Stand your ground is not about guns.
Neither is the obsession about stand your ground.
It is about freedom.
Just not your freedom.
I need to back up a bit and tell you what it is about.
It is about the freedom to interfere in other people's business.
Ok, I know, they claim to be all about individual rights.
The right to own a gun.
The right to own any gun.
The right to own dozens, hundreds, thousands of guns.
It isn't, not really.
And it is not about fear, or power (in the strictest sense) or racism (in a literal sense).
It is about the right to correct, interject, DISCIPLINE other people's behavior.
Think about the 3 big cases. Zimmerman believed he had the right to decide who belonged in "his" neighborhood and to correct the behavior of those who entered his sector. Dunn believed he had the right to determine what music should be played in the parking lot of a business he did not own, and to demand that it be played at a "proper" volume. Reeves had the right to demand that a man in a theater stop using his cell phone.
These men believed that a) they had the right and responsibility to control and correct the actions of those around them, b) they deserved respect and deference for their efforts, and c) any hostility toward their stewardship of the public sphere should be considered dangerous and must be squelched.
There is more:
This is all part of the authoritarian/punishment model prevalent in the southern culture in general and specifically among cultural conservatives. The sense that the world around them is protected from whirling out of control by their stewardship.
It is also part of the "if someone bothers you, you have to hit them" value system. I first recognized this system when I was teaching high school special education in a mill town. There was a big fight in my class because one boy was "flicking" paper footballs at a classmate all the way across the room. The footballs were not even landing close to the intended target. But it led to a fight, a concussion, and two days in in-school suspension. Always alert to a teachable moment, i decided to talk to the other students about what happened.
Why were Obie and Henry in in-school suspension?There it is. If someone bothers you, you have to hit them. With words, with fists, with guns. Nothing can be left unchallenged. And because your own rage is barely contained, you know, without debate, that the one you are facing is also filled with rage.
There was a fight.
What could Obie have done other than fight?
Nothing. If someone bothers you, you have to hit them. End of discussion.
Regardless of his response, it will be seen as disrespect or rage. So you have to challenge disrespect with demands of compliance. And you have to meet rage with force.