Most have heard of the tragic shooting death of Trayvon Martin. His alleged shooter is George Zimmerman, captain of the local community watch in an Orlando suburb. Let us not involve ourselves in a knee-jerk reaction and seek to restrict castle doctrine laws around the country. Zimmerman allegedly chased down the unarmed Martin after a confrontation and shot him. If this is the case, the current castle doctrine law in Florida (known as the “Stand Your Ground” law) would not even protect the shooter. Dennis Baxley, the Florida state representative who sponsored the bill several years ago, had his to say:
The facets of the castle doctrine deal with using force to meet force as an act of self-defense when in your home, in your car, on your property, or anywhere you are legally able to be. Quite simply the castle doctrine is a good law which now protects individuals in a majority of states. However, the castle doctrine does not provide protection to individuals who seek to pursue and confront others, as is allegedly the case in the Trayvon Martin tragedy in Sanford.1
It is a tragedy that the young Trayvon Martin lost his life. It is my hope and prayer that justice is served. But let us not blame castle doctrine laws for this tragedy.