Reasonable fear, self defense, and murder

An article in the CSMonitor reviews the state of stand-your-ground laws in the U.S. Here’s a salient quotation from criminologist and gun policy expert Edward Leddy, professor emeritus at St. Leo University in Florida:
“If somebody breaks into your house in the middle of the night, the presumption is you have the right to assume that they are armed and intend to do you harm. How reasonable is that presumption? The problem is there’s no clear-cut answer to that. It depends on the situation and the reasonableness of the person’s fear.”
If gun rights fundamentalists have their way, and turn the U.S. into a nation where an ever-larger percentage of the populace owns guns, the fear that an random person is armed will become ever more reasonable. This will in turn provide racists, xenophobes, and other vigilantes the justification they need to commit state-condoned murder.

A worldview based on fear is self-fulfilling.

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