- Ada, Oklahoma

State News

July 23, 2013

Stand Your Ground? Verdict re-opens debate over Oklahoma law


Oklahoma City —

He said Stand Your Ground laws make it harder for law enforcement authorities to enforce criminal statutes and sometimes allows offenders to go free.

“In some cases it emboldens people to engage in acts of violence that they otherwise would not do,” Lowy said. “There’s no question that George Zimmerman should not have gotten out of his car that night and should not have followed Trayvon Martin. The reason he did is that he had a loaded gun that night and was willing to use it.”

The executive director of the Oklahoma Rifle Association, which supports Stand Your Ground, said the shooting in Florida should not be used as an excuse to roll back self-defense rights.

“I’m biased I guess,” said Charles Smith of Yukon. “But we’ve heard all this slogan about ‘Justice for Trayvon.’ Well, Trayvon got justice. This is not about justice This is about retribution.”

Smith, whose 1,500-member organization has been Oklahoma’s National Rifle Association affiliate since 1927, said Stand Your Ground is a vital state law that spells out important self-defense rights and reinforces the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms. He said he doubts the Legislature would seriously consider its repeal.

“I think our legislators are much too wise to go there,” he said.

It’s been seven years since the Oklahoma Legislature passed a measure that expanded a person’s right to use deadly force to defense themselves and a state lawmaker says it’s time to re-open public dialogue about the Stand Your Ground law following George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager in Florida.

Rep. Mike Shelton of Oklahoma City stops short of saying he wants to repeal the law. He says he will work with gun advocates and those who oppose the expansion of gun rights.

But a legislative supporter of Stand Your Ground, Rep. Steve Vaughn Ponca City, says Shelton may be standing alone. Vaughn says there is no legislative support for watering down self-defense rights.

More than 30 other states have laws similar to Oklahoma’s.


Text Only | Photo Reprints
State News
AP Video
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp

Are you pleased that Oklahoma has repealed Common Core standards for public school students?

     View Results