ALEC: “No Stand On Gun Policy Whatsoever”

A senior staff member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) said last week that the group – which collaborated with the National Rifle Association (NRA) to orchestrate stand your ground laws and ease restrictions on guns across America – presently has no plans to create any new policy or be involved in gun legislation. He also sidestepped a question on an ALEC-led push to repeal stand your ground laws. Perhaps they realize that they shot themselves in the foot on this controversial issue.

ALEC duck

ALEC is one of the most vilified organizations in the history of American politics. It has members who mingle in closed quarters around conservative policies affecting all of us, devising schemes called “model policies” designed to control state legislation, while exchanging clout and money in the process.

Every state in America has politicians affiliated with the group, which denies involvement in some controversial issues, and won’t admit it has anything to do with problems that arise from any policy. Yet, ALEC has everything to do with state policies, problems, and legislation. Issues like climate change and stand your ground law have caused many leading corporations to cut ties with ALEC.

In a blog piece titled “A Clear And Present Danger: The United State Of ALEC“, renowned journalist Michael Maynard compares ALEC to drug cartels.

In a recent op-ed in the Washington Post Apple CEO Tim Cook implicated ALEC when he wrote that a “wave of legislation” in the form of a Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) across dozens of states would allow discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) citizens.

When asked whether the organization was involved in supporting the RFRA, ALEC spokesperson recently told Christian Science Monitor: “We do not work on firearms, marriage equality, immigration, any of those things people frequently say are ours.” Yet, legislation that spreads across multiple states – as was the case after the success of stand your ground in Florida – is usually modeled by ALEC, and this template legislation causes problems, partly because what works in one state may not work in another.

In light of recent intense public debate on gun laws, ALEC claims to be taking a back seat, although they, along with their bedfellows over at the NRA, own the very policies at the center of the gun debate.

In a series of tweets Thursday (July 2nd), research analyst William Freeland, a senior staff member on ALEC’s Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force, engaged in a lively conversation with ALECExposed and myself. He avoided a direct answer to a question on any plans to repeal stand your ground laws, and denied that the organization is directly involved in gun policy this year.

So, what do you think? Do you think ALEC is still working behind the scenes to influence gun laws across the country? Do you believe ALEC?
Leave your comments below.

  • ALEC Politicians In Your State (endstandyourground)
  • Investigating ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council (tribuneofthepeople.com)
  • A Clear and Present Danger – The United State of ALEC (mmaynard119.wordpress.com)
  • For ALEC Money Talks with Gun Laws [Infographic] (blogs.lawyers.com)
  • Stand Your Ground Tweet Of The Month @endyourstand

     

     

    I read the Declaration of Independence yesterday, just to refresh my memory, so tt seems fitting today to debut a new featured post called “Tweet of the Month“, which will present some of the most thought-provoking, engaging interactions from our twittersphere every month. Wishing wish you and yours a happy, safe, Fourth of July, also!

    End Stand Your Ground July 4th

    End Stand Your Ground July 4th

    Stand Your Ground Frees Black Woman Charged In Killing White Man In Road Rage Incident

     

    In what her attorney called a “perfect stand your ground case” an African-American Texas woman has been cleared in the shooting death of a white man who she claimed was a threat during a 2012 Harris County road rage incident. Crystal Scott, of Houston, had been charged with murder in the death of Jonathan Ables. Prosecutors dismissed the charge on Monday, June 29, 2015. The case drew widespread attention because of its racial undertones.

    Crystal Scott

    Crystal Scott

    Scott was 23 years-old when she and 22 year-old Ables were involved in a minor morning rush hour traffic accident as they were each were driving to work on September 17, 2012. She reported they had cut each other off while driving, with Ables at one point even getting in front of her and slamming on his brakes as they hop-scotched on the highway.

    When they both pulled over into a service station, after Ables had reportedly bumped her car, Scott and several witnesses said Ables got out of his pickup truck, approached her vehicle in a rage, then started cursing and banging on her car window while pulling on her car door. She was not injured, but said she feared for her life when she fired through her car window. Ables reportedly suffered two gunshot wounds in the upper torso.

    Jonathan Ables

    Jonathan Ables

    Scott said she was acting in self-defense when she fired at Ables through her closed car window as he raged at her and tried to open her car door. Scott, who holds a concealed carry permit, was questioned for several hours and released without being arrested.

    Ables’ family was furious, claiming he had his hands up and was backing away when Scott fired on him. His parents said he had no reason to harm Scott. It was only after his family called for justice that a grand jury indicted Scott on a murder charge – five months later – in February, 2013. And that’s when Scott’s family and supporters became angry. She surrendered, and was released on a $50,000 bond.

    Now that the case is over, Scott’s attorney, Letitia Quinones said, “It’s a perfect ‘stand your ground’ case”. However, Ables’ family is angry again, feeling that justice has not been served.

    Texas is a stand your ground state, requiring no duty to retreat from a threat before using deadly force. Self-defense “castle doctrine” laws in most American states include and extend to a person’s vehicle, therefore there was never a need for Scott to invoke stand your ground.

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    New Orleans Homeowner Arrested For Shooting Burglar

    New Orleans police arrested a 39 year-old New Orleans homeowner for aggravated battery on June 30, accusing him of shooting a man suspected of burglarizing a house the homeowner had under repair.

    According to the Times-Picayune, the homeowner, Luiz Delmia, and his wife, were driving by a building that was being repaired due to a fire, when they saw an unidentified man enter the house. Delmia parked, got out of his car, went to the house, and encountered an unidentified man. Delmia allegedly shot the man several times, then stood over him and threatened to shoot again.

    Luiz Delmia

    Luiz Delmia

    One witness reportedly said he heard nine shots, then two more, and heard the suspected burglar begging for his life, saying “Please don’t shoot me again”, and that witness told the New Orleans Advocate that Delmia kicked the wounded man as he lay on the ground. The witness said after Delmia emptied one clip of his gun, he asked his wife for another.

    It’s not clear whether the shooting occurred inside or outside the house. Delmia’s wife told police that the house had been burglarized for copper pipe and wiring three times in the past week.

    Louisiana is a “stand your ground” state. The state’s stand your ground law (La. Rev. Stat. 14:20) reads, “A person who is not engaged in unlawful activity and who is in a place where he or she has a right to be shall have no duty to retreat before using deadly force as provided for in this Section, and may stand his or her ground and meet force with force”.

    Louisiana self defense laws (La. Rev. Stat. 14:19) state, “Use of force which does not result in death is justifiable when committed to prevent forcible offense against the person; or forcible offense or trespass against property in a person’s lawful possession”.

    Homeowners should always know the law before taking action pertaining to protection of property. Check out the stand your ground laws in your state.

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    Ex-Prison Guard Not Charged In Shocking Chase, Killing In New York Subway [Video]

    Where is the line separating self-defense from vigilantism?

    New York is not a “stand your ground” state, meaning that a person has a duty to retreat from a threat if possible, before using deadly force. But this story proves you can still chase after and kill an unarmed person in a crowded subway station and get away with it, in a public shooting that is shocking, even by New York standards.

    On Tuesday, March 10, 2015 electricians Gilbert Drogheo, 32 and Joscelyn Evering, 28, were headed home from work, strapping on a crowded subway to Brooklyn. As 69 year-old Willie Groomes, an ex-prison guard (who retired in 1993) with a gun permit, tried to walk between the pair to get on the subway, one of the younger men addressed him with the slang, “my nigger,” according to reports. Groomes replied, “I’m not your nigger.”

    “They (Drogheo and Evering) were talking mad trash,” a witness reportedly said. “They must have been drunk.” Other witnesses said Drogheo raised his fist, threatening to “smoke” Groomes before Evering jumped Groomes (something Evering denied). Groomes pulled out a .380 Ruger handgun to try to fight him off. At least one witness reportedly saw Drogheo push Groomes back into the train as the two friends exited to get away. Neither Drogheo nor Evering is reported to have been armed.

    Gilbert Drogheo

    Gilbert Drogheo, 28, was shot and killed in a New York subway station on March 10, 2015

    Groomes went after Drogheo, later claiming he wanted to make a “citizens’ arrest”. A three minute witness’ cellphone video shows the ensuing confrontation. Groomes is first seen on the video in the station, apparently after exiting the subway, walking swiftly down stairs, toward someone who is shouting at him on the lower stairs, and, as Groomes advances, he can be heard saying “Where you gonna go” to the younger man, who runs when Groomes gets to bottom of the stairs.

    During the encounter, someone can be heard shouting repeatedly, “Don’t shoot him, O.G., don’t shoot him”. Groomes stops, looks up, turns, and heads back up the stairs, where, 25 seconds into the video, Groomes goes at Drogheo landing a left fist to the temple and holding a gun in the right hand. Drogheo reels from the blow, then struggles with Groomes over the gun before being shot. Witnesses scramble and a man who appears to be Evering approaches the wounded Drogheo, kneeling over and calling out mournfully to him as police arrive. Evering is arrested. Drogheo died later that evening at a hospital.

    On May 4th, Brooklyn District Ken Thompson announced there wasn’t enough evidence to prove a crime was committed.

    Thompson issued a statement that read, “Following a full and fair investigation…I have determined that criminal charges are not warranted in this matter. Based on interviews of multiple eyewitnesses to the events leading up to the shooting, our review of video tapes of the shooting itself and other evidence, I have decided not to put this case into the grand jury and will not bring criminal charges against Mr. Groomes. While the death of this young man was indeed tragic, we cannot prove any charge of homicide beyond a reasonable doubt.”

    Prosecutors claim a second video shows that Groomes had given up trying to track down Drogheo, but they ran into each other again, when they claim Drogheo initiated a struggle that resulted in an “accidental discharge” of the weapon. This shocking cellphone video below seems to contradict that contention.

    New York state self-defense laws allow a citizen to use physical force, “other than deadly physical force” when “he or she reasonably believes such to be necessary to effect an arrest or to prevent the escape from custody of a person” who may have committed a crime. A citizen can use deadly physical force only when defending against “imminent use of deadly physical force,” or when it is necessary to detain a person who was committed manslaughter, murder, robbery, forcible rape, or forcible criminal sexual act.

    Gregg Pinto, a former Brooklyn assistant district attorney, told Gawker the reason Groomes was not arrested has little to do with self-defense or anything else about the conflict itself. “I can’t imagine that if this guy didn’t have a badge, he wouldn’t have been arrested,” Pinto. “In my opinion, NYPD is arrest first, ask questions later. The only time you don’t arrest is if the person is somehow connected to the police.”

    In 1984, New Yorker Bernie Goetz made national headlines when he shot four black teenagers who were trying to mug him. He was arrested but later acquitted of attempted murder.

    No one disputes the fact that Drogheo and his friend initiated the confrontation. Yet Groomes could have simply called the cops, or not followed the two younger men. He has not been charged or arrested. Evering was arrested at the scene, charged with menacing and felony assault. Drogheo’s family wants and deserves justice and have started a petition to get District Attorney Ken Thompson to charge Groomes with murder.

    Was Groomes justified? What do you think he should have done? Leave your comments.

    What’s your opinion of stand your ground law?

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    Pooping By Dog Leads To Father’s Day Shooting

    A Miami man, upset over a dog trying to poop on his son’s lawn, told police he shot the dog owner on Father’s Day because he felt threatened.

    66-year-old Omar Rodriguez had a verbal altercation with Jose “Pepe” Rey, and Rodriguez claimed Rey had said he would return. Later, it’s reported that, as Rey was talking with other neighbors at a gathering, Rodriguez appeared. Rodriguez told police he saw Rey move toward him, with some type of “shiny object” in his hand, so he went to his car, got his gun, then opened fire, shooting Rey multiple times. He also threatened to shoot Rey’s wife, Lissy, when she ran to help her husband.

    Jose "Pepe" Rey

    Jose “Pepe” Rey was shot multiple times during a dispute over a dog trying to poop

    Rey is last reported to be in critical condition, with severe abdominal and spinal injuries. A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the Rey family with medical expenses.

    Rodriguez was arrested and faces charges of second-degree attempted murder and aggravated assault. At his arraignment on June 23, a judge denied bond, citing police reports that state Rey had his hands out and was backing up when he was shot.

    Omar Rodriguez

    Omar Rodriguez appears for arraignment June 23, 2015

    Neighbors of Rodriguez’ son and his own neighbors – miles away – all reportedly described Rodriguez as unstable, saying he has allegedly threatened people in his son’s neighborhood as well as his own. Several frightened people in his son’s neighborhood have reportedly filed restraining orders to keep him away, and police have released surveillance camera footage that shows Rodriguez engaged in some mischief and altercations involving neighbors.

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