Tuesday, February 18, 2014

"Stand Your Ground" Causing MORE Killing

From the always thought-provoking David Adkins, here, another example of the law of unintended consequences:

Since first-degree murder is apparently legal in Florida as long as the victims are black, it's important to look at the overall impact of the ALEC-funded evil Stand Your Ground laws. The upshot is: more death, more shooting, huge racial disparities in who is killed, and no decrease in crime. Not only do they allow racist killers to get away with murder, they don't provide even the least bit of deterrent to crime. In fact, it's likely quite the opposite:
For any given case, these questions are impossible to answer, and you can make arguments either way. But it is possible to say something more definitive about whether these laws have led to a greater number of total homicides. That is the question my coauthor Cheng Cheng and I addressed in our recent study in the Journal of Human Resources. We asked what happened to homicide rates in states that passed these laws between 2000 and 2010, compared to other states over the same time period. We found that homicide rates in states with a version of the Stand Your Ground law increased by an average of 8 percent over states without it — which translates to roughly 600 additional homicides per year. These homicides are classified by police as criminal homicides, not as justifiable homicides.

 I've always thought that the handy presence of a gun serves to too easily escalate situations from serious to deadly, and it seems that the data is becoming robust enough to support that conclusion. 

Far from making us all safer, the more people packing heat, the more we all are at risk.

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