House to vote on Trayvon amendment
House Democrats said Tuesday they will offer an amendment to push to overturn stand-your-ground self-defense laws in states like Florida.
The amendment, which would withhold some grants from states that have such laws, will come as part of the House's debate on the Commerce Department spending bill.
"'Shoot-first' laws have already cost too many lives. In Florida alone, deaths due to self-defense have tripled since the law was enacted. Federal money shouldn't be spent supporting states with laws that endanger their own people," said Reps. Raul Grijalva of Arizona and Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the two Democrats who are offering the legislation. "This is no different than withholding transportation funds from states that don't enforce seat-belt laws."
Politfact looked at the numbers last March and concluded that, since the law expanded the classification of deaths as justifiable homicides, the claim was partly true:
Smith said that since "stand your ground" passed in 2005, deaths due to self-defense have jumped over 250 percent. When we calculated the average for five years before the law passed and five years after it passed, we found an increase of 200 percent. That’s short of Smith’s claim, though the numbers largerly support the idea that self-defense deaths have increased since 2005. As for whether "stand your ground" is the reason self-defense deaths are up, experts either disagree or say it’s difficult to determine without examining the specifics of each case.
We rate this statement Half True.
I looked at their numbers and more, and came away believing the claim was Mostly Misleading. (The most glaring flaw in the PolitFact numbers - justifiable homicides by the police also tripled over the same period, even though the new law did not affect them. One might infer that the people doing the classifying are taking a different perspective on everything.)
John Hinderaker has more.