In light of Trayvon case, Councilman calls for repeal of PA state law

In the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, Florida’s police department said their hands were tied by the state’s “stand your ground” self defense law and critics have vowed to push lawmakers to roll back those laws.

It was after public pressure and outrage that the shooter --neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman was finally arrested. (See earlier PhillyClout blog post.)

City Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. introduced a resolution today calling for the Pennsylvania General assembly to repeal its expansion of the “Castle Doctrine” law which went into effect last year and is similar to Florida’s “stand your ground” legislation. Council members Bill Greenlee and Marian Tasco co-sponsored the resolution.

“We’re asking the legislature to repeal that law because copycats are everywhere and so they are going to test the theory of whether or not you can be the aggressor based on some trumped up reason that you think you’re threatened,” Jones said. “We don’t know what’s going to happen in court whether the assailant will be found guilty or innocent. But I can tell you if he is found innocent  there will be replications of that and people will be fighting in the streets like in the Old West… and we can prevent that by repealing that now.”

“I believe in the [second] amendment and right to bear arms and all of that, but responsibly and deadly force should be your last and only option not your first preference,” he said. “The one thing about the Trayvon Martin tragedy is that it brought to light some of the senseless laws on deadly force and proliferation of guns in our society.”