NAACP Supports 'Stand Your Ground' in Florida

NAACP Supports 'Stand Your Ground' in Florida

Ever since Trayvon Martin was shot, anti-gun groups and Democrats have been in full court press mode in an attempt to turn the tide on stand your ground laws and get them wiped off the books.

With a view to accomplishing this, many initially framed their opposition to stand your ground laws by trying to paint them as a Republican creation that had been forced upon the people of various states by over-zealous legislatures. But that argument collapsed when the number of Democrat governors who oversaw passage of such bills became known. (Prominent among them, of course, was Janet Napolitano, who signed Arizona’s stand your ground law in 2006.)

The other line of argument, still ongoing, is a racial one. It rests on the suggestion that stand your ground laws are somehow anti-black, and therefore discriminatory: some have even argued such laws mark a turning back of the clock (racially) in southern states. Of course, one of the immediate problems with this line of argument is that stand your ground laws are in the north as well as the south.

But the greatest problem facing this racial argument is that stand your ground laws benefit citizens of all color. In other words, it’s not a matter of race or ethnicity, but of having a gun with you–regardless of your race–in order to repel an attacker when attacked, regardless of the race of the attacker.

The NAACP recognizes this, and has come out in support of Florida’s stand your ground law in defense of a black, female Floridian who has been charged with assault for shooting at a man whom she claims was threatening her life.  The woman, Marissa Danielle Alexander, was assaulted by her husband, who allegedly strangled her during the assault. While being attacked, Alexander was able to grab her handgun and fire a single shot, for which she faces charges.

The NAACP maintains that under Florida’s stand your ground law, Alexander ought not be sentenced for assault.


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