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Stand Your Ground laws may not count for everyone

by HALEY MILLAN Editor-in-chief

Renisha McBride, 19, was found on Saturday, November 9 on the porch of the shooter in Detroit, Michigan, another victim of Stand Your Ground laws.

It is believed that McBride was asking for help at the residence after her cell phone died and she was involved in an accident. The shooter has been identified, but the name has not been released. The homeowner has been interviewed by detectives and is claiming self-defense, but it is not clear if he stated he will invoke the Stand Your Ground law.

The anger is stemming from the fact that McBride is black. The public is concerned that this violence comes from racism.

Many people have related this incident to the Trayvon Martin trial. Martin was targeted by George Zimmerman, and was shot and killed in 2005. Zimmerman was charged, and in the end was found not guilty. He claimed it was self-defense, and under Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, Zimmerman was not severely punished for killing the black teenager.

Stand Your Ground is a law for self-defense. This law gives people the right to use deadly force to defend themselves without having to get away from the situation at hand. Fourty-six states in the United States do not require any retreat under Stand Your Ground laws.

Senior Viki Daninska says, “The Stand Your Ground law doesn’t make any sense to me. People should have valid reasons for shooting others, or at least call for help. They’re not the police.”

Race may have a big part in whether or not people are protected or in danger from Stand Your Ground laws.

In Florida, keeping the same laws in mind, Marissa Alexander was sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot during an altercation between her and her husband. Alexander is a mother of three and has been granted another trial at the beginning of next year. She has not been granted bail and she was not able to invoke the Stand Your Ground law.

This illustrates the racial double-standard against the Stand Your Ground laws. Zimmerman, a white man who killed a black teenager, was found not guilty of any crime. Alexander, a black woman who did not harm anyone, was sentenced to 20 years.

“I don’t understand how we can live in the year 2013 and there is still racism. Especially racism so vicious that it makes people actually go out and kill each other,” says senior Lisa Sowinski.

There is a great portion of the public who claim that Stand Your Ground only protect white men, and does not do much for women or the black community.

Protests all over the country broke out after the Trayvon Martin case. They blame the law for the deaths of its victims. There have been many more cases in which this law hurts the public instead of helping it, like it was made to do.

Do you think the Stand Your Ground law is a fair law that applies to all people?

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