Matthew Dowd, President George W. Bush's former chief strategist, on Sunday observed that the same conservative legislatures and governors who are championing so-called Christian values like prayer in schools are also pushing for dangerous gun laws that are counter to Christian teachings.
During a panel on ABC, "Nightline" anchor Terry Moran noted that Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law gave officials cover to not arrest neighborhood watch vigilante George Zimmerman for killing Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old African American boy.
"No other state has a law like this," Moran explained. "Not only is it a 'Stand Your Ground' law -- in the olden days under common law you had a duty to retreat. 'Stand Your Ground' says, no, you don't have to. Florida goes one step farther. 'Stand Your Ground' is self defense -- defense at trial. It would go to trial where the jury would figure out what happened."
"In Florida, the law says if you raise a claim of self defense after killing someone in public, you can't even be arrested," he added. "It's why prosecutors and police hated this law. It sabotaged our justice system. All this discussion we've heard -- What did Zimmerman do? What did Trayvon do? -- Juries are supposed to figure that out. The Florida law destroys that American system."
"There is such irony about this," Dowd agreed. "Most of the states that have passed this including Florida and the 'Stand Your Ground' laws and the expanded gun-ownership laws where you can carry a concealed weapon are also the same states and the same legislatures and the same governors who sort of pushed for prayer in the school."
Dowd continued: "To me, there is such and irony here, that we want to be a Christian nation and we want to act in a Christian manner, but oh, by the way, we don't believe in the turn your other cheek and we don't believe in love your enemy. We believe in loading citizens and basically giving them an opportunity to shoot people."