Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense In America’s Official Statement on the Trayvon Martin Verdict
Today, we are all Trayvon Martin’s mother. Trayvon, a 17-year- old victim of gun violence, was sadly one of the children and teens shot and killed every 3 hours and 15 minutes in America. Gun violence is a public health crisis of epidemic proportions in our country and, unchecked by Congress and many state legislatures, continues to spiral out of control. The lack of regulation of guns in America is a grave danger to all of our children.
The shooting death of Trayvon underscores the growing danger of increasingly lenient gun policies across the United States. Stand Your Ground laws, which give everyday citizens more leeway to shoot than the U.S. military gives to our soldiers in war zones, endanger our children, families and communities. These laws grow even more dangerous when coupled with some states’ permissive concealed carry policies that empower untrained, average citizens to carry a gun, and turn everyday conflicts into deadly tragedies.
A recent Texas A&M study analyzed 20 states with Stand Your Ground laws, including Florida, and found that the laws do not deter violent crime. In fact, there is a clear increase in homicides in those states, resulting in up to 700 more shooting deaths nationwide each year. Stand Your Ground laws also disproportionately affect communities of color. According to an Urban Institute study, when white shooters kill black victims, 34 percent of the resulting homicides are deemed justifiable, while only 3 percent of deaths are ruled justifiable when the shooter is black and the victim is white.
It is time for the 80 million mothers of America to stand our ground and demand new, common-sense gun laws and policies that will protect our children and honor the tragic shooting deaths of youths like Trayvon Martin. Collectively, we can use our votes and our voices to change policies and laws that will help keep American children out of the line of fire.