Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Psst: FoxNews- Your Headline Is Wrong
What's wrong with that screen capture (full story here)?
Ah, yes, it would be the fact that the State of Texas does not have a 'Stand Your Ground' law, more's the pitty.
Fox is engaging, here, in the overused tactic of the hyped headline. Specifically, the misleading hyped headline. The article itself is actually pretty "fair and balanced." When you consider the size (both geographic area and population) of Texas, 48 justified homicides actually seems like a low number, to me. When it then mentions that shooter and shootee are most often minorities (meaning that, most of the time, they are both minorities) is something that other, more Liberal, outlets would have left off, or left out of the first several paragraphs.
So, I don't really have a problem with the article, but the headline- which is all most people are going to see- is a problem. It simply feeds the meme that Red States are full of cold-blooded killers just waiting for an excuse to shoot you. It suggest that if you look at someone wrong, they'll gun you down in the street. Both of these, of course, are simply not true.
The Castle Doctrine is pretty universal, though different in scope, in the concept of self-defense. The idea is that I don't have to wait for someone to do actual violence to my person to defend myself with deadly force if they are "assaulting the castle." In virtually all cases, this is your home. Some states, including Texas, also include your car.
Stand Your Ground, on the other hand, is no where near universal. It is the idea that if you are in public and someone assaults you, you have no obligation to try to get away; you can, instead, "stand your ground" and use deadly force.
Now you can approve or disapprove of Stand Your Ground laws. You can even approve or disapprove of the Castle Doctrine. But to conflate the two is to do both a great disservice, and to make people appear to be violence prone when they are, instead, the victims.
The people of Texas, indeed, everyone who has ever had to defend themselves in their own homes, deserve much better from Fox News.