The Other Trayvon Martin

Sen. John Barrasso [R, WY]Sen. Roy Blunt [R, MO]Sen. John Boozman [R, AR]Sen. Richard Burr [R, NC]Sen. Saxby Chambliss [R, GA]Sen. Thomas Coburn [R, OK]Sen. Thad Cochran [R, MS]Sen. John Cornyn [R, TX]Sen. Jim DeMint [R, SC]Sen. Michael Enzi [R, WY]Sen. Lindsey Graham [R, SC]Sen. Charles Grassley [R, IA]Sen. Orrin Hatch [R, UT]Sen. James Inhofe [R, OK]Sen. John Isakson [R, GA]Sen. Mike Johanns [R, NE]Sen. Ron Johnson [R, WI] Sen. Jon Kyl [R, AZ]Sen. Mike Lee [R, UT]Sen. Richard Lugar [R, IN]Sen. Mitch McConnell [R, KY]Sen. Jerry Moran [R, KS]Sen. Rand Paul [R, KY]Sen. James Risch [R, ID]Sen. Pat Roberts [R, KS]Sen. Marco Rubio [R, FL]Sen. Jefferson Sessions [R, AL]Sen. Richard Shelby [R, AL]Sen. John Thune [R, SD]Sen. Patrick Toomey [R, PA]Sen. Roger Wicker [R, MS]

Though the above list reads like an obituary, it is actually the list of thirty one live men in the Republican Senate who voted no to the Reauthorization of Violence Against Women Act.

In 2010 Marissa Alexander was being physically assaulted by her husband. She had given birth nine days earlier to premature baby girl who was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the local hospital. Her husband’s two sons were in the home at the time. The husband, Rico Gray, admitted that he was a serial batterer of his wife. In his deposition, he recounted the  following: “And the third incident (with Alexander) we was staying together and I pushed her back and she fell in the bathtub and hit her head and I– you know, by the time I ran downstairs and got in my car to leave, you know, that’s the time I went to jail, the police picked me up down the street.”

During his deposition, Gray admitted that he threatened his wife’s safety on the day she fired the gun into the ceiling. He agreed that she never pointed the gun at him or the two children and admitted that, after she told him to leave her house and he refused, she discharged the gun into the ceiling and no one was hurt. He later called the police and told them what had happened.

Based upon his complaint, Marissa Johnson was found guilty of assault with a deadly weapon and faces a twenty year mandatory minimum prison term. The charge asserts that she placed the life of her abuser and his two children at risk. A twenty year minimum is the statute. This is the sentencing guideline for Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law. 

Stand Your Ground is a law that was legislated to promote a specific agenda for a specific political lobbyist. That lobbyist is the National Rifle Association (NRA)which has very safe haven in Conservative political quarters. It is the ridiculous law that allows a hunter to pursue human prey, huffing and puffing and pledging to shoot the prey while in hot pursuit, demonstrating no fear for his life but he gets the option to post bail, pending trial. It is the ridiculous law that has imprisoned Marissa Alexander, while she awaits a possible incarceration term 20 years, without offering her the opportunity to post bail.

The obituary list shows us which Senators officials are opposed to protecting women against violence. It also shows us which of them either support stand your ground or have failed to speak out against the inherent flaws in this NRA sponsored law.

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