Thursday, October 26, 2006

Color Me Not Impressed

OK, this one caught me slightly off guard.

The fourth and final gubernatorial debate last night actually kicked off with a worthwhile question, one that I was hoping would be asked of the candidates. Though, the phrasing of the question and the candidates' responses left much to be desired.

Jon Keller, moderator: Ms. Healey you'll go first here. Seventeen states including New Hampshire have a so-called Castle Doctrine law that says if you reasonably believe that someone is trying to kill you or seriously harm you in your home, you car or your place of business, you can use deadly force against them without fear of prosecution. Massachusetts limits that right to your home. Which state has it right, Massachusetts or New Hampshire? Sixty seconds.

That requires a 60-second response? It's only three syllables.

Personally, I'd have gone with, "Do you believe that the people of Massachusetts have the right to defend themselves and their families from bodily harm?"

Period. End of question.

Kerry Healey: Well I certainly think that it makes sense in your home. And while I haven't made a full study of how this has worked in other states I think that we absolutely should preserve the opportunity for someone to defend themselves without limitation within their own home. Everyone knows who should belong in one's home and who shouldn't. If someone comes into your home and threatens you then I think you certainly have the right to defend yourself even to the point of using deadly force.

Translation: I think we need to conduct a study to determine if ordinary citizens have the right to self-defense.

In other words, Ms. Healey here is undecided on whether a junkie's right to stick a screwdriver in your wife's neck and take your wallets, while you're out picking up some groceries for your family, is more sacrosanct that your right to prevent him from doing so.

Don't hurt yourself thinking about it, Kerry.

Christy Mihos: Absolutely for the Castle Doctrine Jon. A man's castle is uh, his home is his castle and there should be no one questioning that whatsoever. I will work hard to pass the Castle Doctrine here in Massachusetts.

Translation: Either I totally wasn't paying attention to the question, or I simply have insufficient knowledge of the topic to give an informed response. And Kerry Healey's a poopyhead!

Sidenote to Christy: Massachusetts already HAS a Castle Doctrine law on the books.

Deval Patrick: I think that the reasonable use of force including deadly force to defend one's home is a bedrock principle and I understand it. And I support it. Indeed I think we ought to be looking to strike balance between responsible gun ownership and use and irresponsible gun ownership. Making guns more available as they are today, flooding in over state lines and used by gangs in violent crime. That's where I think the emphasis ought to lie.

Translation: I support the use of deadly force by law-abiding citizens against criminals, so long as the law-abiding citizens, especially, the lower-income, people of color, in Massachusetts are routinely denied that option through a costly and complicated licensing system, that puts all the power in the hands of power-hungry, totalitarian bureaucrats.

Sorry, Deval, your answer was even worse than Healey's. And, spare me all this "balance" crap. We blew past "balance", like we were doing a buck-eighty on the highway, about 40 years ago.

Grace Ross: Well, you know, I think in your home. I think workplaces are a little more complicated and in the street is very complicated. You know, it's interesting. i think the real answers to these questions lie in creating safer communities because you know a lot of the violence that happens at home isn't from strangers. It's domestic violence and we've made laws in MA to this point and our resources available to domestic violence victims way insufficient. We've got a lot of women trapped at home right now with no place to go. So we can't talk about protection in general but I think we need to be specific about where the real dangers lie and actually deal with the violence which is usually between people who know each other.

Translation: Can I pretend you asked a different question?