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

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.

posted by southernpatriot · tags: , , ,
  • http://vforvandyke.com vforvandyke

    It’s easy to defend “stand your ground” laws but Trayvon Martin’s shooting death was nothing of the sort. The fact that Jeb Bush and others are bringing it up is muddying the waters in a political spectacle that politicians are trying to milk for ulterior purposes.

    Obama and Romney have both also stuck their noses in this mess with political arguments meant to inflame emotions, when cooler minds will argue that we should judiciously proceed from the standpoint of logic and evidence.

    • Darryl W. Perry

      I agree that “stand your ground” does not apply to this case, which was my point.

      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.

    • Darryl W. Perry

      I agree that “stand your ground” does not apply to this case, which was my point.

       

      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. 

  • JFitz

    Zimmerman probably didn’t need to inflict a mortal wound to the chest in his struggle with Treyvon (a big teen who had the upper hand on him), but if his story adds up and he was in a defensive struggle from the ground (his life being in jeopardy is arguable), then he’ll be still be down to an involuntary manslaughter charge, purely for politics at this point.

    The real question is why the two ever crossed paths maliciously to begin with, but that one I’m sure we’ll probably never know fully.

  • Archangel73

    Zimmermans story – Officer, here’s what happened..

    I profiled a kid who was walking while black (a clear violation of my rules for this predominately white community).

    I called 911 and told them there was a suspicious Black walking by with skittles and iced tea.

    I followed him against your suggestion, but no worries because I have a gun and I’m trained to pretend I’m a cop.

    I packed my 9mm and went after him even though my neighborhood watch rules say not to carry weapons.

    I tried to stop and question the kid but when I pulled my gun he attacked me so I shot him in the chest.

    So you see officer It was CLEARLY self defense on my part, especially since like I said, he was walking while Black and he attacked me and tried to disarm me when I confronted him, so I killed him to protect
    myself.

    Don’t these blacks know they’re supposed to do what we say or we have the right to kill them? That rule still applies in the South, right Officer?

    • jazzman

      This is one of most ridcules and  irresponsible postings I’ve read, because it’s completely bias. And proves how the liberal bias media has “rotted” the heads of the people “buying in” to their bs. The truth in this tragic case is under investigation,and to speculate by the media or the general public is reprehensable.With innocents being murdered each day like the 19 killed in south Chicago,for an example,and that includes a 6 year old in a 3 day period..And chicago has the strictest gun law, regulations and restrictions in the country…..How is that working ?? This case or any other case for that matter should not be judged by the media or anyone

  • Archangel73

    Zimmermans story – Officer, here’s what happened..

    I profiled a kid who was walking while black (a clear violation of my rules for this predominately white community).

    I called 911 and told them there was a suspicious Black walking by with skittles and iced tea.

    I followed him against your suggestion, but no worries because I have a gun and I’m trained to pretend I’m a cop.

    I packed my 9mm and went after him even though my neighborhood watch rules say not to carry weapons.

    I tried to stop and question the kid but when I pulled my gun he attacked me so I shot him in the chest.

    So
    you see officer It was CLEARLY self defense on my part, especially
    since like I said, he was walking while black and he attacked me and
    tried to disarm me when I confronted him, so I killed him to protect
    myself.

    Don’t these Blacks know they’re supposed to do what we say
    or we have the right to kill them? That rule still applies in the
    South, right Officer?

  • http://ocala.ws/ Ocala Guns

    zimmerman instigated the conflict by his action and there there is not “stand your ground”. he killed that kid and needs to pay