By Bill Maher
John McCain recently called for a review of Stand Your Ground laws. So let's review:
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 22 states have laws similar to Florida's Stand Your Ground: Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.
Here's how it happened: After Florida passed Stand Your Ground in 2005 a group called the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) adopted Florida's Stand Your Ground law as a model for other states. ALEC was the Johnny Appleseed of Stand Your Ground. They were the snake oil salesmen that went state to state and sold Stand Your Ground until 22 more states had similar types of gun laws on the books. In some states they're called Shoot First laws.
The American Legislative Exchange Council says they're a non-partisan not-for-profit organization. You know, one of those 501(c)(3) groups that the IRS is always supposedly hassling. But as you read on you see that they're an organization of "state legislators" who "favor federalism" and "conservative public policy solutions." Look into it more and you'll find out that the Koch Brothers donated heavily to ALEC.
Shortly after the 2008 election when high numbers of minority voters swept Obama into office, ALEC pivoted from pushing Stand Your Ground laws to pimping Voter ID laws. That's right, the same folks who brought us Stand Your Ground are also responsible for the recent glut of Voter ID laws.
Since 2011, voter suppression bills have been introduced in 41 states, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. Within 24 hours of the Supreme Court striking down section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, five of the nine states required to submit voting law changes to the federal government for pre-clearance moved ahead with voter ID laws. ALEC is responsible for spreading both Stand Your Ground and Voter ID like rash across America's stomach. When are the liberals going to step up and get this organized? Where are the liberal "Koch Brothers" out there?
Maybe the IRS should be giving groups like this a second look.