The Florida “Stand Your Ground” law is in the national spotlight. Authored by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a creation of the Koch brothers, it was given to former Gov. Jeb Bush to push through his Republican state legislature with financial persuasion from the National Rifle Association’s lobbyists.
Since 2005, 23 other states have drafted ALEC’s language into their own laws. Democrats and police organizations opposing the law said it could cause the deaths of hundreds of innocent people. To date, more than 130 killings in Florida have avoided prosecution under Stand Your Ground.
In his commentary (TNT, 3-270, Brian O’Neill says that “through the lens of Stand your Ground … no cop or prosecutor is going to make an unlawful arrest (that) carries the risk of a lawsuit, the loss of a job.”
Florida state legislator Dennis Baxley (recipient of the NRA 2004 Defender of Freedom Award) said the law was misapplied in the killing of Trayvon Martin. Others say the law, as it reads, needs to be “tweaked.”
For NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, the law’s wording is just right. Just imagine when the circumstances are reversed and involve a black man killing a white teenager and the police have to let him walk away with his gun. Gun sales would go through the roof – and LaPierre will be smiling all the way to the bank.