The ‘stand your ground’ law that famously allowed George Zimmerman to follow, shot and kill Trayvon Martin with impunity just because Martin looked suspicious and made Zimmerman feel nervous is not, nor has it ever been, about property.

As Patricia J. Williamw points out,  “stand your ground” laws are a subspecies of self-defense.
 The idea is that ‘ground’ is jurisprudentially defined as a space from which one has the reasonable expectation of excluding others—i.e., one’s property.”

But “the ground” in these new laws, says Williams, really refers to “any place a white person [almost always male] is nervous.”

The right to bear arms is, and always has been, exclusively reserved for white men who may reasonably “carry firearms to protests outside Target or political conventions” or to “domestic disputes while on ground deemed ‘theirs.’ ” On the other hand, notes Williams, nonwhites and women carrying “assault rifles (or toy guns, or the shadow of anything that might resemble a gun)” can expect to be “mowed down for that reason alone—either by police or the idealized citizen-savior.”

Read more at The Nation


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