Vice President Biden: Trayvon Martin Shooting could Spark Florida Gun Law Debate

On Sunday, in an interview with CBS News, Vice President Joe Biden commented on Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law and the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

“It’s important that people be put in a position where their Second Amendment rights are protected, but that they also don’t, as a consequence of the laws, unintendedly put themselves in harm’s way,” Biden told anchor Bob Schieffer in a “Face the Nation” interview.

As has explained, Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law permits the use of deadly force if one reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm.

And whether 28-year-old George Zimmerman was acting in self defense and in accordance with Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law when he shot and killed the unarmed teen is still a subject of hot debate around the country given much of the uncertainty surrounding the case.

Nevertheless, Biden saw this as an opportunity to discuss the merits of concealed carry and the relative safety it provides.

“The idea that there’s this overwhelming additional security in the ownership and carrying concealed and deadly weapons… I think it’s the premise, not the constitutional right, but the premise that it makes people safer is one that I’m not so sure of,” Biden, who was chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee for eight years, said.

To be honest, it’s a fair question.  Does carrying concealed or bearing firearms actually make people safer?

Perhaps this question should be posed to the citizens of Detroit, a city with the second highest per capita homicide rate in the country, with approx. 49 homicides per 100,000 people.

Detroit is, when compared to other major cities, a dangerous place.  Shrinking municipal budgets have forced the city to reduce the size of its police force

A decade ago, Detroit had 4,000 officers.  Now that number is down to 2,700, with 100 more in danger of losing their jobs if the city doesn’t secure federal grant money.

While the population has certainly decreased over the years (1.8 million in 1950 to 700,000 today), the size of the city – 139 square miles – hasn’t changed.

As a result, police response isn’t what it used to be, even despite efforts to upgrade law enforcement technology.

According to the, the average response time for priority calls in the city is 24 minutes.  In comparable cities across the country, it is well under 10 minutes.

biden-crime-detroitThe lack of police presence and the spike in crime rates have compelled the law-abiding citizens of Detroit to arm themselves to defend their life, liberty and property.

In 2011, justifiable homicides rose 79 percent from the previous year.  That is, in 2010, there were 19 reported instances where citizens lawfully used deadly force to defend themselves.  In 2011, there were 15 more self-defense killings, for a total of 34 justifiable homicides.

In short, the people of Detroit are fighting back.

But are they any ‘safer’ for bearing arms?  Well, one can argue that they’d be safer if they moved from the city or stayed locked indoors all day.

See, Biden’s correct when he suggests that carrying concealed does not necessarily make one safer.

That’s because it’s not really about being ‘safe’ per se, because no matter where one lives, he/she is never truly safe.  Instead, it’s about having a fighting chance.  It’s about refusing to be a victim.  It’s about taking responsibility for one’s life.

Ergo, concealed carry should be evaluated on the grounds that it is (a) a Constitutional right and (b) that it gives one a chance to defend himself/herself,  it should not be evaluated on the false premise of making one ‘safer.’

Am I right about this?

Latest Reviews