(MILTON, FL) - The chilling details surrounding the murder of AJ Owens eerily reminds us that Florida politicians continues to uphold dangerous gun laws at the expense of the safety of all of us. While we are relieved that The Marion County Sheriff's Office has finally arrested Susan Lorincz, for the senseless killing of AJ, what we know to be certain is AJ deserved to live a full and healthy life.
Our state continues to see the use of 'Stand Your Ground' Laws to justify the horrific murder of Floridians. We would be remiss if we didn't mention the murder of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old child from Sanford who was shot and killed by an assailant, who successfully used stand your ground as part of his defense. Local police officials in AJ's case stated that the vagueness with which Florida Republican politicians crafted the 'Stand Your Ground' law, made it impossible to immediately arrest the white shooter in this case.
We are left with no option but to demand a special session to repeal Florida Statutes Title XLVI. Crimes § 776.012 otherwise known as the 'Stand Your Ground' Law. Florida has always had statues that allow every law abiding citizen the right to self-defense from both lethal and non-lethal harm. Law enforcement agencies are finally acknowledging how 'Stand Your Ground' prevents their officers from protecting its citizens and holding criminals accountable.
The Florida NAACP, the Human Rights Campaign, Equality Florida, and LULAC have all issued travel advisories to Florida. Democrats believe all Floridians deserve the freedom to be healthy, prosperous, and safe. We must elect leaders who make Florida a state where all are welcome whether your Black or Latino, native or newcomer.
Our hearts go out to the children, the parents, and all those who mourn the loss of AJ Owens. Please keep AJ's name at the front on your minds as yet another mother loosed her precious life to gun violence.