I suppose Texas Congress(wo)man Sheila Jackson Lee thinks this is her way of honoring Tryavon Martin. Her secretary Mike McQuerry said that Lee wanted to push this bill, because “she’s always been interested in what happened with Trayvon.” But as we all know, Florida’s “stand your ground” law had nothing to do with Zimmerman’s acquittal. Even the President acknowledged that. Even so, McQuerry said that Lee felt this was the “right time” to pursue these changes.
Her proposal, called the Justice Exists for Us All Act, would require states with “stand your ground” laws to repeal those laws and replace them with a “duty to retreat” provision, or else face cuts in federal funding:
“The bill, which the Texas Democrat stated is a response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, would pressure states to drop stand-your-ground laws, which assert that citizens can use force for self-defense rather than being required to retreat from dangerous situations. Under the Justice Exists proposal, states that didn’t amend their stand-your-ground laws and require a “duty to retreat” would face a 20 percent cut to previously allocated funds. Additionally, to avoid the cut in funds, states would have to require local neighborhood watch programs to register with local law enforcement.”
I doubt this will pass, but if it did, states would need to “stand their ground” and take a financial hit from federal funding cuts. They shouldn’t put up with federal bullying and bribes aimed at forcing them to comply with Jackson Lee’s mandate.
In fact, the few good politicians out there should be holding the rest accountable like what New Hampshire state representative John Hikel has done:
“A New Hampshire state representative has filed a petition to remove 189 legislators from the [New Hampshire] House of Representatives for voting to diminish citizen’s rights of self defense. John Hikel filed an Emergency Petition of Redress and a Verified Complaint of Breach of Oath of Office and Conspiracy against Rights in April against 189 members of the New Hampshire House of Representatives who voted to repeal the state’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law for ‘Breach of Oath of Office and Conspiracy against Rights.’”
The petition has garnered over 500 citizens’ signatures and demands “the immediate removal from office of these 189 disqualified members … the immediate nullification of any of the votes these 189 members have cast during their current term in office [and] the scheduling of a special election as soon as possible to replace these 189 members.” Think it’ll do anything? Probably not, but at least it’s a start. And it’s a lot better than doing nothing and letting people like Jackson Lee dictate to states what their self-defense laws should or shouldn’t be.