Call them what you will: “Stand Your Ground” or “Castle Doctrine” laws. Mayor Bloomberg and members of Congress, speaking on the House floor, go so far as to label them “shoot first” laws.This is a gross exaggeration — a slander, in fact, against legislation designed to reform a flaw in our treatment of self-defense. Earlier statutes affirmatively required potential victims to retreat as much as possible before using deadly force to protect themselves, sometimes putting their lives in jeopardy.

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