Stand Your Ground Law

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Most self defense laws say that when there is a threat present, people have to walk away, and if the threat continues then they can use lethal force. However, in 2005, Florida passed the Stand Your Ground law. This law gives people the right to use lethal force immediately if they feel threatened by another person. While this law can be very helpful in some cases, there have been many situations where people have used lethal force when it wasn’t necessary, and the Stand Your Ground law has protected them from prison. 

On July 19 2018, outside a convenience store in Clearwater, Florida, Brittany Jacobs and Michael Drejka got into an altercation. Drejka was confronting Jacobs about parking in a handicapped parking spot without a permit. The argument was getting intense when Jacob’s boyfriend, Markeis McGlockton, came over to defend her. He started arguing with Drejka. A few moments later McGlockton pushed Drejka to the ground, but as McGlockton went to walk away Drejka pulled a gun out of his jacket, and proceeded to shoot and kill McGlokton.


He was not immediately arrested because Florida’s Stand Your Ground law protected him. However, Drejka claims that the only reason he shot McGlockton was because he feared his life after he was pushed to the ground. He believed that McGlockton was going to attack him again. So since he claimed that it was self defense the case was turned over to State Attorney, Bernie McCabe, who was determined to prove whether or not it was truly self defense. A few weeks later McCabe charged Drejka with one account of manslaughter. The trial was set for nearly a year later on August 19, 2019. Drejka pleaded not guilty. 


Although the law can be very helpful at times, it seems to only be used to justify the killing of people who don’t really seem like a threat. If you feel threatened, being able to protect yourself is very helpful. And if you end up getting physical with that person, having a law that could protect you from charges might help you feel better. However, if you kill someone because you feel threatened, that should not be defended by a law. The law needs to be drastically revised. People are taking advantage of it. Sometimes a threat isn’t even present and people will just pull out a gun and shoot. 


If you’re threatened, calling the cops isn’t always an option. Sometimes you can just be joking around with their friends and they might say something, jokingly, that sounds like a threat. Does that mean you should shoot your friend, and not go to jail, because you felt your life was in danger? I believe it does not, and it shouldn’t be justified by a law.