Defending “Stand Your Ground” Laws: Opposing the Provocation of an Attack to “Defend” Yourself

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In the month since Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, some have called for the repeal of the law that may have allowed the young man’s killer to remain out of a jail cell. The law in question is referred to as a “Stand Your Ground Law” which states that “[a] person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another [person] against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force.” Deadly force, like that used by Zimmerman, is allowed under the law only if the person “reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another [person] or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony.” Zimmerman’s own lawyer, Craig Sonner, says “In my legal opinion, that’s not really applicable to this case. This is self-defense, and that’s been around for forever — that you have a right to defend yourself. So the next issue (that) is going to come up is, was he justified in using the amount of force he did?”

The Ocala Star-Banner reports, “Recently released records show that before the shooting, Zimmerman called 911 and was told by a dispatcher to wait for police, but he continued to follow Martin. Zimmerman told police there was an altercation before the shooting. The case was sent to the local state attorney’s office and is set to be heard by a grand jury in April.”

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who signed “Stand Your Ground” into law, also said he does not believe it applies to the case, “Stand your ground means stand your ground. It doesn’t mean chase after somebody who’s turned their back.”

As someone who believes in the right to self-defense, I support the existence of “Stand Your Ground” laws and believe that every person has the right to defend themselves wherever they have a right to be. I draw the line at instigating or provoking someone to attack so that you can then “defend” yourself and/or using unwarranted or excessive force to defend yourself; as it seems may have been the case with Zimmerman, who admittedly followed Trayvon Martin before an altercation that lead to Martin’s death.

4 thoughts on “Defending “Stand Your Ground” Laws: Opposing the Provocation of an Attack to “Defend” Yourself

  1. Zimmerman was also a neighborhood watchman who was simply trying to figure out what Mr. Martin was doing after the neighborhood had fallen victim to multiple crimes in the past years. For this he was brutally attacked. Asking a question does not justify or provoke a violent attack.

  2. The Cops must have evidence that would deny arresting Zimmerman. We have a lot of Hoodies scamming and doing recon in my neighborhood, and I call the cops all the time. They like to knock on doors with a sell scam to see who is at home. And return later. I suggest take their photograph if you open the door and have a pistol in the other hand. Just warn them to never come back. Wait till these is an EMP, and the electric grid goes down and there is no communication. It is a known fact, 90% of Black kids live off of food stamps. Their EBT Food cards will no longer work, Where do you think they will be looking for food. Be prepared folks.

    1. Part 2. NBC Nightly News: Ahhh As it turns out, the Kid was suspended from school for 10 days for marijuana possession, then as it turns out the boy attacked Zimmerman, and hit him on the head, and then the kid jumped on him and was beating him, then Zimmerman pulled out his gun and shot him. You see when all the facts come out, there was a reason, the COPS did not file charges against Zimmerman.. BTW/ Yes I caught 2 black hoodies breaking into a house on a school holiday week. I called the cops and when the cops got there, one went to one side of the house where they broke in and I went to the other, where they strolled out of the house laughing, we caught both of the hoodie juveniles who lines their pockets with a woman jewelry they stole. Pay attention to all the facts folks.

  3. Stand your ground means stand your ground. It doesn't mean chase after somebody who's turned their back.”

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    Fully agree, the moment Zimmerman decided to pretend he was a cop and pursuit the kid became the moment when self defense turned into hunting. The sad part is that if Martin gets justice it will be tainted because of the big mouths of Obama, Sharpton and recently Santorum.

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