|George Zimmerman (Photo credit: ChrisWaldeck)|
By now the country has had time to absorb the Zimmerman ruling handed down in Sanford, Florida some agreeing and others clearly disturbed by it. The focus of this Sunday reflection is the "law" that apparently makes it OK to stalk and kill another human being, in this instance Florida statute 776.013Home protection; use of deadly force; presumption of fear of death or great bodily harm otherwise known as the "stand your ground" law. Interesting that one report found that in Florida, the law has resulted in self-defense claims tripling......very convenient!
The 1989 James Bond thriller "license to kill" comes to mind at this point...if only for the connection to what the stand your ground law in effect represents. But I submit that the stand your ground law is nothing more than glorified bullying. Would an unarmed citizen approach another unknown citizen in the dark in the absence of a 9mm pistol and a law that allows the use of it for deadly force?
Bullies pick their targets very carefully, generally choosing someone weaker than themselves or at a disadvantage and I would say a loaded firearm gives all of the advantage and power to the person wielding it. Take for example the Florida case of Michael David Dunn, 45, who felt empowered by his pistol and a vigilante law to approach four unarmed teens and open fire on their vehicle killing Jordan Russell Davis, 17, at a convenience store.......for not turning down their music......BULLYING!!!! While there are many who are bold enough to make demands like Dunn without a firearm, I guarantee that the level of boldness to attempt the act increases 1000 fold with a firearm.
|Trayvon Martin Protest - Sanford (Photo credit: werthmedia)|
Is it time to rethink a law that makes it legal to rob a family of a son and a brother? In cases where the use of force is lethal the story told will ALWAYS be one-sided and inevitably will favor the survivor in the absence of eyewitnesses or surveillance equipment (and sometimes even in the presence of) which makes the law so outstandingly wrong.
Even though the most recent publicized incident in Florida was not necessarily about race, race does often factor in with stand your ground cases. Why mention race? Well. though America has advanced in it's handling of racial equality issues, racial inequality still exists, prejudice still exists and sadly some of the ill will that prejudice breeds will always threaten to taint cases like these when put before the legal system. What's the point you ask? The point is that there are too many mitigating factors that stand in the way of stand your ground cases being handled accurately. Notice I say accurately and not necessarily fairly....let me be clear....to allow a human being to shoot and kill another human being because of "presumed fear of death or great bodily harm"....is giving too much power and authority to one person...and is NEVER fair. We didn't create life and should never have the authority to exercise the ability to take it away.
To the families of Trayvon Martin, Jordan Russell Davis and others that have experienced similar acts of bullying, we symbolically turn up our music and dawn our black hoodies as we look to the time when no human will ever have the right to bully another with the use of a firearm.
MOB is Life