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BY DI READERS | JULY 24, 2013 5:00 AM

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Re: Iowa has no use for ‘stand your ground’

Iowa would be smart in not getting a stand-your-ground law. Here in Florida, it has been a nightmare. We have had numerous cases of armed men killing unarmed men trying to fit it under stand-your-ground. In Daytona at a convenience store, a man didn’t like the loud music coming from the car next to him with some black teenagers in it and said something to them. As the car with the blacks in it was pulling out he fired several shots at the car, killing one person. He claimed he felt threatened and thought he saw a gun. No gun was found. In another case, a man didn’t like the loud music coming from a neighbor’s house, got a gun and a video camera, and confronted the neighbor while videotaping and saying over and over again, “You’re threatening me” and “You threatened me,” and then shot to death the unarmed man. Does Iowa really need this law that is only for armed vigilantes? Do you really think that George Zimmerman would have followed Trayvon Martin, gotten out of his car, and confronted him if he hadn’t been packing a gun?

Robert Annable

If the evidence doesn’t immediately support a self-defense claim, that’s what the courts are for. But nobody should have to prove her or his innocence — the burden is always on the state. What stand-your-ground does is to remove the ability of anti-self-defense prosecutors to force innocent people to bankrupt themselves and lose their means of livelihood defending against charges that should never be filed in the first place. We must never surrender that presumption, lest we undermine our legitimate claim on autonomous liberty.

Barry Hirsh

Why should a law-abiding citizen have to “retreat” from a criminal? Would you be less dead if shot in the back while retreating? Why do we want to make the world safer for criminals? What about elderly/disabled persons who can’t outrun an attacker? I do not understand the mindset of people who oppose the right of self-defense.

Gene Small

You should always be able to defend your self from attack.

Michael Mensing

Re: Elliot: What’s going on here, Marvin?

Of course, it’s justice of the kind most racists or bigots enjoy. However, in the Zimmerman case, the solution to injustice isn’t there (no double jeopardy, Alex) but people seem to miss the point they need to get politically active, elect better officials, and get the damn law off the books. When Zimmerman left the car, he was wrong, and from there, on all his actions should have been improper and illegal to justify killing someone.

But under that vague law (as to where you crossover on an action), you really can’t convict an even admitted shooter.

Joseph Haga
University of Iowa


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