The billionaire-backed Everytown for Gun Safety gun prohibition lobbying group has announced the launch of a “Citizen Task Force to End Shoot First Laws,” a renewed crusade against “Stand Your Ground” (SYG) statutes now in effect in more than half of all states.
Everytown has labeled these “shoot first” laws. The problem was discussed here.
In an email blast to Evergreen State residents, Everytown notes “there aren’t Shoot First laws in Washington.” However, as first revealed at Ammoland, Washington doesn’t need such a statute because the state Supreme Court has already ruled affirmatively that “there is no duty to retreat when a person is assaulted in a place where he or she has a right to be.” The case is known as State v. Reynaldo Redmond.
Washington’s “no duty to retreat” situation was explained well in a short essay by attorney Robert Kornfeld at Kornfeld Law in Washington. He noted, “There are two different kinds of laws in our state – those that were passed by our state legislature and those that are called ‘case law’ or ‘judge made law.’ These are laws that arise out of rulings in legal cases. Washington’s stand your ground law is this latter type of law.”
Everytown sent two email blasts this week, one over the name of Lindsay Clarida, national organizing director, and the other signed by Monisha Henley, senior director for State Government Affairs at Everytown. Both were frontal attacks on the right of self-defense.
In Henley’s email announcing the Task Force, she noted it has been “ten years since the killing of Trayvon Martin,” the Florida case in which an armed citizen named George Zimmerman fatally shot Martin. Zimmerman’s defense team never brought up Florida’s SYG statute during the trial, but then gun prohibition lobby managed to invent what is essentially a myth relating to that case.
Zimmerman, according to the defense, wasn’t standing his ground, he was laying on the ground after being knocked down by Martin. Zimmerman was acquitted in court, but anti-gunners have never let go of what has become something of an urban legend about Florida’s law.
Clarida’s email advised recipients “We’re doubling down on our efforts to defeat any attempt to pass Shoot First laws in other states and expanding campaigns to repeal them.” She alludes to research alleging Stand Your Ground laws “make our nation’s gun violence crisis worse and do nothing to deter crime.”
She also suggests SYG laws are racist in nature.
Everytown and other gun prohibition groups are mounting their own offensives since they have been vocally disappointed that Joe Biden hasn’t cracked down on gun rights as he promised on the campaign trail in 2020. The push is coming now because polling suggests Democrats will lose control of Congress in November, so anti-gunners need to act if they hope to turn their agenda into law.