Blacks Benefit From “Stand Your Ground’ Law

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In the wake of George Zimmerman’s “not guilty” verdict, the focus of the left has switched from the racial narrative of the case to an anti-gun narrative. Specifically, Attorney General Eric Holder and others are taking aim at so-called “stand your ground” laws suggesting that they give armed citizens the right to shoot first and ask questions later.

“These laws try to fix something that was never broken,” the Washington Post quotes Holder as telling cheering delegates of the annual convention of the NAACP, which is pressing him to file civil rights charges against Zimmerman. “The list of resulting tragedies is long and, unfortunately, has victimized too many who are innocent.”

Specifically, people like Holder claim that minorities have been hurt by these laws. Many have gone so far as to suggest that Zimmerman was “hunting” Trayvon Martin, with an eye toward using Florida’s iteration of the law to justify his killing.

But this is all bogus for a couple of reasons. First, the “stand your ground” law in Florida really had no bearing on Zimmerman’s case. His defense, which was accepted by the jury in the case, had Martin on top of him attacking. “Outside your own home, common principles of self-defense dictate that unless you have reasonable fear of deadly force or harm, you must flee if possible rather than use deadly force,” writes Michelle Malkin. “But a ‘duty to retreat’ rests on the ability to retreat. And ‘duty to retreat’ was irrelevant in Zimmerman’s case because — pinned to the ground with Martin on top of him, bashing his head on the concrete — he was unable to retreat.”

What’s more, it seems that “stand your ground” laws have been very effective in helping blacks defend themselves in Florida specifically:

African Americans benefit from Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” self-defense law at a rate far out of proportion to their presence in the state’s population, despite an assertion by Attorney General Eric Holder that repealing “Stand Your Ground” would help African Americans.

Black Floridians have made about a third of the state’s total “Stand Your Ground” claims in homicide cases, a rate nearly double the black percentage of Florida’s population. The majority of those claims have been successful, a success rate that exceeds that for Florida whites.

Nonetheless, prominent African Americans including Holder and “Ebony and Ivory” singer Stevie Wonder, who has vowed not to perform in the Sunshine State until the law is revoked, have made “Stand Your Ground” a central part of the Trayvon Martin controversy.

This disproportionate rate of blacks invoking the “stand your ground” law is no doubt due to elevated rates of black-on-black crime. Black-on-black crime is the result of a) blacks being involved in a disproportionate about of crime and b) all races generally committing crimes against members of their own race (because we all tend to interact the most with people of our own race), but the point remains.

The expanded protections for self defense seem to be a boon to minority communities, rather than a threat.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • Matthew Hawkins

    So your argument that more blacks have been killed by eliminating the duty to retreat is a boon to blacks?

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      I think more blacks being able to defend themselves is a boon to blacks, regardless of who their attackers are.

      • Broadway Joe

        Stats will show that more then likely blacks are being attacked by another black person, and in addition the stats will show the likely hood that it is a black male under the age of 27…..so with that said it probably wouldn’t be a “boon” for blacks but rather it would be better for a more civil society once everyone gets the message

        • sbark

          ………a more civil society?…………Doubt liberalism will give up its generational welfare which is the root cause of the drugs, crime, gangs in the inner cities…………they want votes ya’ know

          But then what has that taught us……we have those enabling more of the same with gay marriage and all the societal ills that will bring with it

  • SigFan

    Prior to passing the Stand Your Ground laws I wonder how many people who had the means and ability to protect themselves hesitated for fear of being prosecuted? And of those how many found their hesitation to be fatal? All these laws do is reinforce a basic human right – that of life and your ability to protect your life with deadly force if needed. People who make the specious argument that it emboldens gun owners to go looking for trouble are fools. There probably are a few hotheads that think that carrying a gun makes them invincible, but the vast majority of gun owners know that using a firearm in defense of oneself is the last resort – and sane, law abiding people will avoid that last resort unless it is thrust on them and they have no other choice. Anyone who deliberately goes looking for trouble is really no better than a criminal, and if they wrongfully use a firearm then they are criminals.

    • Matthew Hawkins

      Stand Your Ground laws do not give you the right of self defense. You have always had that. What it has done is removed the duty to retreat before using deadly force. Under the Common Law if presented a safe opportunity to retreat a person must take it before using deadly force. All stand your ground laws have done is escalate confrontations and caused more death.

      • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

        Actually, what they’ve done is stop people from having to present their backs for shooting to attackers.

        Those who don’t want people to respond with deadly force shouldn’t attack other people.

        This seems like a simple enough concept to me.

        • Matthew Hawkins

          Totally a misinterpretation of the law. The opportunity to retreat must be safe.

          • JoeMN

            One major problem with “duty to retreat” is that the burden is shifted from the attacker onto the victim.
            The victim must be sure to dot his I’s and cross his T’s in the split second he has when deciding to defend himself.

            Stand your ground laws shifts this burden back onto the attacker

      • SigFan

        Why should the victim of a criminal attack have a “duty” to retreat? If criminals don’t want to be met with deadly force the answer is quite simple – don’t engage in criminal activity. If someone attacks me or my family and friends my only duty is to protect myself and them. If that causes the death of the criminal so be it and good riddance.

        • Matthew Hawkins

          Because not everything needs to be escalated into a gunfight.

          • mickey_moussaoui

            You make an assumption that every situation “will escalate into a gunfight” if the victim is legally armed. Stats will show that most aggressors
            will be the ones to retreat when the victim demonstrates the ability/willingness to defend themselves with a gun.

          • Matthew Hawkins

            Actually the stats show that homicides go up.

          • mickey_moussaoui

            Ah, no they don’t. Death, accidental and self defense, in relationship to C&C encounters have gone down significantly. Simply owning a gun and protecting your property with it is a different issue. Homicide by use of guns in America as compared to total population is lower than murder by use of bare hands and clubs.

            If you ever actually bother to take the time to get certified you will learn that C&C training results in a much safer and responsible citizen who is inclined to not kill someone unless absolutely necessary.

          • Matthew Hawkins

            I’m talking specifically about stand your ground laws.

          • SigFan

            Defending yourself with deadly force is not homicide – as the Zimmerman case has just shown. 2/3rds of the gun related deaths in America are suicides, but the gun control advocates don’t differentiate in most cases. And every report – including the FBI – shows that gun related crime is trending downward. Whether the institution of right to carry and stand your ground laws has caused this can be debated, but the fact is there does seem to be a very strong correlation that indicates causation.

          • Matthew Hawkins

            It is homicide it is not murder.

          • JoeMN

            Yea, it’s much more peaceful when the lambs are fed to the wolves

      • awfulorv

        What is to be done for my trusty companion who is, already, in the process of being raped, while I’m retreating?
        Somehow it doesn’t seem right to be retreating from the scene, leaving her to her fate although, as you say, it is my duty to do so.
        Could I, at least, be allowed to retreat behind a tree, or a bush, terrorist style, and get off a round or two, or must I watch, and listen, while she is being savaged? And while we’re at it would she be allowed a “Day After” pill, the day after?
        We were planning a walk in the park this evening so time is of the essence, and your prompt directions, concerning the proper slinking techniques to be used, will be appreciated.

  • sbark

    T.Martin’s star witness, also on CNN’s Piece Morgans show………..now that the slang has been interpreted stated flat out Travon intented, with his mixed martial arts skills……to inflict whoopass on a presumed male gay predator…………Travon was the aggressor
    Want more aggression……….take away stand your ground laws…….its basically a circumvention of the ability to carry a concealed weapon………..can one imagine NBC distorting the facts, editing tape of the next situation where a jury has to decipher a 2000 page dissertation of Liberal gook with a hundred ways to discourage fighting back unless of course you are already hiding in the sewer under you house with the bad guys 10 feet away……..and then they’d want 10 witness’s

    • mickey_moussaoui

      Technically speaking, Travon willfully committed a hate crime against what he believed was a gay man. Assuming that what his girl friend tells us is true.

      • borborygmi45

        So it could have been argued by the Prosecutors that Trayvon Martin was standing his ground and not wanting to”Actually, what they’ve done is stop people from having to present their backs for shooting to attackers.” -Rob-THus he turned on a possible stalking predator to protect himself and his main fault was that he didn’t bring a gun to the fight.

  • mickey_moussaoui

    Personally, I think it is the agressors right to retreat after I pull my C&C Glock 19 and light up his chest with the laser. I’m not out for blood and I’ll settle for watching him wet his pants.

    • Csale

      Im sry i knw this is serious but that was AWWWSUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I dnt like guns but i c ur point!

    • Matthew Hawkins

      Personally I don’t think you should be able to shoot the person stealing your TV.

      Most Stand Your Ground cases are not about facing an armed intruder.

      • JoeMN

        Most Stand Your Ground cases are not about facing an armed intruder.

        _______

        Stand your ground, along with a Glock gives grandma a fighting chance as she makes her way from the knitting barn to her car.
        Or must she attempt to flee first ?

  • awfulorv

    Looks like we’ll eventually need to have a lane on sidewalks, highways, subways, and escalators, much like a bike lane, dedicated to young blacks aged 17-29 on which they’ll be required to travel. The rest of us will travel, usually with loaded guns, on the other lanes. If a black yute is shot in our lane, no charges will be filed if, on the other hand, you shoot into their lane all the legal machinery the Black Department of Justice, and whatever charges Al Sharpton can conjure up, will be brought to bear on the shooter. Straddling of lanes will be prohibited. It’s the only way, short of separation of states, to ensure peace between the races…

  • awfulorv

    If we citizens would protect ourselves from violence derived from the barrel of a gun, the logical place to start would be to restrict black males, from ages 14 to 35 from being in possession of a firearm.
    Such a law would reduce gun deaths by 75%, and be favored by three fourths of we voters.
    Liberals would counter that blacks would be defenseless versus the white population.
    I say look at those savages versus civilized crime figures again, a thing is what it is, before spouting off about discrimination…

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