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Letter: Is this the type of world in which we want to live?

What kind of society do we want? In 2011 the Legislature expanded New Hampshire’s self-defense law, just like Florida did, to allow people to stand their ground and claim self defense without a duty to safely retreat if they feel threatened in any place they have a right to be.

After the George Zimmerman case, we now know how this can play out. If a person is armed with a firearm and gets into an argument and then feels threatened, he can shoot and kill the other person and then claim self defense. Provided there are no other witnesses, the shooter will be the only one who can testify about who the initial aggressor was and whether the act was self defense. It will be extremely difficult for a prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that this was not self defense. This is particularly concerning in an environment in which more and more people are walking around exercising their right to carry firearms, concealed or not, on their person.

I was waiting in line to buy a newspaper recently, and the man in front of me had a pistol strapped to his hip. As I uneasily eyed the gun, I wondered whether the man was an emotional person. Perhaps he was easily angered. Perhaps he was aggressive and picked fights. I certainly had no idea and, thanks to the lack of governmental oversight, I doubt the authorities do either. What I did know was I did not feel safe.

Some might argue, “If’n you don’t feel safe, then arm yourself!” Is this the type of society we want? Do we really want to solve disputes at high noon in the center of town? I love old Western movies, but I don’t want to live in one.

JONATHAN COHEN

Concord

Legacy Comments8

Comparing Florida Statue 776 to New Hampshire RSA 627 is a bit like comparing red and blue, apples and oranges, a rock and a sponge, sand from the Sahara to a bag of potting soil. I could go on and on but there is little point. What the point is, there is nothing alike in the comparison of the text of the 2 laws. George Zimmerman would've had the proverbial book thrown at him here in the Granite State. Rightfully so, I'd add.

Not without good cause did western towns in the 19th century have gun control laws. In a modern civil society there is no reason for citizens to be armed to the teeth. Those who advocate for such laws in the interests of 'self-protection' have another agenda entirely, one ultimately opposed to the concept of a modern civil society. They prefer a more Darwinian approach (ironic, given that so many of them deny evolution and prefer Creationism/Intelligent Design) in favor of the libertarian piped-dream that worships the Randian cult of the "Rugged Individual"--that mythological creature who made America what it is today, and would restore America to its true greatness, if and only if, "big government" could be strangled and put in its "proper" constitutional place.

Bruce it is simple. Carrying a small caliber handgun isn't as you would say "armed to the teeth." It is simply protecting one's self. It is simply the equalizer to a knife, a lead pipe, a baseball bat or even another gun. NH is the safest state in America and we have a stand your ground law. I guess you don't have much of an argument Bruce.

Van, without getting into the logical fallacy inherent in your post, I'll just note that NH was the "safest state in America" long before the SYG laws were dreamt of and passed into law.

The only pipe dream here is the idea that without big gov taking care of all our needs we will fail. That line of thinking wipes out the history of America and replaces it with a country that will never succeed on any level. The message there is that govt needs to think, provide and run your life because you are incapable of doing that for yourself.

Your post is the one that "wipes out the history of America". And you've created a straw man version of "big gubment" that is merely a flag of convenience for the right--useful when they want to impede reform--whether of health care or regulatory reform, but conveniently forgotten when it comes to limiting a woman's right to choose, for example. An accurate and fair-minded reading of American history would show you that the myth of the "rugged individual" as a significant contributor to our nation's history is just that--a myth. From the very beginnings of our nation's founding after our revolution--starting with Washington and Hamilton--who both believed in the importance of a strong central government in building a great nation, the real achievements in our nation's economic and social development have come from those who shared that belief, and acted upon it. That would include Lincoln, TR, FDR. And Jefferson "violated" his own principles when he decided upon the Louisiana Purchase. So that's all of the men on Mt. Rushmore. And that's just for starters.

WOW! Just when you think the lefties have gone over the top with being creative, they come up with the idea that someone carrying a gun just might be angry, aggressive, willing to pick fights etc. Maybe this person was an undercover, cop, maybe this person had experienced being attacked at one point and decided that they needed to protect themselves. I remember reading an article about the horrible shoot out at McDonalds years back. A young woman was there with her Mom. She had a gun in her car but the state did not allow for that gun to be carried in public places. her Mom was killed by the shooter who killed patrons in there. She wishes till this day she had her gun with her and just maybe she could have saved lives, including her Mom.

Nice job of profiling Jon! So the man had a pistol strapped to his hip and you envisioned him as emotional, angry, aggressive, and willing to pick fights. It is amazing what a propensity and willingness to stereotype a person can to someone's mind.

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