More than a year after the tragic shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on a Florida street drew national attention to Stand Your Ground laws, and with shooter George Zimmerman’s trial set to begin next week, no state has successfully repealed its law authorizing the unfettered use of deadly force. But on Thursday, Alaska became the latest state to adopt a Stand Your Ground law, with Gov. Sean Parnell (R) signing the law and several other gun bills at a shooting range.
“The resolutions, the legislation we sign today are our declaration that we are strong supporters here in the last frontier of our Second Amendment,” Parnell said during the signing. Alaska Public Radio reports that Parnell wanted to send a message by signing this bill and several others that fight “federal overreach” at the shooting range.
Alaska joins at least 21 other states that have passed Stand Your Ground or similar laws that impose no duty to retreat when facing an “attacker.” The ALEC and NRA-backed laws have cleared those involved in fatal shootings of any criminal liability, and pave the way for arbitrary determinations of guilt and innocence that can facilitate racial bias.
Studies have shown that Stand Your Ground laws are discriminatory, associated with higher homicide rates, and don’t deter crime. The U.S. Civil Rights Commission announced earlier this month that it would undertake its first full-blown investigation in decades to examine racial bias associated with the laws.
July 4, 2013 6:15 AM