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For far too long in America moms like Sabrina Fulton, Lucia McBath and Marissa Alexander have had to cross their fingers and pray every time their child walks out the door. The Dream Defenders have been fierce advocates for repealing Florida's so-called Stand Your Ground laws. Those laws were the focus of a US Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this week, chaired by Illinois Senator Dick Durbin. Marissa Alexander's new trial has been set for March 31, 2014. And rounding out the news this week, the Chief of Police in Sanford, Florida, announced new rules for Neighborhood Watch volunteers.

[Edited: Nov 2, 2013] The Dream Defenders are a group of energetic young activists in Florida who are mobilizing youth all across the state and joining with others to end racial profiling, the school to prison pipeline, and to repeal SYG laws. Currently they are conducting a voter registration drive to register more than 65 thousand Democratic voters in Florida. They aim to exceed the margin by which Tea Party Governor Rick Scott claimed the keys to his office in Tallahassee.]

Congratulations Dream Defenders! Your hard work and tireless advocacy are making a difference.

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 29:  Sybrina Fulton of Miami, Fla., mother of Trayvon Martin, testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on
Sabrina Fulton - Mother of slain teen Trayvon Martin, who testified at the US Senate Hearing October 29, 2013
Lucia McBath of Atlanta, Ga., mother of Jordan Davis, testifies during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on 'Stand Your Ground' laws October 29, 2013 in Washington, DC. The committee heard testimony on ''Stand Your Ground' Laws: Civil Rights and Public Safety Implications of the Expanded Use of Deadly Force.' (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Lucia McBath of Atlanta, Georgia - Mother of slain teen Jordan Davis, who testified at the US Senate Hearing October 29, 2013
Sabrina Fulton and Lucia McBath Testify at US Senate Hearing on "Stand Your Ground Laws" October 29, 2013
[Senator] Durbin's hearings aren't just aimed to spark a debate regarding gun control and racial profiling.  The hearing is aimed at going after ALEC's influence on gun laws [...]

One of the key witnesses to testify before Durbin's committee was Trayvon Martin's mother [...]

Sabrina Fulton - Trayvon Martin's Mother
After delaying the hearing due to the Washington Navy Yard shooting, Senator Dick Durbin (D. IL) finally held his hearing on the controversial "stand your ground" laws [...]
Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois)
Instead, the hearing is meant to spark a “national debate on the impact of these laws,” said an aide to Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin said. The Illinois Democrat is chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights, which will evaluate the controversial self-defense laws that are now on the books in at least 22 states.

    “Our hearing will examine how these laws came to be; the way in which the laws have changed the legal definition of self defense; the extent to which the laws have encouraged unnecessary shooting confrontations; and the civil rights implications when racial profiling and ‘stand your ground’ laws mix, along with other issues,” the aide, who declined to be identified, said in an email to CQ Roll Call.

    Durbin first announced the hearing in July, following the widely publicized trial of George Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Fla., who shot and killed Martin, an unarmed black 17-year-old, following a confrontation in February 2012. A jury acquitted Zimmerman of all charges after determining he had acted in self defense, even though he initially pursued Martin. The verdict set off a national debate about racial profiling and laws, such as Florida’s, that provide added legal protections for people to use deadly force if they feel threatened. - Roll Call, 10/29/13

... Continue reading IL-Sen: Trayvon Martin's Mother Testifies On "Stand Your Ground" Laws At Dick Durbin's (D) Hearing



ALEC at the US Senate Judiciary Hearing Chaired by Senator Durbin on October 29, 2013
ALEC's Influence on United States Law
Getting governmental or legislative bodies to even acknowledge the existence of ALEC has been nearly a decade in the making. [...]

Students and organizers put together a great program there in Cincinnati and ALEC's existence and nefarious legislative activities have been increasingly in the spotlight ever since... Stand your ground legislation is merely the tip of the model legislation iceberg.  Thousands of other onerous laws are now on the books in every state and a few at the federal level that originated within ALEC's secretive chambers - a result of joint efforts between conservative lawmakers and corporate representatives to write and support them.... The culmination of our work resulted in watching our senior Senators take part in a hearing that finally acknowledged the existence of ALEC - and how they and corporations are involved in redrawing our criminal justice laws.

... Continue reading [Daily Kos] Bloggers Mentioned in Senate Testimony on ALEC


Marissa Alexandar's New Trial Date Set for March 31, 2014
Marissa Alexander 2013
This is sad news on the last day of Domestic Violence Awareness Month... During the Jacksonville hearing Thursday morning, Florida courts opted to put Marissa Alexander through a whole new trial, now scheduled for March 31, 2014. It has not yet been determined whether Alexander will be allowed to live outside of prison walls while awaiting the trial. A bail hearing is scheduled for next week, November 8. Marissa has been away from her children for almost three years.

... Continue reading Prosecuting Attorney Angela Corey Refuses To Drop Marissa Alexander's Case - New Trial Scheduled

Sanford, Florida, to Announce New Rules for Neighborhood Watch on November 5, 2013

Police Chief Cecil Smith of Sanford, Florida, where George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin last year, reportedly will soon announce new rules pertaining to Neighborhood Watch volunteers. [...] they will not be allowed to carry guns or to pursue suspects. [...] The AP reports Chief Smith said in an interview, "We are getting back to what neighborhood watch is supposed to be."

... Continue reading Sanford, FL, to Ban Neighborhood Watchers from Carrying Guns





Support the Dream Defenders - A Daily Kos Group




  • The Dream Defenders are fighting for justice in Florida. Their mission is to enact Trayvon's Law in Florida, which would repeal the Stand Your Ground law, ban racial profiling, and end the school-to-prison pipeline.
  • Support the Dream Defenders is a Daily Kos community. We promote and support the Dream Defenders, online and offline.
  • How To Join Us: Send us a kosmail.
  • How to Follow Us: Go to our diaries page and click the ♥ or the word Follow. If you are a Kossack, when you Follow a person or group, their diaries will appear in your Stream. As an example, here is the Stream of one of our most respected members. Note: Joining and Following are completely separate functions in DK4.
  • How to Find Our Diaries: We publish on Friday evenings at 7:00 pm EDT and 4:00 pm PDT. Here's where you can find our next group diary and all diaries published and republished by our group.
  • How to Find Our Groupmail Inbox: DK4 groupmail inboxes are notoriously difficult to find, because we receive no "You have mail" signal. If you have Editor status, and you want to participate, please bookmark our group kosmail inbox, and check it as frequently as you want to participate. That page does not refresh itself, either.
  • Floridians: We welcome your reports, pictures, and promotion of your feet-on-the-ground protests and organizing in support of the Dream Defenders. Please use our comments and/or group kosmail to confidentially locate nearby Floridians who support the Dream Defenders and build networks. If you have never written a diary, we will help you. Ask us anything.
  • Support the Dream Defenders is a community of Kossacks. We are an action group dedicated to supporting the passage of Trayvon's Law in Florida. Each of us is opposed to the Stand Your Ground law in Florida. We do not need to debate the merits of SYG laws or 2nd Amendment issues in our action diaries. If you want to argue, go start your own DK group and/or go write your own diary.

How You Can Help Support the Dream Defenders




  • Facebook and Twitter: Click the links at the top of the diary to "Like" us on your Facebook page. Use hashtags #TakeoverFlorida and #kt2 (Kossacks Tweet Too) on Twitter.
  • Diaries: Please recommend, tip, and comment in our diaries. Volunteer to write diaries for our group and republish to your Daily Kos groups.

Please consider making a donation to the Dream Defenders. Thanks for your support.

Originally posted to Support the Dream Defenders on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 04:21 PM PDT.

Also republished by Firearms Law and Policy, VAGV - Veterans Against Gun Violence, Shut Down the NRA, DKos Florida, notRKBA, and Black Kos community.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thank you, Lilith! (12+ / 0-)

    Join the Free Marissa campaign.
    Send Angela Corey a message on behalf of Marissa (you may also want to mention the shitty job she did in allowing Trayvon's killer to go free):

    Angela Corey, State Attorney
    Courthouse Annex
    220 East Bay Street
    Jacksonville, FL 32202
    Phone: 904-630-2400
    Fax: 904-630-2938
    Email: sao4th@coj.net

    Office of Attorney General Pam Bondi
    State of Florida
    The Capitol PL-01
    Tallahassee, FL 32399-1050
    Phone: 850-414-3300 or 850-414-3990
    Fax: 850-410-1630
    Email: http://myfloridalegal.com/...

    Office of Governor Rick Scott
    State of Florida
    The Capitol
    400 S. Monroe St.
    Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001
    Phone: 850-717-9337 or 850-488-7146
    Email: rick.scott@eog.myflorida.com

    Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

    by JoanMar on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 04:19:03 PM PDT

  •  I am in awe of Sabrina Fulton (10+ / 0-)

    She maintains such a calm demeanor beneath that steely resolve, all the while her heart has to be in tatters.  She is nothing short of amazing.

    I pray the judge at Marissa's bail hearing will allow her freedom until next year's trial, this woman has suffered far too much.

    Thank you, Lillith for bringing us this week's news on the SYG law.

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 04:19:23 PM PDT

    •  x 100 (7+ / 0-)

      We hold all the moms who face this daily reality... we hold them in our hearts tonight.

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 04:35:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sabrina is one classy woman, JD. (7+ / 0-)

      Such a contrast to the nasty hatemongers trying their darnedest to tarnish her reputation.
      In searching for info about her appearance before congress, I ended up on the Mediaite site. I was stunned by the unbridled hate directed toward the dead teen and his mother.
      To be frank, it was more than just hate for the family, it was hate for black people. Take a look at this quote:

      What a bunch of opportunistic pigs! Just like the tribal leader himself, the ‘father to the whole black nation’, Barry Hussein ‘the Hussy’ O’dumb’ass.
      Disgusting race of entitled, lazy, vindictive, aggressive, violently criminal animals!
      They were openly celebrating Trayvon's death.
      Despite losing her son, being thrust in the public's eye and having to face such in your face vitriol, Ms Fulton has been nothing but classy.

      Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

      by JoanMar on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 04:40:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Here's Sabrina at the hearing (6+ / 0-)
        The Grio
        WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 29:  Sybrina Fulton of Miami, Fla., mother of Trayvon Martin, testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on "Stand Your Ground" laws October 29, 2013 in Washington, DC. The committee heard testimony on "'Stand Your Ground' Laws: Civil Rights and Public Safety Implications of the Expanded Use of Deadly Force."  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
        Sabrina Fulton at US Senate Hearing October 29, 2013
        WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 29: Sybrina Fulton of Miami, Fla., mother of Trayvon Martin, testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on "Stand Your Ground" laws October 29, 2013 in Washington, DC. The committee heard testimony on "'Stand Your Ground' Laws: Civil Rights and Public Safety Implications of the Expanded Use of Deadly Force." (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
        Is it too late for me to add this image to the diary?

        "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

        by LilithGardener on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 04:49:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It is especially difficult to understand (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JoanMar, WakeUpNeo, LilithGardener

        why these types refuse to accept evolution when they clearly are a much much lower life form than the rest of humanity.

        It simply makes my stomach roil knowing the depth of hate from these cretins. They have created such a vile reality in which to live, but I find it impossible to even pity them.  [sigh]

        As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

        by JaxDem on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 04:52:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Those cretins were especially proud (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JaxDem, LilithGardener, WakeUpNeo

          of their hero, Ted Cruz, "taking it to" Ms Fulton.
          Of course, from what I saw, he didn't touch her.
          But to tell that to the hatemongers.

          Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

          by JoanMar on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 05:14:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ted Looz Cruise? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JoanMar, WakeUpNeo, JaxDem

            I was tempted to put in the video of Sabrina on MSNBC rebutting Cruz's lies, but I didn't want to sully the diary with his face.

            I wanted the diary to be about these beautiful and gracious mom's who we are blessed to know. Even as they must bear such heartbreaking loss they step up to serve others by raising their voices, standing tall, weathering the attacks that they know are sure to come.

            It's an honor to write about these extraordinary women.

            "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

            by LilithGardener on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 05:51:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Bottom feeders one and all. (5+ / 0-)

        Who on earth could say such things about a woman who's lost her son?  Entitled?  To what?  To the hope that she might see her son live into adulthood?  Do these people have no respect at all for her grief?  If nothing else, aren't they human enough to relate to that?

        I've been a witness to racism all my life.  (It's kind of inescapable when you were born and raised in the Louisiana of the 1960s and 70s.)  I thought I'd seen it all, but the George Zimmerman case has really opened my eyes to an aspect of it I hadn't fully appreciated until now.  It's brought out a special kind of venom and ugliness.  

        Disgusting.  Just disgusting.

        "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

        by FogCityJohn on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 05:14:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm afraid to say what I think about SYG laws (6+ / 0-)

          in Florida and many other states, and about the near absence of accountability for police shootings based on nothing more than "I thought a saw him reaching for a gun."

          I think they will go down in history as this century's form of public execution, that corresponds to last century's lynching.

          Last century it was a mob or a few men in the dead of night. This century it's almost anyone with a gun, the desire, and the a fact pattern that's pretty easy to arrange.

          "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

          by LilithGardener on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 05:40:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  That horrible comment sent shivers up (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LilithGardener, JoanMar, WakeUpNeo, JaxDem

        my spine. Who the hell thinks like that?? What a fucking asshole. I am revolted.

        "I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." -Susan B. Anthony

        by BadKitties on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 05:38:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Ain't it so (10+ / 0-)

    The whole women's issue gets buried so often.  Not that the men's issues aren't important, they CERTAINLY are!  They just tend to dominate the press and obscure the very real issues that women of color (and even those pale ones among us) deal with every single day.

    •  'Tis (6+ / 0-)

      Some brilliant Kossack whose name escapes me at the moment has the most wonderful sigline. Splashy. It might be Splashy's sigline.

      "Women create the entire labor force."

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 04:41:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bail for Marissa Alexander (0+ / 0-)

      Ms. Alexander's imprisonment for defending herself against her abusive partner raises so many troubling questions about our gun laws, violence against women, and race.

      Nest week, Ms. Alexander will have a bail hearing before the court in advance of her new trial on charges of assault with a deadly weapon.  Ms. Alexander has no prior convictions and I do not believe she has ever been arrested, and so cannot be considered a danger to the community or a flight risk.

      It will be the prosecution (Angela Corey et al) that will ask the judge to set bail and how much.  So it will be interesting to see what the prosecution thinks proper bail should be under these circumstances.  

      I think the prosecution is much more about racism than about the use of a gun.  I imagine the prosecution will ask that bail be set very high, and I imagine that is because of the role of race in this prosecution, not because of other legal considerations.    

      "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

      by Hugh Jim Bissell on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 08:49:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Very very good diary, LilithGardener. (5+ / 0-)

    Thank you.

    2

    (ps - hi all - sorry - gotta run)

  •  And here is Jordan Davis's Mom - Lucia McBath (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JoanMar, SoCalSal, WakeUpNeo, BadKitties
    The Grio
    Lucia McBath of Atlanta, Ga., mother of Jordan Davis, testifies during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on 'Stand Your Ground' laws October 29, 2013 in Washington, DC. The committee heard testimony on ''Stand Your Ground' Laws: Civil Rights and Public Safety Implications of the Expanded Use of Deadly Force.' (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
    Lucia McBath of Atlanta, Georgia - Mother of Jordan Davis
    Lucia McBath of Atlanta, Ga., mother of Jordan Davis, testifies during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on 'Stand Your Ground' laws October 29, 2013 in Washington, DC. The committee heard testimony on ''Stand Your Ground' Laws: Civil Rights and Public Safety Implications of the Expanded Use of Deadly Force.' (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

    "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

    by LilithGardener on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 04:55:17 PM PDT

  •  I guess what I don't understand is... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener, JoanMar, WakeUpNeo

    why some people can't grasp the simple fact that two of these women lost children. As a parent, stories about harm coming to children--any children, of any race--make me cry. It's universal, I thought. But these racists make distinctions. That's seriously fucked up, IMO.

    And the whole Marissa Alexander case was a travesty. She was defending herself against abuse, and didn't even wound the jerk!! Unbelievable.

    "I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." -Susan B. Anthony

    by BadKitties on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 05:44:37 PM PDT

    •  And now she is the most famous face of (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JoanMar, BadKitties, Chi, WakeUpNeo

      Domestic Violence and Criminal INJUSTICE in our country. She has been separated from her children now for 3 years thanks to Angela Corey and a thoroughly effed up system of laws, and sentencing guidelines, and inept (at best), misguided, or ambitious (in the worst way) prosecutors, juries who don't bother to ask questions about the law...

      heart breaking indeed.

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 05:55:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Dream Defenders are amazing. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LilithGardener, WakeUpNeo

        Thank you all for your passion and dedication in the face of enormous injustice. And prejudice =(

        "I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." -Susan B. Anthony

        by BadKitties on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 06:06:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They have inspired me (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BadKitties, WakeUpNeo

          and induced a notable shift in how I spend my time at Daily Kos. After joining this group and writing about them I suddenly lost my appetite for pie!

          And then Joan, 2thanks, DoC, a2 and other members gave me a taste of group diary writing, and ...  and the Firearms Law and Policy Group was conceived and born soon thereafter.

          "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

          by LilithGardener on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 07:27:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  What does the M. Alexander case have to do w/ SYG? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener

    The sentence was absurd, but it wasn't remotely a SYG situation.

    •  Thanks for your support. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LilithGardener, WakeUpNeo

      Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

      by JoanMar on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 05:59:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for your response (0+ / 0-)

        Like the vacuum of deep space.

        •  Last chance at bat (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JoanMar, 2thanks, WakeUpNeo

          Try this: stare at the top picture for awhile before you go to bed tonight.

          Stare at it again in the morning for awhile.

          And stare at it again every day until you understand this diary.

          Eventually it will click. Maybe not right away, maybe later, maybe it will click after you have children of your own.

          "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

          by LilithGardener on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 06:32:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You grow tedious. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          WakeUpNeo, LilithGardener
          Yet a judge rejected Alexander’s motion to invoke “Stand your ground” because she could have exited the home.
          http://ideas.time.com/...

          Yet, the cops initially decided against arresting the murderer (the same one you have been so zealously defending) because they determined that his was a SYG case. That decision to not arrest the murderer had a huge effect on the case in favor of your man.

          Not that I expect you "see" any of that as there is none so blind as those who think a young black man breathing is to be seen as a threat.

          Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

          by JoanMar on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 07:21:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Great question (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WakeUpNeo

      She's black, has three kids who don't have white skin, and they all live in the American state of Florida in 2013. Perhaps the connection between those dots will make more sense after reading this diary.

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 06:05:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Very clever tautology (0+ / 0-)

        The question is still begging.

        •  No (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          2thanks, WakeUpNeo

          I'll try again. Marissa's kids are at risk of being shot by some guy with a gun who "is in reasonable fear for his life or great bodily harm."

          In California this week it was the shooting of a 13 year old boy walking along minding his own business in broad day light, on his way to his friends house to return a toy gun (an AirSoft brand IRRC)

          The risk of having your kids shot is daily reality for many moms. Every. Effing. Day.

          Do you have kids?

          "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

          by LilithGardener on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 06:22:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The only person with a gun... (3+ / 0-)

            who put her kids life at risk was her.  I agreee that 20 years is a ridiculous sentances but she need go do some time.  If is getting a new trial, I think the time she has already served would be enough.

            •  Marissa's kids probably aren't even teenagers yet (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              2thanks, WakeUpNeo

              Thanks for dropping by DouginNYC. New Yorker here.

              Marissa's kids are probably still little, but they carry a heightened risk of getting shot nonetheless, just because of the color of their skin and the way SYG laws in Florida empower yahoos with a desire to play cop, or who just happen to be in a bad mood that day (see Mr. Dunn)...

              ... Or for any other reason they want to use their gun.

              The list of men getting away with killings is growing.

              This group diary is not about Marissa; it's about the Dream Defender's advocacy and the tangible effects of joining their voices with others who are calling for an end to racial profiling, the school to prison pipeline and for repealing SYG laws, among other things.

              Currently they are conducting a voter registration drive to register more than 65 thousand Democratic voters in Florida. Here are some links to learn more about who they are and why we support these bright young activists.

              Trayvon’s Law Part 1: http://www.dailykos.com/...

              Trayvon’s Law Part 2:  http://www.dailykos.com/...

              SYG Laws go to the UN: http://www.dailykos.com/...

              Trayvon’s Law (racial profiling): http://www.dailykos.com/...

              Trayvon’s Law (the school to prison pipeline): http://www.dailykos.com/...

              Who are the Dream Defenders: http://www.dailykos.com/...

              Dream Defender’s (pictures): http://www.dailykos.com/...

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              "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

              by LilithGardener on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 07:21:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  You make some good points (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              2thanks, WakeUpNeo

              Small quibble, we don't know whether her abusive husband has a gun. We only know that according to his testimony he didn't have one that day. Since he has lied under oath we don't have any reason to put much faith in his testimony, either way.

              I appreciate what you're driving at, that a gun in the home puts everyone at higher risk of injury and death. I also believe her case shows how challenging it is to use a gun for self defense against an intimate partner or a family member. (Most people who get shot are shot by someone they know).

              Perhaps it was too subtle in the diary; Marissa's kids remain at risk from a lot of other guns even while she sits in prison, even if this experience means she'll never allow a gun in the house again.

              But as I note below, the diary is not about her, it's about the heightened risk of being racially profiled, getting shot, or put in prison. All children of color face a heightened risk of having their lives taken or derailed by our criminal injustice system in 2013 in ALECAmerica.

              "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

              by LilithGardener on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 08:08:53 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, you contort the facts (0+ / 0-)

            and bring in a different case.  Not helpful.

            Yes I have kids.  Teenagers.  Like most kids living in a big city, they are at far, far greater risk of being shot by a some lowlife criminal than by some SYG gun nut.   That is particularly true for black kids.

            You'd never get that from reading this website.

            •  We're working to elect more and better Democrats (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              WakeUpNeo

              For example, see this comment upthread.

              We're having a lot fun supporting some really bright and energetic young activists in Florida. It's ok to be skeptical but  in 39 comments, 7 are yours, and 6 of them violate site courtesy guidelines. Please review the Daily Kos FAQ, DBAD and quit your harassment with persistent off topic comments.

              "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

              by LilithGardener on Fri Nov 01, 2013 at 10:37:56 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  How a straightforward question about the (0+ / 0-)

                major point of the diary is "off topic" bewilders me.  A straightforward answer instead of a lot of mumbo jumbo would have left my comment total here at 1.

                •  OR..... you could have bothered to read the diary (0+ / 0-)

                  That is usually is the easiest choice and the first choice for most people. My reply to your first comment was a subtle RTFD reply. No one else is responsible for your refusal to read the diary after being gently reminded to do so.

                  "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

                  by LilithGardener on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 11:28:09 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  There is nothing in your fucking diary (0+ / 0-)

                    that answered my question.  Jeez, is your brain encased in hardened uranium?

                    And now, with your series of non-responsive, condescending, and rude replies, you will accuse me of violating "site courtesy guidelines."  Bullshit.

                    You did succeed in squeezing one more response out of me.  But enough.  Go ahead, get in the last content-free word.

            •  Best they don't get shot (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LilithGardener, Be Skeptical

              at all?

              By anyone?

              That is particularly true for all of us.

    •  Ms. Alexander was denied "SYG" protections (4+ / 0-)

      The "Stand Your Ground" laws (SYG) say that if you believe you have no other recourse and need to use a gun to protect yourself from harm, you will not be prosecuted for using your gun.

      Ms. Alexander used a gun to protect herself against a husband who violently battered her in the past (legally documented), and who had made violent threats toward her while he was beating her at the time she defended herself.  Ms. Alexander told the court she was in fear for her life, and all the objective evidence says she had good reason to be in fear of her life.  

      Yet, at her SYG hearing, the judge ruled there was insufficient evidence to support a SYG defense for Ms. Alexander.  So Ms. Alexander is not allowed to use her gun to defend herself while she is getting beaten by a man with a history of violence.

      That is why this case is about SYG laws.

      "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

      by Hugh Jim Bissell on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 08:59:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Her situation highlights how confusing the law (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WakeUpNeo, middleagedhousewife

        is, and how unevenly it is applied. It also illustrates how crazy it is to imagine women can easily and simply pull a gun to prevent rape or assault.

        1. First, to satisfy SYG criteria would a woman have to have the gun on her person at all times. A problem with Marissa's defense (as I understand it) is that she didn't have the gun with her at the moment, and went to the car/garage to retrieve her gun.

        Does that mean in your own home if a situation is escalating you can't go and get your gun, that you usually keep locked in your safe? IOW, is it impermissible to stop what you were doing at the time you become concerned, and arm your self in preparation for self defense? That makes no sense but that seems to be a conundrum here. Do you have to be literally carrying your gun all the effing time in order to be entitled to use it for self defense in your own home?

        2. Most rapes and assaults are committed by someone she already knows, someone who has previously gained her trust in some way. Assault, battery, and rape are confusing traumatizing situations that often involve surprise and betrayal. In the moment the stress hormones are going full tilt, yet there might be a recent or long ago history of love with the person attacking her. Is it realistic to expect anyone to keep a perfectly clear head in such circumstances?

        3. It's extremely easy to cross the line from self defense into fighting.

        "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

        by LilithGardener on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 11:46:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  SYG vs. Duty to Retreat (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          WakeUpNeo

          One of the stated reasons or Stand Your Ground laws (SYG) is to nullify gun laws that refer to a "duty to retreat".  

          Before SYG law, many state laws recognized the need to use deadly force to defend yourself, but included wording the said gun owners had "a duty to retreat" before using a gun - that a gun owner MUST retreat whenever possible BEFORE using deadly force to defend themselves.

          Gun enthusiasts do not like the "duty to retreat" part of self-defense laws.  Gun enthusiasts pointed out that if one was defending one's home, one has already retreated as far as they should be asked to retreat, and saying someone who is in their own home must retreat before defending themselves wrecks the whole point of self-defense.

          Now Ms. Alexander WAS IN HER OWN HOME when she used a gun to defend herself against an ongoing violent assault.  According to gun enthusiasts and advocates of SYG laws, Ms. Alexander should be allowed to defend herself in her own home. and has NO DUTY TO RETREAT before defending herself.

          Now according to court testimony, Ms. Alexander was assaulted, ran into the garage, found she could not exit the premises from the garage, got her gun from her car in the garage, re-entered the house where her husband renewed his assault on her.  She then fired her gun.

          So why did the court rule that SYG does not apply in this case?

          "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

          by Hugh Jim Bissell on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 12:38:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you LilithGardener, and all who support (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener

    the Dream Defenders. They and you are doing amazing work.

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