So ALEC’s gone into damage control.
The American Legislative Exchange Council, which pushed the vigilante “Stand Your Ground” laws in states around the country, has just disbanded its “Public Safety and Elections Task Force,” which had come up with the wording of these laws.
Pressure from citizen groups as well as fleeing corporations made the rightwing council say that it was going to just focus on issues of economic competitiveness, by which it means deregulation, instead. It was always a little odd that ALEC had strayed into the “public safety” field, except that the NRA backed it and funds ALEC, and WalMart gains financially from the sale of guns, and it backs ALEC, too.
But before we leave the issue of these “Stand Your Ground” laws behind, there’s one aspect to them that’s caught my attention. And this has to do with businesses now having the right to use lethal force in states where these laws have passed.
That’s right: If you trespass on a businessman’s property, or if that businessman believes you’re trespassing on his property, he can gun you down.
This adds new meaning to “buyer beware.”
And it reminds me of another license to kill that businesses received—this time from the FBI, though the FBI denies it.
There’s a group called Infragard, with 48,980 members. It’s an alliance of businesspeople and FBI agents in every state of the union. And at least in one case, members of a local Infragard chapter were told that as businesspeople, they have the right to use lethal force in times of an emergency. See “The FBI Deputizes Business,” the cover story of the March 2008 issue of The Progressive.
All ALEC did was remove the emergency from the equation.
If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story “Stop Obama’s Drone War in Pakistan."
Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter