Florida is in the headlights again, for the actions taken by someone in the belief he was following the rules of "Stand Your Ground." However, we do not know that for sure.
Without going into the exact wording of the law, one must believe that "Stand Your Ground" is meant to deter crime, not cause it.
If I have a weapon, and you make the choice to attack me, I have the right to use my weapon to defend myself. The mere sight of my weapon should be enough to deter even the most ardent criminal.
I do not believe the intent and meaning of "Stand Your Ground," would allow me to pursue you if you choose to head in the opposite direction after I called your attention to my weapon. Especially if I was on the phone with a 911 dispatcher, who suggested that I not follow you.
In 1977, I had the opportunity to kill another man who was holding me at knifepoint. It was obvious that he had been drinking, and because of that, it was against California state law for me to sell him any type of alcoholic beverage.
When I refused to sell him a six pack of beer, he pulled out his knife and told me that I would sell him the beer, "or else." For whatever reason his buckknife blade of about six inches looked like it was two feet long.
So, I asked him if he would like his beer in a bag, and he nodded "yes." That allowed me to reach for the bag that had my nickel finished 6" barrel .357 Magnum Smith & Wesson revolver in it. I withdrew the gun and rolled the cylinder so he could see the bullets.
I said, "Friend, if you do not leave, they will be picking up pieces of you from here to McDonalds, two blocks away. There will be a dime sized hole in your chest, and your back will look like a small cheese pizza."
He started shaking so bad he was actually vibrating, but he did leave the store. I got on the phone and called 911 to report what had happened to the police, and they arrived very quickly. It only took a few seconds to make that call. I went outside to see if I could get a better description, but there was no sign of the guy. There were no motor vehicles, no bicycles, nothing in the way of a conveyance. He just completely disappeared, as in vanished into thin air.
I am very glad that the sight of my weapon, stopped that guy from doing something stupid with his knife. In effect, I was "Standing My Ground."
More likely than not, I could have shot and killed that guy, and it would have been self-defense.
However, I do have principles and ethics that prevented me from taking the law into my own hands. If he had lunged at me with his knife, there would have been a much different outcome.
"Stand Your Ground" does not have to be a license to kill, though some people will believe that it is just that.