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Self Defense? Essay

1151 words - 5 pages

According to the dictionary, self defense is defined as a countermeasure that involves defending oneself, one’s property or the well being of another from harm. Since childhood parents have instilled this dogma onto their children just as it was instilled onto them. In the past decade the self-defense doctrine has morphed into what is now known as the Stand Your Ground Law. The law essentially permits anyone feeling threatened in a confrontation to shoot his or her way out. Stand Your Ground was navigated through the Florida’s state Legislature with help from then-state Rep. Marco Rubio and signed into law by Bush on April 26, 2005. The law has rapidly spread and it now exists in various ...view middle of the document...

Along with the clarification of provocation the need to distinguishing the right to assert self-defense raises skepticism. Does aggressively confronting another individual preclude a self-defense claim when the individual responds aggressively to that confrontation? Each jurisdiction, leaves unanswered the question of whether individuals can intentionally insert themselves into situations where violence is reasonably foreseeable and still maintain a claim of self-defense. The key problem in making these determinations is distinguishing between vigilant community members hoping to protect their communities and vigilantes seeking to distribute out their own brand of extrajudicial law enforcement. Defining the boundary between these behaviors requires a carefully crafted rule that implements society’s collective sense of justice (Moore).
The most substantial scrutiny the stature of standing your ground raises is the disproportionate effect on minorities that it contains. Majority of the high profile cases that have received considerable news coverage have involved clear cross-race homicides and have even gone against the favor of minority races. In states supporting the law it has been found that whites are 354 percent more likely to be found justified in killing a person of minority race (Michel). The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights believes that stand your ground laws must be looked at in the context of the criminal justice system overall and the evidence of racially-biased policing in minority communities (Henderson). FBI Supplementary Homicide Report Data proves substantial evidence of racial disparities in justifiable homicide determinations. After all throughout the criminal justice system minorities are disproportionately affected in countless ways (Roman).
Those supporters who believe the statue of Stand your ground should not be repealed argue that the substantiation proof of lower crime rates since the adoption of the law should not be ignored. According to John Lott stand your ground laws reduced murder rates by nine percent and violent crimes by eleven percent (Lott). Since the adoption of the law it has encouraged more citizens to enact their Second Amendment right that has potentially assisted in lowering crime rates. Dennis Baxley, an author of the law and Florida representative, notes that crime rates have dropped significantly since the law was passed in 2005 (Politifact).
While there are a few statistical findings that point to the potential success in the enactment of the Stand Your Ground Law, there is also an ignored regard for human life and...

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