* This post originally appeared on QuietMike.org, republished with permission from the author
Since the stand your ground law was introduced in 2005 by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the NRA, one thing has become abundantly clear; if you’re black, but try and stand your ground in Florida, you’ll be punished.
The stand your ground law was created by, passed by and only accommodates white people. If you want proof, look no further than the Zimmerman/Trayvon case.
Zimmerman’s trial defense relied on his claim of self-defense, but his act of self-defense was initially an offensive act under Florida law; you are not allowed to stalk someone.
Under the stand your ground law, if you’re being stalked (as Martin was) you are allowed to confront your stalker. Under this law, if Trayvon felt threatened enough, he had every right to attack Zimmerman first (assuming that’s what happened). In fact, under the stand your ground law, Trayvon would have been allowed to shoot him if he weren’t too young to carry a gun.
Why did Zimmerman’s right to stand his ground trump Trayvon Martin’s? Because he was black? Quite possibly, but in retrospect I don’t think the prosecutors even brought that up. Wasn’t Trayvon guaranteed the same rights under the law or do the same laws not apply to African American teenagers?
If the situation had been reversed and Trayvon had stood his ground and shot Zimmerman first, are there people out there so naive to think Trayvon wouldn’t be rotting in jail for the first half of his life? A black man shooting a neighbourhood watchman… That would not have gone over well.
Remember Marissa Alexander? She’s an African American woman who decided to stand her ground against her abusive husband. No, she didn’t kill him; she fired a warning shot into the air to keep her slimy husband from hurting her.
She was recently sentenced to twenty years in prison for that. Imagine what she’d have gotten if she killed him (aside from a little satisfaction).
No, black people aren’t allowed to stand their ground, we expect them to keep running just like the old days of slavery, before the civil rights movement and long after Trayvon is gone.
According to a study by John Roman, in states with stand your ground laws, a white shooter who kills a black victim is 11 times more likely to walk free than a black shooter who kills a white victim. So much for the theory of Zimmerman’s lawyer.
No one should have the right to stand their ground in the first place. It was a diabolical idea cooked up by the fascists in ALEC and signed into law by Jeb Bush, both of whom have Martin’s blood on their hands.
ALEC and the NRA have spread this law to just about every state with a Republican Governor, 31 states so far, all in an effort to sell more guns. After all, it’s immoral to settle problems with just our fists and it’s not very profitable.
I have a legal question I’d like answered. If I were in a Floridian and I intimidate someone who then threatened me back… Can I legally shoot this person? After all, he threatened me. Where is the line drawn?
Everyone is taking advantage of these ridiculous laws to get away with murder; criminals, drug dealers, cops and everyday people. The Supreme Court of South Carolina is even looking at a case where a burglar broke into a home and shot two residents, he claims he was standing his ground.
While I’m sure that last case will be dismissed, it’s clear these laws have to go. As tragic as Trayvon’s death was, it was but a tiny drop in the stand your ground sea.
What worries me is the precedent the Trayvon case sets for racists, white supremacists and their ilk now that they know what they can get away with. Unfortunately they also know their potential victims can’t stand and fight back.