In an August 23 Facebook post, Hillary Clinton contended that citizens and police were “much too eager” to use a gun, and she suggested the solution is to “rewrite” self-defense laws like “stand your ground” while making sure police officers are better “trained.”
What we’ve seen too much of in the last few years is a spate of people who have reached for a gun before they really figured out what was going on. They’ve been much too eager to use that gun—we’ve seen it with policing and we’ve seen it with civilians.
With police, first and foremost, they need to be trained and held accountable and disciplined in a way that prevents the reaction that we’ve seen way too much of. And with civilians—a lot of these “stand your ground” laws need to be rewritten.
To bolster her criticism of stand your ground, Clinton cited the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. She said, “If you have to defend yourself, OK. But look at some of the instances we’ve had—Trayvon Martin, and too many more.”
Note that she did not mention the fact that Martin’s shooter—George Zimmerman—was determined to have shot Martin in self-defense and therefore committed no crime. In fact, after a jury of his peers found him not guilty, an investigation by the Eric Holder Department of Justice found no grounds on which to charge Zimmerman either.
But Clinton mentioned Martin’s death anyway, and then she circled back to criticize police once again:
Nobody should want to create circumstances in which innocent, unarmed people are killed—either by law enforcement or by civilians wielding guns. We’ve got to figure out how to deal with that.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.