Rising numbers of civilian justifiable homicides across the US are closely linked to states with both weak gun controls and stand-your-ground laws, according to a Guardian analysis of FBI and other data, which show a 25% increase in such killings since the controversial self-defence laws started being introduced around 2005.
Stand-your-ground (SYG) measures, which have attracted increasing scrutiny since the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin by a neighbourhood watch volunteer in Florida, allow citizens to use deadly force when they believe their life is in danger, without requiring them to retreat or try to escape the threat first.
SYG is actually producing murders.
"Justified homicides by police are also up," said Kenney [Professor Dennis Kenney, of John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York and a former police sergeant in Florida.] "The police are shooting more people and citizens are shooting more people. We're evolving into an increasingly coarse society with no obligation to diffuse a situation and rapidly turn to force.