Written by: Jessica Cooke
For the past couple of months, guns have been a hot topic in our society.
The discussion ranges from Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law to the introduction of guns on public campuses under the argument of self-defense. Although guns are accepted according to the law, those laws aren’t fair to citizens who use their guns respectfully or to citizens who abuse their gun rights.
In 2012, 32-year-old Jacksonville, Fla. native Marissa Alexander was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Alexander fired warning shots toward the wall of her garage while attempting to escape abuse of her husband.
Although her case is set for a July retrial, the court is looking to charge her with three counts of aggravated assault due to her husband’s two sons being in the room at the time the shots were fired.
Prior to this case were the cases of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis. These teenagers were shot and killed by two separate white men, one getting away with murder and the other serving time for only second degree murder. If Alexander is convicted of this crime, she will be facing up to 60 years in prison, which is almost equivalent to life.
How is it that she shot out of fear just like Zimmerman and Dunn, but faces the possibility of life in prison for not killing anybody?
Angela Corey, prosecutor for the State of Florida, worked on Alexander’s case as well as Zimmerman’s.
“She put a round in the chamber, and she fired that shot out of anger, not fear,” Corey said in the July 2013 issue of the Washington Post. “She didn’t need to use that gun. Those kids were scared to death. They ran for their lives.”
During her first trial, the court required Alexander to prove her case of abuse, but she was denied protection under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law. Alexander’s husband, Rico Gray, even testified and gave the same account of the events, but she has still failed to gain justice.
Among these cases lies suspicion of a racial and gender bias in today’s society. The issue stands out strong and bold, and our fellow citizens are striving to bring the issue to the attention of the justice system through petitions, social media debates and public riots.
It’s truly embarrassing to have troops participating in war, defending the same country that kills off the youth and has a justice system that fails to provide justice.
What honest protection is left for citizens now?
The justice system makes laws proposing murders and wrongfully makes convictions−or doesn’t make them at all. Nevertheless, by people making their voice heard and giving support to families who are victims to this injustice, the system could possibly change.
It’s strongly encouraged for every person and student to speak out and reach out.