• The Logical Conclusion to 'Stand Your Ground.'

    When there are laws that effectively gives card blanche to murder someone in cold blood, as long as you claim you were "in fear for your life," exist, you'll get cases like these:

    A co-worker who witnessed the shooting said Rainey had knocked on Roop’s door, but received no answer. While Rainey was walking down the drive-way, Roop pulled up in his pickup truck and asked why Rainey was at his house. Rainey explained that he was selling steak and seafood. The witness said Roop then pulled out a black handgun and shot Rainey. As Rainey lay on the ground, Roop fired another bullet into the back of his head. Roop later told police that he shot Rainey in the head “for effect” and that he had three no trespassing signs on his property. Roop said he feared for his life. “I’m not going to give him the chance to do something to me,” he told police. “I was in fear.”

    Yeah, he was in fear of being sold bad meat and seafood by a door-to-door salesman.

    The good news is 52-year-old Kenneth Bailey Roop was arrested and is now charged with second-degree murder. Apparently he thought SYG would give him card blanche to live out a Gran Torino moment, except Walt Kowalski exercised more self-control than this clown. According to his neighbors, Roop's fantasy of blowing a trespasser off his lawn was a long time coming:

    Roop’s neighbors described him as “the neighborhood crazy.” Roop has a concealed weapons permit and approximately 14 firearms.

    Those naturally against gun control already have an argument waiting in the wings for stories like these: guys like Roop and the now-infamous James Holmes are the exception, not the rule. Too bad we've been seeing a lot of exceptions lately.

    It's ridiculously easy for the ill-tempered and sociopathic to obtain firearms and organizations like the NRA are willing to look the other way while not only claiming these people to be "exceptions," but also politically kneecap anyone who stands up to the organization, never mind how its perceived power is inversely proportional to its actual power:

    We do absolutely anything they ask and we NEVER cross them—which includes asking permission to cosponsor any bills endorsed by the Humane Society (the answer is usually no) and complying with their demand to oppose the DISCLOSE Act, neither of which have anything to do with guns. They've completely shut down the debate over gun control. It's really incredible. I'm not sure when we decided that a Democrat in a marginal district who loses his A rating from the NRA automatically loses reelection. Because it's not like we do everything other partisan organizations like the Chamber [of Commerce] or NAM [National Association of Manufacturers] tell us to...

    Pandering to the NRA is the probably worst part of my job. I can justify the rest of it—not just to keep the seat, but because I believe most of the positions he takes are consistent with what his constituents want. But sucking up to the NRA when something like Colorado happens is hard to stomach.
    I'm not a big fan of gun control, but I absolutely hate how the president bunted on the issue. On one hand, I can understand why he declined to use the Aurora, CO. shootings as a springboard for discussing anything that remotely looks like a renewed push for gun control. On the other hand, he missed an opportunity to have a conversation that's needed having for quite some time.

    As long as gun ownership rights trump the rights of folks like Nicholas Rainey to stay alive, we'll keep seeing scenarios like this one play out throughout the country.