House Democrats said Tuesday they will offer an amendment to push to overturn stand-your-ground self-defense laws in states like Florida.
The amendment, which would withhold some grants from states that have such laws, will come as part of the House’s debate on the Commerce Department spending bill.
“‘Shoot-first’ laws have already cost too many lives. In Florida alone, deaths due to self-defense have tripled since the law was enacted. Federal money shouldn’t be spent supporting states with laws that endanger their own people,” said Reps. Raul Grijalva of Arizona and Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the two Democrats who are offering the legislation. “This is no different than withholding transportation funds from states that don’t enforce seat-belt laws.”
Florida’s law, which allows residents to use force in response to an attack without first having to retreat, has come under scrutiny after the nationally-polarizing death of teenager Trayvon Martin. George Zimmermann, a neighborhood watch volunteer, has been charged with murder in the case.
Three times as many people successfully defended themselves since the law was passed? Three times as many bad guys were bagged and tagged?
So what’s the problem?
Seriously though, don’t these guys care about the 10th Amendment? This is more nanny-statism gone wild. Don’t they realize those laws are popular? (No worries, it has no chance of passing the GOP-controlled Senate.)
Stand your ground laws do not change the basic standard for using deadly force in self defense – you must be in reasonable fear for your life or in fear of great bodily harm. SYG does not allow you to shoot anyone you want. It doesn’t affect your ability to carry a weapon or allow you to brandish one in public. It simply affirms the American rule that there is no duty to retreat before using self defense.