McCain: States should take another look at Stand Your Ground laws
posted at 8:01 am on July 22, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
This starts off with Candy Crowley pressing John McCain to explain how the verdict of the George Zimmerman trial provided justice to Trayvon Martin’s family. Instead of explaining how courts of law work on reasonable doubt, McCain instead tells Crowley that no one has proved that the jury was corrupt, which is … a rather large non-sequitur, and a hint that McCain didn’t pay much attention to the trial in the first place. An even bigger hint is when McCain brings up Stand Your Ground laws, which had nothing to do with the lethal-force decision in the shooting, but has become the favorite political escape hatch in Washington DC since the verdict.
Ah, well, any port in a storm:
John McCain urged all states with Stand Your Ground laws to review them in the aftermath of the George Zimmerman trial.
“I can also see that Stand Your Ground law may be something that needs to be reviewed by the Florida legislature or any other legislature that has passed such legislation,” McCain said on CNN’s State of the Union this morning.
He said that he was “confident” Arizona state legislators would look at the law again “because it is a very controversial legislation.”
All SYG laws do is remove the positive requirement to retreat before using lethal force where one reasonably fears the loss of life or grave bodily harm. If the possibility of flight is removed at that point — as it was in the Zimmerman case, where the defendant argued (and the jury believed) he was pinned to the ground — then SYG is moot. At that point, the basic laws of self-defense apply, not SYG, even though as Jazz argued yesterday in his post, SYG is really just a rational form of self-defense.
Basically, this is just an easy way for Capitol Hill denizens to pander a bit while retreating themselves. There isn’t a single state that will review SYG laws on the basis of the blather, including McCain’s Arizona, and don’t expect McCain to even float the suggestion of repealing it when he’s back in his home state. Right now, it’s the politically-correct response to any Zimmerman-Martin questions, but in a month no one will be talking about SYG at all.