Stand Your Ground laws are a threat to all unarmed citizens because they deny unarmed citizens the equal protection of personal safety as armed individuals have no duty to disclose.
The Trayvon Martin case also raises specific issues of great concern:
* Circumvention of law enforcement and the judicial process,
* Role of Neighborhood Watch & its procedures,
* Selective investigation & prosecution
* Profiling and the lack of training by the average citizen to profile,
* And most alarming to my mind is the Florida Stand Your Ground Law the Martin-Zimmerman case has brought to national attention.
Stand Your Ground laws are provocative to say the least and tragic and catastrophic with the potential to alter daily life as we know it and incite widespread civil unrest in the worst case scenario.
Stand Your Ground laws live in the land of subjectivity and should concern Americans of every race.
Common grudges, workplace disputes, bar arguments, selling door to door, delivering mail or packages, parties could all end in death due to this law.
Hypothetically, if a man catches his wife in bed with another man, can she kill him if he's boiling mad in the heat of the moment? There are so many situations in which Stand Your Ground laws could be abused its frightening.
The Florida Stand Your Ground law states in part:
"a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if:
(1) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony..."
In my opinion, Florida's Stand Your Ground law has the improper effect of elevating private citizens to the role of police officer. This law deputizes every maniac with a gun.
Gun laws should always inspire gun holders to be measured in their actions, not reckless.
Stand Your Ground laws, combined with conceal & carry laws, embolden a warrior mentality to kill if one subjectively feels threatened or believes someone is committing or about to committ a felony. Problem is, the person pulling the trigger then using this law as a defense, more often than not, has no law enforcement training whatsoever especially concerning use of deadly force decision making like law enforcement does.
Consequently, Stand Your Ground laws may be further unconstitutional because the private citizen shooter acting as law enforcement, judge, jury and executioner circumvents the criminal justice system depriving victims Due Process of Law under the Fourth Amendment.
According to Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement, "justifiable homicides" have tripled in the state since this law was enacted in 2005.
Disturbingly,more than 25 states have adpoted copy cat laws similar to Florida's Stand Your Ground law and five other states are considering such legislation.
For the record, most murders by private citizens are not self defense.
As such, Stand Your Ground laws have become and will continue to be an excuse to kill rather than a legitimate claim of self-defense. Action must be taken to correct inequalities this law creates.