Stand Your Ground: Signed, Sealed and Delivered

Stand Your Ground: Signed, Sealed and Delivered


On the heels of the Zimmerman arrest, the “war on women”, and the Ted Nugent comments, 2nd– Amendment conservatives have a cause to rally behind that could proverbially kill two birds with one stone.

Through the past two months, many conservatives have either wanted to “wait for more evidence” before supporting George Zimmerman’s arrest in connection to the death of Trayvon Martin or oppose Rev. Al Sharpton’s involvement in the case. As a result, their reputations have taken a beating over the Martin tragedy in Florida. In many Americans’ minds – both correctly and inaccurately – conservatives have been cast as racists in the aftermath of February’s infamous Florida “Stand Your Ground” case.

At the same time, conservatives have been taking a ringing in the media and partisan campaign camps from the conjured-up “wars” on women (over birth control) and moms (over one pundit’s jaded remarks on live television).

Now, all of the sudden, conservatives are anti-women (despite statistics that show roughly 100% of conservatives were brought into this world by women). This flies in the face of having the last vice-presidential candidate from their party being a much-beloved woman and two of their biggest current “political rock stars” being ladies as well.

Despite how much I know from personal experience that the vast majority of conservatives are not racist and misogynistic or despite how much I say it, sometimes actions are better than words to prove this. In the case of Marissa Alexander standing her ground against domestic abuse in Florida, conservatives have a chance to prove themselves above the recent criticism. To boot, no one died, as Marissa allegedly only fired a gun into the ceiling to scare off a documented abuser after he admitted to starting yet another incident. Therefore, no one risks dishonoring the dead in their defense of Second Amendment, self-defense rights.

Marissa Alexander is a Black woman currently in jail in Florida for invoking her “Stand Your Ground” privilege to discharge a firearm while trying to escape abuse at the hands of her current husband. This occurred during an ongoing altercation that caused her to fear for her life.

This is not a Black-White issue, as the Martin case has become. Although she is Black, domestic abuse is not, nor is it a social condition that only impacts minorities or the poor. Domestic abuse cuts across socioeconomic lines to remain the “dirty little secret” costing Americans thousands of broken lives and $700 million in lost business productivity annually.

For conservatives that regularly talk about the impact of the family on America’s future and the waste of resources as we struggle to revive our economy, the Alexander case highlights much of what we stand for.

For weeks, many conservatives (and authorities in Sanford) granted Zimmerman the benefit of the doubt and the right of “innocent until proven guilty” in a manner that Alexander, a battered woman that ended up in the hospital after enduring one episode of abuse, never was. For conservatives that regularly talk about the colorless beauty of American justice, this is a case that will highlight how much we care for justice across demographics.

It rings true in a case where the aggressor of violence admits to prompting the conditions that led to Alexander’s need to “Stand (Her) Ground,” particularly as a past victim.

I believe that my conservative brethren will rise to the occasion. I challenge them to do so. As I mentioned not too long ago, all of the complaining about the erroneous actions from the “progressive left” concerning “race-baiting” in the Trayvon Martin case should be replaced with one simple, collective decision: conservatives must be involved in these types of social issues. This case is a good one to get involved with.

Why is this case so important for conservatives?

Anyone that claims to be a staunch conservative but misses the point of why this case holds the potential to be utterly important nationally (in contrast to the Martin-Zimmerman case) invalidates their arguments on the American family, on American justice, and on moving towards being a color-blind society. Anyone that has a true understanding of the horrors (e.g., beatings, emotional blackmail, rape, torture) that victims – especially female victims – of domestic violence endure would surely embrace the invocation of “Stand Your Ground” in the Alexander case.

They would understand the importance of allowing a young mother to have the right to protect herself and her children from harm, as has been the case in other cases. As Christian conservatives, they would speak directly to the importance of having the right to break free of generational curses that strangle generations after suffering through physical, emotional, and sexual abuse within a broken family. They would say that it takes courage to break that cycle by any means necessary. Thus, the grossly inconsistent application of this law “Stand Your Ground” law would resonate upon engaging these two high-profile cases in the Sunshine State. It appears 2nd Amendment supporters should call for justice for Alexander.

Any conservative the extols the tenets of American equality based on God-given rights across gender and cultural differences should have a problem with a case where a Black mother with a history of getting beaten could not garner the same “innocence until proven guilty” protections that a single “White Hispanic” man did at the feet of a dead teenager.

If we conservatives are not willing or able to speak up on behalf of a victim of multiple crimes that enacted one of our basic pillars – self-defense of self and family through the 2nd Amendment – then we are truly baseless in many of our collective complaints about the Martin case and elsewhere.

Good conservatives throughout the nation often look for instances to prove their moral character. I believe most conservatives are good and moral. In the People of Florida v. Alexander case, there is now a chance to prove our values to others as well – a chance that has been signed, sealed, and delivered by the folks that brought you “Stand Your Ground” and the 2nd Amendment.

LENNY MCALLISTER is a senior contributor to Politic 365 that can be found every Saturday with Democratic pundit Maria Cardona on “CNN Saturday Morning” at 10:30 AM Eastern (9:30 Central / 7:30 Pacific.) He is regularly featured on CNN’s “Early Start” weekdays 5:00 AM – 7:00 AM Eastern and CNN Newsroom at 12:30 PM Eastern. Hear “The McAllister Minute” on the American Urban Radio Network each week and catch the radio show “Get Right with Lenny McAllister” live on at 11 AM Eastern weekdays and re-broadcast on Politic 365.


  1. As it's written, Florida's 'stand your ground' law does not allow a person to retrieve a gun from a house or car, then return to a conflict to fire their weapon as did Ms. Alexander.

    'Stand your ground' laws are inherently anti-democratic in that they promote vigilantism, and therefore undermine public safety. FWIW, race wasn't the critical factor in the Martin killing as much as a ridiculous statute enabled a low-level psychotic to act out a weird fantasy. Rational people, regardless of ideology, loosely understand the threat 'stand your ground' and other poorly crafted laws represent to our culture. I believe all but the most kooky right-wingers and race panderers will recognize Ms. Alexander's case isn't a good one for defending an already bad argument.

    • "Stand Your Ground" also doesn't allow one to pursue someone, then claim "stand your ground."

      However, if you look at the McNeil case in Georgia and the Alexander case in Florida, you will see that "Stand Your Ground" application in those cases versus what we initially saw in the Martin/Zimmerman case does have some troubling inconsistencies.

      • It's ironic that in both the Zimmerman and Alexander cases, 'stand your ground' was dismissed as grounds for not arresting the suspect. Both will have their day in court, as is proper. Most importantly, both are due the presumption of innocense until they're found guilty by a jury.

        • Well, one was presumed innocent and the case was going away (and he was at home, with his gun) until international pressure came up, while the other has been in jail for a while now despite the fact that no one died and there was a history of abuse in the case. And actually, "Stand Your Ground" was the initial reason given for why the Sanford (FL) police didn't arrest Zimmerman. No such protection was given to an abuse victim that spent time in the hospital after a previous encounter.

          • Let's be clear; Zimmerman is still due the presumption of innocence. So is Alexander. Whatever defenses they'll mount — presumably upon state's 'stand your ground' law — will be judged valid or not, each case decided on its merits. If and when either is found guilty now becomes a relevant measure for whether the state is enforcing its laws evenly, not the elapsed time between Zimmerman or Alexander's acts and when they were arrested.

            However, Lenny McAllister isn't concerned with Zimmerman or Alexander's innocence or whether either will get a fair trial. His point is cynical and political; that Republicans can win African-American voters' support by using Alexander to defend 'stand your ground' laws. If Alexander wasn't an Af-Am, he'd say nothing; the issue of race unavailable for him to draw a false equivalence.

          • Are you sure that it's all about race and votes for Mr. McAllister? He has a reputation for standing up for what's right regardless of race. He just did a talk last week talking against racism being hurled at white people. Don't think he was race-baiting there. What about domestic violence? Can't someone talk about that regardless of race? Seems like he's touching on a few things at the same time. Does he have a right or a responsibility to talk about those things? Funny. He just brought it up on his radio show earlier today.

  2. Even if the "Stand Your Ground" law isn't applied here, she had a restraining order against this man, which he clearly was violating. He was in her home threatning her, which meant she should've been able to defend herself because he was on her property. And, she didn't even shoot him…I mean, this shouldn't even be a case. He should be in jail because he broke the law by violating a court order! Duh!

  3. Gun control measures were originally instituted for the sole reason to keep guns away from Black people.Why Black people would want to willingly disarm themselves and/or tie their hands even more with stricter gun laws makes absolutely no sense to me.

  4. Wow I don't understand why Ms. Alexander is in jail. She did not shoot him so i can't comprehend why she is being held for trying to protect herself. Her husband better be glad I wasn't his wife because i would of shot him a couple of times. I hate men who beat on females, what a loser!!!!!

    • She left the initial scene to get the gun and then came back & fired the gun for really no reason and putting others in danger of a stray bullet, so stand your ground doesn't apply here.

      • She left the scene, trying to escape. Couldn't escape. Grabbed her gun, trying to escape through another route. She was stopped and confronted by her abuser, then fired. If being confronted by an abuser that says "Bitch I'm gonna kill you" that has already put her in the hospital before isn't enough to "stand your ground", where does "stand your ground" ever apply?

  5. What are President Obama & DOJ Doing About Florida? Now is Not the Time For US 2Wait & See. The DOJ was sent to Fla to investigate the Martin Case, the Police Chief AND Denial of Civil Rights by Fla. Prosecuting Attorney’s Inaction. Then an educated Black woman with kids; gets 20 years under SYG Law for shooting a gun to warn her self proclaimed abuser. I heard on MSNBC Florida’s Gov is removing 180,000 People from the voter rolls If they don't comply to a Notice they have no way 2 prove info requested was sent or received BEFORE the 2012 election. I think IF POTUS Wants 2 FIRE US UP-Tell the DOJ 2 Show & Share What They Know!