Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
Looking at the spike in violence, Christian Science Monitor asks: “Who owns the streets?“
In Minnesota, it’s the criminals. Minnesota is a mandatory cowardice state. You cannot stand your ground to defend yourself. You have a legal duty to run away from criminals. They can roam wherever they want. You cannot.
The man quoted in the article isn’t worried about the lack of cops. He carries a gun for protection. Good for him. But he’s in Georgia, which is a stand-your-ground state. He can fight to protect himself on the street. Minnesotans cannot.
Yes, there is technically a loophole. You don’t have to retreat if you can’t do it safely. But guess what? In order to use that loophole, you first must admit you killed the person, then the burden is on You to convince the judge and jury that you were allowed to kill him because you could not retreat, it wasn’t safe. If they aren’t convinced, you’ve just pled guilty to murder.
Republicans tried to pass Stand Your Ground in Minnesota. Democrats blocked it.
I guess we know whose side they’re on.
Self defense reform – including the reforms commonly called “Stand Your Ground” – was passed by a bipartisan majority, but vetoed by Governor Flint Smith.
I know, I know, it was Dayton. Pffft.
And yes – it gives criminals an advantage on the street, and in court, where they are innocent until proven guilty, while citizens defending themselves effectively plead guilty and then hope their lawyer can overcome jury prejudice and the jury instructions from a judge who may have a less enlightened take in citizens’ rights but who has absolute power nonetheless.
The title is a reference to Jeff Snyder’s classic monograph “A Nation of Cowards“, by the way, a seminal article in the history of gun law reform from almost thirty years ago. It’s very germane. If you’ve never read it, do.