settled for an agreement where certain appointments would get confirmed and others would be taken off the table -- but, most importantly, where the filibuster would remain untouched!
By reaching the deal, Republicans have averted a parliamentary precedent that would have allowed:
1) A swing anti-gun Supreme Court justice to be approved by a 50-vote (plus Biden) margin -- instead of garnering 60 votes;
2) A precedent that would allow gun control to be approved by 50 votes (plus Biden) margin -- instead of garnering 60 votes; and,
3) An anti-gun ATF Director by a 50-vote (plus Biden) margin -- instead of garnering 60 votes.
The downside is that Harry Reid has now demonstrated that he can get what he wants by threatening to use the “nuclear option” to blow up the Senate as an institution. We expect him to drag out this threat again and again and again.