Who Supports 'Stand Your Ground?' - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

From Anchor Tony McEwing

Who Supports 'Stand Your Ground?'

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"Stand Your Ground" laws have been the subject of much debate and derision ever since George Zimmerman shot and killed unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida. Zimmerman was later acquitted of second degree murder and manslaughter charges in a trial that captured the national spotlight and sparked demonstrations from coast to coast.

Turns out a recent study indicates a majority of Americans support such laws by 53 to 40 percent. That's probably not startling to a lot of people but a breakdown of the respondents to the survey by Quinnipiac University is actually a lot more revealing.

About half of the states in the U.S. have some form of "Stand Your Ground" laws on the books. Basically, these enactments allow people to fight rather than flee when threatened with bodily harm or death. But its Florida's law that became the focus of national attention during the Zimmerman trial, even though Zimmerman's lawyer technically never invoked the law while defending his client, choosing instead to go with simple self defense.

Among those responding to the survey, whites support "Stand Your Ground" 57 to 37 percent while blacks are opposed to these laws by the exact same percentage 57 to 37.

Men overwhelmingly support such laws 62 to 34 percent. Women are much less supportive with 44 percent in favor of the laws and 47 percent opposed. Seventy-five percent of Republicans applaud such laws while only 19 percent don't like them. However, Democrats oppose the laws 62 to 32 percent.  And among households where someone actually owns a gun, 67 percent favor "Stand Your Ground" with 29 percent opposed.

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