Self-Defense Deaths in Florida Have Increased Dramatically Since ‘Stand Your Ground’ Became Law in 2005, Lawmaker Claims
I support the changes suggested. Want to see my most conservative side? Listen to the advice I give people who have trained in or asked about the reality of self defense skills. Just a few tidbits. It sounds kind of drill sergeant, but please rest assured that is an artifact of brevity.
Self defense comes with a strict ethic. You may defend life and limb only. You may not pursue an attacker. You have the legal and moral obligation to end the threat with the minimum required force. You have the obligation to contact police and or medical help at the earliest opportunity. If you confront someone in your home and they attempt to flee you let them. You will train in the local law as well as you train in the rest of your skills.
The fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Fla., has reopened debate about the state’s “stand your ground” law.
One of the arguments we’ve heard from lawmakers wanting to change the 2005 law is that deaths due to self-defense are up dramatically since “stand your ground” passed. The law — approved overwhelmingly by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Jeb Bush in 2005 — allows people to use deadly force when they believe their life is at risk.
Sen. Chris Smith, a Democrat who represents parts of Broward and Palm Beach counties, wants to rewrite the law because he fears its protections are too broad. Smith wants to change the law so that it only applies in cases that take place in a home, car or at work. He also wants to prohibit the use of “stand your ground” in cases where the shooter has provoked a confrontation, Smith said in a March 21 press release sent by the Senate Democratic office.
“This law has been a double-edged sword,” said Smith, who was the House Democratic leader in 2005 when “stand your ground” passed. Smith voted against the law. “Stand your ground’ appears to be giving suspects better protections from arrest and prosecution than increased security measures for the citizens the law was originally intended to protect. This needs to be dramatically changed. … We can’t keep turning a blind eye to the number of lives this law has claimed.”
For proper perspective lets remember this statistic is drawn from a state that recorded nearly 17,000 crimes committed with guns or knives in 2010.