Stand Your Ground Laws - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Stand Your Ground Laws

George Zimmerman's acquittal in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin has stirred outrage from all across the nation. But beneath all the protests and rallies, this case brings light to the ‘Stand Your Ground' law effective in Florida.

The ‘Stand Your Ground' law is adopted by more than 22 states including Texas. It is a type of self-defense law that gives individuals the right to use reasonable force to defend themselves in a dangerous situation. Texas has adopted the Castle Doctrine which is similar to this statute.

 "What we need to do as a society and as America is to speak up for each other and take care of one another" said Erica Easter, resident of Texoma.

Many people are now asking state legislatures to review this statute.

Another resident of Texoma, James Chestnut believes there is a fine line between defending yourself and killing another human being. "Everyone has a right to defend their life I don't deny that. But sometimes defending your life means not getting into an altercation" he said.

Those against this law say legislation should re-examine the extent of how much violence and force can be used.

"I don't believe the stand your ground statute is right because it doesn't take into account who the original aggressor was or who the original instigator of the situation is" said Chestnut.

On the other hand, supporters of ‘Stand Your Ground' believe in the right to protect when threatened.

"Somebody comes in trying to steal and hurt you, I feel like you should be able to defend yourself in any way possible" said Ryan Graham.

Despite the controversy revolving around this law, both sides do agree that a mutual understanding needs to be reached.

"A lot more of the government and city needs to come together so we know what kind of problems that we do have so we can solve it" said Easter.

Graham also agrees. "We need to make a common standard, an agreement to make sure it's all the way it should be" he said.  

On Sunday Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona joined President Obama's call for a review of all ‘Stand Your Ground' laws.

Texas adopted the Castle Doctrine in 1995 by House Bill 94. The law was then extended from the individual's home to include the vehicle and workplace in September of 2007.

Cynthia Kobayashi, Newschannel Six.

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