Skip to main content

There's something wrong in a society where a psychopath can sit in a courtroom, obviously lie through his teeth about murdering an unarmed teenager and still have a good shot at getting away with murder due to a horrendous law dreamed up to play off of white fear and racial resentment.

No, I'm not talking about George Zimmerman. This time, the shooter's name is Michael Dunn.  But yes, I'm talking about Florida's insane "Stand Your Ground Law," which has been exploited nationally, but has its origins in...of course, my adopted state of Florida.

Here's an excerpt from an article by John Nichols published March 21, 2012 in The Nation titled, How ALEC Took Florida's 'License to Kill' Law National (http://www.thenation.com/...):

The Florida “Stand Your Ground” law was enacted in 2005 with bipartisan support by Republican-controlled houses of the legislature. The National Rifle Association led the advocacy on behalf of the proposal, arguing that it was needed to provide immunity to gunmen who might use deadly force against unarmed individuals who they imagine to be threatening.
Translation:  If you think a young black or brown male looks suspicious or might attack you, shoot first and ask questions later.  And if you kill or injure him, all you have to do is claim you felt your life was threatened...and you'll probably get off scot-free.

More from Nichols' article:

The “Stand Your Ground” legislation was sponsored by Florida state Representative Dennis Baxley and state Senator Durell Peadon, both Republican allies of Jeb Bush. The governor quickly signed the measure into law--despite explicit and repeated warnings that this law would encourage shootings of innocents like Trayvon Martin. And despite explicit and repeated warnings that people of color and young people would be unreasonably and disproportionately harmed by the law.

Baxley and Peadon worked closely with NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer to pass the Florida law, and Hammer appeared with Bush at the signing ceremony.

But the process did not stop on Tallahassee, where the vote was taken.

Baxley and Peadon served in the Florida House and Senate as active members of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the shadowy Koch brothers–funded network that brings together right-wing legislators with corporate interests and pressure groups to craft so-called “model legislation.”

Model legislation?! Yep, that's exactly what "Stand Your Ground" is to wingnuts. ALEC and the NRA have spread that poison to almost two dozen states.  In a nutshell, these idiots ushered in a law that creates racist killing fields all across America.

And yes, race plays a big role in these cases.  A Tampa Bay Times analysis of nearly 200 cases--published in June 2012--found that people who killed a black person walked free 73 percent of the time, while those who killed a white person went free 59 percent of the time (http://www.tampabay.com/...).

According to an article published Feb. 5, 2014 by Nicole Flatow on Think Progress.Com, the "Stand Your Ground" defense has been evoked in the untimely deaths of more than two dozen youngsters:

Martin and Davis are two of at least 26 children and teens who have died in Florida Stand Your Ground cases. Stand Your Ground laws that have proliferated in at least 20 states are associated with vigilantism, authorizing violence by individuals who perceive a “reasonable” imminent threat to their life, without any duty to attempt retreat. But they have also taken the lives of a dramatic number of young victims. Out of 134 fatal Florida cases analyzed by the Tampa Bay Times in which the Stand Your Ground defense was raised or played a role, 19 percent saw the deaths of children or teens. Another 14 involved victims were 20 or 21.
The carnage continues and the blood is on the hands of puppet-like state legislators and their puppet masters at ALEC and the NRA.  But as long as its the blood of young black and brown males, the shooters are seen as "good guys with guns." And as if to rub it in the faces of the families of those lost, that sickening phrase that was used in both the Zimmerman and Dunn trials.

In my view, the "good guys" in these cases are the ones who didn't have guns, but were wearing hoodies, eating Skittles, drinking tea or playing their music loudly.  The thugs were the angry, blood-thirsty racists armed with semi-automatic weapons, looking for excuses to use them on those who they'd prejudged as criminals.

Thanks to the NRA, ALEC and the legislators who do their bidding, dozens of young black and brown males are in their graves, while their killers are free to seek celebrity boxing matches, eat pizza and become folk heroes via FOX News.  I only pray the jury in the jury in the Dunn Trial gets it right, but I fear Dunn will be declared not guilty due to the Stand Your Ground Law...and yet another murderous thug will be on the street, while yet another young black boy lies in an early grave.

Originally posted to Kwik on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 01:59 PM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA and Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site