Another study has confirmed that “Shoot First” laws, like the one in Florida that contributed to Trayvon Martin’s death, serve to increase violence and homicide.
Texas A&M University economists Cheng Cheng and Mark Hoekstra set out to examine the claim, offered by proponents of such laws, that they serve as a deterrent to crime. They found precisely the opposite: “burglary, robbery, and aggravated assault are unaffected by the laws. On the other hand, we find that murder and non-negligent manslaughter are increased
by 7 to 9 percent.
In other words, they said, Shoot First laws have resulted in an additional 500 to 700 homicides per year across the 23 states where they’ve been enacted.
The authors of the study did not pinpoint the reason why the laws led to more homicides, but their conclusion was stark: “The primary impact of these laws, beyond giving potential victims additional scope to protect themselves, is to increase the loss of human life.”
The National Urban League has joined with other civil rights organizations, elected officials, law enforcement professionals and other Americans to raise awareness about Shoot First and other unsafe, reckless gun laws. The Second Chance on Shoot First campaign supports responsible gun policies that will make our country safer.
Across the country, state legislators have a second chance to reform the dangerous gun policies in their state. We’re asking them to take it.