This story was written by Associate Regional Editor Sherri Lonon.
Despite weeks of browbeating about the Stand Your Ground law, Florida lawmakers don’t seem to be backing down.
Gov. Rick Scott has even called for an apology from the Rev. Jesse Jackson following the controversial national figure’s visit to Tallahassee on Tuesday, July 30. Scott called Jackson’s comments “reckless,” “divisive” and said he owes every Floridian an apology. He has also said he won’t call a special legislative session to address objections to Stand Your Ground.
Jackson’s trip here was meant to show his support for those protesting the self-defense law. Although Stand Your Ground wasn’t used in the second-degree murder trial of George Zimmerman in the 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, it’s been oft cited in relation to the case.
Since the not-guilty verdict for Zimmerman came down in July, Florida has fended off a host of attacks by those who would see the law repealed. Stand Your Ground allows the use of deadly force when a person fears for life.
Black entertainer Stevie Wonder has said he won’t perform in the state as long as the law stands. Jackson, according to the Tampa Bay Times, called for an “economic boycott” of the state to "isolate Florida as a kind of (an) apartheid state given this whole stand your ground laws."
During his trip here Tuesday, he likened the anti-Stand Your Ground protests to the Alabama marches during the civil rights movement.
Tampa Bay’s own Will Weatherford, the Republican speaker of the state house, says questions about the law should be answered. He’s called for a special hearing on the topic this fall.
While that might seem like acquiescence to the opposition, don’t be fooled.
What do you think about all the Stand Your Ground upheaval? Should Florida hold the line or is it time to change the law? Tell us by commenting below!