The editorial board of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is deeply concerned that Florida’s new, tougher “stand your ground” laws will open the door for similar legislation in states like Missouri. And to get a jump on the dreadful possibility that Show-Me-Staters will soon be able to lawfully defend themselves and their homes from the many, many violent thugs who populate the St. Louis area, they wrote an editorial saying that Gov. Rick Scott’s signature will give Floridians a “license to kill.”
“Critics say a reduced fear of prosecution could prompt an increase in homicides,” they write, using the weaseliest of weasel words. “Prosecuting attorneys would have to present ‘clear and convincing’ evidence that the use of force was not justified. Assailants would no longer have to prove their claim of self-defense because the bill presumes the claim is legitimate. Talk about an impossible burden.”
Um, would that not be the very presumption of innocence that forms the groundwork for our entire legal system? Yes, let’s do away with that. Let’s put the burden of proof on the accused. That’s how they do it in Iran, after all.
“The laws simply expect defense attorneys to prove that a defendant who pleads self-defense was protecting himself or his property and wasn’t motivated by anger or other emotions,” they write, seemingly horrified by the idea.
Sorry, but are we missing something? Isn’t that the essential law of the land in all homicide cases? Isn’t that why we put people on trial, even when the defendant admits to having killed the victim? Not all killings are the same. Is the Post-Dispatch editorial board suggesting that a person who kills to protect their life and homestead should be put away for life? What kind of world do we live in when presumptively-intelligent newspaper editors can believe that criminals should be able to invade any home they want without the slightest fear of being shot?
The left loves to accuse conservatives and Second Amendment supporters of being conspiracy-theorists who see black helicopters around every bend, but damn, they sure do make it easy to believe the worst. Who are you sticking up for here? Thugs. Junkies. Robbers. Burglars. The worst of the worst in our society. Why? Do you really think these scumbags are reading your intellectual editorial and driving up your subscription rates? Or are you so eaten up with the guilt of your own modest success that you feel obliged to stand up for the “less fortunate,” even it means endorsing tragedy?
Maybe the editors of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch would rather be murdered in their homes than actually stand up and protect themselves, and that’s fine. But how about you let those who DO actually care about security – who actually ENJOY their success and value their lives – protect themselves in the manner of their choosing?