On Tuesday, the same day that Attorney General Eric Holder said that “Stand Your Ground” laws “sow dangerous conflict,” Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer called her state’s version of the law “important” and a “constitutional right.” And Wednesday, Florida state Sen. David Simmons called Holder’s comments “inappropriate” and “inaccurate.” Stand Your Ground may be getting more attention now after the Zimmerman verdict, but the laws themselves don’t look like they’re going anywhere.
And that’s not for a lack of effort from critics of the self-defense policy. While the exact laws differ somewhat from state to state, Stand Your Ground laws justify the use of force in self-defense when there’s a reasonably perceived threat. It’s on the books in some form or another in more than 21 states. Florida was the first to adopt the law, and the state is the focus of the law’s critics now. Those critics range from Stevie Wonder (who has decided to boycott any state with a Stand Your Ground law) to the dozens of student activists who crowded Gov. Rick Scott’s office on Tuesday.
But the critics aren’t limited to Florida.
Read more. [Image: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters]
July 19, 2013
November 30, 2012
"When we think about Stand Your Ground laws, I think it’s worth considering the effects of such a law beyond the immediate. Accepting Dunn’s story, that Davis had a shotgun and police simply haven’t found it yet, it may seem perfectly logical to say, “If you threaten my life, I have the right to take yours.” But the argument rests on an shockingly optimistic view of human nature. Guns are power. But we can’t really bring ourselves to think about how power might alter our calculus."
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