In true Bush style, the legacy left behind from Jeb Bush’s tenure as governor was the 2005 “Stand Your Ground” law which essentially says a citizen doesn’t have to retreat before using deadly force against an attacker. This issue comes to the forefront after a white (Hispanic?) block watch captain shot and killed a black teenager from the same community.
Police in the central Florida town of Sanford have said that 28-year-old George Zimmerman says he shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in self-defense during a confrontation in a gated community. Police have described Zimmerman as white; his family says he is Hispanic and not racist.
This is precisely what happens when lobbyists wield too much influence. Pro Republican and gun toting Floridians championed the changes. In that span justifiable homicides have gone way up (many with heartbreaking stories).
It’s unclear in this case whether the Stand Your Ground clause would apply since initial 911 reports peg the shooter as pursuing the victim.
Despite no charges being laid against he shooter many think that an indictment for manslaughter in the least is in the works.
The key section of the law states:
A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.”
Will ‘gun rights’ win the day?