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Friday, October 28, 2016

WASHINGTON — The law is supposed to solve problems, not create them. Laws should provide for as much clarity as possible, not expand the realms of ambiguity and subjectivity. Laws ought to bring about the practical results their promoters claim they’ll achieve. And at its best, the law can help us to live together more harmoniously.

By all these measures, “stand your ground” laws are a failure. These statutes make the already difficult task of jurors even harder. They aggravate mistrust across racial lines. They appear to increase rather than decrease crime.

We should not have had to go through another racially charged trial in Florida to learn all this. Writing in The Washington Post, Mark Berman offered a succinct account of the facts of the Michael Dunn case that has aroused so much legitimate passion.

“In November 2012, Michael Dunn shot 17-year-old Jordan Davis in a Jacksonville, Fla., gas station parking lot. Dunn had approached a Dodge Durango holding Davis and three other teenagers and asked them to turn down their music. … An argument developed, and Dunn fired 10 times at the vehicle, including multiple shots fired as it pulled away.

“Davis died almost immediately after he was hit. … Dunn, who was in town for a wedding, returned to his hotel and drove back home to Brevard County the following morning; he was arrested later that day.” Dunn said he saw a shotgun in the Durango but there was no evidence of one.

Dunn was convicted on three counts of attempted second-degree murder but the jury hung on the first-degree murder charge brought in connection with Davis’ death.

The verdict came seven months after George Zimmerman was acquitted in the Sanford, Florida, killing of Trayvon Martin in another case where stand your ground was at issue. Both Martin and Davis were black teenagers. Should it surprise anyone that many African-Americans fear that the law does not protect young males of color when they find themselves in confrontations with whites?

We shouldn’t fault the Dunn jury, which seemed to be struggling to reach a just outcome. Unlike Zimmerman, the 47-year-old Dunn was not acquitted and could spend the rest of his life in prison. The jury clearly saw no justification for his firing at a fleeing car. But stand your ground undoubtedly sowed confusion on the murder count.

Supporters of the law say it was technically not at issue in the case, but this overlooks the obvious role it played in the trial. Cory Strolla, Dunn’s lawyer, mentioned it in his closing argument: “His honor will further tell you,” Strolla said, “that if Michael Dunn was in a public place where he had a legal right to be, he had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force.” The judge, Russell L. Healey, was required to read the relevant stand your ground provisions to the jury.

  • Sand_Cat

    Legalized murder.

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    • iamproteus

      Perhaps not strictly speaking but it sure flings the door wide open for it, doesn’t it?

  • latebloomingrandma

    It seems to me that “stand your ground” means that you are being intimidated or approached , thus the defender, not the aggressor. Mr. Dunn did the approaching first, I’m sure with bombastic speech in addition to a weapon. Therefore he was the aggressor. How does that get turned around? Put the same scenario in place with white teenagers playing loud music and a black man approaching the truck, then shooting. What would the jury have decided then? This is a terrible law with many unintended consequences. Let’s see who has the courage against the NRA to rescind it. There are few “profiles in courage” in politics anymore.

    • Sand_Cat

      Are you sure those consequences are unintended?
      If most of the trolls had not been banned, I’m sure they’d all be here writing how Dunn was perfectly justified, and otherwise invoking the [insert your activity] while black violation those pesky minorities just can’t seem to stop themselves from committing. Those citing it will of course attribute the resulting deaths to everything they can imagine except angry, irrational, armed white bigots encouraged by laws passed by other angry, irrational white bigots to protect their friends who murder “threatening” (i.e., any) people with the wrong skin color, and, of course, expressing their outrage at the use of “the race card.”

      • Mulligatonney

        White bigots? Yes, there are too many to count, especially in the Republican Party. Black bigots? There isn’t a single one in this country… Just ask the national news media… They are the mouthpieces of the Democrat Party. You will not hear much about blacks murdering whites from them – even though blacks are 14 times more likely to commit murder than whites, statistically…
        How many on this site know whether Dunn was justified or not? The investigating authorities have released very few facts. And yet, many of you are already condemning him. Do you know how many people have saved their own lives in the last year by using a firearm to protect themselves? I am not saying he is not a bigot – I’m saying you are already declaring him so, without having any of the pertinent information. Isn’t that what you accuse the “bigots” of? Doesn’t that make you kinda like they guys you rail against?

        Wake up. You are being propagandized. The Democrat Party is particularly culpable. They are like the proverbial thief who steals your watch, then helps you look for it when you discover it missing. You can see clearly that what they promise is in direct contradiction to what they are doing, and yet still you defend them. Why?

        OBamacare, national debt, more government control – tell me how any of this is helping…

        • Sand_Cat

          Wow, talk about being propagandized.

        • omgamike

          To me, the one damning piece of evidence was that Dunn continued to fire at the Durango and it’s occupants, even while the vehicle was fleeing from the scene. There was no threat at that point, if there ever was one. Dunn claimed he saw a shotgun, yet no weapon was ever found in the Durango. This man should have been convicted of first degree murder. He was nothing but a white supremacist, using the stand your ground law as an excuse to murder a black man and get away with it. I hope, during the retrial that the jury gets it right the second time around. I am a gun owner, owning a handgun solely for self defense, as I am a disabled senior. But I totally against the stand your ground law.

        • idamag

          Someone must have wound you up. Same old-same old.

        • pisces63

          The bigot ranted to his neighbor about the need of all white people to arm themselves and kill every black and latino. He was actually chomping at the bit. They were playing music. They were there when he pulled up. Why did he park near them. Don’t know the place or how large. Did he have to. Just as in the case of zimmerman, if the bigoted white man had stayed his ass in his damned car, we would not be having this conversation. NOOOOO, he did what sooo many white people do best, put his nose where it should not have been, yell wolf as they did back in the days of lynchings, church burnings, etc, and use murder to solve the problem. That’ll teach ’em!!

        • Raymond Paiz

          mULL, TALK ABOUT RACISM. You are the cream of the crop. You obviously hate blacks. It is never alright to approach another person and kill them. This is the exact murder you are talking about that blacks do all the time. Then what does Obamacare, national debt, etc. have to do with any of this? Talk about a person who hates black as you have to get the president in on this too. You beliefs will get you to the hot gates of you know where.

    • ThomasBonsell

      It sounds from this case that Dunn, after confronting four teen-age blacks, turned away from them, walked back to his car, opened the door, leaned in to open the glove compartment to remove his gun, then returned to the blacks’ car and started shooting.

      I fail to see how he could then claim to “fear for his life” when he left himself exposed to attack for the amount of time it took to go get his gun but was never attacked or even approached.

      • omgamike

        That’s pre-meditation, pure and simple. You have just listed the simple, factual reasons he should have been convicted of first degree murder.

    • leadvillexp

      The law is not the problem. It is the courts and people that don’t know what stand your ground means. These people involved in these shootings were either full of false fear or prejudiced. The courts and juries need to go back and look at the intent of the law. Just look back to Trayvon Martain. Mr. Zimmerman was told by police not to follow him but kept it up. If anyone had a right to stand his ground it was Trayvon. Mr. Zimmerman murdered him plain and simple. That was not stand your ground, it’s murder. By the way I am a white, 62 year old Republican and NRA member. These people are criminals and need to pay a price for what they do. Let’s hope when Mr. Dunn is retried there is a better jury.

      • omgamike

        I totally agree for the most part with everything you have said. IMO, we don’t need that type of law, especially the way it was written. I am an independent, white and a senior citizen. I will simply add that it our society doesn’t find a way to legally rein in these types of people, the rest of us will end up taking to the streets to protect ourselves against these criminals — and that will only lead to more, senseless violence.

    • Dominick Vila

      The most worrisome part of this issue is that millions of Americans don’t see anything wrong when an armed thug murders an African American teenager and injures his companions because his sensitive hearing system was being traumatized by loud music. In the mind of the murderer, having to listen to loud music makes him a victim, and our Justice system must recognize as much.
      The same was true for the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman murder, an unarmed African American teenager was shot and killed by a vigilante, who was found not guilty because the victim inflicted superficial wound on him while fighting for his life. And then we have the “texting” crime, the popcorn crime, and so many other manifestations of an extremely violent society that feels entitled to kill when their convictions, prejudices, and emotions lead them to kill. As usual, the NRA and its supporters reiterate that guns are an inanimate object and, therefore, it does not kill. People do. Very true, but it sure makes it a lot easier but criminals and the mentally deranged to carry out their crimes. Most of the victims in these cases would still be alive, if the murderers had not had a gun. We can run away from a person wielding a knife or a baseball bat, we are not going to get very far from someone with a gun determined to kill us.
      We have two problems: a society consumed by violence and that believes it is entitled to take matters into their own hands, and the availability of tools that allow them to succeed in their quest.

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  • FT66

    Stand Your Ground law is the Licence To Kill. What ground do they talk about? Is that premises one occupy at home or wherever they can step up and standstill? It is the law which doesn’t apply to those who are poor and can’t possess any weapon, while any law is meant for every citizen. No wonder the young Bush who signed this law in Florida will never become President. Allowing people to kill each other! Who will he then lead if all are gone?

    • Allan Richardson

      Essentially it brings back dueling, but without the legal duty to agree on a time and place and make sure both parties are equally armed (that’s why those dueling pistols that are collected as antiques have TWO IDENTICAL guns in the case).

      Maybe we should call it the Aaron Burr law?

  • johninPCFL

    It has been correctly pointed out that “stand your ground” can be used even if you make the first contact, meaning that you can in fact start a fight, begin to lose the fight, then shoot the victim. With the increase in DUI penalties making drunk driving homicide less attractive, this seems to be the way the gangs and organized crime regain their killing methodologies. Putting “a hit” on someone now means start a fight in a bar.

  • SeekingOut

    This article is headlined as “A dangerous, embarrassing failure”. But who should be embarrassed? Certainly not the NRA, who have no scruples; not the Governor who signed it into law, who comes from a family whose moral compass veers any which way to suit their ambitions for power, wealth and influence; not ALEC which championed (and wrote) this law. Hopefully, at least the FL electorate should be embarrassed and regretful that they voted in the type of reprehensible characters into their state’s leadership……of course, with a crook like Rick Scott they appear still not to be too discriminating!!

    • plc97477

      If the electorate were embarrassed by their choices there would be a lot of red faces in the country. Something tells me it isn’t happening.

  • Joseph

    Dunn is mentally unstable and a murderer. What was needed wa a jury taht could walk and chew gum at the same time – but it’s Florida and they were probably lucky to find 12 citizens with the attention span of fruit fly’s.

  • leadvillexp

    There is nothing wrong with the “Stand Your Ground ” law. There is something wrong with the court system and in peoples heads. Stand you ground means that you don’t have to surrender to someone attacking you. You have a right to use deadly force to protect you or yours. The three cases in the news do not constitute stand your ground.
    First, in the music shooting no shotgun was ever found. The shooter was the aggressor. He continued to fire even after the first shot, left the scene and never called police. Second Trayvon Martain was followed by Mr. Zimmerman. Mr. Zimmerman was told by police to stand down and not follow him. He disregarded that and thus the outcome. If anyone had a right to stand his ground it was Trayvon, not Mr. Zimmerman. Third, the movie theater shooting. The shooter was a retired police officer. He should have known better. Don’t throw popcorn at anyone in a theater it could get you killed. In all these cases emotion and prejudice played a part, not logic. Bullets can’t be called back, there is no do over. These people need to pay the price for letting their emotions get away from them. It is a big responsibility to carry and use a firearm. If you can’t control your fear and emotions you shouldn’t be carrying one.

    • Sand_Cat

      So who is the idiot who gave this post “thumbs down”?

      • Independent1

        It was I. Everything is wrong about a ‘stand your ground law’. Anyone who thinks there isn’t something wrong with such a law is as naive as church mouse. A law such as this does nothing but open Pandora’s Box to exactly what is happening in state after state: in virutally every state that has a “stand your ground law’, firearms mortality rates have gone up.

        America is already somewhere around 50th on the planet in longevity – and one of the big reasons is because although there is very little difference in the degree and frequency of violence between America and most other foreign countries, America BY FAR leads every nation on the planet (by a factor of 5 to 6) in someone ending up dead when violence does occur, rather than in the hospital. A big factor in this is the prevalence in America of guns, but what isn’t helping, is the mindset that ‘stand your ground laws” have created.

        Just use a little common sense for a moment. In states that have ‘stand your ground laws’ what signal does that send to all the machisimos??? It says, if I get in an altercation, the guy I may have a disagrement with will likely be carrying a gun and isn’t going to back down, so I’ve got to carry a gun too. So guess what happens; a guy reaches for a bag of popcorn and the guy he’s got a disagreement with whips out his gun and kills him.

        The 10 people who gave leadvilleexp’s comments thumbs up when they included the phrase “There’s nothing wrong with the ‘stand your ground law” are clueless about reality!!!

        • Sand_Cat

          Mea culpa. Unlike the others, this guy started off with a more of less accurate summary of the cases without the usual wing-nut justifications, which I liked.
          Your post is, of course, spot-on, plus, his claim about the right to defend oneself is already legally codified without “stand your ground”. Guess I was wound up and not reading carefully. I would have checked to see who it was, but last time I tried that, it ended up taking that as a “vote.” Again, please accept my apologies.

          • Independent1

            No problem; and it appears my viewpoint doesn’t seem especially popular with others either as Leadville’s comments have gotten several more thumbs up. I almost gave his comments a thumbs up myself until I thought about it more and realized that he really has the issue backward.

            Although on the surface it appears to make sense that having a law that says you can stand your ground and can be justified in killing someone IF YOU feel like you’ve been threatened, what a law such as this does is open up Pandora’s Box to all forms of abuse; and even unintenional abuse; while motivating more people to run out and buy a gun.

            Without a ‘stand-your-ground law, people realize that they can be held accountable for being hasty in shooting someone (say someone they thought was breaking into their home) so they use a little restraint before pulling the trigger if they have a gun; while with a stand-your-ground law, people start thinking that they can shoot 1st and ask questions later – they can now be hasty with their actions. There have already been numerous instances in stand-your-ground states where people have killed even family members who were awake in the middle of the night just looking for something because a family member mistook them for a burglar and shot 1st before thinking about it.

            Leadville’s comment is basically saying the law is fine, it’s just unstalbe people who don’t know how to deal with it. Whereas in reality, it’s enacting such a law that is all wrong which is proven when even juries can’t interpret how to correctly apply the law when trying to determine if someone is guilty or innocent.

            Given all this, how can there be nothing wrong with a law which allows someone to get away with commiting murder by simply claiming they killed the victim because they felt their life was in jeopardy and even in cases when they were the perpetrator of the altercation??

          • Allan Richardson

            Shoot first and lie to the police later. BEFORE SYG law, you would have to make a reasonable attempt to move away from the “threatening” person, then IF he/she came after you, THEN use your gun. AFTER SYG, you can make up any threatening story after the fact, and your attorney can confuse the jury enough to get you acquitted.

            This law allows people to “deputize themselves” as hit men for the KKK, since “all black people look threatening” to those people.

          • Independent1

            Exactly!! Couldn’t agree more.

        • plc97477

          I too did not give him a thumbs up on the comment for the same reasons you did. I generally don’t give a thumbs down unless they piss me off though.

          • Independent1

            I gave his comment a thumbs down hoping to get some folks thinking about what Leadville was really saying.

            He’s apparently a gun lover who supports the SYG law and via his comments, which on the surface sounds rational, was trying to get posters on the NM to believe that the SYG law is OKAY and that it’s just irrational people that are misusing it. However, as Allan Richardson, above, makes clear – IT’S THE LAW that makes people irrational. Which clearly makes any SYG laws NOT OKAY.

            Just like guns that will turn normally harmless individuals into killers, even of themselves, because a gun is such and instant killing machine, SYG laws empower people into killing when without the law they would be thinking twice before they deliberately killed someone thinking they could easily get away with it by declaring their life was threatened – just like George Zimmerman did.

            Trayvon WAS NOT banging his head into the concrete as Zimmerman kept claiming. If he had been, Zimmerman should have had a lump on the back of his head the size of a walnut when he was booked at the police station – which he obviously didn’t. The scratches he inflicted on himself were barely visible.

      • Aaron_of_Portsmouth

        In writing an opinion, or voting something “down”, we may disagree with what we’re responding to, sometimes quite strongly, but to declare the contributor an “idiot” is the wrong response, IMHO.

        God grant that I may be spared from name-calling in the future.

        The point of Religion saying one thing and our taking justice into our own hands and the adoption of a vigilante attitude, as mentioned earlier is pointing us in the right direction towards the root of this insanity.

        • Sand_Cat

          Sorry about that. You can call it name-calling, and in this case you have a point, but my own view is that such “names” are accurate descriptions more often than not, and a more appropriate response to the mindless repetition of Fox “facts” and insulting references to our “gullibility” or “elitism” than attempting a rational argument which will simply roll off and give the satisfaction of hijacking the conversation to an undeserving troll.
          I do occasionally respond in a more or less rational fashion, though rarely in a friendly one: I’ve been around a long time, and I’m sick and tired of right-wing lies and Democrats and others who cower before them.
          God won’t grant you anything you don’t control yourself; I can respect your reluctance to insult others needlessly, and if that is your philosophy, you don’t need divine intervention to follow it.

          • plc97477

            You are right sometimes they deserve the title.

  • Dukester

    These Stand Your Ground laws are the equivalent of ‘To Big to Fail” in the banking industry. They create a “moral hazard”, allowing some people to use their weapons, believing they will not face any legal consequences.

    • Susan Love

      Stand your ground was supposed to be a self defense law. If you are in danger, then you do not have to flee and hope for the best. But the wording and the judges explanations on what they don’t seem to understand has caused it to become a law for legal murder. They need to just leave self defense laws. Self defense is pretty easy to understand. Someone attacked you, you defend yourself. I don’t understand why it is so hard for juries and judges to get the difference, but since they can’t the law needs to go. Now. By the way, it is “Too Big to Fail”. Sorry, was an English teacher and it makes me crazy when the wrong too, to, two, is used.

      • Aaron_of_Portsmouth

        That’s quite all right English Teacher. Its good to remind us of these things in a humble sort of way, although we knew what he/she meant.

  • Todd Nelson

    This article is a stench to it that can only come from the BS it is pushing. The picture of George Zimmerman and the headline about stand your ground gun laws show the author either doesn’t know, or , most likely, wants to fool the reader about the fact that the George Zimmerman trial had absolutely nothing to do with the stand your ground laws. George Zimmerman was defending himself against an attack by a man who was a head taller than him and was bashing his head into the pavement when he defended himself by shooting his attacker. Dunn was the aggressor in his altercation and had no business using the stand your ground law. Dunn could have, and should have simply driven away to avoid the altercation, whereas George Zimmerman was being held down and attacked when he defended himself . The law has been used successfully by many more blacks than whites in the state of Florida. So there goes the author’s charge of racism in the law. Just another hate piece against the laws of the land by another liberal nutcase.

    • Sand_Cat

      Thanks for confirming my statement above about trolls, written before I saw your post.

      I’m sure you’re not bothered in the least that your theory of the Zimmerman crime is pure speculation driven by your prejudice rather than by evidence, and of course it never occurred to you to consider that – even if your theory is correct – Travon Martin “was in a public place where he had a legal right to be, he had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force.”
      But clearly Mr. Martin was in your opinion guilty of that most heinous crimes, “[insert any activity] while black,” and thus could never have been allowed to assert that defence, even if Zimmerman hadn’t assured there would be no one to contradict his version by blowing Martin away after stalking him and giving Martin reasonable cause to believe he was in danger.

      • daniel bostdorf

        Don’t feed the trolls 🙂
        Great post!

      • Todd Nelson

        There is no theory about Trayvon Martin’s attack on George Zimmerman. It is a fact. George Zimmerman is a roly poly guy of less than 6 feet tall who never hit anybody. His prom date was black, he tutored black children. When a black homeless man was beaten severely in Sanford, it was George Zimmerman who raised money to help pay the black man’s medical bills. Trayvon Martin was at his father’s girlfriend’s house while both of them were away. The reason he was in Sanford was because he had been suspended from school in Miami rather than going to jail for a crime. The police chief in Miami was trying to make his numbers look better so the arrested students got suspension instead of jail time. Trayvon Martin’s mother said she couldn’t handle him any more. I don’t know who the brainiac was who decided that an unsupervised Trayvon was better in Sanford than Miami, but that is how a young man who boasted of beating up people, was caught with burglar;s tools and stolen merchandise, was suspended on several occasions, rather than being jailed, on drug charges ended up attacking George Zimmerman. So don’t try to pull the race card. It isn’t in the deck. All Trayvon Martin had to do when George Zimmerman asked what he was doing was say he was going to his father’s house and give the address. Instead he punched George Zimmerman, knocked him down on the ground and started pounding his head into the pavement. George Zimmerman did not pull his gun and simply shoot Trayvon Martin like you are suggesting. He was simply trying to save his own life.

        • Susan Love

          Do you supposed that he would have stood down as requested by the police if he hadn’t a gun to shoot the kid with? I don’t buy that he is in the right. Zimmerman caused the confrontation. And a black teenager confronting an angry white man would be scared out of his wits. He had the right to defend himself. If Zimmerman hadn’t tried to play cop the child would be alive.

        • Susan Love

          By the way, didn’t his wife leave him for beating her up one time too many? Just a thought.

        • Sand_Cat

          You still haven’t a clue what happened. I didn’t say Zimmerman was a racist, though it seems likely he is. I said YOU are the racist here, and all your irrelevancies don’t change the fact that you have NOTHING. You don’t know if the armed stalker Zimmerman asked anything, or what he did, but you try to trash the victim to justify a perfectly avoidable death deliberately instituted by George Zimmerman and supported by blockheads like you, who predictably characterize being called what they are as “playing the race card.”
          I’m sure George Zimmerman’s best friends are all black, as no doubt yours are, too. Give it up: each time you defend the indefensible, justify the unjustifiable, you only confirm your own prejudice and ignorance more emphatically.

        • Independent1

          So George Zimmerman is just a roly poly guy?? How come then he was fired from a job as a bouncer because he was too violent?? See this:

          The neighborhood watchman who in February shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was once fired from his job as a security guard for “being too aggressive,” according to a new report.

          An unnamed former co-worker told the New York Daily News that George Zimmerman was paid under-the-table for providing security for illegal house parties between 2001 and 2005, but was let go because his anger issues “became a liability.” “Usually he was just a cool guy,” the former co-worker explained. “He liked to drink and hang with the women like the rest of us. … But it was like Jekyll and Hyde. When the dude snapped, he snapped.”

          I’m back: Not only was George Zimmerman tough enough to be a bouncer, he’s also a pathological liar. Martin was never banging his head on the concrete enough for George to fear for his life. Yeah, maybe Trayvon got on top of him during the struggle but HE WAS NOT banging his head on the concrete. When someome bangs your head on the concrete, YOU DON’T GET SCRATCHES!! You get a big lump on the back of your head about the size of a walnut; and the lump doesn’t go away in the hour or so that it took the cops to get Zimmerman to the jailhouse – he had no really notieable damage to the back of his head. Zimmerman most likely created the scratches on the back of his head himself while he was waiting for the cops to come – maybe by using a fingernail file or a key in his pocket. He obviously paniced when he realized Trayvon was dead.

          The travesty in the case was the incompetence of the prosecution. There’s no way that they shouldn’t have called him to the stand to explain why all he had was scratches – and they should have had an expert of injuries at the trial to put him on the spot for his lies about what happened.

        • idamag

          Does it make you feel virtuous to blame the victim or are you a dyed in the wool racist. And before you shout “race card.” that cliche has been used to death.

          • Allan Richardson

            Used LITERALLY to death — to CAUSE death.

    • daniel bostdorf

      Thank you for your view.

    • Susan Love

      Sorry, Zimmerman was told to “stand down”. He followed the kid and caused the confrontation. The kid was most undoubtedly frightened. A white man coming after him when he was minding his own business. Imagine that, being frightened. What do you supposed caused that reaction? The point is, it would never have gotten to that point if Zimmerman wasn’t out trying to play policeman. I don’t buy that he had the right to cause the confrontation and then defend himself, but the kid couldn’t?

    • Barbara Morgan

      To all that think stand your ground law is just another name for legal murder George Zimmerman is the perfect poster child to show. The stand your ground law was brought up but never actually used. I personally had never heard of the stand your ground law until Zimmerman shoot Martin so his picture is a reminder of when I first learned of the legal murder law.

  • dpaano

    When you have a loaded gun on your person, it makes it soooo much easier to just pull it out and shoot it at the least provocation!! It’s ridiculous and dangerous!!!

  • Julieann Wozniak

    Allow me to toss my race card onto the table: the way stand your ground has been deployed it is like 21st century lynching! And my right not to have loaded weaponry shoved in my face is being ignored.

    Just my lefty Catholic God-hating two cents.

    • Independent1

      What’s absolutely stunning about this is that ‘stand your ground laws’ are most prevalent in GOP run states – states run by a party that would like us to believe that it’s guided by strong Christian beliefs – when in fact it’s beliefs are anything but Christian.

      How can a true Christian support a law that’s in direct contradition to what Jesus taught: Jesus spoke words to the effect: If your enemy strikes you on the cheek; turn to him the other also. How can any true Christian believe that Jesus would ever support a law that allows someone to take justice into their own hands and kill a person for simply disagreeing or confronting him (which is the true reason a lot of people have died under these laws).

    • idamag

      They traded the rope for guns.

  • nancyminter

    Nothing more than a way to shoot and kill black children and no consequences. Just make sure they’re not running away when you shoot them.

  • howa4x

    The issue is not Stand your ground but rather the amount of handguns that are owned by the public. That is the well for all related issues.

  • Pamby50

    All it is is legalized murder. The NRA, ALEC & the Koch brothers set about getting the laws enacted with the help of the republican party. Should Stand Your Ground Laws be repealed? Yes. Do we as a country have the testicular fortitude to repeal them? No. Just look at Sandy Hook. We couldn’t even get a simple background check law enacted after 20 kids were murdered.

  • George

    I saw some coverage of this on the news. I was wondering why I never saw one of the other youths involved or even heard what they said about the incident. Also were there no other witnesses? Seems like very limited coverage. For example, they said there was no shotgun found. How far did the youths go before they stopped? Did Dunn have a gun legally? Did any of the people involved have a record of violence?

  • DurdyDawg

    From what I understand, stand your ground was not an issue in the Zimmerman trial except from news media and misinformation by those against it.. That said, I believe stand your ground is an escape from prosecution (in it’s maximum form) and should be eliminated or at least stated in such a way that it would actually be used for self protection.. As it stands now, any dumb ass with a gun can declare this idiotic law for little to no reason whether used for or against their prey..

    • daniel bostdorf

      Notice it was a white tailed deer….hate to think if it was a black bear…

    • Cindy C. Strait

      For the umpteenth time it does have to do with SYG because SYG changed the jury instructions and what self defense means. A person can ‘stand their ground’ and there is no longer the need to retreat.

  • HowardBrazee

    There is a long history of law makers having one set of laws to the elite, and another set for everybody else. Run over a peasant and toss out a coin without slowing down. In implementation, “Stand Your Ground” laws have excused white men from shooting others. Everybody else needs to be afraid.

    • Allan Richardson

      Wasn’t that concept documented in the EARLY chapters of “A Tale of Two Cities?” The PRE-guillotine chapters?

  • daniel bostdorf

    This is all about racism. Nothing more…”Stand your ground” allows racists of all colors, mostly white, to justify 1st degree murder premeditated.

    There is a a remarkable New York Times article from last year about the Trevon Martin travesty…. that should have been included as a references:

    Racism Is the Problem Here by Kenneth Nunn who is s a professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law

    from the article:

    “Stand Your Ground does not permit the use of deadly force against an initial aggressor unless “the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger.” Ordinarily, one would expect that a reasonable force requirement would provide ample protection against idiosyncratic or morally suspect behavior. But this is not the case when victims happen to be black……decisions regarding the reasonableness of self-defense claims should be made in court. Many Stand Your Ground statutes grant killers who claim self-defense immunity from prosecution, so they cannot be arrested if the police view their assertions of self defense to be reasonable. This is wrong….”

    read more here:

  • Nobody seems to understand the responsibility of the SYG statute. Stand Your Ground Video CLICK HERE