Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, was slated to speak before the Senate today in regards to the Stand Your Ground laws. In a prepared testimony for the Senate Judiciary Committee, Fulton said, “By being unclear in when and how it is applied, stand your ground is too open to abuse.”
The Democrat-led Senate was holding a hearing today regarding the controversial laws, yet no state policies are expected to be changed as a result. Most of the 22 states who have some version of the Stand Your Ground law are conservative states who tend to defend gun owner’s rights.
As reported by the Huffington Post:
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 22 states have laws that allow that “there is no duty to retreat (from) an attacker in any place in which one is lawfully present.” The states are Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia, according to the NCSL.
At least nine of those state laws include language stating one may “stand his or her ground”: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and South Carolina, according to the NCSL.
Also slated to speak was Lucia Holman McBath, the mother of 17-year-old Jordan Russell Davis, who was killed nearly a year ago when Michael David Dunn opened fire on a Dodge Durango with four teens inside, because they were allegedly playing music too loudly and he says he saw a gun. No gun was ever found in the vehicle.
“That man was empowered by the Stand Your Ground statute,” McBath said in prepared testimony. “I am here to tell you there was no ground to stand. There was no threat. No one was trying to invade his home, his vehicle, nor threatened him or his family.”
Although this Senate hearing is not likely to affect the current laws, hopefully it will encourage dialogue that can create change. It is clear that the law is contentious, at best, and it seems to serve certain people over others.