Don’t miss this excellent editorial in the Wall Street Journal today.
Following the weekend intelligence disclosures about Iranian-supplied weapons killing GIs in Iraq, we predicted Tuesday that “a large part of Washington will pretend the evidence doesn’t exist, or suggest the intelligence isn’t proven, or claim that it’s all the Bush Administration’s fault for ‘bullying’ Iran.” Sure enough, President Bush faced a barrage of questions Wednesday wondering whether senior Iranian leaders were really aware of the weapons transfers, whether he was using “faulty intelligence,” and whether the disclosures were part of a strategy designed to “provoke Iran.”
So here is the state of our public discourse: American military officials present prima facie evidence of Iranian weapons implicated in killing 170 U.S. soldiers and wounding 600 more, and Washington’s main concern is not for the GIs but in refighting the last intelligence war.
…Meantime, is it too much to expect American journalists and Members of Congress to devote as much skepticism to Iran’s motives and behavior as they do to Mr. Bush’s?
Apparently the increase in violent crimes in Tennessee is leading legislators to take some unprecedented actions. They have filed bills that would increase the rights of citizens to bear arms and use those arms with deadly force in certain situations. Like during a carjacking. One bill in particular would allow motorists to kill an attacker that they feel is threatening to “murder, rape, kidnap, rob or carjack the car’s occupants.” Filing the bill was Rep. Ulysses Jones and Sen. Reginald Tate, two Memphis Democrats. “I’ve heard a lot of support for this. It’s time to give citizens the opportunity to protect themselves. Right now, we’re at the mercy of what I call ‘scum’,” said Jones, a Memphis Fire Department paramedic.
The important shift here is that potential victims had only been allowed the right of defense inside their homes. Extending the right to outside the home, and particularly to a motorist in a vehicle, is a dramatic change. The NRA has helped push similar laws through in Florida, but Tennessee is believed to be the first effort to extend rights to motorists. These so-called “No Retreat” laws change the burden of attackees so that fleeing isn’t the only option. Standing your ground and defending yourself and your property is allowed instead.