"Stand your ground means stand your ground. It doesn't mean chase after somebody who's turned their back."
Hold on. Do you know who made this statement while speaking at the University of Texas in Arlington back in March 2012--- none other than Florida Governor and former Presidential candidate - Jeb Bush.
That's right, Bush made that statement while speaking at the University of Texas in Arlington. And yes - he is the same Bush who passed the very first "Stand Your Ground" legislation in the United States in 2005. Since the passage of the Florida legislation over 23 states (see map have adopted and put similar laws in place.
And today, over 4 years after the murder of young 17 year old Trayvon Martin, and the subsequent acquittal of George Zimmerman, his murderer, Stand Your Ground Laws still exist.
Still Legal in 23 States. But Still Unclear on When the Laws Apply.
In most cases, stand your ground does not require a person to retreat to prevent a possible altercation. And none of the current laws address the prospect of whether it is OK to chase down someone who has been "perceived" as a threat --- which is what happened to Trayvon Martin.
Cases such as Trayvon Martin's have shed a high beam of light on the ambiguities of "Stand Your Ground" laws. Attorney General Eric Holder has strongly condemned the laws, saying that the measures, "senselessly expand the concept of self-defense" and may encourage "violent situations to escalate."
Trayvon's Mother - Sabrina Fulton Vows to Continue the Fight.
Sabrina Fulton, Trayvon's mother is joining efforts to keep pressure on state legislators to repeal or certainly review current stand your ground laws.
"We have to change the law so that this doesn't happen to someone else's child," Fulton told reporters at the National Bar Association's annual meeting - the largest association of African American attorneys in the world. "My son wasn't doing anything wrong. He was simply walking home. He wasn't a suspect."
"As a matter of fact, wherever I find that law exists, I will not perform in that state or in that part of the world," Stevie Wonder announced at a concert in Quebec Canada in July. Wonder publicly denounced Apartheid and actively supported the efforts to make Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday a national holiday.
"Stand Your Ground" Celebrity Challengers. Yes, No and Not Sure.
After the verdict which acquitted George Zimmerman, protests sprang up nationwide. Long-time celebrity activist, Stevie Wonder became the first to make a public commitment to protest the laws.
Jay Z also criticized "Stand Your Ground" laws, saying, "That 'Stand Your Ground' law: You can have a fight with someone, and if they're running away, you can shoot them and kill them and you're fine? Come on."
Shortly after Wonder took a stand against "Stand Your Ground" laws, scores of celebrities were reported to concur, particularly in regards to performing in Florida. Lists sprang up with names ranging from Alicia Keys to Kanye West, to The Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, Rihanna and Will I AM.
However, some have quieted rather than amplified their support, with many publicists telling media reporters that they are uncomfortable about having the names of the artists they represent on a list.
"Let me tell you something - most laws are created to stop violence. Stand Your Ground is the only law I've ever heard of that encourages violence," stated Rev Al Sharpton, head of the National Black Action Network.
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