Reader argues freedom to protect oneself is constitutional right

Christian GilmanLetter to the Editor, St. JosephLeave a Comment

Jay O’Donnell, St. Joseph

I generally don’t read Dennis Dalman’s column in the St. Joseph Newsleader because they are so blatantly one-sided. I do find a use for his sections of the paper. On cold winter mornings when I need to fire up my wood stove, they work quite well. His column in last week’s edition of the Newsleader, “Death raises question in gun crazed culture” did get my own fire going and I had to read the column.

First of all related to the Zimmerman/Martin case in Florida, we don’t know exactly what happened. It appears to me Dalman has already decided Zimmerman is guilty of a crime. Dalman states, “Martin was likely the victim of profiling by Zimmerman.” How can you say that? We don’t even know all the facts.

We do know one fact and that is the 911 call was edited by the media to make Zimmerman seem guilty of a crime. This was admitted to, and apologized for by the news agency last week. If Zimmerman is truly innocent and did act in self-defense, I would expect a lawsuit against the news agency. If Zimmerman is guilty of the crime, and did kill Martin in cold blood he should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. We just don’t have all the facts.

Dalman also reported the statistic since the Stand Your Ground law was enacted in 2005, there have been 93 uses of force resulting in 65 deaths. How do we know that a large percent of the resulting deaths did not save the lives of innocent law-abiding citizens and family members? He also failed to report since the Stand Your Ground became a law in 2005 crime has actually declined in Florida. Is it possible the reason crime has declined is because the criminals know their potential victims may, “stand their ground.” I don’t believe any law that gives the U.S. citizen the possibility of surviving an attempted crime can be a bad law. I’m sure there will be some unfortunate situations which may result of the law, but this is true with any law.

At the end of Dalman’s column he used the old cliche’ that, “Laws like these result in barbaric regression to the wild west.” I remember the identical rhetoric being tossed about by the left when the concealed carry law was passed. We all know time has proven that completely false.

If we are going to eliminate the laws that give innocent citizens the right to protect themselves, we might as well get rid of freedom of speech and the freedom of the press. I feel Dalman abuses this right every time he writes a column.

(Editorial note: Dalman’s column, like most columns by anyone, is of course one-sided to some degree, as O’Donnell points out. The column is an opinion column, and most columns are, by their very definition, one-sided (that is, opinionated), and that is why they appear on the “Opinion Page.” Dalman stands by his opinion.)

Author: Christian Gilman

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