Monday, 15 April 2013

Hundreds Rally for "Stand Your Ground" Law in New Hampshire

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A crowd of more than 300 gathered on the State House grounds in Concord, New Hampshire, Saturday afternoon in an "Honor Your Oath" rally in support of the "Stand Your Ground" law the state's House of Representative recently voted to repeal. Rally organizers charged that the 189 representatives who voted for repeal have violated their oath to support the Constitution of the United States, including the Second Amendment right to "keep and bear arms." Jack Kimball, chairman of the Granite State Patriots Liberty PAC, warned lawmakers not to "fool around" with the Second Amendment and declared the nation at a "tipping point" that requires citizen action to "save our republic."

The Democratically controlled House narrowly passed (189-184) the bill to repeal the law. "Stand Your Ground" supporters are demanding a different outcome from the 24-member state Senate, where the Republicans hold a slender, two-vote majority. The law stipulates that a citizen confronted by an attack that is potentially deadly or capable of causing serious injury to himself or others may respond with lethal force, rather than retreat as previous law required. Similar or identical laws have been passed in a number of states, including Florida, where the statute has been the subject of scrutiny and intense criticism since February of last year, when Trayvon Martin, a teenager in Sanford, Florida, was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch resident. Martin was unarmed, but Zimmerman said the teenager had him on the ground and was beating him with his fists and pounding his head against the pavement when Zimmerman drew his gun and fired.

Defenders of the "Stand Your Ground" law argue that it protects the natural right of self-defense for anyone facing a potentially deadly attack. Three Republican House members filed an "Emergency Petition for Redress" with the House clerk last week calling for removal from office of the 189 members who voted for repeal. Kimball, a former chairman of the republican State committee, announced on Facebook that criminal complaints were also filed in two country sheriffs' offices against all 189.

"All of the state reps (Democrat & Republican) that voted to repeal the 'stand your ground' law have violated their oath of office and should be removed.... We the people have had enough!" Kimball wrote.

Hillsborough County Sheriff James Hardy told the Concord Monitor Friday that he had received the complaint.

"After taking a look at it, I do not anticipate taking any action," he said.

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