Florida's "Stand Your Ground" Law and the Fight Ahead

Florida’s law,  called “Stand Your Ground” by supporters, and “Shoot First” by critics, was passed in 2005 and permits residents to use deadly force if they “reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.”  Traditionally, self-defense laws did not typically extend beyond a person’s home, but the Florida law, and at least 20 more passed across the country since them, allows a resident to “meet force with force” almost anywhere.   Although law enforcement has not made an arrest yet, the 911 tapes released  seems to show that Zimmerman’s actions do not meet the criteria of falling under Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law.  Because Zimmerman ignored the 911 operator’s command not to follow Martin, that disqualifies him from claiming self-defense under the law.

Predictably, the entire law, and the state of Florida, are under attack by the Left based on the radical actions of one self-appointed neighborhood watchman.  As always, the Left’s emotional reaction is swift, stern, and begs to pull at the heartstrings.  Now, during a town hall meeting in Sanford, Florida,  Rep. Geraldine Thompson promised the law’s repeal would be a top priority for the state legislature’s black caucus.

Perhaps they should be asking, “What are the limitations of crime watch?”  The Stand Your Ground Law doesn’t include pursuing and confronting people.  Because Zimmerman is pointing to this law in a lame attempt to excuse his aggressive behavior shouldn’t bring down the entire law.  His actions, most likely, are not protected under this law.

Remember, gun control became a hot topic of discussion after the Gabby Giffords shooting.  And Sarah Palin’s crosshairs somehow reeked of incivility.  The left seems to blanket-blame and blanket-punish when they disagree with a circumstance. They would rather abolish gun ownership from law abiding citizens, than regulate to discern who can own and who can carry.  But Obama said in 2008 he would cut programs “with a scalpel”, in order to preserve the good.  The Right never enjoys that benefit of consideration.

So once again, the Conservatives who try to uphold the law in these frenzied situations, by rationally pointing out the actions of this shooter are not exonerated, are going to be cast negatively.  We will be called racists, because a black man was killed, and the state legislature’s black caucus is trying to repeal the law.  We will be branded as cowboy outlaws that have no regard for a civil society because we believe in the right to bear arms.  We will be called uncompassionate and not relating to average citizens.

The fight is just beginning.