The laws also exacerbate racial inequities in the prosecution of homicide cases. According to John Roman of the Urban Institute, in stand-your-ground states, cases with a “white perpetrator and a black victim are 281 percent more likely to be ruled justified than cases with a white perpetrator and white victim.” Mary Anne Franks, a professor at the University of Miami School of Law, analyzed stand your ground laws and how they are unevenly applied depending on defendants’ genders, and found that such laws enhance the legal system’s already robust support for white masculine violence against strangers while curtailing self-defensive rights for all women and non-whites. Black women in particular are frequently excluded from the protective promises of armed citizenship.

Ultimately, this theory of self defense allows (some) women to stand their ground, but only against criminal strangers, not against those who statistically pose the greatest threat. The gun rights solution to gender-based violence rings hollow when it sanctifies lethal self-defense for the few, at the expense of the many.

Caroline Light is the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Harvard’s Program in Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality. Her new book, Stand Your Ground: America’s Love Affair with Lethal Self Defense is out February 14, 2017.

Original link