In the years since Florida enacted its “stand your ground” gun law, so-called “justifiable homicides” in the state have tripled, according to data from the FBI and Florida law enforcement officials, the Washington Post reports. In the five years before the law’s passage, just 12 killings per year, on average, were declared justifiable by Florida prosecutors — that number spiked to an average of 36 since the law passed. At least 32 states have copied Florida’s statute, thanks to a campaign by the National Rifle Association and the conservative, corporate-backed American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and the “other states have seen similar increases” in justifiable homicides. The law has been thrust into the national spotlight due to concerns that the law may wrongly shield Trayvon Martin’s shooter.
These laws do nothing to protect citizens. They in fact take justice out of the hands of the judicial branch — the only place it belongs — and put into the hands of people acting on “suspicion” and with action movie hero complex. Nothing good comes of these laws and people are now dead without trial and conviction and mostly for crimes that don’t carry the death penalty. And what do you want to wager there is a racial disparity in the deceased?