Florida expands the Stand Your Ground Act to include being threatened by rap music, ebonics or complicated hand shakes.
by Scott Oddo
Gov. Rick Scott of Florida is pushing to update Florida’s Stand Your Ground law in light of the trial of Michael Dunn. Dunn allegedly shot a car full of four teenage African Americans at a gas station because their music was too loud and he hated “that thug music”. One of the four, Jordan Davis, died from gunshot wounds. None of the young men were armed but Dunn claims he felt threatened because the boys were talking in gang code and he thought he saw a shotgun.
The current version of Florida’s Stand Your Ground law requires that the assailants be armed before you can use lethal force to defend yourself. However, under the new proposal, Florida citizens would be able to shoot anyone engaging in any threatening activity regardless of whether they were armed or not.
As Gov. Davis explains, “If someone is playing thug music really loud, they could be part of a gang. If they are talking in phrases you don’t understand, it could be coded communication that gangs use. If they use a really complicated handshake that most white people would be incapable of duplicating, then it could be a gang thing”.
Florida state rep, Matt Gaetz added “The people of Florida need to be able to protect themselves. And they need to be alert. Gang activity can be very subtle. For instance, if someone is texting on their phones, you could be in danger. They could be coordinating a gang attack against you. And if you see a group of kids playing Xbox, they are most definitely in a gang. And you shouldn’t have to wait for them to shoot at you before you defend yourself”.
Republican Senator Marc Rubio said he wasn’t sure if he would support the new bill but sympathized with the desire of people to defend themselves. “It’s hard to say what a threat is. Some people are threatened by snapback caps and Air Jordans. And who am I to say that’s wrong. Look it’s not like we’re saying it’s against the law to be black. We just would feel safer if people didn’t act black.”