Paul Hackett on gays, god, and guns
Paul Hackett chats with the The Columbus Post Dispatch public-affairs team:
"I said it. I meant it. I stand behind it. Equal justice under the law for all regardless of who they are and how they were born is fundamental to our American spirit and our American freedoms. Any person or group that argues that the law should not apply equally to all Americans is, frankly, un-American."
"The Republican Party has been hijacked by religious fanatics, who are out of touch with mainstream America. Think of the recent comments by Pat Robertson - a religious fanatic by any measure - that the United States should assassinate a democratically elected leader in Venezuela, and that Ariel Sharon's stroke was divine punishment because Sharon wished to trade land for peace."
"Since the Republican Party has been utterly unable to stand for something positive, they have created an atmosphere of fear and intimidation, and have pandered to religious fanatics not to vote for something they believe in, but to vote against their fellow Americans with whom they disagree. Those among us who would use religion and politics to divide rather than unite Americans should be ashamed." [CPD]
Great! However, I'm not wildly enthusiastic about Hackett's position on the summary execution of burglars:
"Break into my house, we won’t have to worry about the application of the death penalty. It’s going to be a simple 911 call: Come pick up the body."
I don't care much about gun rights one way or the other, but a DIY death penalty is not a step forward.
Addendum: Obviously, this is Hackett being Hackett. It's the sort of thing I expect him to say about guns. As Eli and others have argued below, there's nothing controversial about a strong presumption of self-defense when a resident uses deadly force against an intruder in the home. However, if we believe in a presumption of self-defense, we've got to be specific about what we're presuming. Legitimate self-defense presupposes that the shooter has a good-faith belief that they were exercising reasonable force. You don't have a moral right to shoot someone just because they're trespassing on your property. Granted, if someone overreacts and shoots an unarmed intruder, the state should cut that person a lot of slack, given the circumstances. But the presumption of self-defense is about excusing mistakes, or possible mistakes--not licensing vigellanteism.
Via One Good Move.