A Deeper Look at Stand Your Ground

More

The Tampa Bay Times has done a real service for those of us looking to better understand how Stand Your Ground works in Florida on an individual level. Linked here is a list of victims killed by people invoking SYG. I encourage anyone interested in the Trayvon Martin case to dig into this database, and the stories behind them. 


I still think Stand Your Ground laws are a really bad idea. Nevertheless what you find here is not scores of Trayvon Martin, but host of incidents where morality is all over the map. Take the case of Peter and Anthony Julien who killed Brandon and Martin Martinez:

Two brothers came home to find intruders in their house. They approached them with guns and when they saw one of the men aiming his own gun, they opened fire. One robber wound up dead and another was wounded. "I could have called 911 and in two days they let him go and they do it again," Anthony Julien was quoted as saying in the Orlando Sentinel after the break-in. "We shot first and then called 911."

The braggadocio is really disturbing. And yet I strongly believe that if you break into someone's house, and pull guns on them, you have effectively put your life on the shelf.

Or the killing of Dyalan Nuno:

Jorge Saavedra, 14, fatally stabbed Dylan Nuno, 16, at a school bus stop. Saavedra had gotten off the bus early trying to avoid a fight. Testimony showed that Saavedra, who claimed Nuno bullied him and teased him about his learning disabilities, was trying to get away from Nuno and a group of his friends when he was punched in the back of the head. Witnesses said he continued to try to get away. But soon he took out a pocketknife and stabbed Nuno 12 times. One of the thrusts nicked Nuno's heart. Both boys were students at Palmetto Ridge High School.


A street shootout in Tallahassee between two groups of men left a suspected gang member, 15-year-old Michael Jackson, dead. Prosecutors charged the man who brought Jackson to the shootout, 20-year-old Jamal Taylor, with manslaughter. Also charged with manslaughter were two members of the rival group, Jeffrey Brown, 23, and Andrae Tyler, 23. The person who shot Jackson was not identified. Both groups said the other side fired first in the gun battle which was in retaliation for an earlier argument and shooting. Police said more than 30 shots were fired during the Holton Street incident.

More in the article. Dig in. There's lots of meat. Forgive my lack of conclusions. I'm still digging myself.
Jump to comments
Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in National

From This Author

Just In