4/12: ‘Stand your ground’ laws

Moderated by Rick Badie

Shoot. Don’t retreat.

“Stand your ground” laws in Georgia and other states allow people to use deadly force if they believe their lives are in danger.

Supporters say such self-defense statutes empower potential victims to protect themselves.

Opponents deem them bad policies that grant people a license to kill. Today’s guest columnists weigh in.

What do you think?

30 comments Add your comment

Keith

April 11th, 2012
6:29 pm

Josh can run with his tail between his legs but I intend to protect my right to be in any ‘hood in town.

Chip

April 11th, 2012
6:53 pm

Well, here we go again… more liberals whining that I don’t have a right to defend my life from some crackhead who would kill me for the $40 in my wallet, or from the home invaders that would kick in my door and kill me over material possessions, or from the gang thugs who would beat me to death over the color of my skin… unbelievable!

Somehow, for some reason, because I am a straight white male who works for my living, everything that’s wrong in society is all my fault, and I should just stand there apologizing to the lowlife who has just gutted me with a butcher’s knife. Right.

Liberals think I should just cheerfully allow myself to be beaten to death or shot or stabbed since the poor misunderstood thugs van’t help themselves, they are so disenfranchised. The very fact that liberals think that way is just more proof that liberalism is a mental illness.

Chip

April 11th, 2012
7:02 pm

I’ll add something to my somewhat flippant previous post… JOSH HORWITZ, STOP LYING!

First, his phrase “kill at will” is a blatant lie. Anyone who uses lethal force to defend themselves will STILL have to justify their choice to do so to investigators and possibly a grand jury.

Second, law-abiding citizens peacefully going about their business do not, and NEVER HAVE, had a “duty to retreat.” That is another BLATANT LIE made up by liberals to convince people to not hurt the poor, misunderstood murderous rapist/mugger/car jacker thug with the depraved indifference to human life.

Liberals like Mr. Horwitz are just plain sick in the head, and Mr. Howritz is part of the problem that is interfering with the solution. I suggest any interested, open-minded person read “More Guns, Less Crime” by John Lott Jr. Mr. Lott spent years collating data from every county in the country, applied impartial statistical science, and proved by the scientific method that (a) violent crime goes up in areas with strict gun control, and (b) goes DOWN in areas that respect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.

This, of course, tracks with anecdotal evidence and common sense… criminals prefer soft and easy targets, and are far less likely to launch an assault in areas where people are more likely to fight back.

Of course, being liberal like Mr. Horwitz means choosing to ignore reality and scientific proof in order to blindly cling to utterly STUPID dogma.

Mr. Horwitz — STOP LYING!

Hillbilly D

April 11th, 2012
7:13 pm

Duty to retreat? When trouble happens, it happens fast and usually so fast all you have time to do is react. Make the wrong decision and you don’t have to worry about making any more.

sanjay lal

April 11th, 2012
7:39 pm

Accusing liberals of being mentally ill or cowards is a great way to evade the legitimate points Josh raises. I guess we shouldn’t expect more from the carry at all times crowd. Does anyone else think it is a false dichotomy to think the only choices are always to kill or be a coward? It is that kind of simplistic thinking that is the cause of so many problems. If it is possible to decrease the intensity of a violent situation without being more violent than the one who initiated the conflict shouldn’t that be what the law requires?

Rambler

April 11th, 2012
7:46 pm

Better to be tried by 12 than carried by 6.

Willie

April 11th, 2012
8:28 pm

Do we want to create a legal duty for someone to retreat under reasonable threat of bodily injury. When someone is threatening you the last thing you should have to worry about is some angle hair thin legal distinction that can get you killed.
Why let the risk lie with the victim of violence and not with the perp?

Martin Williams

April 11th, 2012
9:46 pm

This is not about being a conservative, a liberal, or a socialist. This is about lack of respect for life in this culture and a system that supports it. I hear people say it my right to have a gun to protect myself and family. If this is so true, then why do we need a police force/or the military to protect us and our country. We all just carry our guns and bullets on us all time. I know the gun industry is very happy about our ‘ Stand Your Ground’ laws. They smile to the banks every time a lifeless person is found.

Mike

April 11th, 2012
10:02 pm

As the previous comment stated “this is about lack of respect for life in this culture”. However, as usual, they have it backwards. Let’s talk about a lack of respect. How “respectful” is it for a criminal to enter my home/business and rob/beat/kill me. Please stop making excuses for the lowest members of our society to act as they please.

Jeff

April 11th, 2012
10:34 pm

I look around and see people often in groups that try their best to look and dress and act like they will hurt you. And guess what, many will if they feel like it. I am too old to try and fight off an attacker or two, If I am attacked or my family then I will shoot. If I am not attacked then I will never shoot.
Now, lets talk about the real reason the left wing radicals want to dis-arm the public, THEY CAN”T COMPLETELY CONTROL ARMED CITIZENS. If the left is ever successful of taking away guns in the US, then you will see total socialism in a blink of an eye.

SAWB

April 12th, 2012
12:31 am

Strange that the same groups that want to deny the Constitutional right to carry are the same people that never want to punish someone who uses a gun in the commission of a crime. Remember Troy Davis who violated numerous laws when he used a gun to kill a Police Officer and the uproar to free him. There is a segment of society that does not want to take responsibility for their actions, but always attempts to blame someone or something else for their shortcomings. They feel like the choice someone makes to commit a crime is not the issue, but the inanimate object they use in the crime is somehow to blame.

The bottom line here is personal responsibility and holding people accountable for their actions. If someone chooses to exercise their freedom to carry a weapon that is fine, but if they use that gun to violate the law and someone else’s freedom they should be punished. All “stand your ground” does is codify what has been the accepted legal practice all along in Georgia it does not somehow grant a “license to kill” as some have erroneously stated.

Roy Wood

April 12th, 2012
12:41 am

Dont Know who is right and who is wrong but it seems to depent on person or race what happened to the ex GI that got killed about three months ago under this stand and defend.The shooter was black and the victim was white not much publicity at all Texas dawg

seabeau

April 12th, 2012
6:43 am

Every human being has in inherrant right of self defence! All laws are passed to provide for the public good or to right a wrong. The botton line is than guns sales and up and violent crime is down! If only innocent people were being shot there would have been no drop in the crime rates!! Criminals need to be afraid,very afraid!

juddist

April 12th, 2012
6:45 am

I find it weird that people think it is fine to stand your ground after being attack but do not think it is okay to stand your ground after being stalked like prey.

Jack

April 12th, 2012
7:31 am

Maybe it’s time to segregate ourselves into liberal and conservative neighborhoods. Each neighborhood can be marked notifying the public on whether the homeowners have weapons and stand your ground laws or not. That way the thugs know which neighborhoods to avoid. Problem solved, no more controversial shootings.

Misty Fyed

April 12th, 2012
7:37 am

Oh Jack….haven’t you figured it out yet. Liberals would never let that happen. They need people with guns to protect them. They may stab you in the back afterwards but when things get bad, they beg for help like anyone else. Liberals love to exercise their freedoms, but always fail to recognize that its people with guns who obtained those rights and protect them. Liberals need us conservatives because without us they’d be living in a place like Cuba. Deep down inside, they know.

What a joke...

April 12th, 2012
8:03 am

Josh Horwitz is completely stretching the truth and hiding all of the information… His numbers he uses from 2005 to 2009 are correct, but he is misrepresenting them. Why did he not use 2006??? Because the number of deaths went down about 25%. Not to mention that 60 of the 105 deaths caused were actual police officers defending themselves against criminals. See below. These are the numbers of justifiable deaths. The first column is the year, second column are justifiable deaths by civilians, the third column is justifiable deaths by POLICE OFFICERS, and the fourth is the total deaths by both civilians and police.

Year – Justifiable Homicide by Civilian – Justifiable Homicide by Police – Total
2000 – 12 – 20 – 32
2001 – 12 – 21 – 33
2002 – 12 – 23 – 35
2003 – 16 – 16 – 32
2004 – 8 – 23 – 31
2005 – 18 – 25 – 43
2006 – 12 – 21 – 33
2007 – 42 – 60 – 102
2008 – 41 – 52 – 93
2009 – 45 – 60 – 105
2010 – 40 – 56 – 96

It is one thing to give everyone all of the information and then let them form their own opinion. But to cloud up the facts and say that the whole law is a “disaster” is total garbage. I wonder why he didn’t represent the 2009 numbers as 105 people saved their own life? I am not saying that this is always the case, but to me, you would think that someone who writes up this stuff ought to at least consider the home invasions and car jackings where the victim actually made it out alive because of the ability to stand up for themselves and do something to protect themselves and their loved ones.

Nanjing03

April 12th, 2012
8:16 am

The “stand you ground” provision is essential for the continued use of our very successful concealed carry reforms. Those shooting incidents can still be investigated — just like those of us who were in law enforcement after an incident of use-of-force. That is only standard procedure. The people who are against SYG are actually against “concealed carry” as a whole, and by atacking SYG, they think that they can return society back to the days of high crime and draconian gun control. The American people will never let that happen. We’ve already been there. Gun control does not work — concealed carry reforms do.

Kale

April 12th, 2012
8:41 am

All the gun nuts notwithstanding, these Stand Your Ground laws are not necessary. It has always been legal to defend yourself. All the Stand Your Ground laws do is legalize murder.

skipper

April 12th, 2012
8:45 am

Guess what……..don’t try to carjack, rob, or assault anybody and chances are you won’t have to worry about it.

curious

April 12th, 2012
8:50 am

What’s missing is judgment.

Anytime an armed person kills an unarmed (no visible gun or knife) person be sure there are no one that can dispute your version of the event.

Since Martin isn’t around to tell his side and the witness only saw the struggle (not how the struggle began), how do we know that it wasn’t Martin trying to prevent Zimmerman from shooting him?

The police did a bad job in this situation, no matter how it turns out.

Common Sense

April 12th, 2012
9:11 am

What’s the alternative? So you don’t stand your ground, you don’t defend yourself, and you end up dead.

Just what was the murder rate in the state of Florida last year versus those who claimed to stand their ground?

There have been 120 murders in Chicago in the first quarter? Do you think even one of them would have liked to stand their ground?

Stand your ground means that the victim does not have to retreat. We do not yet know who was the victim in Florida’s case.

Wait for the evidence. Then decide.

boo hoo

April 12th, 2012
10:05 am

Live like a thug die like a thug. Sad really, now tons of black teens want to be just like him, they’ll wind up shot or in jail too. following false leaders all the way to their own demise like dumb little sheep, makes for great TV though

boo hoo

April 12th, 2012
10:14 am

i honked at a guy walking in the road this morning, he happened to be black. I did this so cars, including mine could get by. His response was to then walk in the MIDDLE of the road, even more than he was doing. I guess he was standing his ground. He showed me and my cracker arse who was boss. In truth, he has a great chance to wind up dead or in jail according to the numbers, so who’s to say I wouldn’t act like an annoying fly in the ointment and thumb my nose at every cracker if I had no future and was full of hate. Personally, I’m boycotting blacks in this country, I don’t see the sense in giving them any help, they don’t want it, I have to worry about my self and my family, my compassion has dried up.

Mark

April 12th, 2012
10:15 am

“Stand your ground” seems to give the shooter a “get out of jail free card”, if he or she will simply state they felt threatened. It is too easy to get away with murder.

Law enforcement had a tough job before these laws went into effect, now …. (geeze)

williebkind

April 12th, 2012
10:35 am

If I was six feet plus, in good physical shape, and determined, you would need a gun to keep me off yur a$$. But most of you are against guns so it does not matter that a blow from such a bigger man could damage you for the rest of your life. Are you really that naive. Has mommy always protected you?

middleground

April 12th, 2012
11:09 am

HIstory shows that governments kill more human beings then stand your ground deaths.
This is about government wanting to control us and make us defensless.
Women should be outraged at the call for the left to take their protection away.

Ruger66

April 12th, 2012
11:44 am

The constitution says I have a right to life. That also means I have a right and responsibility to protect that life. Now with that said, it takes common sense as well, which unfortunately, not everyone has.

Shoot a person just cause he/she smarts off or cuts you off in traffic is not using common sense. If a much larger person attacks me, yeah, it’s time to protect my life by any means necessary.

Not Blind

April 12th, 2012
5:02 pm

Have I missed something ? Have we had a situation where a SYG law was misused ? The Zimmerman situation doesn’t even apply. SYG gives law abiding citizens protections under the law when a bad person is intent on doing them harm. SYG laws are not race based, class based, income based or in any way specific to anybody except a law abiding citizen.

Don't Tread

April 12th, 2012
5:21 pm

I wonder what the rap sheets show of the so-called “victims” of justifiable homicides and self-defense. That would be an interesting statistic. My guess is that society is much better off without these people. It costs exactly $0 to keep dead criminals fed, locked up, and off the streets.