Stand your ground gun laws under assault from many directions

Trayvon Martin death inspires protestors

TAMPA - The Trayvon Martin shooting was just one of hundreds of killings in Florida in which self defense was used to justify the use of a gun.  It doesn't always work.

Zimmerman's case is often contrasted with that of Marissa Alexander of Jacksonville who shot at her estranged and abusive husband in her garage in 2010.  Alexander  was sentenced to 20 years in Florida prison and her shot missed.

Closer to home, 72-year-old Trevor Dooley invoked the stand your ground defense last year after fatally shooting neighbor David James in a dispute over skateboarding on their Spring Hill street.  Out on bail,  Dooley had this to say after being convicted and sentenced to eight years:

"Do you really think that if it was the other way around and the skin color was different, we would be here today? We wouldn't."

The perception that 'stand your ground' laws are unevenly applied has generated calls for a boycott on Florida from pop stars and preachers around the country.

Even the Daily Show's John Oliver took up the argument this week, suggesting the Sunshine State change  it's motto to "The Worst State."

Young protestors demanding a special session to change the law, occupied the Governor's office for three days before Rick Scott met with them Thursday night.   The discussion was cordial, but Scott was not swayed expressing confidence in last year's task force that concluded 'stand your ground' was fair and reasonable. The protests in Tallahassee continue.

Yet on Friday, President Barack Obama called for a review of stand your ground laws while questioning whether justice was served in the  Zimmerman trial.

"I just ask people to consider if Trayvon Martin was of age and armed, could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk?" said the President.

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