Read time: 1 minute

John Oliver: Stand Your Ground Laws 'Exalt White Person's Fear Over Black Lives'

Vigilantes with guns have turbocharged risk in every interaction, the comedian said.

John Oliver talked last night about the “stand-your-ground” law that exists in 30 states, and the move to expand them. The law says people are allowed to shoot if they feel their lives are in danger. Oliver talked about the vast disparities in who the law does, and does not protect. According to reports from the Urban Institute, white-on-black homicides were deemed justified 281% more times than black-on-white crimes.

As he points out, this is because these laws are about perceived fear, which Oliver deemed “objectively subjective.”

The laws "can exalt a white person’s fear over a black person’s life.”

And to make it even worse, the laws do not deter crime. In states where stand-your-ground laws apply, homicides have overall increased almost 11 percent, whereas there was a 2% decrease in homicides in states without stand-your-ground, he said.

“Stand-your-ground has contributed to a society where vigilantes with guns can decide what is safety, who is a threat, and what the punishment should be. They have turbocharged everything from road rage incidents to pointless disputes over dog weights.”

Can you help us out?

For 17 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.

More C&L Coverage


New Commenting System

Our comments are now powered by Insticator. In order to comment you will need to create an Insticator account. The process is quick and simple. Please note that the ability to comment with a C&L site account is no longer available.

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.

Please Do Not Use the Login Link at the Top of the Site.

In order to comment you must use an Insticator account. To register an account, enter your comment and click the post button. A dialog will then appear allowing you create your account.

We will be retiring our Crooks and Liars user account system in January, 2021.

Thank you.
C&L Team