John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, speaking on the National Rifle Association program “Cam & Company” said, “Mothers of African American teenagers Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis, who appeared at a congressional hearing about stand your ground on Tuesday, are “props” being used to make “make the case that there was racial bias.”
He went on to make his argument by pointing out that George Zimmerman and Michael David Dunn were not charged under “Stand Your Ground.” His point is, of course, that liberals in the media are trying to equate “Stand Your Ground” with racism.
May I respectfully say to Mr. Lott, “Bullshit!”
Lott is trying to pretend that “Stand Your Ground” is totally unrelated to the NRA’s position on gun ownership and gun control, and that is just another example of unmitigated gall from the 2nd amendment crowd. “Stand Your Ground” is completely and irrevocably intertwined with the National Rifle Association. In the Center for Media and Democracy’s PR Watch report from July of this year.
“ALEC adopted Stand Your Ground as a “model” for other states in early 2005, just months after the NRA pushed it through Florida’s legislature (with then-state legislator Marco Rubio voting in favor). The NRA boasted that its lobbyist’s presentation at a 2005 ALEC meeting “was well-received,” and the corporations and state legislators on the Criminal Justice Task Force voted unanimously to approve the bill as an ALEC model, under the name the “Castle Doctrine Act.”
“Stand Your Ground” is blatantly and undeniably the bastard child of an unholy alliance between the National Rifle Association, and ALEC (aka known as the American Legislative Exchange Council, a right wing funded group that writes legislative templates in support of Republican ideals, and then send those to Republican controlled state houses). For Lott to claim one is not the other is ludicrous.
But there are other factors involved. One reason George Zimmerman did not use “Stand Your Ground” as his basic defense, is that the case clearly showed that Trayvon Martin was actually the one, “standing his ground”. The Tampa Bay Times did an analysis of the guidelines for “Stand Your Ground” regarding Zimmerman’s role in the Martin case:
Trayvon Martin’s death became controversial because circumstances leading up to the shooting cast doubt on who was to blame. The Tampa Bay Times reviewed other “stand your ground” cases for similar circumstances. They found that
- Martin was not committing a crime
- Martin did not initiate the confrontation
- Martin was not armed
- Zimmerman did pursue the victim
- Zimmerman was not on his own property
- Zimmerman could have fled the situation
“Symbolic racism was related to having a gun in the home and opposition to gun control policies in US whites. The findings help explain US whites’ paradoxical attitudes towards gun ownership and gun control. Such attitudes may adversely influence US gun control policy debates and decisions.”
Listen here, courtesy of Media Matters: