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by Shankar Vedantam and David Schultz, NPR -- Jan 02, 2013
If a stranger attacks you inside your own home, the law has always permitted you to defend yourself. On the other hand, if an altercation breaks out in public, the law requires you to try to retreat. At least, that's what it used to do.
Still, based on the available data, it appears that crafters of these laws sought to give good guys more latitude to defend themselves against bad guys. But what Hoekstra's data suggest is that in real-life conflicts, both sides think of the other guy as the bad guy. Both believe the law gives them the right to shoot.
What happens when what used to an "ordinary fist fight" instantly escalates to a "Ready, Aim, Fire" event?
What happens when so many are armed, that the "competitive advantage" goes to the one who "draws the quickest"?
Tragedies -- that's what happens. Over and over again.
The other fatal flaw in 'Stand Your Ground' laws ...
They. Don't. Work.
"Our study finds that, that homicides go up by 7 to 9 percent in states that pass the laws, relative to states that didn't pass the laws over the same time period," he says.
As to whether the laws reduce crime -- by creating a deterrence for criminals -- he says, "we find no evidence of any deterrence effect over that same time period."