Stand your ground laws and Trayvon Martin

More information is trickling out about Trayvon Martin, who was shot while walking home from 7/11 by a paranoid neighborhood watch captain. He hasn’t been arrested because the police buy his self-defense story, even though he initiated the confrontation. Mother Jones had this about Florida law:

Florida also makes it easy to plead self-defense in a killing. Under then-Gov. Jeb Bush, the state in 2005 passed a broad “stand your ground” law, which allows Florida residents to use deadly force against a threat without attempting to back down from the situation. (More stringent self-defense laws state that gun owners have “a duty to retreat” before resorting to killing.) In championing the law, former NRA president and longtime Florida gun lobbyist Marion Hammer said: “Through time, in this country, what I like to call bleeding-heart criminal coddlers want you to give a criminal an even break, so that when you’re attacked, you’re supposed to turn around and run, rather than standing your ground and protecting yourself and your family and your property.”

It’s a black-and-white understanding of the world that sees gun-owners as transcendent heroes who are confronted with evil that, if eliminated, would make the world a better place.
It’s a child’s world view and we hope that people eventually grow out of it. Some people don’t, and I for one can’t think of a single reason why these people should be carrying guns around with them. It was never going to end well.

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