Anyone thought it was just Florida? Florida’s “stand your ground” law has reportedly been invoked 200 times since the state passed the statute in 2005, but it’s most infamously associated with Trayvon Martin’s 2012 slaying as he walked to his father’s house in a gated community on a rainy February evening.
Statement issued by the family of 17-year-old Darrell Niles regarding the court decision on stand your ground immunity hearing for Shannon Scott (courtesy WISTV.com):
“As a family, we have waited patiently, quietly and painfully for the last three years. We even remained silent, painful, yet hopeful during the Zimmerman case. We did not come this far not to receive justice for Darrell. We know that there is nothing we can do to bring Darrell back, but we will now speak on behalf of all innocent bystanders.
We were present in court every day and heard every statement. We are appalled by the judges decision. The 4 teenagers that testified on Shannon Scott’s behalf, gave 4 different stories. After each of their testimonies, it was revealed that each of them changed their stories from three years ago (statements were read aloud in court).
Please, please, please understand that there are so many details being left out. Kudos to Todd Rutherford for being a good lawyer. However, Shannon Scott’s roommate and his girlfriend testified that Shannon came into his room, grabbed his gun without telling them to get down or about any threat and immediately walked outside shooting. They testified that the first shot was close to the house and happened immediately after Shannon went out of his front door. They said the second shot was far off. This matches the statement (read in court) given by the shooter in the car of so called “women thugs”. She said she wanted the person that was shooting at her to know that she also had a gun, so she shot back.
As Rutherford mentioned on WIS news, the young lady did give a statement to police stating that she was going to shoot Shannon’s house up, but Rutherford failed to mention that her sentence ended in “after someone shot at me, but my friends talked me out of it.” She felt the need to defend herself.
Prior to this case, Shannon had no knowledge that the girls planned to shoot at his home. He found out in court and Mr. Rutherford capitalized on it in his closing statement to paint a picture that did not happen. Even the 911 call made by Shannon’s wife, at the time girlfriend, which was played in court said, “there is a white SUV full of girls parked at Allstate”. She stated that Shannon heard her say this. So, how did he end up shooting a red Honda that contained two boys?
The young man riding with Darrell also testified that Shannon shot first. He saw him walk out and start shooting. He also testified of a second shot that was far off. The 911 call gave details on where the girls were (parked at Allstate…a few houses down and two the right of Shannon’s home) and pictures revealed where my Darrell’s car ended (pictures shown in court….like two houses down and to the left of Shannon’s home). That doesn’t make for an off shot. That makes for bad judgement.
Shannon also testified that he saw the vehicle that posed a threat come down the street with it’s headlights off. Pictures shown revealed that Darrell’s headlights were on. Nonetheless, this man was shooting at kids.
Yes, teenagers can pose a threat and we understand wanting to protect your child, but by any means necessary and without judgement?!? There was a sign at his home that said, “Shoot first. Ask questions later.” He did exactly that. Regardless of what his lawyer wants people to believe, Shannon shot first. He created the biggest threat and took an innocent bystanders life. He shot at a car that had the windows up (pictures shown in court). That is not standing your ground.
We understand that the stand your ground law has caused an uproar in our nation at this time, but we do not feel as if it is applicable to this case. We hope and pray that the Supreme Court would allow this case to go to trial. We are confident in the facts. Not the painted picture of Rutherford, who helped write the stand your ground law. Thanks to everyone in support of justice in this case. We thank you. We solicit your prayers. One thing is for sure, facts do not lie!!“
The NRA offically defends stand-your-ground laws as a “right to self defense” and states that stand-your-ground “gives back rights that have been eroded or taken away by the judicial system”. These are misleading statements, intended to support their argument for maintaining SYG laws as is.
Gun rights have not eroded or been taken away by the judicial system, and as they are written, stand-your-ground laws in fact expand gun rights traditionally afforded under the Castle Doctrine.
The right to bear arms is instilled in our Constitution, and can never be completely “taken away”. We are a nation that is simply sick of gun violence and many people agree that some type of gun control is needed to keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people. As President Obama recently said, the fight for gun laws “ought to obsess us.”
Yes, Mr. President we should be obsessed, and we are. The NRA is obsessed, too, with insisting we not have any gun control at all. With opposition to stand-your-ground laws growing, the NRA may have a lot more shooting left to do.
Last week, the Sarasota, Florida City Commission approved the city’s Revised Final 2014 Legislative Priorities and voted to request that “the state Legislature repeal the Stand Your Ground statute and establish a more civil approach to governance than afforded under the current statute.”
This is a brave, emboldened step by Sarasota – perhaps the first city to oppose stand-your-ground laws in the first state to enact stand-your-ground.
According to reports, the National Rifle Association (NRA), which led efforts to enact stand-your-ground laws has already “sunk its teeth” into the debate, urging voters to recall the Sarasota commissioners. The NRA likely will put up a fierce fight to keep stand-your-ground, especially in their prized debut state. Yet, municipalities across the nation are lining up in opposition.
Just this week, the Youngstown, Ohio city council followed the lead of Cincinnati, Dayton, South Euclid and Toledo in voting to oppose the state’s proposed HB 203, which would expand the circumstances in which a person has no duty to retreat from a threatening situation before using force in self-defense, and ease restrictions on permits to carry concealed weapons.
With growing opposition to stand-your-ground laws around the state, the city council of Cincinnati on yesterday unanimously passed a resolution opposing Ohio’s proposed stand-your-ground law.
The Ohio bill (HB203) would expand the circumstances in which a person has no duty to retreat from a threatening situation before using force in self-defense, and also ease restrictions on permits to carry concealed weapons.