Repeal "Stand Your Ground"

CREDO action
Tell elected officials across the country: Repeal deadly Shoot First laws

The petition reads:
It's time to end "Stand Your Ground" and other Shoot First laws that undermine public safety, senselessly put people at risk, and enable the kind of tragedy we've witnessed in the case of Trayvon Martin. I'm calling on you to take leadership and undo these dangerous laws now.

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Dear 5849376,

The result of the George Zimmerman case forces us to confront a painful question: What does the Rule of Law mean when it lets people get away with murder?

Trayvon Martin was an unarmed teenager walking home who was first stalked and then shot dead by a self-appointed vigilante.

As sad as this senseless tragedy is, what's worse is knowing that the dangerous trifecta of endemic racism, lax gun regulations and "Shoot First" laws (also known as "Stand Your Ground" laws) virtually ensures that Trayvon Martin will not be the last child in this country murdered with impunity by a gun-toting vigilante.

It may be too late to hold George Zimmerman accountable. But we must push to change the law to make sure that future Zimmermans don't go free.

Tell elected officials across the country that it's time to undo dangerous Shoot First laws. Click here to sign the petition.

The NRA and politicians associated with the shadowy rightwing American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), helped shepherd Shoot First laws through dozens of states.

And there has been a lot of misinformation about the role Shoot First laws factored into the Zimmerman case.

Shoot First laws give armed vigilantes like George Zimmerman virtual carte blanche to shoot anyone they deem as a threat, with no legal requirement to first attempt to remove themselves from a dangerous situation.

Shoot First is why police didn't arrest Zimmerman for six weeks after he killed Trayvon Martin. It's why police failed to conduct a proper homicide investigation or collect key evidence in the case.

The law was also referenced by the judge in her jury instructions, and the only juror who has spoken out cited this law as a key reason they let Zimmerman walk free.

Instead of balancing the value of each human life against the legitimate right of self defense, Shoot First gives the legal stamp of approval to a "shoot first, ask questions later" mentality.

Throw in the eye-popping number of concealed-carry permits (which now stands at 8 million nationally) and lax gun laws generally, and you have a dangerous recipe for unnecessarily violent, often fatal, conflict.

In Florida, for example, the rate of "justifiable" homicides has tripled since the state passed its Shoot First law in 2005.

Tell elected officials across the country that it's time to undo dangerous Shoot First laws. Click here to sign the petition.

Now it's time for the public to push back against these dangerous laws.

The legislators who currently support their state's "Shoot First" law need to know their constituents are horrified by the consequences of this law and want it repealed. And those already in favor of repeal need to know their constituents support them.

More broadly, elected officials across the country need to know that their constituents are tired of the gun lobby being able to buy laws that promote a culture of impunity for gun owners.

It's one thing to respect responsible gun owners. It's another to give any self-appointed vigilante with a gun what amounts to a license to kill.

Tell elected officials across the country that it's time to undo dangerous Shoot First laws. Click here to sign the petition.

Thank you for fighting to undo Shoot First laws.

Matt Lockshin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

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