The Trayvon Martin murder case and ensuing George Zimmerman trail rocked the United States to its core in a variety of ways; while many activists and social justice enthusiasts staked their claims on Zimmerman’s guilt and raged against the jury’s decision to acquit him of all charges, many others painted Trayvon as a hoodlum and Zimmerman as a victim. Amid the cultural repercussions and discussions, ranging from the topics of racism, classism, and general bigotry to the idea of a “post-racial” America, one of the big clashes between groups came from the “stand your ground” laws that eventually won Zimmerman his “innocence.”
The argument against “stand your ground” laws is gaining some new momentum; The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence has released a video that re-enacts the murder of Trayvon Martin, using 911 tapes used in the George Zimmerman trial and actors to portray the events as they unfold. The video can be found below; before watching, however, please note that, while not gory or particularly blatant when dealing with the violence, the ad may be disturbing to some viewers, particularly those sensitive to the case or subject. Be cautious when viewing.
The video is striking and powerful, to say the very least, and sends an equally powerful message; to “stand up” to “stand your ground” laws in the twenty six states in which they exist. The Coalition’s website goes on to say that, “With “Stand Your Ground” (aka “Shoot First”) laws… you can provoke a fight, and if losing that fight, kill the person you attacked… Additionally, “Stand Your Ground” laws remove the duty to retreat from a conflict in public, allowing individuals to shoot and kill even when they could otherwise walk away safely from an altercation.” The website includes information so that individuals can sign a petition to get rid of these kinds of laws.
The writer of this article hopes that the PSA might inspire change nation-wide to reform, and possibly repeal, these laws that result in more victims, as the PSA so powerfully puts it.