Shoot to Kill: A Critical Look at Stand Your Ground Laws

34 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2016

See all articles by Tamara Rice Lave

Tamara Rice Lave

University of Miami, School of Law

Date Written: October 27, 2016


This article takes a critical look at expanded self-defense laws, known as "Castle" or "Stand Your Ground" laws. It focuses on Florida because it passed the statute that has served as a model for other states. First, this article discusses the history and mechanics of Florida's Stand Your Ground law. Because special interest groups like the National Rifle Association were instrumental in passing the law, the next part contemplates whether Stand Your Ground would have been chosen by citizens operating behind the "veil of ignorance" in the hypothetical "original position" as formulated by John Rawls in A Theory of Justice. Finally, the essay harnesses empirical data in considering whether states should continue to support Stand Your Ground laws.

Keywords: Stand Your Ground laws, Castle laws, Self defense, National Rifle Association, Veil of ignorance, Original position, John Rawls

Suggested Citation

Lave, Tamara Rice, Shoot to Kill: A Critical Look at Stand Your Ground Laws (October 27, 2016). University of Miami Law Review, Vol. 67, 2013; University of Miami Legal Studies Research Paper No. 16-44. Available at SSRN:

Tamara Rice Lave (Contact Author)

University of Miami, School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 248087
Coral Gables, FL 33146
United States


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