States with Stand Your Ground laws have higher rates of violent crime, homicides and racial bias, according to a new report.
If you’re interested in reducing violent crime, homicides, or racial bias, you should repeal Stand Your Ground laws, according to new recommendations from an American Bar Association Task Force. In a diplomatic fashion, the 62-page preliminary report hedges from calling for the outright repeal of the controversial “shoot first” provisions, but instead suggests that the laws are a “solution searching for a problem,” that they are associated with increased homicide rates and reinforce racial bias, and that any state concerned with these problems should probably do something about it.
“The application of Stand Your Ground laws is unpredictable, uneven, and results in racial disparities,” concludes the report in an assessment of the NRA-backed laws that authorize the use of deadly force in self-defense without any duty to first attempt to retreat. The National Task Force on Stand Your Ground Laws finds that self-defense was more than adequate before, and that the introduction of “shoot first” laws that shift the emphasis to instinctual gunfire has done nothing to decrease violent crime rates. In fact, states that have these laws have seen increases in homicides, and have seen a rash of troubling, racially biased anecdotes emerge, according to several studies compiled in the report.
“We’ve heard nothing good about stand-your-ground laws,” said task force co-chair Jack Middleton. “In fact, the more you look at them, the more problems you find. It’s our hope that the ABA as a whole will take a position against these laws.”