Who Really Benefits From Stand Your Ground Laws?

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Sadly, in our day and age, there are some people who think that gun rights are a racial issue (as in “against minorities”). Even worse, some of those people are legislators.

Take, for example, an Arkansas state legislator named Stephanie Flowers. John R. Lott, Jr. writes,

Arkansas state Senator Stephanie Flowers captivated the international news media with her fiery attack on “Stand Your Ground” legislation, which guarantees the right to defend oneself without retreating as far as possible. Author Joyce Carol Oates took inspiration from Flowers’ comments, lauding her as “astonishing/courageous.” Actress Sarah Silverman hailed her as a “hero,” saying that her “face should be on money.” Other women took inspiration from her refusal “to be silenced, intimidated, or victimized by the systems that govern our societies. Especially to women who come from historically traumatized, disenfranchised, & dehumanized communities.”

Flowers was very upset by “how many black kids, black boys, black men are being killed with these Stand Your Ground defenses that these people raise, and they get off.”

You might think that Flowers has a point, and it’s understandable that she is concerned about people being killed. The problem with her thinking is that she is flat out wrong.

First of all, gun control in America was implemented as a racist policy to prevent newly freed black slaves from being able to defend themselves when attacked. In fact, civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. supported gun rights (see this article here).

The second problem with what Flowers had to say is that stand your ground laws help law-abiding African Americans, too. Lott continues,

But she misses the fact that innocent black victims use Stand Your Ground laws in their defense. After all, poor blacks who live in high-crime urban areas are the most likely victims of crime.  Unless police happen to be around, they have to try to protect themselves. Having to retreat as far as possible can make this more difficult, and such a requirement disproportionately impacts blacks. Most important, letting people defend themselves actually deters murder.

Florida is one state that has very detailed data on the races of those who have used Stand Your Ground defenses. Blacks make up 16.7% of Florida’s population, but they account for 34% of defendants who invoke the Stand Your Ground defense.  Black defendants who invoke this statute are actually acquitted 4 percentage points more frequently than white defendants who do so.

The Tampa Bay Times collected 119 cases, from 2006 to October 2014, in which people charged with murder relied on Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. Seventy-six percent of the black defendants had killed other blacks.  Most of the people who were acquitted of murdering a black person were themselves black. About 64% of blacks who raised the Stand Your Ground defense were not convicted, compared to 60% of whites.

So, here again, we have another example of an anti-gunner (who is, sadly, a legislator) who is dead wrong about how to empower minorities and increase their safety.

Gun rights and stand your ground laws help minorities. They don’t hurt them.

14 COMMENTS

  1. I’ve come to the conclusion that the left, both young and liberal, are just too stupid to know how stupid they really are. Since average people can’t afford personal guards like most politicians and the rich, and police seem to mostly be at least 10 minutes away, they have an absolute right to defend themselves and others in the surrounding area. Also if this so called legislator had a brain she’d also understand that 99% of shootings are done by members of her own party, and they’re the ones who need reined in.

  2. If threatened, you only retreat if you can improve your safety, and protect your back. The further you retreat the more you embolden the aggressor, and many times place yourself in a more vulnerable position. A bold stand can many times cause the attacker to rethink their options.

    • a very good comment / as a military officer said if I have a gun most perverts will drop theirs

    • As a matter of fact a survey was done years ago in a Florida prison of convicts who proved that very point when they stated emphatically said convicts tend to pick victims who are unable to defend themselves but the village idiots of the left tend to ignore these facts but, of course, their intent isn’t safety. If it was these so called politicians would be dealing properly with the convicts and not endangering the general public. They’re intent is solely to gain absolute control.

  3. Just Curious from the statistics how many blacks have used stand your ground against the Klan, Nazi Skinheads or any other white supremacists who tried to attack them??

    • The reports of the Klan, Nazi skinheads, or other “white supremacists” attacking them in this century have been largely inflated. Most of the reports are against white people with a badge and uniform(or some type of security job) trying to stop a crime. The real hate crimes are done by minorities by reporting a made up confrontation with MAGA supporters, using minority help for the beat down.

  4. FredK….Our founding fathers wrote the 2ndA to prevent a government to become tyrranical. And the radical “Left” is in the process of doing that at this time. Wake up, America, before it is too late. Stop watching what the Cardashians doing and watch your government what it is doing to you. Gun grabbers don’t care who gets shot, or for that matter who has health care. Their only interest is to control every aspect of your life and that is what will happen if we allow the radical left to take over our government.

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