Mortal Hazard

February 27th, 2014

Inspired by Cuccinelli, 3 others start Virginia Self Defense Law firm, defending gun rights (Laura Vozzella, WashingtonPost.com 2/27/14).

 

“A legal retainer with Virginia Self Defense Law costs as little as $8.33 a month — less than half the cost of a hunting license. Don’t be a victim! Don’t let these realities become your family’s fiscal nightmare!” — Virginia Self Defense Law website (their slogan is “Defending those who defend themselves”)
 
 “It’s not insurance. It’s a retainer plan. But it gives you peace of mind knowing ultimately if something happens, you’ve got that coverage.” –State Sen. Thomas A. Garrett Jr. (R-Louisa), one of Cuccinelli’s partners in the new firm

 

Guess what Ken Cuccinelli just did?

He found a way to make money from angry white men who want to shoot a black kid.

 

For a monthly retainer as low as $8.33,

You can become a VA Self Defense enrollee.

Only 30 people have signed up so far,

Not enough to get Ken that fancy new car.

 

But think about all the gun owners out there who fear persecution

And were deterred from shooting people by fear of prosecution.

If a million of them sign up, that’s over $100 million per year,

Not a bad pay-off for inciting and monetizing fear.

 

And if Ken has to defend a few thousand Zimmermans and Dunns

For shooting grieving parents’ sons?

Well, he’ll still have a tidy sum remaining,

Part of which he can use for anti-gun safety campaigning.

 

But what if at some point the profits stop flowing

Because the death toll and legal defense costs are growing?

Then Ken can just pack it in and close down

And stop defending the people they encouraged to shoot those kids down.

(Unlike insurance, a retainer can be terminated pretty easily,

So Ken could collect your payments for years and then drop you, sleazily.)

 

Then again, there’s the questionable morality

Of encouraging people to resort to lethality.

That’s one of the problems with Stand Your Ground:

It leads to more angry people carrying guns around.

 

It tells them that instead of avoiding a confrontation,

They should instead seek violent escalation.

It tells them that instead of backing down,

They can just shoot somebody down.

It tells them that when they to deadly force resort,

They better kill their victim so he can’t testify in court.

 

Ken’s plan makes this incentive structure even more glaring,

And those trigger-happy gun owners even less caring.

Now, they can just fire away,

And won’t even need to a defense lawyer pay.

(Economists call this effect “moral hazard,”

But that understates the harm of making gunplay more haphazard.)

 

Even if you don’t care about all the extra people shot

(And if Ken has his way, that’ll be a lot),

What’s the effect of so much more mortality

On Ken’s soul and heavenly immortality?

 

When Ken goes to the Pearly Gates

Where his patron Saint Peter awaits,

What will Ken say in his own defense

About the people he encouraged to kill in “self-defense”?

***

If you agree that Stand Your Ground must be repealed, click here to sign the MoveOn.org petition and send emails to the governors in each of the 26 states that have adopted it.

 

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