Stand-your-ground laws need reforming, no NRA interference

Viewpoints Editor

Each week, we explore both sides of a current issue through opposing Viewpoints. The alternate editorial for this week’s Face Off can be found here: “Some self-defense laws need to be repealed across states

Some of the most controversial laws in the United States right now are the stand-your-ground laws. Most states have some form of this law that extends from retreating from a situation to not having to retreat from a situation before resorting to deadly force.

There have been several high-profile cases regarding this law in Florida, including the Trayvon Martin case and, most recently, an incident where a man shot into a vehicle for playing music very loudly. Both cases did not occur on the shooter’s property.

There’s no doubt these incidents are horrible, and the shooters should be locked up and sent to jail, since these cases do not fit under stand-your-ground. 

This law needs to be reformed so that innocent people are not killed for simply playing their music too loud or walking home at night.

Stand-your-ground laws are in place so that if an intruder enters your home you may use the necessary force to protect yourself and property, not on some sidewalk. If people could shoot a gun wherever and whenever they wanted to just because they felt “threatened” then nowhere would be safe. These laws should only apply on people’s property, not on public property — that’s the duty of law enforcement to protect.

This type of law is necessary for those people who live in rural areas where law enforcement cannot reach in time to protect a person. Now, not many intruders would want to trespass into someone’s house in the middle of nowhere, but the fact that homeowners have this option to protect themselves could save their lives.

One thing about this law, though, is that it should not give people the option to kill at will. A person’s life must truly be endangered to warrant killing someone.

One very upsetting aspect about stand-your-ground is that when a person uses it as their defense for killing another person, the shooter’s race may sway the outcome. If a person cites a stand-your-ground law as their defense, it should not matter what the color of their skin is. 

The only thing that should determine the outcome are the facts in the case and whether this person’s life was truly in danger.

It’s time to reform these laws across the country, especially in Florida. Lawmakers should be free to do whatever is necessary to prevent innocent people from being gunned down without interference from the National Rifle Association

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