'Stand Your Ground' Laws Are Not the Problem

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COMMENTARY | The tragic death of Trayvon Martin and the acceptance of his shooter's use of Florida's "Stand Your Ground Law" seems to be less about the law and more about its application.

The outcries from people across the nation about the injustice that has allowed shooter George Zimmerman to remain free because he has justified his actions that fateful day in February make sense to me.

The Daily Telegraph reports President Barack Obama has called for closer examination of the Sunshine State's "Stand Your Ground" law. While other states with similar laws were not mentioned specifically, the inference is there that the self-defense laws as a whole merit more consideration. The intent of the laws is very clear: People who feel reasonably threatened are allowed to defend themselves as they see fit without fear of arrest.

If the teen in the situation in question was trying to break into Zimmerman's home or had accosted Zimmerman, then perhaps application of the self defense law makes sense. A teen merely walking, wearing whatever clothing, with beverage and food in hand cannot, in my opinion, be viewed as a direct threat to Zimmerman or any other person.

As a neighborhood watch volunteer, Zimmerman had fulfilled his duties by calling the police about what he viewed as a suspicious person. I am not going to debate whether Martin was or was not a suspicious person; Zimmerman has the right to make that determination and the right to notify police. But the police advised this man to stand down -- to leave the teen alone.

When Zimmerman failed to heed the instructions of the police and confronted Martin, Zimmerman became the attacker and it was Martin who had the right to stand his ground. Unfortunately, he was woefully underarmed compared to the gun-carrying Zimmerman.

Many in America see the injustice at hand here; hopefully soon the Sanford, Fla., district attorney will also see the injustice and defend the intent of the "Stand Your Ground" law.

Smack dab in the middle of the baby boomer generation, L.L. Woodard is a proud resident of "The Red Man" state. With what he hopes is an everyman's view of life's concerns both in his state and throughout the nation, Woodard presents facts and opinions based on common-sense solutions.

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