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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Holder's Claims on "Stand Your Ground" Lack Evidence

Yesterday, during his speech to the NAACP Conference in Florida, Attorney General Eric Holder said:
"Separate and apart from the case that has drawn the nation's attention, it's time to question laws that senselessly expand the concept of self-defense and sow dangerous conflict in our neighborhoods" 

The big buzz words at the U.S. Department of Justice for the last five years have been "Evidenced Based" when it comes to criminal justice programs.  Taxpayers even support a DOJ web site that is a searchable database of "evidence based" programs.  But where is the evidence that these laws have increased violence?

There is evidence however to show that "Stand Your Ground" laws have had a positive impact in protecting ordinary citizens.  Researcher Howard Nemerov wrote
On average, Stand Your Ground states experienced declines in all three violent crime rates. This data suggest that Stand Your Ground may have produced modest reductions in all three violent crime categories.
The NRA has responded to Holder's comments:

"The attorney general fails to understand that self-defense is not a concept, it's a fundamental human right," he said in a statement. "To send a message that legitimate self-defense is to blame is unconscionable, and demonstrates once again that this administration will exploit tragedies to push their political agenda."

Holder doesn't believe you and I have a legitimate reason to own a firearm at the same time he has a security detail to protect him.

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