The Minnesota Committee on Public Safety conducted a hearing with a Stand your Ground Bill (HF-238) on the agenda for discussion and vote. At the discretion of the Chairman, Tony “Wyatt Earp” Cornish, discussion did not happen but a vote was called, and with a Republican controlled committee the bill was referred for House action.

Protect Minnesota says: “This extreme bill will allow people to ‘shoot first, ask questions later,’ and represents a risk to people of color and immigrants. A person could shoot someone simply because he felt afraid, even if there was no actual threat.”

I was prepared to address the bill. This is what I would have said.

I speak in opposition to this Stand Your Ground “kill bill.”

1. Stand Your Ground (SYG) dramatically increases the possibility of being shot. SYG lowers the bar for what is “justifiable” to merely a feeling of being threatened. It stirs a quick trigger response.

2. Studies have indicated that states with SYG laws have a higher homicide rate than those states that do not have SYG laws.

3. SYG violates the letter and intent of the Second Amendment of the Constitution. The amendment stipulates a balance between “regulation” and “rights.” SYG stresses only “rights” and obliterates “regulations.” We must be intellectually and Constitutionally honest about gun usage.

4. The Founding Documents of the Declaration of Independence affirms the equality of all people and the right of all people to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The Preamble of the Constitution mandates the government to “insure domestic tranquility…and promote the general welfare.” SYG gives the power to validate these timeless principles to the shooter thereby violating these life giving principles.

5. As a Christian, and perhaps many or all of you are followers of Jesus, I read and listen to Jesus’ words about weapon use: “Enough!”, “No more of this!” and “Those who live by the [gun] shall die by the [gun].” I believe one’s faith must influence one’s political decisions. If it does not, one’s faith is a sham and only a prop for political gain. I am convinced that Jesus would be repulsed by this bill.

I urge you to oppose this ‘kill bill.” It only denigrates our state and sanctity of life.

Readers, I urge you to contact your House Representative and express your opposition.