Florida Democrats Press for Changes in ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law


Democratic leaders in Florida are pushing for repeal or revision of the state’s “Stand Your Ground” self-defense law to avert more tragedies like the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, reports Reuters. The acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting demonstrated the ramifications of the 2005 law, Florida Senate Democratic leader Chris Smith said. He said the law “actually encourages people to shoot their way out of situations, and that’s not how we live in a civilized society.”

Smith and Florida House Democratic leader Perry Thurston called for a special session of the state’s Republican-dominated legislature to overhaul the law or consider doing away with it. Unless Florida lawmakers act quickly, calls for a boycott of the state like the one voiced by Motown legend Stevie Wonder are likely to grow as part of a mounting backlash, they warned. Civil rights groups also are calling for changes in the law. Republican Gov. Rick Scott, whose office in Tallahassee has been occupied by demonstrators since Tuesday, would need to convene a special legislative session.

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