Thom Hartmann is an American radio host, author, former psychotherapist and entrepreneur, and liberal political commentator. His nationally-syndicated radio show, The Thom Hartmann Program, has 2.75 million listeners a week. Hartmann is the poster child for the 40-year-old advertising campaign “A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste.”
Looking for someone to blame for the Trayvon Martin shooting, other than the person who shot him, Hartmann indicts the usual suspects:
The so called stand your ground and shoot first laws, brought to you by the NRA and Wal-Mart, peddled to state legislators — Republican state legislators — by the American Legislative Exchange Council, ALEC, funded by the Koch brothers. That’s pretty amazing, when you see a fairly direct line from right-wing billionaires funding front groups that are actually writing our nation’s laws to a dead kid in Florida.
So who was responsible for gang deaths, black-on-black crime, and drive-by shootings before the Stand Your Ground law was passed? Why can’t the person who owns a gun be the one responsible for how the gun is used? Just because a person carries a gun does not mean he or she is going to use it.
By the way, Stand Your Ground Laws are not new or found only in Florida.
Every day in America millions of guns sit unused. It’s not the fault of guns or the fault of people who support the Second Amendment that people are killed by guns. For example, gang-related deaths “result from grudges between rival gangs that erupt into violence, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” Is Wal-Mart to blame? Maybe if these gang members got jobs at Wal-Mart they wouldn’t be killing one another.
Who’s responsible for the two British tourists who were shot dead in Sarasota, Florida, last year? The teen suspect, who has since been convicted, had been arrested earlier on a charge of aggravated assault with a handgun. Did the David and Charles Koch, who fund conservative and libertarian policy and advocacy groups in the United States, put the gun in his hand and force him to squeeze the trigger?
And what about the “Stand Your Ground Law” that was passed in Florida? Hartmann blames its passage on “Republican state legislators.” Here’s the truth as reported by David Martosko at the Daily Caller:
Despite liberal protesters’ claims that Florida’s so-called “stand your ground” gun law demonstrates that Republican policymakers are responsible for the February death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, an analysis of its legislative history shows that it was a bipartisan effort — and that no Florida Democratic state senator voted against it.
One Democrat, Fort Lauderdale state Sen. Mandy Dawson, missed the vote. But the rest of the Senate chamber supported it, 39–0.
The Florida House vote was 92–20. Twelve Democrats voted in favor.
We have no idea if the Stand Your Ground Law had anything to do with Trayvon Martin’s death.