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Mon Jan 4, 2021, 02:46 PM

Why we can't have nice things part 5.

Stand Your Ground laws, or as some have called them 'Shoot First' laws, are the darling of the 2nd Amendment absolutists. Made famous by Florida and subsequently passed by 33 other states SYG laws are a pox on the land (but only a Smallpox).

The right to self defense is deeply ingrained in English Common law which is the basis of US law. The concept is that a person has the right to respond to threats of physical harm or death with sufficient force to neutralize that threat including deadly force. Embedded in that right is the Duty to Retreat or the responsibility to avoid violence when possible. Who wouldn't want to avoid confrontation and violence? Apparently people who carry guns.

In the decade since Florida passed SYG murders have increased 22% and lawful homicides increased from 3.4% of that total to 8.7% or a 75% increase. Other crime, both violent and nonviolent, has remained flat. So the only thing that changed was the number of people getting shot. Whoda' thought?

“Both justifiable and unlawful homicides increased substantially after the law’s effective date, unlawful homicides made up the majority of that increase,”

From this I surmise that a lot of people carrying guns thought they could get away with shooting someone but were mistaken. Still, somebody's dead. Then there is this little tidbit:

“The difference between murder and justifiable homicide hinges largely on the self-reported and difficult to refute subjective feeling of being threatened prior to killing someone,”


In other words he who survives gets to tell the story any way he wants. George Zimmerman was one of those 'justifiable homicides' until public outrage resulted in charges of second degree murder for which he was acquitted.

So, what has the gun rights movement and the SYG laws it fosters gotten us?


These laws must be repealed. They do not decrease crime and do not decrease unlawful homicide. Evidence suggests that the increase in 'lawful' homicide is vastly exaggerated. They do not make anyone safer, quite the contrary.

This epidemic has no vaccine. It's up to us, you and me, to bring this insanity under control. Join an anti gun violence organization of your choice. Give money, join, go to meetings, write letters to the editor and your representatives. Make your voice heard.

Part 1 here:

Part 2 here:

Part 3 here:

Part 4 here:

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