Stand Your Ground: Tulsa shooting spree linked to stand your ground killing
Another consequence of stand your ground?
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Pernel Jefferson shot Carl England on April 5, 2010. The two got into a confrontation because of England’s daughter and her fiancé. England’s daughter’s fiancé first struck Jefferson with a baseball bat for allegedly trying to break into his apartment. Jefferson went to find a gun and was later tracked down by England and the boyfriend. England struck Jefferson with a stick and Jefferson pulled out a gun and shot him. Jefferson was acquitted under Oklahoma’s version of Stand Your Ground of the worst charge of murder and convicted of pointing a gun.
Jake England, Carl England's 19-year-old, and Alvin Watts, 31, were arrested this weekend for killing three African American men and wounding two others. They have confessed, according to the police. The police believe that Jake England decided to go on the shooting spree because of the anniversary of his father’s death and the suicide death of his girlfriend. Jake England and Watts are being held on $9.1 million dollars bail.
According to authorities, Jake England posted on his Facebook page that he was screwed up because of the deaths of his father and his fiancé. He went on to use a racial slur in describing African Americans.
One victim of the shooting described how he was talking to a friend in the early morning hours, when a truck pulled up and asked for directions. The victim said that he turned to look at his friend and that is when he heard gunshots. He was struck in the chest but he survived.
I have gotten several comments on my blog about how ‘guns don’t kill people, people kill people.’ I have also had people compare what is going on with guns in America to the violence that is going on in Mexico. First, let’s just make sure and state the obvious, which is that people without handguns kill less people. To refute this point, let’s compare the United States to Canada. Canadians are avid hunters. They have guns. Yet, the country has very few handguns and assault rifles are banned. They also have drug laws that do not punish those who are afflicted with drug addiction. Canada had 1.9 murders per 100,000 people in 2008-09 and the United States had three times as many during the same period. We are first in homicides in the world among our allies and other industrialized nations.
We should not be comparing ourselves to Mexico, which is overrun by drugs coming into the United States. Drugs for personal consumption are legal in Mexico. These drugs include heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana. So, Mexicans can go buy drugs and use them for personal consumption in the privacy of their own homes. So where does Mexico’s drug problem stem from? 95% of the drugs sold by Mexican drug cartels are shipped to the United States. We are Mexico’s drug problem.
In this case it seems that Stand Your Ground has boomeranged on the State of Oklahoma. In a case as violent as Carl England’s and where threats of violence were made on both sides, how can you evaluate which party was acting in self-defense? Was it Carl England who was trying to protect his daughter’s home, or was it Pernel Jefferson who was earlier attacked with a bat and then a stick? Was Jake England justified in seeking revenge for his father’s death or can he claim temporary insanity because of all the stress he was under from his fiancé’s death?
Stand Your Ground is turning the Southern United States into a killing field and these laws must be repealed.