Media Fearmongers Over Utah's 'Stand Your Ground' Proposal

For better or worse, people trust the media to give them relevant information. People who want to be informed on what is going on in the world look to the news media to relay accurate information, even in opinion pieces. After all, while people are entitled to their own opinions, they’re not entitled to their own facts.


Yet reporter Lee Davidson is apparently using his own facts when he fearmongers over Utah’s Stand Your Ground proposal in the Salt Lake Tribune.

Despite concerns that it could lead to extra violence against minorities, a bill advanced Wednesday to beef up Utah’s “stand your ground” law — which allows people to defend themselves with force without the need to retreat, even if possible.

Such a law helped George Zimmerman escape a murder conviction in the 2012 Florida shooting of Treyvon Martin, a black teenager returning to his home from a store. The incident sparked protests nationwide, and brought new focus to such laws.

Except that Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law was never once brought up at Zimmerman’s trial.

You see, “Stand Your Ground” laws only apply in the event of you being able to retreat from an attack. Trayvon Martin was on top of George Zimmerman, bashing his head into the concrete sidewalk. How would Zimmerman have retreated from that threat?

He couldn’t have.

Zimmerman’s attorneys argued self-defense, but invoking the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law was never necessary because it didn’t apply.


And let’s not get into this nonsense of how “Stand Your Ground” laws lead to violence against minorities. Any statistics claiming that also fail to note that minorities are disproportionally involved in violent crimes in the first place. In other words, if minorities are being shot at such alarming rates, it’s because they’re putting themselves in that position in the first place.

It’s also interesting to note that while most of the rest of the story is normal reporting, the top of the story isn’t. It’s almost like Davidson is familiar with the inverted pyramid method of writing a news story–you know, like most reporters are–and utilized that knowledge to place his negative opinions of “Stand Your Ground” laws first and foremost, knowing that most readers of the newspaper would only read that bit without delving deeper into the story.

The fact that it also includes the bogus claim that Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges because of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, as well as ignoring that Martin was engaged in an assault that may well have killed Zimmerman had it been permitted to continue, is just icing on the cake.


This is why so many people are growing to distrust the media. They distrust the media because they’ve seen how untrustworthy that media acts. They feel betrayed by the entities they trust to give them information in an impartial manner.

Can you blame them?

After all, when a news story about a political issue begins with fearmongering and outright fabrication, it’s kind of hard to place your trust in that media outlet, now isn’t it?


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