Ron Davis and Lucia McBath, the divorced parents of slain teen Jordan Davis, plan to come together to fight against Florida’s “stand your ground” law that has been the focus of national outrage over the past several years.
Many believe that the self-defense laws that are in place in dozens of states around the country are providing a cover for people to take out their aggressions against people of color. That was the case with both George Zimmerman and Michael Dunn in Florida, the killers of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis.
“I expect Jordan would expect us to do what we are doing. To be a champion, not just for him, but for everyone,” Jordan’s mother, Lucia McBath, told Reuters on Monday, nearly two weeks after Dunn, 47, was convicted on three counts of attempted murder, but the jury was hung on the murder charge.
The parents of Davis and Trayvon Martin will be to attending a rally to protest “stand your ground” laws after the Florida legislative session opens on March 10. The parents are to be joined by Nicole Oulson, widow of Chad Oulson, the Land O’ Lakes man who was shot and killed by a retired Tampa policeman in a movie theater in January after a confrontation over texting.
“What is reasonable to you? How gray is that?” Ron Davis, a retired Delta employee, said of the law. “What was reasonable to Michael Dunn was certainly not reasonable to Jordan. He didn’t reason that he was going to be shot and killed for what he said.”
Though Dunn claimed he saw Davis pick up a shotgun in the car after they got into an argument, the teens said they had no gun and investigators said no weapon was found.
The law “leaves it completely open to people to interpret what that means, and laws should be concrete and definitive,” McBath told Reuters.
McBath said her son always wanted to play his music loud.
“He’d say, ‘We aren’t hurting anybody,’” she remembered. “‘Let the music flow.’”
McBath, a Delta airlines flight attendant who lives in Atlanta, has become a national spokeswoman for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, the non-profit group that was formed after the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut in December 2012.
“She is very involved in our chapter in Georgia. She’s incredibly eloquent,” Shannon Watts, the group’s founder, told Reuters. “She truly believes this happened for a reason. She believes it’s her calling and what she’s going to dedicate her life to.”
McBath’s father, Lucien Holman, was the president of the Illinois branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and on the executive board of the national organization for years.
“I never expected that I would use those roots in this form and for this reason, but it is a very natural course for me,” she said.