There’s been a lot of talk about Florida’s Stand Your Ground (SYG) Law since the death of Trayvon Martin.  So I decided to take a look at this law (which approximately 20 other states have adopted).  The law allows gun owners to shoot (and kill) in self-defense if they feel threatened. Before Stand Your Ground, gun owners had to retreat in such situations, unless they were in their homes. There was a high legal threshold to cross before shots could be fired justifiably on streets, sidewalks or in other public settings.

Reports of justifiable homicides in Florida have spiked. For the first half of this decade, the state counted an average of 34 justifiable homicides a year, as few as 31 and as many as 43. In 2009: 105.

Trayvon Martin

Trayvon Martin, 17 y/o, shot and killed in Florida while walking home from the store.

The first six months of 2010: 44.