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Do stand your ground laws increase crime?

Recently Salon posted on so-called stand your ground laws (sometimes known as castle doctrines), which increase the circumstances under which it is permissible for a gun owner to use lethal force against people he regards as a threat. Recently a report by Texas A&M economists Mark Hoekstra and Cheng Cheng found that these laws increase the number of homicides without acting as a crime deterrent. These laws were hotly debated after unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin was fatally shot in Sanford, Fla., last year.

Salon reached out to NRA and Gun Owners of America for comment. The latter, which considers itself the "no compromise" gun group (as opposed to those delicate tulips at the NRA), took on the report at length through spokesman Erich Pratt. Professor Hoekstra then defended his work to Salon.

Here are a few representative quotes from each. The full responses can be viewed here.

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