Saturday the parents of Jordan Davis, a 17-year-old African American male, was buried by his parents. Davis was killed the day after Thanksgiving in Jacksonville, Fla. after succumbing to its “Stand Your Ground” law. The teen was gunned down by 45-year-old Michael Dunn. Dunn fired eight shots into the car that Davis and several friends occupied while listening to loud music in a parking lot. The shooter had just left a wedding where he admitted to having a couple of drinks. After asking the teenagers to turn their music down allegedly Dunn thought he saw a shotgun in the car with the teenagers. In response, he fired several rounds of bullets – two of which hit Davis who was sitting in the back seat.
“We pray for the Davis and Dunn family. In this tragedy no one wins; we all lose. We must guard against basing our actions on stereotypes of African-American males. We must also fight to change the “Stand Your Ground” legislation in states like Florida that blur the line between murder and self defense. It is time to revive a significant national discussion on gun violence, the gun industry and personal and corporate accountability,” said D. Alexander Bullock.
Although Michael Dunn claimed that he thought he was in danger, he immediately fled the scene of the crime and was arrested 173 miles away a day later. Dunn has plead not guilty using Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law. The “Stand Your Ground” law is the same law that garnered much attention earlier this year after the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. 24 states in total have some form of “Stand Your Ground” laws. The laws vary from state to state with the basic precept being that law abiding citizens do not have to retreat from danger around their homes or in public. 15 states nationwide have open carry laws – Oklahoma being the most recent to pass such a law – which allows licensed citizens to openly carry a firearm. Some states with open carry laws only require one day of firearm training before giving citizens a license to carry.
Rainbow PUSH Michigan has addressed the rising tide of violence in America all year with national marches at gun shops, national prayer vigils for the victims of the Dark Knight Rises Aurora, Colo. shooting and its Crusade for America Parent and Youth March. Rainbow PUSH and allies will be mobilizing in key states to build a national movement to hold the gun industry accountable. After the lame duck session of Congress Rainbow PUSH and allies will lobby Congress for a revival of the ban on assault weapons.
Rainbow PUSH MI is an affiliate of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition a multi-racial, multi-issue, progressive, international membership organization fighting for social change. Our mission is to protect, defend, and gain civil rights by leveling the economic and educational playing fields, and to promote peace and justice around the world.
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