Will the Easter Bunny be a target in gun-toting NRA homes?
The National Rifle Assn. has been so successful at pushing back gun-control laws that it has run out of laws to push back on. Once you can buy all the weapons you want at unrestricted gun shows and pack a pistol in a national park, it is harder to feel your 2nd Amendment rights are being infringed. And this is not good for the NRA because if folks are no longer scared of losing their guns, they might stop sending money to the gun lobby.
To stifle any incipient sense of security, gun-rights advocates have been busy inventing new laws to solve problems that do not exist. The now-controversial “stand your ground” law in Florida is a fine example of this. Before the legislation was passed, nobody had gotten into serious trouble for using a gun to rightfully defend himself in the Sunshine State. Nevertheless, with the urging of the NRA, the Florida Legislature became the first in the nation to pass a law guaranteeing citizens the right to start shooting instead of running if they feel threatened.
Since the law took effect, the number of Florida gun owners killing someone and successfully claiming justifiable homicide has tripled. This means either that a lot of people had been running away before or that quite a few people are now exploiting the law to bump somebody off and then claim self-defense.
If Trayvon Martin were not dead, he could weigh in on this issue. But, of course, the 17-year-old black kid was gunned down while on his way home by a neighborhood watch volunteer who now claims he was only standing his ground when Trayvon punched him. Besides inspiring nationwide protests, the Trayvon Martin case has caused a few Florida lawmakers to wonder if, perhaps, the law needs a little tweaking.
It will not happen, of course. The NRA will squash any attempt to cordon off this bold new frontier of firearms freedom that has spread to 24 states and is under consideration in several others. Heck, the NRA folks will not only stand their ground, but they also will probably try to concoct even more creative legislation.
I can envision an NRA-backed law giving homeowners the right to shoot any big-eared mammals of the genus Oryctolagus that enter their homes for the purpose of leaving chocolates and brightly colored eggs on a certain religious holiday. Now, some will argue that such a law is superfluous because the problem does not exist, but, if you are a dedicated member of the NRA, you only have to believe to make it real.
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