Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
I posted about this the other day: the Washington Post reports, Everything you need to know about 'stand your ground' laws:
The National Rifle Association lobbied hard for the measure, while law enforcement officials like Miami’s police chief opposed it.
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Since Florida became the first state to pass an explicit stand your ground law, more than 30 others have passed some version of it, with the help of a group called the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a organization that promotes conservative bills. Here’s a 2012 map of stand your ground laws nationwide.
In the wake of the Florida case, we can expect an increase in calls to repeal or at least revisit the laws across the country.
I have been waiting to see how long it takes before the push-back begins from the "happiness is a warm gun" crowd at the NRA. Today we hear from "Ms. NRA," Governor Jan Brewer in the senior division, and from "Miss NRA," Arizona Republic columnist Joanna Allhands, in the junior division.
Howard Fischer reports on "Ms. NRA," Brewer: Fla. case doesn't change her mind on 'stand your ground':
Gov. Jan Brewer said Tuesday nothing in the death of Trayvon Martin or the acquittal of George Zimmerman of murder charges gives her second thoughts about having signed Arizona's own "stand your ground" law.
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[T]he governor said the incident does not taint the whole concept behind the statute.
"I support 'stand your own ground,' " she said.
"I think it's important," Brewer continued. "I think it's a constitutional right."
Really? Where exactly in the Constitution do you find this provision, Governor? Please, point it out for me. Or are you conflating the "stand your ground" statutory provision which altered the common law standards for self-defense with an absolutist interpretation of the Second Amendment? It must be in the Second Amendment because the NRA (and ALEC) wrote the model legislation -- is that what you are saying, Governor?
Arizona's version [of stand your ground] is somewhat more restrictive than the Florida statute.
It says there is no duty to retreat before threatening or using deadly physical force "if the person is in a place where the person may legally be and is not engaged in an unlawful act."
But the language is paired with other laws which say that right to remain and fight is linked to someone else's use or threatened use of deadly physical force. Bodily harm or preventing a felony are not justification.
Brewer said she does not see [the] law allowing people to stand their ground as promoting situations where individuals purposely follow someone, leading to the incident, as testimony showed Zimmerman had done.
"I think anybody that, I mean, anybody that has a gun and has a right to carry it, that they would be very judicious in their actions and careful," she said. And Brewer said it's wrong to blame what happened in Florida on the statute.
"Those kinds of things could happen even if you didn't have those laws," the governor said.
Yes, Governor, those "things could happen." But under the common law, Zimmerman bears the burden of proof to establish self-defense as a justification. The Florida law relieves him of this burden and shifts the burden to prosecutors. And if Zimermman had exercised his right under Florida law for a stand your ground determination, he could have been immunized from both criminal and civil prosecution. (Arizona's law does not go this far).
As for your insane comment that "I think anybody that, I mean, anybody that has a gun and has a right to carry it, that they would be very judicious in their actions and careful," in what alternate reality do you live?
Next we have "Miss NRA" at the Arizona Republic, Joanna Allhands. 'Stand your ground' getting bad rap:
I know, I know. People are upset about the George Zimmerman verdict. They figure something must be wrong with the system when a morally culpable guy can go free.
But “stand your ground” is getting a bad rap.
These laws weren’t designed to give a free pass to people with itchy trigger fingers, as [Attorney General Eric] Holder suggests; the first few were enacted to counter laws that required people to flee, even if someone broke into their house or mugged them on the street.
That would be American common law, which we inherited from British common law. The common law required a duty to retreat if possible. And common law required the use of reasonable and necessary force: the defendant does not have the right to determine what constitutes "reasonable force" because the defendant would always maintain they acted reasonably and thus would never be guilty. Yet this is precisiely what Florida's stand your ground law grants. It takes the determination out of the hands of a jury, and grants a vigilante who kills someone using deadly force a license to kill when the only other eye-witness was the victim.
Arizona’s version of the law has a sensible threshold, allowing people to use deadly force only when someone else has used or threatened to use deadly force.
Agreed. The common law requires the amount of force must be proportionate and reasonable given the value of the interests being protected and the harm likely to be caused by use of force. I think we can all agree that George Zimmerman's use of a gun to kill a minor armed only with a bag of Skittles and an ice tea was not "proportionate and reasonable," and yet, he is not culpable under Florida's stand your ground law.
We spend a lot of time talking about the law in concealed-carry class, and for good reason. Students are taught to flee from conflict if they can, and to never reveal their tactical advantage (i.e. a firearm) until they absolutely need to use it.
Just because Zimmerman ignored those common-sense rules doesn’t mean the concept of self-defense is overblown, as Holder suggests. It simply protects those thrust into conflict if, heaven forbid, they are forced to pull the trigger.
Ah yes, the paranoid delusionals who are irrationally fearful all the time, and those who have a Superman complex fantasy of being a super-hero who saves the day. If you go looking for trouble, trouble will find you.
The common law standards for self defense worked well for centuries. This NRA inspired vigilante "stand your ground" law is "overblown," and is a perversion of long-standing American and British common law doctrines.
It is also causing problems. Study Says 'Stand Your Ground' Laws Increase Homicides:
In a new study, an economics professor and a PhD student at Texas A&M University take a broader look at the laws’ effect. The authors, Professor Mark Hoekstra and Cheng Cheng, use state-level crime data from 2000 to 2009 to determine whether the laws deter crime.
The answer, they conclude, is no. In fact, the evidence suggests the laws have led to an increase in homicides.
From the study:
Results indicate that the prospect of facing additional self-defense does not deter crime. Specifically, we find no evidence of deterrence effects on burglary, robbery, or aggravated assault. Moreover, our estimates are sufficiently precise as to rule out meaningful deterrence effects.
In contrast, we find significant evidence that the laws increase homicides. Suggestive but inconclusive evidence indicates that castle doctrine laws increase the narrowly defined category of justifiable homicides by private citizens by 17 to 50 percent, which translates into as many as 50 additional justifiable homicides per year nationally due to castle doctrine. More significantly, we find the laws increase murder and manslaughter by a statistically significant 7 to 9 percent, which translates into an additional 500 to 700 homicides per year nationally across the states that adopted castle doctrine.
Thus, by lowering the expected costs associated with using lethal force, castle doctrine laws induce more of it. This increase in homicides could be due either to the increased use of lethal force in self-defense situations, or to the escalation of violence in otherwise non-lethal conflicts. We suspect that self-defense situations are unlikely to explain all of the increase, as we also find that murder alone is increased by a statistically significant 6 to 11 percent.
As the authors note, the increase in homicides may not be viewed by everyone as “unambiguously bad.” It could be driven by individuals protecting themselves from imminent harm by using lethal force. But it could also be driven by an escalation in violence that, absent the “castle doctrine,” wouldn’t have ended in serious injury for either party, they say.
Can't we have a serious discussion about "stand your ground" laws rather than hearing from a pair of NRA cheeerleaders?
UPDATE: Oh dear Lord, the NRA is now asserting that "stand your ground" is "a fundamental human right." After Zimmerman Verdict, NRA Says ‘Stand Your Ground’ Is A Human Right. I would think a person walking down the street minding his own damn business and not bothering anyone has a "fundamental human right" to be left alone and not be accosted by a vigilante with a gun and Superman complex.