I was wrong. As I was walking in from the parking lot today, I bet with myself that there would be ten "hate emails" regarding my stand on House Bill 135; the so-called stand your ground bill. I guess it all depends on how one defines "hate emails" but if we would consider them so negative that a thoughtful person would not send them if he or she thought twice about it--a fairly good definition--I've only received three.
One "hate email" was from someone pretended that he actually appreciated my compromise amendment before he went on to blast me. I knew it would be all or nothing on this issue. Gun opponents could like with compromise; gun proponents could not.
One email was very favorable.
One "hate email" was from someone who now plans to contribute to my opponent should I choose to run again (go for it, I wrote back; most likely my opponent will be twice as anti-gun as you perceive me to be and a big tax and spender as well).
The other "hate email" was from someone who did so pathetically this past November in his campaign for State Rep that I'm not likely to be taking election advice from his any time soon.
Of course, the day is still young, but so far the amount of "hate email" has not lived up to my expectations. I suspect there will be more in the wake of this posting.
Both the Union Leader and Concord Monitor quoted me accurately in today's editions. "All those who say I am going against people with guns," the Union Leader reports, "I have accomplished two-thirds of what you all wanted to do. Let it be known that if not for this amendment, the entire bill would have passed."
I can hardly wait to see the new Union Leader editorial, especially since I have just been handed its editorial last year OPPOSING stand your ground. "Under current law, deadly force is not justified if a person knows he or the other party can retreat from a conflict with complete safety. An exception is made if one is in one's own home. There, no retreat is needed. The bill expands the home exception to include any place a person has a right to be," the paper editorialized. "We also don't see why the change is needed. Current law doesn't forbid the use of deadly force outside one's home; it prohibits it as the first response to a threat if one knows that the safe escape of either party is an option. That's a reasonable restriction."
Until today, I wasn't aware of that editorial, but its logic is precisely what the 12 of us in the majority used yesterday!
Here are the four emails I allude to (I make no changes or corrections to typos or errors). Some didn't even spell my name right, but I'm used to that and it both ers me not a whit.
I appreciate your attempts to compromise on the Stand Your Ground law which recently passed out of your committee.
However, I must express my displeasure at such compromise.
As a husband and father, I could not fathom forcing my wife and children to "run and hope for the best" if they were hiking in the woods and encountered a thug intent on rape and murder.
Your compromise puts their lives in greater danger.
I am very disappointed in your compromise between liberty protected by the documents you SWORE AN OATH to defend, and so-called public safety. Who's safety are you talking about? Because you sure as hell aren't talking about the safety of my wife and children.
Compromise means giving up something, and what you give up voting this out of committee is freedom and liberty so recently won for law abiding citizens of New Hampshire.
Listen to your constituents. Listen to your fellow New Hampshire residents. I ask that you please reconsider your position. Repealing the Stand Your Ground law is a solution for a problem that doesn't exist. All it does is drive NH closer to being North Mass.
Your fellow NH Resident,
Since I cannot have the pleasure of not voting for you in the next election because I am not in your district -- I will send a donation to your opponent and make sure that other Gun Owners in NH do the same. Democrat or Republican doesn't matter.
From: Jerald Ross [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, March 01, 2013 12:22 PM
To: ~House Criminal Justice and Public Safety
Subject: HB 135
I wish to congratulate the members of your committee who endorsed HB 135 with bipartisan support. We believe this act will wisely undue the needless and potentially dangerous changes made last session to NH statutes related to the use of deadly force. As I indicated in my earlier email to some of your members, recent scientific findings have demonstrated the undesirable effect of these kinds of "stand your ground laws" in states that have passed them. Let us hope the senate acts with the same kind of courage and wisdom you have shown.
I am the convener of a group of citizens from the Unitarian Universalist Church in Nashua who are concerned about gun violence.
16 Spruce Street
Hudson, New Hampshire
The news that the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee voted in favor of passing HB135 on to the full House for a vote, despite the overwhelming testimony against passing the bill, will result in a political cost to those of you who voted in favor of doing so. Your names will be circulted among National and NH gun organizations as well as responsible New Hampshire citizens who have the constitutional right to defend and protect themselves anywhere they have a right to be.
This bill, if enacted, will be challanged in the NH Supreme Court.
(not to be confused with former Ways and Means Chair Steve Stephanek)