Eric Holder has a sliver of a point in his pandering rant ("prant"?) about the Zimmerman case and "Stand Your Ground":
Separate and apart from the case that has drawn the nation’s attention, it’s time to question laws that senselessly expand the concept of self-defense and sow dangerous conflict in our neighborhood,” Holder said to applause in his speech before the NAACP Tuesday.
“These laws try to fix something that was never broken. There has always been a legal defense for using deadly force if — and the ‘if’ is important — if no safe retreat is available. But we must examine laws that take this further by eliminating the common-sense and age-old requirement that people who feel threatened have a duty to retreat, outside their home, if they can do so safely. By allowing and perhaps encouraging violent situations to escalate in public, such laws undermine public safety,” Holder said.
Stand Your Ground was not invoked by the Zimmerman defense team because a person flat on his back getting punched in the face has no reasonable means of retreat.
The sliver of a point made by Holder is that prior to being assaulted, Zimmerman might have felt that he could safely remain outside his car in his own neighborhood, protected by his wits and his gun (not to mention the imminent arrival of the police).
Had Florida law mirrored New York and included a duty to retreat, Zimmerman might have understood that if he felt at all threatened in his own neighborhood then he had no legal right to defend himself with lethal force and needed to withdraw. So one might argue that it was the Stand Your Ground law that gave Zimmerman the confidence to wait outside his car, rather than inside it.
AG Holder apparently believes that pre-emptive surrender to the threat of violence enhances public safety. So if some seeming punks (I apologize for using what we have just learned is a racially charged word) are hanging around the local playground, well, the stalwart citizens had better simply leave, perhaps after a quick, useless call to 911.
Oddly, the NY Times just ran a piece explaining how stalwart citizens can greatly assist the local police in their efforts to reclaim neighborhoods:
Near Spring Creek, East Brooklyn Congregations, a neighborhood alliance, has built fine rows of prefabricated town houses that would not look out of place in a trendy Berlin neighborhood. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority agreed to run a new express bus from here to the No. 3 subway line in East New York. There are new schools, supermarkets, parks, apartment buildings.
Michael Gecan of E.B.C. has organized here for decades. He is not inclined to discount the police. They helped to reclaim these streets, opened the door for the civic change that has transformed a city.
Neither, however, is he inclined to discount his own members, the pastors, teachers, nurses, transit workers and small-business owners who, at great risk to themselves, worked with the police to identify drug dealers and gangbangers and so reclaim this territory.
“Good reinforces good reinforces good,” he says. “We’re approaching that exalted state known as normal.”
This happened in New York, with its strict gun laws that disarm the law-abiding and its duty to retreat which applies to the law-abiding. Federalism! (As emphasized by NK).
ERRATA: No mention of lead in the Times piece - the Cone of Silence remains lowered.