Reports of justifiable homicide in Florida have tripled since the state’s “stand your ground” self defense law was enforced.

This is based on an Oct. 15, 2010 investigative article in the Tampa Bay Tribune and Daniel Vice, senior attorney at the Brady Center’s Legal Action Project in Washington, DC.

The latest killing of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teenager by a neighborhood watch captain armed with a legal firearm in Sanford, Fla., has created outrage across the nation.

It has also captured attention to the widespread existence of the so-called “stand your ground” laws that the police in Sanford are citing as a basis for not arresting or charging the shooter.

According to the Legal Community Against Violence, Florida was the first state to pass such a law in 2005 and since then, 23 more have done so. Powerfully pushed by the National Rifle Association, “stand your ground” laws have done away with the long-standing “duty to retreat” principle that was a segment of the common-law rule regarding self-defense.

That meant that you could protect yourself if attacked, but if you’re in a situation where you can cautiously avoid a confrontation, then you had an obligation to do that also.

The NRA argues that rather than retreating, people who feel threatened should have the right to tackle with the problem with deadly force, if they deem it suitable, wherever they may be.

This logic means that the main person who can dispute a self-defense claim is dead, as in the case of  Trayvon Martin.