Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law is Uncivilised
Florida’s expansion of the right to self-defence into the public domain is dangerous and uncivilised. The applicable law, within Fla Stat, Ch 776 is unnatural, immoral, unnecessary and injures social cohesion.
The legislation is basically an enlargement of the Castle Doctrine, rooted in seventeenth century English Jurisprudence. Simplified, it upholds the individual’s right to defend himself, his property and the well- being of another being assailed. It honours self-determination; human rights to live secure in her/his home and the protection of his/her body; the law affirmed the right of self- defence and to use whatever force is necessary,including deadly force, towards the cessation of the threat. This body of law in no way infringes the Second Amendment Right to keep and bear arms. Any reference to firearms would just be exemplar. It’s helpful to make the distinction since popular discourse tends to conflate the rights.
The expansion of the traditional protections into the public space and the individual’s need only to claim that he/she was in fear of their lives. Duty to retreat or avoidance have been stripped away. The person is protected from arrest, criminal and civil liability. Normal law enforcement investigative processes remain but a deep lack of trust by a large portion of the citizenry is pernicious.
There is no settled, convincing body of behaviorist’ literature on animals that supports fatal response to a perceived threat. Flight is the most common, followed by sufficient force towards cessation of the attack… (1) evasion (2) proportionality! If the interloper is armed with a knife and you with a Samurai sword, you don’t have the right to hack his body to pieces. Likewise, a party of a dozen police officers trying to apprehend a suspect for past burglaries has no right in any civilised country to fire 137 shots to kill the suspect…. or even 41 bullets to kill someone whose misdeed was smoking a cigarette at his front door. So much for the natural law nonsense.
Is the law moral? Here we look to religion AND secular scholarship. From the Decalogue, the Buddha’
s Way, Classic Philosophy all hold human life sacrosanct and we are all obliged to preserve it when we can. Life must always be held above property. We have gradually been whittling at that precept. Sooner or later we’ll pay by the diminished values.
Was the new legislation necessary? A deafening NO! It is in fact purely political and worse, partisan. We did not have a crime-demic before and none since. So why did our elected officials put this as a priority when there are far more pressing problems. I won’t offer an answer. If you can read this you already know.
Does it promote safety, tranquility and social cohesion? Absolutely NOT. In fact, take a look at the pictures of who is mourning, who is protesting and the seemingly expendable, worthless deceased. Equating death with punishment is moronic since we all die sooner or later.