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House Keeps Stand Your Ground as Race Expert Speaks

November 8, 2013 | WMFE-- A Florida House committee yesterday voted down repealing the state's "stand your ground" law. The hearing coincided with a national expert visiting Florida to contribute to the discussion.

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Florida Republicans have enough legislative control to keep “stand your ground” in place.  They say people have the right to bear arms and defend themselves, so legislative debate is more an opportunity for discussion than change.

But, Dr. Elijah Anderson, director of Yale’s Urban Ethnography Project, says he wishes lawmakers would repeal the law.  Anderson says even he experiences prejudice:  “I wouldn’t want somebody to be trigger happy with my son, my daughter, myself just because he assumed that, because I have black skin, that I’m a menace.  Would you?”

Speaking to 90.7 ahead of a visit to Flagler College, Anderson says he believes such prejudice led neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman to shoot and kill the unarmed Trayvon Martin – though Zimmerman is acquitted. 

Stand Your Ground garners national criticism and support from gun rights advocates.  Zimmerman’s lawyers did not invoke the law during his second degree murder trial, but debate over it comes from the jury finding him not-guilty.

The Senate is considering a bill to modify "stand your ground" without fully repealing it.


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