Gun advocate John Lott says the mothers of African American teenagers Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis, who appeared at a congressional hearing about stand your ground on Tuesday, are “props” being used to make “make the case that there was racial bias.”
Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, told the Oct. 30 NRA news show “Cam & Company” that the mothers "were there to go and try serve as props essentially for the case that there was racial bias in Stand Your Ground laws," Media Matters reported.
Lott said that “neither of their cases really had anything to do with the debate over Stand Your Ground laws.”
Trayvon Martin was shot and killed on Feb. 26, 2012. The shooter, George Zimmerman, claimed self-defense, he didn’t enter a stand your ground plea, and was found not guilty in the shooting death of the 17-year-old.
Jordan Davis, 17, was killed in November 2012 in Jacksonville, Fla., when 46-year-old Michael David Dunn allegedly fired nine rounds at a car where four teenagers were sitting. Dunn had complained about their loud music and claimed he saw a gun before he opened fire. No gun was found in the vehicle.
“Trayvon Martin's mom and another mother who had lost her son in a shooting, both of them were black, and they were there to go and try serve as props essentially for the case that there was racial bias in Stand Your Ground laws,” Lott said. “As I say, it's very hard to say anything when you're having to deal with a mother who has lost her son, under any circumstances. I have five kids; I can't imagine what it would be like to deal with that situation.”
“The problem was, the reason why I was saying it was somewhat surreal is that neither of their cases really had anything to do with the debate over Stand Your Ground laws,” he said.
He pointed out that stand your ground wasn’t even invoked in the Trayvon Martin case.
“It’s simply not relevant,” he added.
The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday was schedule in the wake of Zimmerman’s acquittal.
Sybrina Fulton told the committee that stand your ground was partly responsible for the death of her son Trayvon Martin.
“This law does not work,” Fulton said, according to Daily Caller.
“I wanted to come here to talk to you for a moment to let you know how important it is that we amend this ‘stand your ground’ because it certainly did not work in my case,” she said.
"That man was empowered by the 'stand your ground' statute," Davis’ mother Lucia Holman McBath testified. "I am here to tell you there was no ground to stand. There was no threat. No one was trying to invade his home, his vehicle, nor threatened him or his family."
Lott argued that blacks, especially poor blacks, benefit the most under stand your ground.
“In Florida, blacks make up about 16 percent of the population, but they account for 31 percent of the state’s defendants invoking stand your ground laws,” he said, while black defendants who invoke the law are acquitted “almost eight percentage points more often than whites.”
Stand your ground laws are on the books in at least 22 states, NBC News reported. The Daily Caller says just over 30 states have passed “some form” of stand your ground.