Moms Demand Action Founder Shannon Watts Responds to Verdict in Trial of Jordan Davis’s Killer; Jordan’s Mother, Lucia McBath, is National Spokesperson

INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — We are saddened and
disappointed that the jury in the trial of Jordan Davis’s killer was unable to
reach a full verdict. Our hearts are with Jordan’s family as they learn that
they will have to bear another trial and more waiting for justice. Jordan and
his family deserve closure in the killing of their son, and we will continue to
shine a spotlight on our country’s broken Stand Your Ground laws.

Stand Your Ground laws put our children, families, and communities at risk
because they give everyday, untrained citizens more leeway to shoot than the
United States military gives soldiers in war zones. Children – like Jordan Davis
– who may simply be in the wrong place at the wrong time are now more likely to
die at the hands of the armed and angry. This is unacceptable.

Jordan’s fate is not an isolated one: He is one of at least 26 children and
teens killed in Florida Stand Your Ground cases since 2005. Stand Your Ground
laws – also called “shoot first” laws because they empower armed vigilantism –
are associated with a clear increase in homicides, resulting in up to 700 more
homicides nationwide each year, according to a 2012 study by Texas A&M
researchers.

Research indicates that Stand Your Ground laws embolden people to shoot when
they could have resolved conflicts by using a lesser degree of force or simply
walking away. After Florida passed its Stand Your Ground law, its justifiable
homicide rate tripled. Over the same time period, the justifiable homicide rate
decreased in states that did not pass Stand Your Ground laws.

This increase in homicides due to Stand Your Ground laws disproportionately
affects communities of color. The Urban Institute found that when white shooters
kill black victims, the resulting homicides are 11 times more likely to be
deemed justifiable than when the shooter is black and the victim is white.

And despite the assertions of Stand Your Ground supporters, the Texas A&M
researchers found no evidence that Stand Your Ground laws deter crime.

Now that the research on Stand Your Ground laws is clear, states are listening.
Though at least seven states had Stand Your Ground legislation pending at the
time of Trayvon Martin’s shooting death in February 2012, not one of those bills
became law. Trayvon’s death served a national wake-up call: No additional states
have become Stand Your Ground states since. And legislators in at least 11
states have introduced bills to scale back or repeal their laws, and one such
reform bill passed in Louisiana.

During a recent legislative hearing to repeal Florida’s Stand Your Ground law,
Davis’s mother Lucia McBath, a national spokesperson for Moms Demand Action,
said, “My grief is unbearable at times. I’m here as a face of the countless
victims of gun violence.” Lucia has funneled her grief into activism and moms
will continue to fight along side her, committed to undoing the damage these
ill-conceived laws have created.

American mothers have had enough and we are prepared to go toe-to-toe with our
country’s insidious gun lobby. We will stand our ground for children like Jordan
Davis and we will not stop until Stand Your Ground laws are rolled back.

About Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America
Much like Mothers Against Drunk Driving was created to change laws regarding
drunk driving, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America was created to build
support for common-sense gun reforms. The nonpartisan grassroots movement of
American mothers is demanding new and stronger solutions to lax gun laws and
loopholes that jeopardize the safety of our children and families. In just one
year, the organization has more than 130,000 members with a chapter in every
state in the country. The group recently joined forces with Mayors Against
Illegal Guns, the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country.
For more information or to get involved visit www.momsdemandaction.org. Follow
us on Facebook www.facebook.com/MomsDemandAction or on Twitter @MomsDemand

SOURCE Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

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