The Daytona Beach News Journal:
Florida has seen an "abrupt and sustained" increase in killings by firearm since the state's controversial stand your ground law was enacted in 2005, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The monthly rate of homicides by firearm increased 31.6 percent, according to the study.
The results were to be expected, said Charles Rose, a law professor at Stetson University's College of Law.
"It's not surprising because when you lessen the standard for self-defense you create more opportunity for the use of deadly force. When you have more opportunity for the use of deadly force you are going to have more fatalities. It's pretty much guaranteed," Rose said.
Florida's stand your ground law was the first in the nation and has been followed by similar laws in other states. The law eliminated the duty to retreat if someone "reasonably believed" that deadly force was necessary to prevent imminent death, great bodily harm or prevent a forcible felony and it protects the shooter both from criminal prosecution and lawsuits. The law drew national attention after George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin in 2012 during a confrontation in Sanford. Zimmerman did not depend on the stand your ground law but did claim self-defense and was acquitted by a jury.
Of course the Florida senator who first proposed the law believes the study is flawed, clearly because it does not reach his preconceived conclusions about the law's impact.
However it certainly does not take a statistician to recognize that if more people feel encouraged to shoot first and ask questions later, that they will in fact shoot first and ask questions later.
We are turning into a country of terrified little panty waists who think our go to position when feeling threatened is to utilize deadly force.
Whatever happened to shaping the response to fit the threat?
When I trained it was beaten into my head to ONLY use as much force as necessary to protect myself and incapacitate my attacker.
The very idea of using deadly force was defined as only something to be used in the most dire of circumstances.
These are the guidelines for an appropriate response to aggression.
It is better to walk away than to injure.
Bettter to injure than to maim.
Better to maim than to kill.
And better to kill than to allow innocents to die.
Going immediately to the fourth option is not the response of a brave man. It is the response of a coward.