Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush was not the only prominent Florida official to back Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, despite repeated warnings that it would be seen as a “license to kill” by gunmen like the Sanford, Florida, neighborhood watchman who stands accused of slaying teenager Trayvon Martin.
The rising Republican star of Florida legislature at the time, a young state representative from West Miami who in the next session would become the speaker of the state House, actively supported the “Stand Your Ground” proposal.
That legislator, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, is now being boomed by Jeb Bush for a place on the Republican ticket as the party’s 2012 vice presidential nominee.
Rubio served in the legislature as an ally of the National Rifle Association and a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council, the shadowy group funded by the Koch brothers to craft and promote passage of measures such as the “Stand Your Ground” law. In reviewing Rubio’s tenure, the Miami Herald noted: “Rubio had an ‘A’ rating by the National Rifle Association. Rubio voted for major NRA priorities such as a 2005 ‘castle doctrine’ law allowing people to use deadly force if attacked in their home or any place a person ‘has a right to be.’ Rubio also supported a 2008 law allowing most employees to bring guns to work, as long as they held a concealed weapons license and kept the gun in their cars.”
Two other ALEC members, state Representative Dennis Baxley and state Senator Durell Peadon were the primary sponsors of the “Stand Your Ground” law. Now—as African-American legislators are calling for the repeal of the measure—Florida media outlets report that “Baxley says it is worth revisiting to determine whether the law should be amended.” And Florida Governor Rick Scott, Jeb Bush’s Republican successor, has appointed a task force to consider changes to the “Stand Your Ground” law.
Scott says that, in light of the Trayvon Martin killing, it is necesssary to “thoroughly review Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law and any other laws, rules, regulations or programs that relate to public safety and citizen protection.”