Neutered “Stand Your Ground” bill
illustrates lack of thoughtfulness prior to sponsoring legislation
HB0168, the “Stand Your Ground” bill passed by both Wyoming chambers earlier this month, went through a completely necessary and completely avoidable amendment process to get to the governor’s desk. Its journey is illustrative of a fundamentally flawed process by which local legislators sponsor bills.
Twice in two years, Reps. Bo Biteman and Mark Jennings have sponsored legislation without bothering to consult with those members of their constituencies that would most be affected by it. Last year, Biteman and Jennings sponsored a bill that would have forced local governments to abdicate their right to restrict the carrying of firearms in public meetings.
As eloquently stated in The Sheridan Press by Ranchester Mayor Peter Clark, neither he nor Dayton Mayor Norm Anderson were asked for their opinions on the prospect of armed citizens in what are often emotional government meetings. And again with Stand Your Ground, clearly the opinions of law enforcement, who would be directly affected by the law, were not considered to be important prior to introduction. As should have been expected with such a haphazard bill, the Wyoming Association of Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police (WASCS) came out against the provision in the bill that would have prevented arrest of anyone claiming self-defense.
WASCS was against the provision because of the difficulty of assessing intent at the scene of a shooting potentially leading to a murderer walking free.
In the end, after thinly veiled threats from the NRA and others, our Legislature did the right thing and stripped the provisions of the bill that essentially amounted to a legalization of murder.
If Reps. Biteman and Jennings want to avoid the continued embarrassment of having their bills described by other elected officials as “troubling,” “murky” and “bad law” I strongly suggest they make a better effort to reach out to those who would be most affected before introducing or sponsoring these poorly worded and unnecessary bills. These are not Wyoming problems. These are not Wyoming solutions.
from your diet
Re: Move toward the future
With three crippling Nor’easters battering our East Coast in quick succession, we all look forward to March 20, first day of spring, balmy weather and flowers in bloom.
It’s also a superb occasion to replace animal foods on our menu with healthy, delicious, eco-friendly vegetables, legumes, grains and fruits.
The shift toward healthy eating is everywhere. Fast-food chains like Chipotle, Quiznos, Starbucks, Subway, Taco Bell and Wendy’s all offer plant-based options. Major publications and popular websites tout vegan recipes.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt views replacement of meat by plant protein as the world’s No. 1 technical trend. The financial investment community is betting on innovative start-ups, like Beyond Meat or Impossible Foods. Even Tyson Foods new CEO sees plant protein as meat industry’s future.
Global Meat News reports that nearly half of consumers are reducing meat intake. Indeed, per capita red meat consumption has dropped by a whopping 25 percent in the past 40 years.
Every one of us can celebrate spring by checking out the rich collection of plant-based dinners and desserts in our supermarket’s frozen food, dairy and produce sections. An internet search on vegan foods brings rich rewards.