More MDA SYG inconsistency

Moms Demand Action posted two articles about Stand Your Ground in Florida.  In typical unable-to-get-anything-about-guns-right MDA fashion, the two articles were in near direct contradiction to each other, and one of the articles is in contradiction to established MDA dogma.

First up, we have MDA commenting on this article from the New York Times.

Oh, shit!  What is Florida going to do now?

Republican legislators in Florida are planning to compound the deadly mischief of the state’s Stand Your Ground law by allowing accused killers even greater leeway to claim self-defense and immunity from prosecution in violent confrontations.

Dear God, no!  How much more leeway are “accused killers” going to get?

Under current law, homicide defendants must prove at a pretrial hearing that they “reasonably believed” they were threatened with grave bodily harm, and therefore are entitled to make a claim of self-defense at trial. But a bill moving through the Republican-controlled Legislature would turn the hearing process on its head, by shifting the burden to prosecutors to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that a defendant’s claim to self-defense was not valid. 

Oh.  So Florida is going to apply the legal standard that is at the core of American jurisprudence, placing the burden of proof in a criminal trial on the prosecution.  That doesn’t actually sound so bad.

Of course, MDA isn’t going to stand for this.  They don’t care about civil liberties or the rights of the accused  when it comes to gun laws.

A few clicks of the scroll wheel down the page and MDA posted about this article from CNN on a movie theater shooting in Tampa.

Seems that a judge tossed the defendants defense of Stand Your Ground.  I find this odd as MDA has told me countless times that a claim of SYG cannot be questioned and is a get-out-of-jail-free card.

“Because the defendant’s testimony was significantly at odds with the physical evidence and other witness testimony, this court has considerable doubts about his credibility, and is not willing to come to the conclusion that these circumstances are those envisioned by the Legislature when the ‘stand your ground’ law was enacted,” Barthle ruled.

Turns out that the shooter LIED about the incident.  Wittiness and evidence contradict his statement to the police.  As it turns out, the shooter was in a lot less danger than he claimed to be in at the time off the shooting.

Oulson threw a bag of popcorn at Reeves, according to a criminal complaint, and Reeves then took out his handgun and fired at Oulson, killing him.

As cholesterol laden as movie theater popcorn soaked in artificial-butter-flavored-grease may be, it is not cause for an immediate threat of death or grave bodily harm.


The proposed Florida law, if it passes, would not change the facts of the case.  It would only mean that the jury has to decide on the SYG claim rather than the judge toss it at pre-trial.  This is EXACTLY the type of evidence that would be presented to a jury during a criminal trial.

Ladies and gentlemen of the Jury.  I love the movie The Untouchables.  One of my favorite quotes from that movie is “They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue.”  Somehow it is less memorable as “They pull a bag of Orville Redenbacher, you pull a gun. He sends stains one of your shirts, you send him to the morgue.”  Because that is what happened in this case.  I think even Al Capone would let this one slide with just a warning.

Here’s the kicker too.  Reeves, the shooter, was a RETIRED TAMPA POLICE CAPTAIN.  Yep.  Those cops who are the only people professional enough for MDA to be allowed to carry a gun in public.  One of them had a bad shoot and lied about it.

A cop lying at trial?  This is my shocked face.

Between these two posts what I learned is that a CCWer who was a member of the elite, endowed by government authority with the superior nature to carry a gun in public, shot someone in an argument unjustifiably.  He claimed SYG, and the prosecutor reviewed the evidence and decided there was enough to show that he was lying and SYG was not a reasonable defense and had the judge toss SYG.  But if Florida makes it a requirement for prosecutors to do just that to a jury, Florida will become a murder free for all?

It’s like these people don’t even read the things they post.  They sure as hell don’t understand what they are talking about.

I was scrolling through the comments on these posts and found this.


My God.  Yes, an armed society is a polite society.  Apparently the spokesperson at Messaging Matters is a psycho who would get into crazy road rage incidents and shopping mall parking lot fights if it weren’t for the fear of getting shot.  Only someone completely unhinged (and I checked, this person is not a troll) would bemoan not being able to pick fights in public because of CCW.  CCW works.  This nut job proves it.

Leave it to these people to be so wrong that they actually prove us to be right.


4 Replies to “More MDA SYG inconsistency”

    1. Miles: You beat me to it. That’s the link I was going to share, too.

      It wasn’t a “Stand-Your-Ground” hearing, and the old guy is not claiming SYG. He is claiming self-defense, and may or may not have a valid claim. However, the judge’s ruling is riddled with enough legal errors that he might get a re-hearing on self-defense immunity.

      Miguel, I’m not calling this a “good shoot” or a “bad shoot”; I don’t have enough facts (although I’m tentatively leaning slightly toward “good”). I’ve seen the video from inside the theater, but it’s dark and grainy as hell and most of the “action” takes place just off-camera. I agree with Mr. Branca’s analysis that SYG shouldn’t apply; the retired cop is past 70 years old, in a theater which restricts free movement even for able-bodied folks, and is present with his similarly-elderly wife (who no “duty to retreat” statute would require him to abandon).

      But SYG vs. Duty to Retreat is but one of the elements of self-defense. The other four are still in play, and the judge’s opinion is based on a questionable (at best) understanding of the law.

      We’ll see what happens.



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