Are the stand your ground laws moral? That's a tough one for me. I can reasonably support the idea of a person having the right to defend their home from an intruder and to use lethal force if necessary. Most reasonable people understand that self defense is a situation that can warrant the right to kill someone. The George Zimmerman case is a bit different. While he was acquitted of all charges, he did act the part of a vigilante. He approached someone he thought looked suspicious because that person looked like the kind of people who had committed robberies in his neighborhood.
I did not watch the trial in detail but it seems to me that in the wake of the verdict, we need to take a closer look at the stand your ground laws. It is a little excessive to say that anyone has the right to pursue anyone else who appears suspicious and threatening and that they can shoot or kill that person regardless of whether they are on their own property or anywhere they have a "right to be." It is defined on Wikipedia as allowing a person to "justifiably use force in self-defense when there is reasonable belief of an unlawful threat, without an obligation to retreat first." It is that clause that takes away the "obligation to retreat" that is what's bugging me and many critics of the stand your ground laws. This means a person like George Zimmerman can follow perceived trouble in a confrontational way and incidences like his encounter with Trayvon Martin can be legalized.
What I think should be done is to reform the stand your ground laws so that an obligation to avoid any perceived threat is required so long as a person is not under a personal threat.
Welcome to Atheism and the City. This blog is about exploring atheism through contemporary urban living. I live in New York City, the secular metropolis, and I have an avid interest in all things religion, science, philosophy, politics, and economics. I am an atheist, a humanist, a philosopher and a thinker, and the purpose of Atheism and the City is to write about my thoughts and experiences on the subjects and topics that I have a passion for. Feel free to respond to any post whether or not you agree.