Stand Your Ground and the Democrats

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
April 19 2012 9:37 AM

Stand Your Ground and the Democrats

WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 19: U.S. Rep.-elect Frederica Wilson (D-FL) (C) listens to an aide during an office selection lottery for new House of Representatives members November 19, 2010 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. New members of the House of Representatives have been in Washington for their orientation this week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

I don't know about this one, Free Beacon. The story is that Rep. Frederica Wilson of Florida "voted for the self-defense law [Stand Your Ground] when she was a state senator in 2005." What a hypocrite? Except when we read on, we learn that she's not shredding the law at all.

Wilson has made several appearances on MSNBC and other news shows denouncing the shooting; however, she has tiptoed around the statute in question.
“That particular bill needs to be tweaked,” she told MSNBC’s Chris Jansing. “It is being misused in this case. This is racial profiling; this is murder. This has nothing to do with ‘Stand Your Ground.’”

That's right: She voted for the bill and now wants to tweak it. That's... not very hypocritical! The static here is between Democrats who actually have to win elections in Florida and activist groups that want to channel the anger over the Martin case. In an earlier piece about post-Trayvon politics, I noticed that the Democrats with constituencies close to Sanford were not actually calling for Stand Your Ground to be pulled down. The candidates for state's attorney, a partisan elected office, basically agreed that the original law went too far and it needed to be looked at, but that it answered a real legal problem.

Widen the gyre, and you get to liberal activists who finally have a gun issue they can co-opt. Last week I sat in on a post-game strategy session held by Color of Change,, and Mayors Against Illegal Guns. One theme: In the Martin case, as in the Gabrielle Giffords situation, local politicos were not on board with a discussion of gun laws. (Giffords's staff was adamantly against this.)

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics



Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Alabama’s Insane New Abortion Law Gives Fetuses Lawyers and Puts Teenage Girls on Trial

Tattoo Parlors Have Become a Great Investment

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?

Big Problems With the Secret Service Were Reported Last Year. Nobody Cared.


Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  News & Politics
Oct. 2 2014 11:01 AM It Wasn’t a Secret A 2013 inspector general report detailed all of the Secret Service’s problems. Nobody cared.
Oct. 2 2014 12:58 PM Why Can’t States Do More to Protect Patients From Surprise Medical Bills? It’s complicated.
Lexicon Valley
Oct. 2 2014 1:05 PM What's Wrong With "America's Ugliest Accent"
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 2 2014 12:37 PM St. Louis Study Confirms That IUDs Are the Key to Lowering Teen Pregnancy Rates
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
Brow Beat
Oct. 2 2014 1:29 PM Want to Know What Makes David Fincher Great? Focus on What He Doesn’t Do.
Future Tense
Oct. 2 2014 1:22 PM If Someone Secretly Controlled What You Say, Would You Notice? What cyranoid experiments reveal about how people act.  
  Health & Science
Oct. 2 2014 12:53 PM The Panic Virus How public health officials are keeping Americans calm about the Ebola threat.
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?