Stand your ground
We’ve used this stencil before for a commission on a wall in someone’s house but as we had only used it once and we need to fill all the walls in our studio building we decided to whip it out once again. This time though we thought we would try something a little different and incorporate a little thread to give the impression that the gun is going off.
The reason this came into being was because of articles I’ve read concerning America’s gun laws and specifically the shooting and subsequent death of black teenager Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman in a gated community in Florida in February.
George Zimmerman was legally carrying a concealed weapon when he shot Trayvon Martin and was released under Florida’s “stand your ground” policy, Mr Zimmerman was initially freed without charges, but due to outcry from many that included street protests which reminded many of the civil rights movement years before. This brought about the police chief being sacked and the prosecutor resigning. The stand your ground law expands on a centuries-old British legal principle that permits the use of deadly force in self-defence of your own home and also grants immunity from arrest, detention and prosecution. Due to the public outcry, six weeks later Mr Zimmerman was charged with second degree murder and is currently out on bail awaiting trial.
Professor Mark Hoekstra of Texas A&M University in Houston said making the use of deadly force permissible has come at a price. He studied its effect in 21 states:
“In terms of homicides, what we show…there is about an 8% increase in the homicide rate caused by these laws…that is about 600 additional homicides per year.”
Being from the UK we can only watch this kind of case and wonder. What on earth would London be like if people were legally carrying concealed weapons? We seem to have enough trouble as it is never mind if anyone over the age of 18 could legally buy themselves a gun…