Letter: Questions about ‘Stand Your Ground’
New Hampshire has a “Stand Your Ground” law similar to Florida’s. Here is my question:
Before his trial, George Zimmerman’s co-counsel Mark O’Mara stated emphatically several times that they would not use the “Stand Your Ground” defense but rather plead self defense. I was shocked to hear “Stand Your Ground” in the judge’s instructions to the jury. In New Hampshire, will “Stand Your Ground” instructions be included in every self defense case?
If so, I have a few more questions. If your 17-year-old son happens to play football and happens to be in good physical shape and is coming home in the rain with his hoodie raised, would you expect him to become fearful when he notices he is being surveilled by a 28-year-old man? Have you taught him there are predators out there? Have you taught your boy not to talk to strangers?
The keyword in neighborhood watch is “watch.” Would you expect your neighborhood watch people to carry guns? After a watch person has reported a stranger to the police, do you want the watch person to stay in place or surveil the stranger? Once the watch person and stranger make contact, do you at least want the watch person to identify himself and ask what the stranger is doing there?
More important, if your 17-year-old son believed he was being stalked by an older man, felt threatened, feared for his life or limb, if he had a gun on him, could he shoot and kill the “predator,” claiming “Stand Your Ground”? I am curious to know the opinions of the other million or so New Hampshirites. My opinion: Repeal “Stand Your Ground.”