Don Kates on Stand Your Ground

Don Kates
Don Kates

Washington State – -(  Where does “stand your ground” come from?

Sheer legal ignorance underlies the hysterical attacks now being mounted against what is falsely described as “Florida’s Stand Your Ground” Law.

First of all the “stand your ground” principle is not unique to FL.

It is the ever-increasing majority rule — dating back to the 18th Century and increasing ever since. Thus if Stevie Wonder boycotts every American state that accepts “stand your ground” he will be boycotting CA and 40 or so other stares.

In contrast, the minority rule that victims must flee rather than shooting violent attackers, is shrinking.

(I believe Michigan in 2006 is the latest state to disavow it and switch to the “stand your ground” majority rule.)

What the ignoramuses are mistakenly complaining about is a FL statute that 25+ other states have adopted that just codifies the rule. So if the ignoramuses got their way and FL repealed that statute “stand your ground” would still be the law in FL and the other states by judicial decision.


That case has nothing to do with the “stand your ground” rule. So his counsel could not and did not defend by invoking that rule. He defended by relying on both the physical evidence and the only eyewitness testimony which was that George Zimmerman was pinned down on the ground being beaten by his attacker.

Under the minority (“retreat“) rule George Zimmerman would be entitled to shoot in those circumstances.


About Don Kates
Don Kates is a retired American professor of constitutional and criminal law, and a criminologist and research fellow with The Independent Institute in Oakland, California.

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I live in Maryland, as a disabled vet I cannot run from a threat if my life depended on it.

Leroy Montoya

Way to go! Speak the truth for all to learn from! As we already know the devilcrats and lame stream media never let facts get in their way. I am disabled and unable to retreat from a threat as I am barely able to walk with the assistance of a leg brace and a cane. I am legally armed and along with untold numbers of disabled veterans I know who are also licensed we strongly support stand your ground laws. If we don’t protect ourselves as trained who will? The police would only arrive after hostilities have ceased and be… Read more »

John Burtt

Mr. Kates,
Thank you sir.



Unfortunately, there aren’t enough people as smart as Mr. Kates in the Federal Gov’t or otherwise that are being critical of the Stand Your Ground law. And, likewise, those idiots will be listened to far more than learned individuals like like Mr. Kates!