Stand Your Ground Laws: Protecting Citizens Or Promoting Violence? Research Papers Examples

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Law, Soil, Force, Crime, Shoot, Florida, Internet, Video Games

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2021/01/05

More than half of all states in the United States have ‘stand your ground laws,’ which preserve an individual’s legal right to use deadly force (i.e., a gun or knife) to defend themselves in any setting or situation in which they feel threatened and have reason to believe that they face the risk of serious harm, without requiring that the individual attempt retreat to safety before using force (Lithwick). According to Lithwick,

“Stand your ground” laws are different from the Castle Doctrine, which has its roots in

centuries-old British common law and allows you to use force to protect yourself in your
home. “Stand your ground” essentially provides that you can bring your castle wherever
you go. The rule allows you to shoot first, not just in your home, but anyplace you have a
right to be”
Under “stand your ground” laws, those who use deadly force (generally a firearm) in self-defense are immune from being charged with homicide or other crimes associated with self-defense, and cannot be sued for protecting themselves or their personal property (Lithwick).
While the right to possess firearms is a constitutionally protected right, states make their own laws governing what gun owners are allowed to do with their guns- what type of firearms they are permitted to own, when and how they can be carried (concealed or unconcealed), under what circumstances they can be used in defense of oneself or one’s property, etc. Although the right to own guns has been guaranteed by the Constitution for several hundred years, “stand your ground” laws are new. With strong support and lobbying from the National Rifle Association (NRA), Florida passed the first “stand your ground” law in 2005, with other states passing similar laws after (“Shoot First - ‘Stand Your Ground Laws” 2). Currently 25 states have “stand your ground” laws or similar legal protections for individuals choosing to use deadly force (Lee).
There is a lot of controversy and many different opinions regarding the “stand your ground” laws. While supporters claim that these laws protect their right to protect themselves, their home, and their family, according to Lithwick, many lawmakers, activists, and even some law enforcement officials claim that “stand your ground” laws lead to more avoidable and unnecessary shooting deaths, because the shooter only has to prove that the victim made him or her feel threatened in order to justify their decision to shoot. For example, according to Montgomery and Jenkins, in Florida, the number of “justifiable homicides” (shooting deaths where the shooter claimed self-defense under the “stand your ground” law) rose rapidly after the law took effect- from an average of 34 in 2005, to 105 in 2009. Furthermore, some critics claim that these laws may encourage citizens to take the law into their own hands without the proper training or preparation to do so, and may also impede or interrupt justice from being served in the case of some violent crimes (Montgomery & Jenkins).
Since the first “stand your ground” law was passed in 2005, there have been many cases of shooting deaths of unarmed individuals in which the shooter claimed the “stand your ground” defense. These cases have brought much attention to the “stand your ground” laws, and have fueled the national debate about whether or not these laws actually protect people from serious harm, or lead to more shootings and shooting deaths. One of the most famous cases is that of the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager who was walking down a residential street in Florida when he was shot by George Zimmerman, who called 911 to report a “suspicious person,” and then got out of his car to confront Martin himself. Zimmerman claimed that the teenager attacked him and that he shot Martin in self-defense, and was acquitted of any wrongdoing by a jury. Another case reported by Lee is that of 29-year-old Daniel Adkins, a mentally challenged man who walked in front of Cordell Jude’s car as he pulled into the drive through at a Taco Bell in Arizona and waved a dog leash, which Jude mistook for a metal pipe, in the air. Jude shot and killed Adkins, but was not charged with a crime under Arizona’s “stand your ground” laws. According to one Florida attorney interviewed by the Tampa Bay Times, the “stand your ground” defense has also been claimed by a gang members who partook in a public shootout with a rival gang; because he could prove that he was in danger, he faced no charges for his role in the shootout (Montgomery and Jenkins). In response to these and many similar cases, 11 states have since revised their own “stand your ground” laws to address concerns about increased shootings under the law (“Shoot First - ‘Stand Your Ground Laws” 2).
“Stand your ground” and similar laws protect the right of citizens to use deadly force against fellow citizens anywhere, at any time, if they believe that they or someone else are threatened or in danger. This law protects individuals who defend themselves, their families, or their property from danger, but has also been used to justify the deaths of victims who were mistakenly seen as dangerous, or the actions of individuals who took the law into their own hands against the advice of local law enforcement. Although “stand your ground” laws provide an important protection for individuals who defend themselves from true threats, they are a controversial topic that will continue to be debated by lawmakers and citizens in the US.

Works Cited

Lee, Suevon. “Five “Stand Your Ground” Cases You Should Know About.” ProPublica. ProPublica, 8 Jun 2012, Web. 29 March 2015.Lithwick, Dahlia. “Sympathy for the Shooter: How America Has Become a “Stand Your Ground” Nation.” Slate.com. Slate, 25 Feb 2014, Web. 29 Mar 2015.Montgomery, Ben & Jenkins, Colleen. “Five years since Florida enacted "stand-your-ground" law, justifiable homicides are up.” Tampa Bay Times. Tampa Bay Times, 15 Oct 2010, Web. 29 March 2015.“Shoot First: ‘Stand Your Ground’ Laws and Their Effect on Violent Crime and the Criminal
Justice System.” Mayors Against Illegal Guns. September 2013. Web.

Cite this page
Choose cite format:
  • APA
  • MLA
  • Harvard
  • Vancouver
  • Chicago
  • ASA
  • IEEE
  • AMA
WePapers. (2021, January, 05) Stand Your Ground Laws: Protecting Citizens Or Promoting Violence? Research Papers Examples. Retrieved April 12, 2021, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/stand-your-ground-laws-protecting-citizens-or-promoting-violence-research-papers-examples/
"Stand Your Ground Laws: Protecting Citizens Or Promoting Violence? Research Papers Examples." WePapers, 05 Jan. 2021, https://www.wepapers.com/samples/stand-your-ground-laws-protecting-citizens-or-promoting-violence-research-papers-examples/. Accessed 12 April 2021.
WePapers. 2021. Stand Your Ground Laws: Protecting Citizens Or Promoting Violence? Research Papers Examples., viewed April 12 2021, <https://www.wepapers.com/samples/stand-your-ground-laws-protecting-citizens-or-promoting-violence-research-papers-examples/>
WePapers. Stand Your Ground Laws: Protecting Citizens Or Promoting Violence? Research Papers Examples. [Internet]. January 2021. [Accessed April 12, 2021]. Available from: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/stand-your-ground-laws-protecting-citizens-or-promoting-violence-research-papers-examples/
"Stand Your Ground Laws: Protecting Citizens Or Promoting Violence? Research Papers Examples." WePapers, Jan 05, 2021. Accessed April 12, 2021. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/stand-your-ground-laws-protecting-citizens-or-promoting-violence-research-papers-examples/
WePapers. 2021. "Stand Your Ground Laws: Protecting Citizens Or Promoting Violence? Research Papers Examples." Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. Retrieved April 12, 2021. (https://www.wepapers.com/samples/stand-your-ground-laws-protecting-citizens-or-promoting-violence-research-papers-examples/).
"Stand Your Ground Laws: Protecting Citizens Or Promoting Violence? Research Papers Examples," Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com, 05-Jan-2021. [Online]. Available: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/stand-your-ground-laws-protecting-citizens-or-promoting-violence-research-papers-examples/. [Accessed: 12-Apr-2021].
Stand Your Ground Laws: Protecting Citizens Or Promoting Violence? Research Papers Examples. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/stand-your-ground-laws-protecting-citizens-or-promoting-violence-research-papers-examples/. Published Jan 05, 2021. Accessed April 12, 2021.
Copy

Share with friends using:

Please remember that this paper is open-access and other students can use it too.

If you need an original paper created exclusively for you, hire one of our brilliant writers!

GET UNIQUE PAPER
Contact us
Chat now