Letter: Rethink the current ‘stand your ground’ law

Published: 11/25/2021 7:00:27 AM
Modified: 11/25/2021 7:00:11 AM

Whatever readers think about the justice or injustice of the verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse case, they will realize that the tragedy of two people killed and one injured in the course of a protest and counter-protest could easily happen in New Hampshire. The tragedy resulted from the convergence of Wisconsin’s “open carry” gun law with its “stand your ground” law and the culture’s acceptance of these laws. New Hampshire’s “open carry” law is substantially the same as Wisconsin’s. It allows people to take their guns to public places where the sight of their guns can cause enough fear in others who are also armed that those armed others hold guns on them in return. (That is what happened in the Grosskreutz part of the Rittenhouse case.)

New Hampshire’s “stand your ground” law is like Wisconsin’s in not requiring a person who feels seriously threatened to retreat even if able to do so. If Rittenhouse had fled when he first heard a shot or had fled when an unarmed Rosenbaum lunged towards him, nothing that happened later would have taken place and nobody would have been killed or injured. Readers should demand that the New Hampshire legislature bar the carrying of guns in public places under certain clearly specified circumstances and return the “stand your ground” law to the pre-2011 version, which requires a person to retreat before using deadly force except in the case of the defense of one’s home.

Wiltrud R. Mott-Smith



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