Thursday, June 28, 2012

Stand Your Ground Laws like the Castle Doctrine are Ineffective Deterrents to Homicide

A new paper by Chandler B. McClellan and Erdal Tekin, Stand Your Ground Laws and Homicides find that these laws do nothing to deter crime and make America safer.

The abstract reads,
The controversies surrounding Stand Your Ground laws have recently captured the nation’s attention. Since 2005, eighteen states have passed laws extending the right to self-defense with no duty to retreat to any place a person has a legal right to be, and several additional states are debating the adoption of similar legislation. Despite the implications that these laws may have for public safety, there has been little empirical investigation of their impact on crime and victimization. In this paper, we use monthly data from the U.S. Vital Statistics to examine how Stand Your Ground laws affect homicides. We identify the impact of these laws by exploiting variation in the effective date of these laws across states. Our results indicate that Stand Your Ground laws are associated with a significant increase in the number of homicides among whites, especially white males. According to our estimates, between 4.4 and 7.4 additional white males are killed each month as a result of these laws. We find no evidence to suggest that these laws increase homicides among blacks. Our results are robust to a number of specifications and unlikely to be driven entirely by the killings of assailants. Taken together, our findings raise serious doubts against the argument that Stand Your Ground laws make America safer.
I've written tangentially about this before. I believe the data for concealed-carry do support the notion that CCW can deter crime, but that the so-called Castle Doctrine will have no impact or will actually increase crime.


  1. Mr. Scarr, do you realize that your white on red text is difficult to read? And for "old eyes" like mine, almost painful to read.

    1. Yes, I'm working on a new template. Bear with me.