Stand Your Ground …. Again!???

No RightHappy Hump Day, All!

Some of the stuff going on recently could easily take the “happy” out of Hump Day, if we let them …. Yes, I have been feeling the ebb and lull of inconsistent emotions lately, too. What about you? After yesterday afternoon’s shooting at a mall near Portland, OR, it is apparent that people are turning to more and more violence in their behavior, and often, a gun is involved. I mean, we had a shooting in Miami a few days ago of an innocent pregnant young lady leaving a local store that is being called an accident though the shooter has not come forward and has not been apprehended as of yet. The baby was delivered with a bullet in it and the young mother is in critical condition with a bullet in her head and her chest.

Meanwhile, yesterday eve here in the State Prison in Stark, FL, the state executed a former honor’s student, military man (Marines, I believe), former police officer named Manuel Pardo who sat on death row awaiting the execution he asked for 20 years ago. He, too, had gone on a vigilante style serial murder spree as he sought to rid the streets of purported drug users and dealers and had even confessed and bragged about these murders. Nine people were killed before the spree ended. Can I say may he rest in peace?

Well, it seems that Tuesday afternoon, the latest racially charged “stand your ground” defense has been announced by the attorney for the 45 year old white male, Michael D. Dunn, who after attending his son’s wedding in Jacksonville, FL shot nine times into an SUV of African American males. This occurred at a convenience store where Dunn had stopped AFTER the wedding to buy a bottle of wine for his girlfriend. He said that the teen aged black youth were playing their music loud, which the survivors affirmed, and an argument ensued. While there were NO WEAPONS found in the SUV occupied by several black teens, Dunn is claiming that he shot into the SUV because a shotgun was pointed at him from the other vehicle that he parked next to at the convenience store. After the shooting, the white couple fled and went back to their hotel and while watching the news, learned that one of the boys in the vehicle had been killed. So, they mounted up their vehicle, hand gun and all, and fled the county. The ONLY way they were apprehended is because someone took down his license plate information and he was found in the neighboring county in Florida the next day ….

I am literally speechless … imagine that … and to learn that Dunn is planning to use the “stand your ground” law in his defense makes me even more without words. Studies have shown that there is actually an increase in violence and deaths related to the environment created by this law, especially in Florida. There is more violence, more deaths and a reportedly higher number of racial differences associated with these incidents. Florida’s Gov. Rick Scott had recently just offered up some minor changes to the law, which I feel, will contribute to more deaths like Trayvon Martin and the most recent victim, 17 year old Jordan Russell Davis. Can’t we wake up from this and it all be a dream?! Or … would it be better if the purported Mayan calendar were right in speculating a “change” in the world order in the next week or so?


John I. CookRed rose, Director

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