Eric Holder’s Stand Your Ground Squirrel

Welcome to the Obama administration’s cringe-inducing non sequitur of the week. On Tuesday, Attorney General Eric Holder continued stoking the fires of racial resentment over a Florida jury’s acquittal of George Zimmerman. In an address to NAACP leaders, who are demanding federal intervention, Holder attacked Stand Your Ground self-defense laws.

All together now: Squirrel!

"Separate and apart from the (Trayvon Martin) case that has drawn the nation’s attention, it’s time to question laws that senselessly expand the concept of self-defense and sow dangerous conflict in our neighborhoods," Holder opined. He then baselessly claimed that such laws are creating "more violence than they prevent" and used his platform to promote citizens’ "duty to retreat."

So, what exactly do Stand Your Ground laws have to do with Zimmerman and Martin? Absolutely nothing, of course. Outside your own home, common principles of self-defense dictate that unless you have reasonable fear of deadly force or harm, you must flee if possible rather than use deadly force. But a "duty to retreat" rests on the ability to retreat. And "duty to retreat" was irrelevant in Zimmerman’s case because — pinned to the ground with Martin on top of him, bashing his head on the concrete — he was unable to retreat.

This didn’t stop the NAACP crowd from cheering their heads off when Holder tossed out his red meat. Holder’s racial-grievance-mongering agenda has also been bolstered by media propaganda outlets, who’ve been dutifully bashing Stand Your Ground regardless of the facts.

The New York Times, for example, falsely claimed in an editorial preceding Holder’s speech that the jury "reached its verdict after having been asked to consider Mr. Zimmerman’s actions in light of the now-notorious Stand Your Ground provision in Florida’s self-defense law." Rolling Stone made a similarly inflammatory claim, calling Martin a "victim of Florida’s Stand Your Ground law."

All nonsense. The jury received standard instructions. Zimmerman did not invoke the Stand Your Ground provision. Zimmerman later waived his right to a pretrial immunity hearing under the Stand Your Ground procedures.

And as National Review’s Sterling Beard points out, "The only time Stand Your Ground came up during the trial proper was when a prosecution witness stated that he’d taught a class Zimmerman had attended that covered Stand Your Ground."

Even the prosecution rejects the cynical attempt to tie Martin’s death to Stand Your Ground. Prosecutor John Guy couldn’t have made it clearer during the trial: "This case is not about standing your ground." During their post-trial press conference, as conservative talk show host Victoria Taft first noted, a Miami Herald reporter asked the prosecution team specifically whether Stand Your Ground "affected the facts in this case and whether this case could have been won, perhaps, pre the changes in the law."

Prosecutor Bernie De La Rionda replied: "You know, self-defense has existed for a long time. And we’ve dealt with it in Jackson for a long time. We’ve tried a lot of self-defense cases; I’ve personally tried 10-15 self-defense cases. They’re tough cases, but we accept it so … the law really hasn’t changed all that much. Stand Your Ground was a big thing, but really the law hasn’t changed. We have a right to bear arms and a right to self defense."

In short, Stand Your Ground did not kill Trayvon Martin. Stand Your Ground did not sway the jury. Stand Your Ground saboteurs don’t have a leg to stand on. Columnist Jacob Sullum observed drily: "You might think that, given all we now know about Zimmerman’s actual defense, critics of ‘stand your ground’ laws would have to find a different, more apposite case to illustrate their concerns. Instead they just barrel along, citing the same phony example again and again, without regard to the facts. It does not inspire confidence in their argument."

Nope, it inspires exasperation and contempt. Once again, Eric Holder’s Department of Selective and Social Justice is grasping for straws. Holder now vows to "continue to fight for removal of Stand Your Ground laws" that had nothing to do with the Zimmerman trial. He promises to ban "racial profiling" in the aftermath of a local crime incident that — according to Holder’s own FBI employees — had nothing to do with race.

This is all a transparent pretext, of course, for undermining a plethora of state laws enacted by pro-Second Amendment legislatures. (Never mind that eight of 15 states that adopted Stand Your Ground legislation were helmed by Democratic governors at the time of passage.) Even more insidiously, left-wing groups have exploited the Martin case to launch broader attacks on the political speech and activities of limited-government groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council, which supported Stand Your Ground.

The Obama administration’s cynical campaign against Stand Your Ground laws is a racially charged weapon of mass distraction. The goal isn’t public safety or community harmony. The goal is for conservative political opponents to Surrender Your Ground. Silence, as always, is complicity. Political self-defense, as with physical self-defense, begins with self-assertion.

Michelle Malkin is the author of "Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks and Cronies" (Regnery 2010). Her e-mail address is malkinblog@gmail.com.

COPYRIGHT 2013 CREATORS.COM

  • Ron F

    Stand your ground has something to do with the verdict. I believe the jury instruction told the jury to take the central provision of the stand your ground law into account, although it was not raised as a defense. In addition, the juror interviewed by Anderson Cooper said stand your ground was considered. ” Because of the heat of the moment and the Stand Your Ground. He had a right to defend himself. . . .”

    • Wheels55

      The basic premise of Stand Your Ground is to choose not to retreat. Zimmerman did not have a chance to retreat with his back on the ground and having his head bashed on the concrete. The Stand Your Ground law is very similar to Florida’s basic self defense law, so the two can be confused or work together. It appears the judge wanted the jury to consider it even if the defense team didn’t use it. But the decision to not retreat never came up during the trial because it was physically impossible.
      If it was thought that Zimmerman could get away, retreat, he may not have been able to use the Stand Your Ground law since Martin was only using his hands. I bet in that case, the jury would have found Zimmerman guilty. So, oddly enough, Stand Your Ground would not have worked for Zimmerman if he could have run away.

      • Ron F

        I understand but the juror specifically referred to the Stand Your Ground law.

        • Wheels55

          For sure we know many are confused about Florida self defense laws and those laws are confusing.
          It comes down to this: when push comes to shove, will you retreat or shove back? I think everyone needs to know how they would react.

          • Ron F

            Wheels, I am not disagreeing but I would hope the jury instructions were clear about the law and that the jurors understood the law since they were applying it. My only comment with respect to stand your ground is that I keep hearing commentators say it did not apply because it was not pleaded as a defense but I understand it was included in the jury instructions and the juror said Zimmerman was not guilty because of it.

          • Wheels55

            I am curious why that law was included in the instructions from the judge to jury. I guess it was because the judge wanted all of the Florida self defense laws to be understood by the jury. I’m not an attorney, so I could be wrong about this: Stand Your Ground is a narrow portion of the self defense law that says one does not have to retreat when in danger. Since Zimmerman could not retreat, I don’t think it applied. But the jury did conclude that Zimmerman was using self defense.
            The whole thing is just sad: a dead kid, a do-gooder who’s life is screwed up, a misunderstood law and a bunch of noise about racism. If anything good comes out of all of this, I will be shocked.

  • Wil

    Another Malkin rant, How sad!

    • bookman65000

      Did you even read the piece? I don’t think one could call a statement of the facts of a case, and a cogent argument against those who have either not understood or have misstated the facts, a “rant”. If anyone’s ranting, it’s you, doofus. And it is truly sad that you are so ignorant.

      • Wil

        She is just another conservative Zimmerman supporter, just like the rest of you!

  • Bloviating Ignoramus

    The magic words “Stand Your Ground” enabled Zimmerman to get away clean without being indicted or even arrested until the liberal media that you hate so much focused on the story. Where the justice system truly failed was the “5A” right not to self-incriminate. No telling what the Founding Fathers had in mind here, but there is no reason why Zimmerman should not have been forced to justify his shooting under oath and to face cross examination.

    • bookman65000

      Well, at least your name fits. Wake up! “Stand Your Ground” was not the defense, ignoramus!

      • Bloviating Ignoramus

        You wake up pea brain. Because of Stand Your Ground Zimmerman was released and wouldn’t have needed any defense at all if not for the liberal media shining the light on the issue.

        • Brian Fr Langley

          So what kind of society would we live in if we were all required to flee an assailant? Stand your ground is a long held common law tradition that says the State can not force you to become a coward. Americans in particular have long been famous for standing up to personal threats against their person. Frankly I’d prefer an America where assailants victims fight back, rather than run, hide, and cower.

          • Bloviating Ignoramus

            No one should have to flee an assailant, as was the case in NYC with Bernie Goetz back in the ’80s. But neither should anyone be able to be an assailant and get away clean by uttering the magic words Stand Your Ground as Zimmerman would have if not for the left wing media vigilance.

          • Brian Fr Langley

            Well according to Attorney General Holder, a person has a “DUTY” to flee, unless there is a “stand your ground” law. So which is it? Be a coward? or stand up to an assailant? I think I know the answer to that question from anybody that calls themselves an “American”

          • Bloviating Ignoramus

            Well like I said I wouldn’t agree with that and Holder never said that, regardless of Dragon Lady talking out her blowhole as usual. What Holder did say is that self defense cannot be extended to include profiling, which right wingers such as Goldberg and Dragon Lady are big proponents of.

          • Brian Fr Langley

            Yes Holder DID say that. He specifically said, (on TV before the NAACP) before a person could resort to deadly force in a self defense case, (without a stand your ground law), “they had a DUTY to retreat”. Ok, so I said flee. Retreat, flee, under of the circumstances of being assailed, they’re the same thing. and profiling has NOT one thing to do with it. But lets talk profiling. What kind of coward sees a strange person (unknown to them) hanging around their neighbors house, and then just ignores them. Checking them out is exactly the kind of thing a good neighbor does. And that my friend qualifies as profiling.

          • Bloviating Ignoramus

            Do you ever walk past a stranger’s house and get confronted (or ‘checked out’ as you refer to it)? How would you like that? Do you believe as Goldberg and Dragon Lady Malkin do that there are ethnic groups who are eligible to be profiled? That it is justifiable to shoot first and ask questions later because they are all thugs (blacks) or terrorists (Muslims)? And if it turns out that you were (dead) wrong, well that is just tough luck? As Goldberg puts it “If I were black I wouldn’t like this stereotyping”. He might well have continued “… but I’m not black, I do like it, and since the world revolves around me, everyone else has to like it too”. And Dragon Lady, who sang an aria in praise of a “quick thinking spectator” who tackled a Muslim during the Boston bombing, who of course turned out to be completely innocent.

          • Brian Fr Langley

            I would be very happy if I was hanging around a strange neighborhood and got asked what I was doing. And I happily do the same thing all the time. It’s called being a good neighbor. As for profiling the only profiling done by Zimmerman (even Trayvon Martin’s family agreed) was not by his race. What he did, was check out a suspicious stranger. His mistake (which isn’t a crime) was jumping to the conclusion that this stranger was up to no good. Tragedy? Yes. Criminal? Not according to the Jury who all said they followed the law, both as the Prosecution and the Judge presented it.

          • Bloviating Ignoramus

            Well let’s say someone confronted you and asked what you were doing, didn’t like the answer and one thing led on to another and the individual pulled a gun and shot you. And then the police came and the indidual said the magic words Stand Your Ground and was allowed to get away clean on that basis. You wouldn’t be very happy about that would you?

          • Brian Fr Langley

            Self defense is self defense NOT magic words

          • Bloviating Ignoramus

            You didn’t answer the question but you obviously subscribe to the NRA concept that the only law is the law of the jungle. Well that’s fine if you want to live in a jungle. Zimmerman was instructed not to confront Trayvon, and there was a very good reason for it. The key word in neighborhood watch is WATCH. If not for left wing media no one would know who Zimmerman is, and that is because he said the magic words and went home, no skin off his potato.

          • Brian Fr Langley

            What a load of codswallop!!! 1st, a dispatcher has NO right to tell you NOT to follow. 2nd, if you do it’s not ILLEGAL. 3rd. If I saw somebody I thought suspicious why would I not follow them? How many times a day do you suppose cops arrive at a scene and can’t find the person that was reported? You try to find someone who was reported as suspicious 5, 10 or twenty minutes later. You are right the key word is watch, and most good neighborhood watchmen WOULD follow to watch, where the suspicious person goes. The reason crime is so RAMPANT is folks like you who think you should turn a blind eye because what happens to your neighbor is none of your business. As they say all it takes for evil to win, is for good men to do nothing. and as I said, self defense as a legal concept is not magic words.

          • Bloviating Ignoramus

            Codswallop?!! Sounds yummy! Look I understand what you are saying. Profiling is an easy answer as long as you are the one doing the profiling, but not so much when you are the one being profiled. Do you think Zimmerman went over to Trayvon and politely asked him what he was doing there? I don’t think so. If you are going to take the law into your own hands, you better be right. Zimmerman was dead wrong.

          • Brian Fr Langley

            Zimmerman was “dead wrong” Well America is saved, because clearly a bloviating ignoramus knows better than a duly empanelled jury, who went carefully over the evidence, and found Zimmerman NOT GUILTY.

          • Bloviating Ignoramus

            Not guilty? More like ‘insufficient information to convict’. Does anyone think OJ is not guilty? Certainly Zimmerman’s testimony and cross examination would have shed more light and maybe then the verdict would be more palatable to more people.

          • Brian Fr Langley

            Just what America needs, verdicts in murder trials that are not based on real guilt or innocence, but on whether or not the verdict is palatable to biased on lookers, (like yourself). Comrade, we call these show trials. And men like Stalin and Hitler would totally agree with you. Show trials make a lot of sense to despots.

          • Bloviating Ignoramus

            So you think OJ is innocent?

          • Brian Fr Langley

            OJ was not found innocent. Like George Zimmerman, he was found “Not guilty” . And of course I totally accept (ed) that verdict.

          • Bloviating Ignoramus

            Exactly. We have no choice but to accept it. But there is pretty much universally a sense that OJ got away with murder, right? With Zimmerman it’s more of a mixed response, but my point being that had he testified and been cross examined and then found not guilty it would be more palatable to more people.

          • Brian Fr Langley

            A court of law is NOT about being palatable to most people. It’s about rules made to ensure the State does not falsely imprison or execute innocent people in order to further their own agenda’s. Which is exactly what would happen if the laws were made palatable to most people.

    • Brian Fr Langley

      As bugs bunny says “what a maroon” The reason is simple. Trials always involved confessions (and still do in most dictator ships). The confessions of course were tortured out of the accused by methods that would get most folks to agree to even the most heinous of crimes. If you recanted at your trial then you became a proven liar. Either way the State wins and the accused loses. So the founding fathers in their wisdom ensured an accused has the RIGHT against self incrimination. That is the State MUST be able to prove their case WITHOUT the help of the accused. This is why “maroons” like you get to say “I live in a free country”

      • Bloviating Ignoramus

        What you are talking about is Miranda rights which is a different story from testifying in court, or before Congress. Speaking of which, you right wing maroons were certainly singing a different tune when Lois Lerner invoked her 5th amendment rights.

        • Brian Fr Langley

          NO I’m not talking about Miranda rights. Both Miranda and taking the 5th are based on English common law rights against self incrimination. BECAUSE despots like(d) to torture people to get them to confess. As for Lerner, the reason folks were upset, is that before invoking her right against self incrimination, she FIRST declared her innocence. A truly innocent person by definition, can NOT incriminate themselves, because they are INNOCENT. You don’t get to have it both ways. Either take the 5th, (because what you say might incriminate you) and SHUT UP, or, if you know you’re innocent, tell your story.

          • Bloviating Ignoramus

            I don’t think in this day and age anyone is tortured in a courtroom or in front of Congress unless if you consider listening to Issa’s bloviating to be torture, you may have a point there. As for Lerner, she made an innocuous general statement that she believes that she is innocent. I think you are being a bit draconian which you no doubt would not be if it was a right winger. But by that line of reasoning, Zimmerman forfeited his 5th amendment rights when his taped version of the events was played in court.

          • Brian Fr Langley

            I’m not sure your clear on the concept of law??? Worse It looks like you don’t understand what a persons RIGHTS are either. (And shame on you for that, considering how many Americans have died defending them). Lerner was NOT an accused she was a supeona’d witness. Who as a witness (who works for the State) has the specific obligation to say what she knows. (unless she knows, she may be guilty of a crime). As for torture, even in our day and age, both Bush and Obama have been using it extensivley (on America’s base in Cuba) on terrorists (you know, those folks who apparently don’t have rights, miranda or otherwise)

          • Bloviating Ignoramus

            Well I know what the law is, I’m just saying it should be different. Both Lerner and Zimmerman should have to come clean.

          • Brian Fr Langley

            1st you don’t actually know what the law is. 2nd You don’t even know what America is. Liberty comes with a price. Zimmerman is an accused he has a RIGHT to keep silent (for the reasons previously mentioned). Lerner has NO right of silence unless she’s possibly committed a crime. Which she herself asserts she hasn’t. And no it should NOT be different. If it was you would NOT be living in a country free from tyranny.

          • Bloviating Ignoramus

            You don’t know what the law is. Does asserting your innocence grant you immunity from procecution? If it did, no one would ever be prosecuted for anything. On the other hand, Lerner could have been granted immunity, in which case she would have been compelled to testify.

          • Brian Fr Langley

            Again your not clear on the concept??? Asserting your innocent has no bearing on whether or not you’re actuall guilty or innocent. BUT taking the 5th by definition means testifying about what you know may INCRIMINATE yourself. That means YOU’RE NOT INNOCENT. So if first you declare your innocence then you have NO NEED to take the 5th.

          • Bloviating Ignoramus

            If they want her testimony they could have granted her immunity. That way she knows she cannot be prosecuted, they get their testimony, and everyone is happy. If Lerner was to follow your circular logic, Issa would get his testimony plus an indictment against Lerner as an extra bonus, and Issa would be laughing his ass off.

          • Brian Fr Langley

            That would only be true if she’s actually committed an offence. (on reasonable and probable grounds). Which if true, then NO she should NOT be granted immunity. Who would want to live in a country where the political opposition is harried by the Nations tax collectors? If she’s innocent (as she says) she has nothing to fear. If on the other hand she used her authority as the Nation’s tax collector to target political opponents, she’s on exactly the same level as a fascist Nazi. If there’s a worse threat to a republican democracy, I don’t know what it could be.

          • Bloviating Ignoramus

            Actually committed an offense on reasonable and probable grounds? What orifice did you pull that one out from? This is a fascinating discussion but it is getting way off track. There’s no point in getting into the IRS thing. Bottom line is we may differ, I would have liked to see Zimmerman forced to justify his shooting under oath and subject to cross examination. You say it doesn’t apply to tax collectors. Regardless, right now the “5A” applies to everyone, tax collectors, killers, whatever.

          • Brian Fr Langley

            I see your still not clear on the concept??? But your choice of names for posting your comments does explain a lot.

          • Bloviating Ignoramus

            Actually committed an offense on reasonable and probable grounds? I doubt if anyone understands that concept but you.

          • Brian Fr Langley

            In America no person can be charged with a crime (by the state) unless there is “reasonable and probable grounds” to believe a crime has actually been committed. Have you not ever even read a book?

          • Bloviating Ignoramus

            You are getting a bit punch drunk bro. Charging someone is one thing. Actually committing is another thing.

          • Brian Fr Langley

            You suggested that Ms. Lerner would be charged if she spoke to the Congressional investigators. (without immunity) I’m merely pointing out, she can’t be charged unless they actually have reasonable and probable grounds to believe she committed a crime. (that’s the law in the U.S.) Further your comment about Issa “laughing his ass off” proves conclusively that you are more concerned about your side winning, than you are about a rogue agency potentially destroying the country. And that my friend is exactly what’s wrong with folks like you. You put your liberal tribe above your Nation.

          • Bloviating Ignoramus

            Lord have mercy, you are obtuse bro. Yeah she can’t be charged unless they actually have all that. And if she testifies without immunity, she runs the risk of possibly giving them all that, right? So back to the beginning. As long as she could self-incriminate by testifying, she is not required to testify. Her statement that she is innocent does not grant her immunity, her testimony could be used against her. Hence self-incrimination. Therefore her statement cannot be used to compel her to testify. Only a grant of immunity could be used to compel her to testify. Because then her testimony could not be used against her. Capiche?

          • Brian Fr Langley

            Funny, obtuse was a word I was thinking applied to yourself? Yes back to the beginning. When one declares ones innocence (as Lerner did) then one can not go to say their own words may be incriminating. How can one be incriminated by their own words when they have (as she said) done nothing wrong or illegal. The only thing you’ve got right so far, is the word obtuse, does apply in this conversation.

          • Bloviating Ignoramus

            You can say you are innocent and still incriminate yourself if you keep on talking. Where’s John Daly when you need him? Even he can understand this. Call him and ask him to explain it to you if you still don’t get it.

          • Brian Fr Langley

            One for time for Mr. Bloviating. Ms. Lerner was under subpoena. That is, as a witness she can be COMPELLED to testify. Many of the witnesses at the Zimmerman trial did NOT want to be there. But witness testimony IS compellable. Unless of course, what you say may be self incriminating. Ms. Lerner was a compellable witness UNDER SUBPOENA who took the 5th even though she self DECLARED her innocence. As a compellable witness, you can not have it both ways. A declaration of innocence by definition means you remain a compellable witness. What part of “you’ve been subpoenaed” don’t you understand?

          • Bloviating Ignoramus

            Any lawyers out there in Fascist Fantasyland? For that matter, anyone at all out there? Listen carefully bro. YOU CANNOT SELF DECLARE YOUR INNOCENCE!!!

          • Brian Fr Langley

            What planet are you from??? Ms. Lerner specifically told the Congress (before which she was subpoenaed to testify) “I have done nothing wrong or illegal” thus ADMITTING she remains a compellable witness. Then after proclaiming (by her own declaration) her innocence. She took the 5th?????

          • Bloviating Ignoramus

            The planet where IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT SHE PROCLAIMED. It has no bearing on anything. It is TOTALLY IRRELEVANT.

          • Brian Fr Langley

            Happily for the U.S. Legal system there are a lot of folks (lawyers) who do believe her statement of innocence means she in fact waived her rights to take the 5th. Since you are a self proclaimed bloviating ignoramus, there is a better than average chance they are right, and you are wrong. But that’s NOT my point. My point was, there is an argument against Lerner taking the 5th as a subpoenaed witness, (who proclaims innocence) that is in no way comparable to Zimmerman not taking the stand as an accused on the advice of his legal counsel.

          • Bloviating Ignoramus

            There are a lot worse bloviating ignoramuses than me. A lot of them are right wing lawyers. Some are even right wing House Oversight Committee Chairmen. Speaking of Issa, we haven’t heard a peep out him lately. Seems like his mission to bring down Obama has kind of fizzled out eh? Whatever, you think your bloviating right wing ignoramus lawyer friends can compel Lerner to testify? Good luck with that. Let’s see how they make out.

          • Brian Fr Langley

            A citizen of the U.S. not only has a moral obligation to testify when legally subpoenaed, (and may (in fact) face a jail term for contempt if they don’t), UNLESS their testimony may serve to incriminate them. So either Ms.Lerner knows she may have committed a crime, or Ms. Lerner knows she’s lying to Congress about her innocence. Either way, her behavior is unethical and immoral. Further if you support that behavior, you’re as unethical and immoral, as she is.

          • Bloviating Ignoramus

            You are putting me on right?

          • Brian Fr Langley

            So what is it you’re unsure of? That the Government can’t compel a witness to a crime to testify? (I assure you they can) Or that lying to Congress is immoral and unethical?

        • Wheels55

          Lerner screwed up her 5th rights by saying how innocent she is before invoking the 5th. She should have just invoked the 5th and said nothing else. It will be interesting to see how this technicality plays out.

          I agree if Zimmerman had taken the stand with cross examination he may have messed up the reasonable doubt in the minds of the jury. The law is the law – it may not always be perfect.

    • Wil

      Zimmerman did testify, without ever having to be cross examined!

  • Wheels55

    Holder found himself between a rock and a hard spot. Being black, being one of Obama’s lap dogs, being partially political and being the center of attention for problem after problem – Holder had no choice but to make an issue out of a non-issue. Kind of like the “War on Women” deal.
    When will the majority of Americans see through this squirrel smoke screen?

  • Brian Fr Langley

    In days gone by cowardice was on the same scale of moral terpitude, as lying, cheating, or stealing. While discretion may be the better part of valour, this is NOT always the truth. Further why shouldn’t an average citizen have the RIGHT to confront wrong behaviour. In fact most western democracies actually allow for citizens to make CITIZENS arrests. Walking away from a crime in progress might save your life, BUT that does NOT in fact make you a better person. Cowards fear each other, citizens take care of each other.