Skip to comments.Floridians back “Stand Your Ground” law
Posted on 04/25/2012 5:38:36 AM PDT by marktwain
In the wake of the Trayvon Martins death, many on the Left have been blaming Floridas Stand Your Ground law, a statue passed last year that allows use for the use of deadly force in self-defense (my home state of Georgia passed a similar law a few years ago). They say that the law empowered George Zimmerman to target Martin and claim self-defense.
While I have no opinion on Zimmermans guilt or innocence in the case at this point I believe too little is known to jump to conclusions one way or the other, the ire over the Stand Your Ground law seems a little misplaced and, in some cases, dishonest. Dave Kopel, a Second Amendment scholar, explains:
The assertion that Florida law allows shooting whenever someone believes it to be necessary is a flat-out lie. The actual law of Florida is that a person is justified in the use of deadly force 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 (Florida Statutes, Section 776.012).
The second part of the law provides special provisions for self-defense against violent home invaders or carjackers. Neither of those is relevant to the Zimmerman case.
If the factual claims of Trayvons supporters are true, Mr. Zimmerman criminally attacked Trayvon and killed him, while having no reasonable belief that Trayvon was perpetrating a forcible felony, or imminently about to kill or gravely wound Mr. Zimmerman. So Floridas self-defense laws simply would not apply, since Mr. Zimmerman would have no right under Florida law to use deadly force.
Floridas rule that deadly force may be used to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm or the imminent commission of a forcible felony is the norm throughout the United States. [ ] Like the majority of American states, Florida does not mandate that victims of a violent crime attempt to retreat before they defend themselves. The retreat rule is irrelevant, regardless of whether you believe Trayvons advocates or Mr. Zimmermans advocates.
According to one side, Mr. Zimmerman was the criminal aggressor. Thus, he would have no self-defense rights at all. According to the other side, Trayvon attacked Mr. Zimmerman, knocked him to the ground, got on top of him and continued the attack. So Mr. Zimmerman would have had no ability to retreat. Either way, the retreat rules for lawful defenders have nothing to do with this case.
Despite what the gun prohibition lobbies claim, the no-retreat rule has deep roots in traditional American law. At the Supreme Court, the rule dates back to the 1895 case of Beard v. United States, in which the great Justice John Harlan wrote for a unanimous court that the victim was not obliged to retreat, nor to consider whether he could safely retreat, but was entitled to stand his ground, and meet any attack upon him with a deadly weapon, in such a way and with such force as, under all the circumstances, he, at the moment, honestly believed, and had reasonable grounds to believe, were necessary to save his own life, or to protect himself from great bodily injury.
The great progressive Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes also expressed the unanimous opinion of the court that if a man reasonably believes that he is in immediate danger of death or grievous bodily harm from his assailant he may stand his ground and that if he kills him he has not succeededthe bounds of lawful self-defense. Detached reflection cannot be demanded in the presence of an uplifted knife (Brown v. United States, 1921).
According to a survey released yesterday by Public Policy Policy a Democratic polling firm used by the Daily Kos, Floridians are largely not buying the fuss over the law in the afterman of Martins death:
Floridians generally support the firearm self-defense law that George Zimmerman will use as part of his defense in the Trayvon Martin case, but they also support him being charged with second-degree murder because they think he is guilty.
42% of Florida voters support the Stand Your Ground law, and 32% oppose it. Republicans overwhelmingly support it (60-13), and independents like it as well (45-31), but Democrats oppose it (24-50).
49% think Zimmerman was appropriately charged, while 25% think he was not. The verdict is more narrow when it comes to his actual guilt of said charge31% believe he is guilty, and 26% think him innocent. Despite the hullabaloo, 46% believe Zimmerman will be able to receive a fair trial, and 37% think he cannot.
Floridians generally do not believe Zimmerman was motivated by racism when he killed Martinonly 32% think he was, and 45% think he wasnt.
With recent developments in the case, we may never know what exactly happened in Sanford, Florida in late Feburary, but Martins death has, been politicized to the point of absurdity, taking away any real possibility of a fair trail for Zimmerman, something he should be entitled to whether a jury ultimately finds that he commited a crime or not.
Its not surprising that the anti-gun lobby would launch an attack on Stand Your Ground laws. They would use just about any random act to do so, even though their ultimate goal of disarming the public would leave law-abiding Americans without a reasonable means to defend themsevles.
Not to sidetrack this thread, but in all honesty your story sounds awfully bizarre. You’re in a rural area by yourself, get lost in the woods as nightfall approaches and you have no idea where you are? How would you know whose land you’re on in the first place and what direction the road was at? What were you doing in the rural woods by yourself in the first place? Do you normally just park your car in rural areas and walk into the woods without a clue as to where you are? You may be white, sophisticated & educated, but you better stay on the pavement from here on. You’re not making a good case for being sophisticated & educated. Let the farm boys & girls roam around in the woods at night. They will find their way home.
The 32% opposed to “stand your ground” are those preying on the majority and the bleeding hearts hiding in their secure enclaves. Those on the front lines who live with the fear of home invasions and street muggings are all in favour of the right to stand your ground and defend yourself and your family.
A lot of it *is* happening. It is why gun control, as such, has become a toxic third rail for politicians.
Many still want it, but they go to considerable lengths to disguise it, give themselves cover, try to sneak it into other bills, the usual statist deceptions.
“Id like to see a law saying that you can pursue with deadly force. The police sure wont help you.”
No. That is a very bad idea. You do not take a human life over theft, even if the police our negligent. Your daughter did the right thing to merely follow and report. The police were clearly negligent, but that is not a reason to allow citizens to kill over being burglarized when their persons we not in danger of harm. The law assumes, and rightly, that human life (even that of a thief) is worth more than mere property. Self defense laws (concealed carry) are proper and need to be continued, but what you advocate is too over the top and a form of anarchy.
“Four months ago, my daughter had her home broken into and all her valuables (cash, computers, TVs, guns, a few pieces of furniture, etc.) taken. She got there in time to see the thiefs pickup truck pulling away and she followed the thief back to his home. With the pickup in his driveway, she called the cops and told the cops that she was parked outside of the thiefs house and that her possessions were in plain sight and in the pickup. The cops told her that since nobody was hurt, it was an insurance problem not a police problem and she should just go home and file an insurance claim. (Nevada)”
I don’t know why the “police” didn’t respond....it sounds like dereliction of duty OR they didn’t believe your daugther (they were wrong either way). Why didn’t she call the County Sheriff IF the city police did not respond? Whatever, your daugther has my sympathy and respect for keeping her head. I hope your story is an aberration, and not the norm. I can understand your outrage - I would feel the same. Just don’t let it drive you to extreme measures. It makes you the “criminal.”
With a Kingone Battlif from “Star Trek”? Ouch that would hurt!
yes, They are known to leave a mark. LOL
Also, I have Had to defend myself with my Bass Guitar on occasion.
It wouldn’t by chance by the “Sword of Kayliss?” You should only use it after getting drunk on Klingon “Bloodwine.” ;-)
A batleth is a fine weapon, but for close-in work, like keeping a weapon beside your bed, the smaller metleth is better.
I’ve been known to do that! LOL! (Note the bodacious Klingon Physique!)
My Schecter Base has a great swing for combat, while I use the smaller Gibson SG for close work. LOL!
From what you describe, though, it seems pretty obvious at this point that Zimmerman will likely be aquitted or, if the trial proceeds, he will be found not guilty.
Then let the riots begin, and all this sophist guile will be going right out the window.
That is what G Gordon Liddy said to do. He is an ex prosecutor and ex FBI agent.
I had a house on the edge of a forest in a rural, mountainous area of the U.S. West. I hadn’t spent a great deal of time there and was not very familiar with the countryside. A heavy snow had fallen, and it had changed the landscape and covered the trails. I got lost. Night fell. I had a general idea of the direction of the nearest road. My sense of direction was correct. It was necessary to cross someone’s land. I didn’t know who the owner was. I had only met a few people in the vicinity and didn’t really know any of them. Yes, I was alone. I found my way home, though it was quite dark. I have spent considerable time hiking and camping in rural places, many times alone. I’m sure I will again. Don’t worry. My survival skills are keenly developed, as anyone can see from the previous narrative and advice. I’ve never had any trouble. I didn’t that time either.