U.S. Corporations Leading Us to Lower Ground with “Stand Your Ground” Laws?

Posted on April 2, 2012 by


By Bro. Mxolisi

Florida’s so-called “Stand Your Ground” law (SYG), which seemingly played a large role in the mind of George Zimmerman, leading to him becoming the triggerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin and to the initial rush to non-judgment by the powers-that-be in Sanford, FL — giving Zimmerman the benefit of all doubt and allowing him to walk free (until media attention and public outrage brought the demand for justice) – was lobbied and pressured into law in that state by the National Rifle Association (NRA) in 2005. Former U.S. attorney for Southern Florida, Kendall Coffey, refers to that law as “a license to kill.”

Since 2005, the NRA persuaded the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), “a mainstay of right-wing causes, from business tax cuts to privatized prisons,” to adopt the Florida model and to push for the enactment of SYG provisions in all states of the U.S. Thus far the ALEC has been successful in having such laws enacted in 16 additional states, using the Florida model word-for-word in many cases.

Now hear this: The corporate board of ALEC includes “a near who’s who of U.S. corporate heavyweights,” including Wal-Mart, AT&T, State Farm, Pfizer, Altria (formerly Phillip Morris, Bayer Corp., Exxon Mobil, Kraft Food and Johnson & Johnson. Add to that ubiquitous list the Koch Companies (the Koch Brothers).

These and other points are presented in an op/ed piece by Neal Peirce which appeared in the 4/1/2012 Richmond (VA) Times Dispatch newspaper. You can access the entire piece here: http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/oped/2012/apr/01/tdopin02-warning-from-trayvons-killing-dont-ignore-ar-1807793/ .

Seems to me that there needs to be some rallies by those of us who are opposed to SYG laws, to demand that these corporate enterprises discontinue their support and pressures for such statutes, that they instead work to lead us to “higher ground” by seeking the repeal of such insidious measures.

 Rallies can be by letters, emails or phone calls – to headquarters of these corporations and to the agents through whom we are doing business with them. Of course, the biggest rally would be our boycotting of those enterprises that fail to honor our requests, but choose to continue using our patronage of their products and services in ways that promise to diminish the quality of life across the country.

“When the truth comes along and you know in your bones that it’s the truth, yet you still refuse to accept and defend it, you then really begin to die.”  

— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.