The Loopholes in the Stand Your Ground Bill

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On November 14, 2018, The Ohio House passed the Stand Your Ground Bill with a vote of 64 to 26. There is currently 25 states whom have this law. If you don’t understand the purpose of this law, let me break it down to you.

In non ‘Stand Your Ground’ State’s: You’ve got to try to get out of your situation. You have to walk away before you attack, responding with force has to be your last resort. Whereas a ‘Stand Your Ground’ State, you have no obligation to walk away, if you “feel” threatened you can entice an altercation without any consequences.

This poses so many issues predominantly in the African American communities. Blackness in the U.S. is linked to crime and danger, Trayvon Martin, Daniel Adkins Jr., and Jordan Davis are a few of our Black men who have been gunned down because of Stand Your Ground, this very law and the so called victims feeling like their life was in “danger”. The cops fatally shooting first before diffusing the situation or not even caring to think first, and getting off on taking innocent lives. With this very phrase; “I feared for my life”. Former Tulsa officer Betty Shelby who shot and Killed Terence Crutcher, because he supposedly reached in his car. Michael Brown shot and killed by Officer Darren Wilson, because he felt that Michael overpowered him. There are so many I could list, and I understand fearing for your life, but you must always take into consideration the lives that were taken without justification? Don’t they have a right to defend themselves?

This Law raises a high risk of minor disputes and misunderstandings becoming fatal; it gives people their own subjective idea that they can take matters into their own hands knowing they won’t have to suffer harsh consequences and in most cases it is racially bias, or so it seems. Law professor and Civil Rights law expert Darren Hutchinson stated that it is harder for black defendants to assert stand your ground defenses if the victim is white, and easier for whites to raise a stand your ground if the victims are Black. All the countless cops who have gotten off, George Zimmerman killer of Trayvon Martin, Byron Thomas killer of Jamonta Miles and many more have proven this to be true.

If this law officially passes in this red state. It will eliminate state requirements that K-12 schools, airports, and other public locations post signs declaring them gun free zones. Giving almost anyone the permission to walk around anywhere with a gun for “protection”. We’ve had 307 mass shootings in 2018 already, that’s practically a mass shooting every day. With this bill in place the numbers may just rise even more. With the bullying in schools, arguments that may occur in public. People will feel on edge in public settings and things can go from 0 to 100.

Republican Gov. Kasich has threatened to veto the bill if brought to him. Hopefully if the bill passed, there will be stricter rules put into place as well. Everyone needs to feel safe whether you have a gun or not. It is vital that we all educate ourselves on the right ways to defend ourselves. Everyone has a right to due process, don’t you agree?

Koya Ball

Ms. Koya A. Ball is born and raised in the Cleveland area of Shaker Heights. She is a mother to a 6-year-old boy. She is also a twin and a big sister. She enjoys the arts and going outdoors in the summer (not much of a winter girl). She has always known that she wanted to be in the media industry since she could remember, and she is excited for you all to experience this adventure with her. Her goal is to be an amazing journalist/reporter. She believes that everyone has a purpose and it is our duty as a people to use that purpose in a good way, so that we can be examples for generations to come.

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