Editorial: ‘Stand Your Ground’ Gives Law-Abiding Citizens Too Many Options

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 09: Grace Miranda and other supporters of Trayvon Martin gather for a rally in front of Florida Senator Marco Rubio's (R-FL) office to ask him to retract his support for Florida's so called 'Stand Your Ground' gun law following the Trayvon Martin killing on April 9, …
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On May 21 a the Minnesota Tribune ran an editorial which criticized Stand Your Ground laws for giving too many options to law-abiding citizens.

After all, the editorial said, “killing someone over the theft of a car, bicycle or lawn mower will not make Minnesota safer.”

The Tribune points out that Stand Your Ground legislation being considered in Minnesota “would expand current rights to use deadly force in self-defense or in defense of one’s home.” And even though the law would apply to law-abiding citizens exercising their Second Amendment right to self-defense, the Tribune argues that the use of lethal force might be too “subjective” under a Stand Your Ground framework.

For instance, “Some gun owners may feel nervous because of the way another person is dressed. Others might find members of a different race, culture or religion threatening.” The implication is that gun owners might open fire in such situations–simply because of the way a person is dressed.

But there is empirical evidence to counter this. For example, in Florida–which has become the proving ground for Stand Your Ground and so many other pro-Second Amendment laws–the reality is that Stand Your Ground has not played into the racial stereotypes of gun control advocates around the country; it has not given white gun owners an advantage over minorities. In fact, John Lott’s latest book, The War On Guns: Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies, shows that Stand Your Ground has actually benefited black people more than whites.

Lott writes, “From 2005 through October 1, 2014, blacks made up 16.7 percent of Florida’s population and 34 percent of the defendants who invoked Stand Your Ground.” Moreover, “Black defendants who invoke this statute are actually acquitted four percentage points more frequently than whites who use this very same defense.”

The facts notwithstanding, Michael Bloomberg-funded Everytown for Gun Safety is fighting tooth and nail to prevent law-abiding Minnesotans from enjoying a restoration of the Second Amendment right to self-defense via Stand Your Ground.

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com.

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