Stand Your Ground(fixed) – Bill Brooks

The “Stand Your Ground” law, which states that it is legal to kill someone in self-defense, can create a culture of violence.  Under this “shoot first” law, violent behavior can be disguised under the term self-defense, giving society a license to kill.  Under this law, everyday conflicts like road rage, neighborly disputes, and suspicion of other races can be solved with guns and classified as self-defense.  This law will permit more cold-blooded killers to use self-defense as an excuse in court. For example, the number of “justifiable killings” in Florida has tripled since the “Stand Your Ground” law was passed in 2005.  When a person is allowed to take the law into his own hands, rights are often trampled.  The rights of the person holding the gun tend to come first, leading to “street justice.”

This law will affect all of society; every person will feel less safe, worrying that his neighbor might be carrying a firearm.  There is already more social unrest than ever before, and this law only serves to make it worse.  This dangerous law places innocent people at increased risk of being shot.  The “Stand Your Ground” Law creates more problems than it solves.

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5 Responses to Stand Your Ground(fixed) – Bill Brooks

  1. davidbdale says:

    You’ve done some very nice work here, Bill. Your rewrites are for the most part more eloquent and correct than the originals. You still have five errors to fix, though not all of them are obvious and might not trigger a Fails for Grammar comment. Keep working on this as you can. I’ll consider the assignment complete when it’s error-free.

  2. billbrooks175 says:

    I think I have made my corrections now

  3. davidbdale says:

    Nice work, Bill. Now for some refinements I hope you’ll appreciate.
    1. Non-Restrictive Relative Clause

    The “Stand Your Ground” law which states that it is legal to kill someone in self-defense, can create a culture of violence.

    If there are two “Stand Your Ground” laws, you might need to distinguish between them, in which case you’d use that and no commas:

    The “Stand Your Ground” law that makes it legal to kill someone in self-defense can create a culture of violence.

    If there’s only one “Stand Your Ground” law, the clause about making it legal to kill someone is not necessary to distinguish it from another. In such a case, you use which and commas:

    The “Stand Your Ground” law, which states that it is legal to kill someone in self-defense, can create a culture of violence.

    That’s a long explanation for adding one comma, but if you learn this rule once, you’ll be grateful all your life. I could share a handout with you that offers more details.

    2. Colons before lists

    Under this law, everyday conflicts like: road rage, neighborly disputes, and suspicion of other races might be solved with guns.

    In cases like the sentence above, where the list becomes a long compound subject in a clause of its own, no colon is used.

    Under this law, everyday conflicts like road rage, neighborly disputes, and suspicion of other races might be solved with guns.

    The right place for a colon before a list is where what follows the colon is the equivalent of what precedes it. The colon in such sentences acts like a very narrow equals sign 🙂

    Under this law, many everyday conflicts might be solved with guns: road rage, neighborly disputes, and suspicion of other races.

    3. Unattached participial phrases

    This law will lead to more killing, using self-defense as an excuse.

    “using” isn’t strictly a verb here, but it still needs a subject. “Killing” is OK, but when you start to modify who does the killing, you need to name the killer. For example:

    This law will lead to more killing by shooters using self-defense as an excuse.

    Or, more emphatically:

    This law will permit more cold-blooded killers to use self-defense as an excuse.

    4. Semicolon use and “whether”

    This law will affect all of society, every person will be less safe worrying whether or not his neighbor is carrying a firearm.

    The sentence needs a semicolon between its two independent clauses. About your use of whether, no person worries that his neighbor isn’t carrying a gun. So we don’t have a true whether or not situation here.

    This law will affect all of society; every person will feel less safe, worrying that his neighbor may be carrying a firearm.

    Or maybe:

    Instead of feeling safer, we’ll all be worried that our neighbors are packing heat.

    5. Introductory “by” phrases
    Phrases beginning with by are always dangerous. The subject of the action needs to follow immediately to avoid confusion.

    By passing this law, the potential for innocent people to be shot is increased.

    Nobody in your sentence passes the law, so the phrase attaches to nothing. You could supply someone:

    By passing this law, legislators have increased the potential for innocent people to be shot.

    Or drop the unnecessary action of passing:

    This dangerous law places innocent people at increased risk of being shot.

    Helpful?
    I’d love to see one more draft.

  4. billbrooks175 says:

    I have made my final corrections, hope I nailed it this time.

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