March 29, 2012
BOSTON — Despite Gov. Deval Patrick's opposition, the Massachusetts Legislature is considering a bill that would create a so-called "Stand Your Ground" law — similar to the Florida law involved in the fatal shooting of teenager Trayvon Martin. Senate Bill 661 would allow the use of deadly force if someone has a "reasonable belief" they're about to suffer "great bodily injury or death."
Reaction on the street in Boston's Back Bay Tuesday was mixed, with several people expressing concern.
"If it’s a time when you feel your body’s in harm, to pull out a gun… I’m not sure that’s the right idea," one man said.
"Obviously, people need the right to defend themselves. But it feels like that goes a little bit too far," said another.
But, one person said, "You think you’re going to die — I would use whatever means possible to save my life."
State Rep. Shaunna O'Connell is a supporter.
"If you're on a walk in the woods with your husband and someone attacks you, you need to be able to defend yourself without fear of prosecution afterwards, or being sued by the person you're defending yourself from. Right now the police, if you harm someone, they have to charge you with assault and battery," she said.
Opponents say the proposed law is too ambiguous and that it would lead to an increase in violent behavior. Patrick said on Thursday that he would veto any such bill the Legislature passed.
Do you support a "Stand Your Ground" law in Massachusetts? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter.
> > NPR: Trayvon Martin coverage
> > WGBH News: Special series: Race and the training of police
Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.
Charles commented on 03.29.12
the only people making this issue racial is the black community, now there is a new classification of racial nature..White/Hispanic ? is Al Sharpton coming to Mattapan to protest and be incendiary and racist with his talk about the execution of 4 adults and an infant who were marched naked into the street and assassinated by "their black brothers"..of course NO ! are the so-called leaders of the black community marching to Chicago where 24 murders were carry out by other blacks against their black brothers. ?...No! lets cut the crap...there is racial profile because that is the m.o. the police use to determine who is the criminal and who is not, Trevon did not have to die but we don't have all the facts...it is the first time in many years that the black community refers to a young black man as "BOY" what an irony of life Trevon was 6 foot tall and 165pounds..hardly a small man Zimmerman is 5' 9" told, they say that Zimmerman had a previous case of domestic violence but the advocates for innocent boy Trevon are pissed when it is mentioned that he was sent home from school 3 times for having residue of drugs, burglary tools and jewelry in his possession that did not belong to him. some blacks like it both ways !