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Straight Shooters club meetings are held on the 3rd Thursday of each month. Meetings begin at 6:30pm at the Sea Breeze Recreation Center on Buena Vista Blvd. The next meeting will be Thursday, May 15th. The main topic for the meeting will be Colt Industries plus announcements, club news and activities. All Villagers are welcome to attend.
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The club offers a $10 discount from regular one year fees to join the NRA or renew your membership. The discount is now available online by clicking on the NRA logo below. For multi-year discounts, see the NRA Recruiter, Terry Marksberry at the next meeting.
St. Augustine Record
Editorial: Stand your ground isn't about race
Posted: March 12, 2014 - 12:03am
While Florida certainly has plenty of room to improve on issues of equality, the truth is that “equality” is a constantly moving target. Racial equality is probably a list-topper, but it is not alone. We need to do better on plenty of other issues of equality — gender, economic, and education come quickly to mind.
What we don’t need is manufactured inequality. And that seems to be what’s happening in Tallahassee, as Al Sharpton leads a march over the issue of the state’s stand your ground law.
Whether or not you agree with it, it is a law. And by the simple nature of deadly force being a key component of it, it is and will continue to be controversial.
But the march in Tallahassee is misleading in its message, and likely its intent. The family of Trayvon Martin is center stage there and we certainly feel for their loss.
But neither Trayvon Martin’s nor Jordan Davis’ deaths were caused by stand your ground. They were caused by a couple of idiots with or without racial prejudices.
The stand your ground defense wasn’t used in either high-profile case. Both were tried on simple self-defense. Agree with the verdict or not, but the outcome had nothing to do with the stand your ground law.
The Tampa Bay Times did a study two years ago of 200 stand your ground cases. The numbers are a little dated, but interesting. And it’s unlikely the trends noted have changed much in the interim. But, in a nutshell, the study found that:
■ People who killed a black person walked free 73 percent of the time and those who killed a white person went free 59 percent of the time.
■ Whites who invoked the stand your ground law were charged at the same rate as blacks.
■ Whites who went to trial were convicted at the same rates as blacks.
■ In mixed-race cases involving fatalities, the outcomes were similar. Four of the five blacks who killed a white went free. Five of the six whites who killed a black went free.
■ Overall, black defendants went free 66 percent of the time in fatal cases compared to 61 percent for white defendants.
Of note here is that the researchers believed that the number of walks were higher for blacks because they were more likely to kill another black person.
And they cautioned against drawing hard conclusions from the data because the cases were complicated and had some overlap.
But what the study does seem to show is that stand your ground benefits defendants a majority of the time and it matters little, if any, what color the shooter or the victim was.
Society may not yet be colorblind, but stand your ground seems to be.
It should not be a rallying point for racial grandstanding.
"I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians."
- George Mason
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"The Gun Is Civilization" by Major L. Caudill USMC (Ret.)
Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force.
If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force.
Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that's it.
In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion.
Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.
When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force.
You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force.
The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gang banger, and a single guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.
There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations.
These are the people who think that we'd be more civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a armed mugger to do his job.
That, of course, is only true if the mugger's potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiat--it has no validity when most of a mugger's potential marks are armed.
People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that's the exact opposite of a civilized society. A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.
Then there's the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury.
This argument is fallacious in several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser.
People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones don't constitute lethal force watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst.
The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, the field is level.
The gun is the only weapon that's as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weight lifter.
It simply wouldn't work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn't both lethal and easily employable.
When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force.
It removes force from the equation... and that's why carrying a gun is a civilized act.