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Soapboxer: Repeal Stand Your Ground

The law and the culture that created it encourages people to do stupid things

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It’s a stupid law that needs to be repealed. Not because people have no right to defend themselves. Of course they do, and of course they should. But Stand Your Ground isn’t about self-defense – not really. You’ve always had the right to defend yourself or your loved ones from danger. What it says is that you no longer have to try to avoid danger, that if you so much as believe you may be endangered – whether that belief has any basis in reality or not – well, fire away. And the police will give you, not the dead guy, the benefit of the doubt.

We’re not the Wild West, nor should we aspire to be. Roughly 15,000 concealed weapons permits are granted every month in Florida, and more than a million licenses have been awarded since the state began allowing folks to carry multiple weapons (!) in public. We’re ripe for more Trayvon Martins.

If there’s any good that could come out of Trayvon’s death and Zimmerman’s acquittal, maybe it’s that the collective outrage will finally get us to take a long, hard look at our state’s locked-and-loaded mentality.

Related content: Five Florida Stand Your Ground cases that make us shake our heads.

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