After Florida passed its 'Stand Your Ground' law, killings went up

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After Florida legislators and Governor Jeb Bush passed the state's "Stand Your Ground" law—the law that allowed George Zimmerman to evade justice for the killing of Trayvon Martin—killings across the state increased by nearly a quarter over the next decade.

A new study published this month in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine found that "the implementation of Florida’s stand your ground law was associated with a 24.4% increase in homicide and a 31.6% increase in firearm-related homicide." Previously-released figures have shown a spike in gun-related "justifiable homicides" after the passage of the law in 2005.


Bush defended the law last year, two months before announcing his candidacy for president, in a speech to the NRA. "In Florida you can defend yourself anywhere you have a legal right to be. You shouldn't have to choose between being attacked and going to jail," he said." We were often the model…because in Florida we protected people's rights to protect themselves." According to a report by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, the NRA helped write the draft legislation for the law.

Perhaps fittingly, when the Wall Street Journal reached out to the NRA for comment on the JAMA study, they didn't receive any responses.


Sam Stecklow is the Weekend Editor for Fusion.