A new low for the Brady Campaign.
Authoritarians, conservatives especially, have a time honored tactic of renaming legislation they don't like for people they don't like. Whether it be Hillarycare, Obamacare, whatever.
One thing I have always found distressing is when tragedy is capitalized upon for political gain. Like the Right did with Terri Schiavo.
Make no mistake, I blame George Zimmerman for taking the life of Trayvon Martin. But I also blame the gun lobby, Florida’s reprehensible gun laws and the politicians that created them for allowing him to carry the gun he used to do it. In our pursuit of justice around this terrible tragedy, we have to consider what could have been done to prevent it and what can be done to prevent more tragedies like it – and we can begin by stopping the George Zimmerman Armed Vigilante Act.The words of Brady Campaign President Dan Gross, who replaced Republican Paul Helmke in the position a ways back.
But is Gross speaking here of "Stand Your Ground" laws?
No, indeed. He refers to something entirely unrelated to the Trayvon Martin murder, or indeed, to use of force at all.
Senate Bills S. 2188 and 2213 would provide universal reciprocity between states with respect to concealed weapons permits. Support for these bills, as well as the similar HR 822, is by no means universal among gun rights advocates.
Virginia Citizen's Defense League, a 2A rights group in that state, sent this to its list today from its head honcho, Philip Van Cleave:
This is an issue on which the VCDL Board is torn. We like the idea of CHP holders being able to carry in all 50 states, but we hate it anytime the Federal Government tries to extend its power over the states. Consequently, I am passing the following information on to you for you to decide if you wish to support the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2012 or not.An explanation of the legislation, penned by NRA-ILA, follows, calling for its support. Obviously.
It should be noted that VCDL lobbied successfully AGAINST Castle Doctrine laws being enacted in Virginia, because they felt existing statute did everything that it needed to do, and indeed could be weakened by such laws. They succeeded in getting them squelched in Richmond.
Be that as it may. This diary is not intended to take a position on national reciprocity.
What it is intended to to is condemn the Brady Campaign for using the murder of this young man to advance its agenda.
National reciprocity had nothing to do with why Trayvon Martin was killed by George Zimmerman.
If any law could be said to share part of the blame, it would be Florida's Stand Your Ground Law, which many, including the bill's author, contend should not and does not protect Zimmerman in this instance.
Personally, I have a big problem with any law that ever says the police CAN'T arrest someone who shot someone simply because they claim self defense. If you shoot someone and it's good to go, you should have faith in the jury to see the truth. I can't support (after much reflection) the Florida stand-your-ground law as written.
But what I DON'T like is exploitation.
Just as it was exploitation when a Daily Kos front pager blamed recent liberalization of Arizona's gun laws for the Gabrielle Giffords shooting, it is exploitation for the Brady Bunch to attempt to energize its base by bestowing upon a piece of legislation they don't like the name of a killer whose actions in no sense are related to the law in question.
You may oppose universal reciprocity. Many do. I see a few problems with it as written, but I also see problems with the system as it is now. Again, that's not my point here.
My point is don't write your political speeches in the blood of innocents.
Universal reciprocity has fuck-nothing to do with whether you can be issued a concealed weapons permit in the first place.
It has fuck-nothing to do with whether you can legally shoot someone if you are legally carrying a concealed pistol.
It may not be the right thing to do. I understand the concerns about how it would trump the standards of states that may have more stringent requirements than others. Like VCDL, I'm not sure I support it.
But THIS is not the way to go about opposing it.
Ask yourself this: if we had never heard of George Zimmerman, if Trayvon Martin had made it home with his iced tea and skittles, tossed his hoodie on the couch and gotten back on the phone with his girlfriend, what speech would Dan Gross have made before Congress?
Clearly, he sees this as a gift to his political agenda.
And for that, I say:
I call on the Brady Campaign to abandon this frame. It is repugnant.