Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law is Seriously Flawed

 Florida Stand Your Ground Law

Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law is excellent in theory.

But only in theory..

In my opinion the basis of the law is very worthy. The ability to defend yourself with lethal force when necessary. But it should only be when necessary.

Here is where you can find the law:

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0776/Sections/0776.013.html

I agree with the majority of the law. It protects those that have to take a life to save their own. You come to my house with the intention of breaking in and robbing me or worse? You can better believe I WILL defend myself.

The problem that I have with this law? Specifically it is this section: (I emphasized the words in red)

(3)‚ÄÉA person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she 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.
 

Let’s pick this apart, shall we?

A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity–so far so good. This means normal law abiding citizens…

and¬†who is attacked — here is where I have the first problem. Who is attacked. This, to me at least, indicates that the bad guy¬†initiated¬†the conflict. In other words, cases like¬†http://blogs.findlaw.com/blotter/2012/03/fl-man-cleared-in-stand-your-ground-stabbing.html¬†in which a man chased a thief who stole his car radio then stabbed him to death when the thief swung the bag of radios at him, borders on¬†vigilantism. ¬†

I don’t believe stand your ground should apply when the person is shot or stabbed while trying to flee the scene. There are 237 cases of Stand Your Ground listed at this website:¬†http://www.tampabay.com/stand-your-ground-law/data

While I didn’t read them all, several that I did read include details of being shot in the back or the back of the head. This is just wrong and thankfully many of them were found guilty.

The next place that I have a problem is —in any other place where he or she has a right to be¬†has no duty to retreat ¬†

I think that there has to be a duty to retreat. Meaning that you have got to try to remove yourself from the situation first. Then, and only then, are you justified in killing someone away from your own property. If you can walk away, you should. Under the law as it is, as long as you are not “committing a crime” you can provoke someone until they want to hit you and then you can kill them.

 

Using these flaws in the law, a man that killed another for texting on Monday is claiming Stand Your Ground. The story is here http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/story/24442737/2014/01/14/accused-theater-shooter-heads-to-court

Apparently, a former police officer was upset that a man was texting in the theater and did not immediately stop when commanded to by this former police officer. This former officer escalated the incident until the victim threw a bag of popcorn at him. He then answered this with a gunshot.

Stand Your Ground?

 

Absolutely Not!

This man was not attacked first, he initiated the conflict. Nor did he remove himself from the argument. Both points that should be necessary for stand your ground.

but they aren’t..

I don’t believe Stand Your Ground will apply in this case. I really hope it’s doesn’t. But his lawyers are arguing that it does apply. That he was ¬†“in fear for his life”

From popcorn?! Oh let me guess…he was afraid that the popcorn would accidentally become lodged in his throat and cause him to choke him to death.

Seriously?!?

 

 

I really believe that the Stand Your Ground Law needs to be modified and updated. The word unavoidable needs to be included. The duty to retreat when possible needs to be added as well. Otherwise, we have situations like these where anyone can and will claim Stand Your Ground.

 

Tell me, what do you think of Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law? I’d like to know!

 

 

18 thoughts on “Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law is Seriously Flawed”

  1. I worry about the legalities of so many gun laws. We own a gun. If I am attacked, in my home, I will shoot to protect my children. But so many people use these “laws” to basically commit murder or instead of resolving a normal conflict and a lot of them get by with it. It’s horrible. Guns are dangerous, sure, but people who use them as a means of getting their way… thats a lot scarier.

  2. My thing is, if I’m out and someone attacks me and I CAN get away… I’m not going to stay there and fight, I’m going to run and try to get to safety. I’m not going to chase after them, I’m going to run the opposite direction. I will however defend myself or my kids to the fullest extent, if the need arises which I hope never occurs.
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  3. The right to be able to defend oneself/family/property is one that I agree with totally…and the stand your ground “SHOULD” be only for when you can’t get away, like an intruder in your home, or someone corners you on the street…NOT in a movie theater and NOT over popcorn! Sheesh! What’s next? Shoot someone because you didn’t get a straw with your shake? I agree that this law may need some rewording a bit ūüėČ
    heather recently posted..Thankful ThursdayMy Profile

  4. I grew up in South Carolina have what is called the ‘Castle Doctrine’, it is basically the Stand your Ground with a little differences. I truly believe we should be able to defend our home, ourselves, and our families. When I was 11 my father caught a man breaking in our house, he didn’t hesitate to shoot hi…the 2 shots did kill him. But after the cops arrived they found a .45 in that man’s coat pocket. Horrified and scared, my dad says he has never felt guilty for what happened that night and by all means he never should feel that way. He had me and my 2 younger sisters to protect and the police where 15 minutes away.
    Cyndee Wells/Rude Mom Blog recently posted..Food & Drink Coupons for 1/20/14 #couponsMy Profile

  5. I think the popcorn incident is a clear case showing the flaws in this law. I have mixed opinions on gun laws. If I were in danger, I would protect my family and myself in any way I could… but there are many times that it seems the ability to have a gun on person has led to knee-jerk reactions that took a life. It really is a very complicated topic.
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