National Rifle Association lead lobbyist Marion Hammer – one of the architects of the stand-your-ground law now figuring prominently in debates over the Trayvon Martin shooting death in Sanford, Florida – says she won’t be baited into arguing the merits of the law while the case is still being investigated, reports the News Service of Florida.
In the wake of last week’s growing outcry over the fact that the acknowledged shooter, George Zimmerman, has not been charged, Gov. Rick Scott Thursday tapped an outside prosecutor to investigate the death and a task force to review the 2005 law. Scott, too, says further action should await the results of the investigation. And in any case, Hammer said Monday, “the law should not be on trial. The law did not do anything wrong.” Members of the black legislative caucus have called for a review.
“I have seen the media predict that nothing will change,” Hammer said, “and that’s probably because the media understands that there’s nothing wrong with the law.”
The bill’s sponsors, Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, and former Sen. Durell Peaden, R-Crestview, say the law was never intended to cover pursuit – as may have been the case in Martin’s death – but rather the defense of one’s home, the so-called Castle Doctrine. “It is difficult to give an opinion when you don’t know the facts of the case,” said Hammer. “But based on what I have read in the media, the Castle Doctrine does not apply in this case.”
New facts emerged over the weekend, however, that may make the so-called stand-your-ground law applicable. Zimmerman’s lawyer said it was Martin who attacked Zimmerman, broke his nose and was banging Zimmerman’s head into the ground when he fired in self-defense. The lawyer, Craig Sonner, told ABC News that he will argue self defense and the stand-your-ground law will likely apply.