Nicholas Goldberg: Is Kevin de León toast?
Nicholas Goldberg: Why should Republicans care about Florida’s new ‘Stand Your Ground’ law?
‘It’s time to take a stand’: The new ‘Stand Your Ground’ law passed in Florida was a big win for the self defense industry, but what does the law actually mean?
By Nicholas Goldberg
Florida, you might have noticed, has become the latest state to embrace what has become a hotly debated measure. Called the “stand your ground” statute, Florida’s new law allows individuals to use deadly force against an intruder when they are, in fact, facing the threat of bodily harm.
If you were in Orlando on Aug. 14, 2011, and you were threatened by someone who said that you needed to get out of their apartment, you would be allowed to pull out an automatic weapon, fire off a shot, and run to safety while you could claim that the person who threatened you is a danger to your life.
At the time, the law is clearly a reaction to the events of the Trayvon Martin shooting. Martin was not carrying a weapon when he was shot, but he could not claim that he was acting in self defense under Florida’s earlier law. Understandably, people were upset that the same law would allow a person to use deadly force against an intruder whose threat made him or her feel threatened.
That same week, a Florida appellate court upheld a lower court ruling that the law is a legitimate use of the state’s privilege against self-incrimination. This means that the law allows a person to reveal to the prosecutor everything that they know regarding a crime.
And now, Florida stands to receive a lot of new business from the self defense industry. Several industries will be able to buy into these policies. They will be able to sell and offer the same sort of “self defense” weapons and training classes that they already offer.
But that doesn’t mean that the law should be embraced.
Kevin de León (pictured above) was shot and killed by a man who thought de León was in a gang