by Lucia McBath
Over the past few weeks, people have talked endlessly about my son, Jordan Davis. Jordan was a really good kid who was warm and fun loving. OnNov. 23, 2012, Jordan, age 17, stopped with friends at a gas station in Jacksonville, after some Black Friday shopping. It was there, in the back seat of a red Durango, that I lost my son forever. He died after a dispute over loud music ended in a senseless shooting.
The gunman, Michael Dunn, was tried for the death of Jordan and the attempted murder of his friends. Dunn was convicted of three counts of attempted murder, but not for my son’s death.
Much of the debate over the shooting has focused on whether race played a role. Jordan and his friends were black; the shooter is white. While I understand the racial significance of this discussion, I believe the blame lies with the culture that emboldened Dunn to pull a loaded gun from his glove compartment and a law that encourages unnecessary violence. Florida’s “stand your ground” law is the reason my son is dead.
Florida’s permissive gun laws and its culture of “shoot first, ask questions later” is why a stranger shot my child. Instead of settling a dispute over loud music in a reasonable manner, Dunn overreacted. His actions were not only senseless, tragically, they also were irreversible. “Stand your ground” laws empower emotional people to end an argument with a gun, and until these laws are rolled back we will continue to suffer more senseless tragedies like the one my family has endured.
To read Lucia McBath’s column in its entirety visit the USA Today.