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Assault on SYG Continues

The Washington Post pens a piece that shows the number of justifiable homicides are up in the wake of Stand Your Ground laws. A few questions:

  • During this period, the number of people who have concealed carry permits has risen significantly. Could this be a greater contributing factor?
  • Why is this necessarily a problem? It would seem to me that more people defending themselves successfully is going to be a consequence of more people having firearms. I don’t view this as a social negative.
  • Many of the states listed here have always had no duty to retreat. There are missing states as well. California has no such duty, and neither does Virginia. It seems to me in order for this to be accurate, you’d need to eliminate states that have traditionally had no duty to retreat, which is probably 1/3rd to 1/2 of the states on their list. There are also a number of states which require no duty to retreat when attempting to stop the commission of a forcible felony.

I think if the media are going to go the route of justifiable homicides being a social plague, they aren’t going to find much reception among the public. One reason CD and SYG have been so easy to pass is because politicians are afraid to tell people they can’t defend their homes, conveyances, and have to surrender a place they have a legal right to be in order to be able to claim self-defense. As has been mentioned here numerous times, CD and SYG don’t honestly change much, and in most states, is just adjusting the statutes to match what juries will routinely decide in most of these cases.

8 Responses to “Assault on SYG Continues”

  1. mobo says:

    Another way to look at it is that less people are falling victim to overzealous prosecutors. These could be people who might otherwise have been imprisoned unjustly.

    Why does an increase in the number of justifiable homocides necessarily mean that there are more people getting away with murder? I see it as an indication that fewer innocent people are being put through the ringer.

  2. Heather from AK says:

    ADN ran that article. I found it amusing that the best story they could come up with was the Kuch/Stewart shooting. Despite how they try to spin it in the first paragraph, that’s hardly a supporting case for the “SYG is bad” meme.

  3. pax says:

    Why does an increase in the number of justifiable homocides necessarily mean that there are more people getting away with murder?

    Just the opposite, in fact! An increase in the number of justifiable homicides means that fewer people are actually committing murder. After all, that’s pretty much the only legal justification for homicide: the dead guy was trying to murder you.

    • Clark says:

      My only adjustment to this would be that you needn’t be faced with certain death to use lethal force to defend yourself. As an example, an 80 yr old has no legal responsibility to take some specified amount of beating from a 20 yr old before shooting the guy. And I would not prosecute anyone for killing an intruder in their home (don’t shoot him in the back, though). No one breaks into someone’s home to wish them a happy birthday and I don’t believe you should have to wait until you can 100% verify that the intruder is armed; you could be dead by then.

  4. Harry Schell says:

    The sharp rise in gun ownership, particularly among women, comes at least part in the recognition you are your first and sometimes, effectively, only line of self-defense. And self-defense as a concept is not so evil, despite the best efforts of “progressives” to make it so. In this regard “progressives” are not that at all, for an unarmed populace hearkens back to feudal times, when a small elite held a near monopoly on the use of force. Some progressives perhaps, realize that an armed populace will not be so amenable to following the directions of their betters… I would put Holder and Obama in that camp.

    CA has a “last agressor” rule. Whoever started it, if you clearly in word and deed disengage from a fight, anyone who pursues you is the “last agressor”, and has started a new fight. Your use of justifiable lethal force is thus self-defense.

  5. I’m guessing that the FDLE justifiable homicide number is the same one fed into FBI UCR. Keep in mind that these are the initial justifiable homicide numbers, based on what happens when police first file a report. For a very long time, justifiable homicide based on initial reports were half or less of the number when you include final results after more police investigation, district attorney investigation, grand jury deliberations, and trial. What we may be seeing is not an actual increase in justifiable homicides, but an increase in the number that are found justifiable immediately.

  6. Even more significant, is that the article admits that justifiable homicides by police officers have also tripled during the same time.

  7. Clark says:

    This “info” on increased “justifiable” homicides smacks of an attempt to take a statistic and tie it to current events when there is no clear nexus. If there is an increased need to protect yourself from harm (rising crime rates, etc), there is a commensurate need to be able to do so. I don’t know the real circumstances surrounding the Trayvon Martin shooting but, if Zimmerman is guilty of a crime, shootings of this nature are almost a statistical zero. Certainly, they are not the norm but people with an anti-gun agenda are shamelessly using this case to push for greater gun control and repeal of SYG.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. A further note on justifiable-homicide stats - [...] at Shall Not Be Questioned, which takes the view that “CD [Castle Doctrine] and SYG don’t honestly change much, …
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