Actress and abortion activist Elizabeth Banks slammed "Stand Your Ground" laws in a recent Twitter thread, calling them "BS" and nothing but "permission to kill people."
Banks, who is an outspoken supporter of a woman's right to abort babies, said the laws, which are adopted in some form in 25 states and allow individuals to defend themselves where they stand, exist only to aid "people who want justified reasons to use a deadly weapon."
To prove her point, Banks recalled a childhood story in which she and friends were allegedly shot at with a bow and arrow while playing hide and seek around the neighborhood.
What did she say?
"Stand Your Ground is BS," she tweeted Friday. "We used to play hide and seek all over the neighborhood on summer nights. Intent was to play. We were kids but some of my cousins were big guys. There were a few easily-jumped fences in the neighborhood but also houses with no fences at all. A new neighbor moved onto our street. Apparently he mistook us hiding behind trees in his unfenced yard at 9pm for ... burglars? Predators?"
"All of a sudden, an arrow was shot into the tree behind which we hid. From a professional bow and arrow," she continued. "This guy didn't yell out 'who's there' or 'get off my property or I'm calling the cops' or any other question or warning. He just shot at children. He hit the tree so it was seemingly a warning shot. Message received, WE yelled out that we were just playing and could he let us please run away without shooting. Then we ran."
The actress was responding to a bill passed in Ohio on the same day that would remove the requirement for citizens to first attempt to retreat before shooting a firearm in self-defense. On Saturday, Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signaled he may veto the bill, arguing it isn't the right time to bring it up.
"Also sometimes our dog got loose. We would go into yards looking for her. All I can think about when people pretend Stand Your Ground is about anything other than permission to kill people are those moments when I myself stepped onto a neighbor's property," she went on. "Where is the evidence that Stand Your Ground does anything but endanger your neighbors, their dogs, their kids? It helps nobody but people who want justified reasons to use a deadly weapon."
"If I'd been shot and killed playing hide and seek, would that new neighbor have been able to just shrug his shoulders while living across the street from my grieving parents? With laws like this, probably yes," Banks concluded. "I don't want to live in a world where we fear our neighbors so much that we can't freely lose a ball/dog/frisbee or cut through somebody's yard to avoid harassment — all things I have done. What yards did you wander into and why?"
This writer's perspective
While Banks' story is certainly compelling, it is completely unfair of her to say that "Stand Your Ground" laws only exist to empower criminals who want to kill children. On the other hand, Banks has no issue whatsoever with some people being allowed to indiscriminately kill children via abortion procedures.
In an interview with People last year, the actress, who has helped raise significant funds to expand abortion rights, argued that such rights "are human rights."
"Women should have bodily autonomy, and there is no equality for women without them being able to decide when and with whom to bear children," she added.