As I’ve said before, Stand Your Ground laws shouldn’t be controversial. All they do is remove any duty to retreat from a threat, allowing people to act faster in a self-defense situation as they don’t have to look around to see if they can get away. It speeds up the decision-making process, thus saving lives.
It doesn’t excuse people shooting when it’s not justified, and it never has.
But that doesn’t stop anti-gun Democrats from hating the law and working to repeal it. In Florida, they had their best chance to do just that. In the wake of a controversial shooting in Clearwater, Florida, Democrats in the state legislature thought it was their time.
Florida Democratic lawmakers have failed to force the Republican-controlled Legislature to repeal the state’s contentious “stand your ground law.”
Democrats asked Secretary of State Ken Detzner to poll legislators on whether they would support holding a special session to amend or repeal the law. The law allows people to use deadly force without retreating if they believe they are in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm.
The move required three-fifths of House and Senate members to vote yes.
Honestly, from a political standpoint, this was a rookie mistake. You don’t force a vote unless you can win it, and you should know you can win it otherwise.
Now, all the pontificating in the world won’t change the fact that anti-gun lawmakers don’t have the votes to change Florida’s gun laws. All they have are hopes and wishes, and everyone knows that’s not enough.
Had they not tried to force the vote, they could have continued deluding the masses into thinking there was all this broad support for repealing the Stand Your Ground laws. They could have pretended that it was just a matter of time, maybe gin up more support in the public and potentially pressure lawmakers to side with them.
But they didn’t.
Instead, they decided to grandstand, force a vote, and they lost. Now they have to rebuild political capital while having shown the world that they didn’t have the support they thought they did.
Meanwhile, it’s a good thing they lost.
Stand Your Ground laws get a lot of bad press, but they don’t make anything legal that would otherwise be illegal except not requiring people to look to run away from an attack. The truth is, Stand Your Ground laws aren’t just smart law, they’re moral laws. They remove the onus on the victim of a violent crime to try and look for an out. People should be able to act to defend themselves without fear of prosecution because some DA somewhere says there was a way they could get away.
That’s what the laws do.
A bad shoot is still a bad shoot. The law doesn’t justify gunning someone down in cold blood. It doesn’t justify using lethal force on a purse snatcher. It doesn’t do anything of the sort.
Instead, these laws are the victim of a media smear campaign designed to turn public sentiment against a law that almost no one outside of the firearm community seems to understand.