This week, the NH House will be voting on HB 135, a bill that would repeal the so-called Stand Your Ground law that was passed during the last biennium. The House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee majority report recommends that this bill ought to pass, by a committee vote of 12-6. From Rep. Steve Vallaincourt's majority report:
"This bill does not prevent anyone from owning or carrying guns. It simply takes us back to the practice that was in effect for more than three decades (and was never chal- lenged in court) which affirms that a person is not justified in using deadly force on another if he or she can retreat from the encounter. Note that nothing about the bill prevents one from using deadly force if retreat is not deemed possible. Also note that the person is not required to retreat if the incident occurs on his or her private property. Thus, the castle doctrine is left intact. The committee believes a legitimate difference can and should be drawn between actions in defense of one’s home and actions in common or public areas. "
"Many reasons were stated for retaining section one of the bill, the most salient being that ours would be a safer society if people are not encouraged to use guns on the street as a first resort."
Rep. Kyle Tasker wrote the minority report. You may remember that Rep. Tasker achieved national notoriety last year when he dropped his gun on the floor during a Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee meeting.
There will undoubtedly be a floor fight over this bill. There are those in the legislature who are utterly unconcerned with the deplorable condition of our state's roads, bridges, highways, and dams - but are obsessed with passing any and all legislation that will put guns into the hands of all comers. There has been a great deal of time spent on gun legislation already this session. This will undoubtedly be another bill where the minority party (the Republicans) call for a roll call vote. During last week's House session, there were 14 roll call votes, all but one called for by the minority party. The estimated cost for each roll call votes falls somewhere between $1,000 and $3,000. The reason for all of the roll calls is simple - it's part of the NH GOP election strategy for 2014. In other words, the NH GOP is using NH taxpayers to help fund their campaigns.
A lot of hand wringing and hysteria is being generated by the minority party around this bill, as Tuck
illustrates here and here at Miscellany Blue. This is going to be a hotly contested vote. The emails and calls to NH legislators have been flying. A legislator (who shall remain anonymous) forwarded an email regarding this bill that was sent out to all members of the NH House. The author of the email addresses his public safety concerns regarding HB 135, concerns that we haven't heard before about this bill:
The legislator asked me to go public with this email:
To Whom It May Concern:
We are writing to express our grave concern about the possible repeal of the Stand Your Ground law in New Hampshire. We feel, as an organization deeply committed to the education and preparation of the citizenry in regard to the inevitable zombie apocalypse, that Stand Your Ground is a vital improvement to the law in New Hampshire. Repeal would have significant ramifications on economic development, individual rights, and last but not least - the safety of every New Hampshire citizen, young and old, for generations to come.
The Society for Preparation Against Zombies (SPAZ) is a well-established organization in New Hampshire promoting zombie prep and combat training. The recent passage of the Stand Your Ground bill has enabled us to develop what has become our most effective tactic against the zombie since we began training in 1999.
"Zombie Baiting" involves provoking a zombie into attacking you. This tactic works by creating a scenario wherein a SPAZ member will make intellectual exhortations in the presence of the suspected zombie (such as: "According to Roger Taney's opinion in Dred Scott v. Sandford, 'The undead have no rights that the living are bound to respect,'" or, "People from Phoenix are called Phoenicians,"), provoking an uncontrollable desire in the zombie to consume his engorged, pulsating brain matter. Once this hunger has been aroused a SPAZ may have only seconds to put his training to use, drawing his weapon and blasting the zombie away before it can finish groaning “BRAAAINS!”
In our bi-quarterly training exercises, this tactic has proven of integral importance to our overall strategy. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, 1 in every 5,457 Americans is a zombie; experts predict that rate to explode to 1/100 by 2020. Nothing is more effective at culling the ever-growing population than “Zombie Baiting”. We believe the Zombie Apocalypse is inevitable; however, to forestall this eventuality we intend to expand our training grounds. Our soon-to-open Zombie Hunting and Adventure Park in Coos County is only made possible by the immunity provided by the Stand Your Ground law. Its repeal will doom this multi-million-dollar economic development for the North Country. New Hampshire will become the world-leader in the zombie killing adventure park tourist market - so long as Stand Your Ground is not repealed. In addition to being a monumental economic stimulus, the training provided in our facility will become essential when - not if - every city and town in New Hampshire is overrun by throngs of the undead.
If statistics are not enough; if you think the threat is not truly serious - imagine, if you will: a family of four are walking down Elm Street in Manchester, on their way to Ben & Jerry's to get some Chunky Monkey, when suddenly a zombie appears - perhaps from the direction of City Hall - creeping, stumbling, lurching - hungry for braaains. The children, a boy, only 7, and a girl, still so innocent at 12 years old - run to their mother for safety, who shrieks, "Oh, the horror!" before fainting on the sidewalk, a collapsed pile of uselessness. The father is carrying a SPAZ-approved AR15-Z ('Z' for zombie); he pulls it out, aiming, ready to fire - but he pauses, concerned. What will happen to him if this zombie survives and sues him? Will his children ever go to college? Will the court put a lien on the home he has worked tirelessly to provide for his family? Will he face prosecution if he doesn't run away? What if he does not have the constitution of a man who comes out “on top” in prison? In the brief seconds he hesitates, the zombie closes the gap between them and attempts to consume the incapacitated mother. At first bite she is immediately converted to a zombie herself, and she awakens with a new thirst for life - or death, if you will; she glimpses her young children, grasping for them, in an attempt to consume them, her own flesh and blood. The children scramble away, quivering behind their father, who is now confronted with not one but two zombies who might sue him if he shoots them. What would you do in this situation? What decision would you make?!?
Those opposed to the Stand Your Ground law argue that it will promote a more violent society, but the facts are these: zombies bite healthy New Hampshirites, thereby creating more zombies, who will in turn bite more New Hampshirites, which will, of course, create more zombies; furthermore, the only way to control (and hopefully eradicate) the rapidly-growing zombie population is through gun violence-- stopping the zombie outbreak before it is truly, terrifyingly out of control. Stand Your Ground holds the key to the protection of the world at large.
Public Outreach Coordinator for SPAZ New Hampshire