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A Lawmaker Lied and Trayon Martin Died | Rick Outzen

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A Lawmaker Lied and Trayon Martin Died | Rick Outzen

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A Lawmaker Lied and Trayon Martin Died
Monday, April 30, 2012 — Rick Outzen

The killing of Trayvon Martin has brought to light the role a Northwest Florida lawmaker played in the passage of the “Stand Your Ground” law that gave Martin’s killer the confidence to follow and shoot the teenager.

Former State Sen. Durell Peaden, R-Crestview, should be considered an accessory in Martin’s homicide. He sponsored the 2005 bill that empowered vigilantes like George Zimmerman to stalk their victims and shoot them when confronted. He created what has become a “hunting license” for cop wannabes like Zimmerman.

What is even more unconscionable is that Peaden based the bill on a distortion of the facts. The National Rifle Association wanted a law that gave immunity to any gun owner who felt threatened, wherever he was—home, yard or street in a gated community, without having any obligation to retreat.

If the NRA could get one state to pass the law, others would follow. A gullible lawmaker who had no fear of losing re-election was needed. Northwest Florida has always been the sweet spot for lobbyists. If they flash enough money, our state lawmakers whistle whatever tune is requested. The NRA had Peaden’s number.

Peaden based his sponsorship of the NRA-written bill on a lie. He told fellow lawmakers the law was needed to protect people like James Workman, a 77-year-old Pensacola retiree who faced prosecution for shooting an intruder who burst into his trailer in the weeks after Hurricane Ivan.

Tampa Bay Times reporter Ben Montgomery looked into the Workman case and found Peaden distorted the facts to help the bill pass by a 39-0 vote in the Senate and a 94-20 vote in the House.

The fact is that Workman was never arrested. The State Attorney’s Office ruled the shooting justified. However, Peaden and the NRA needed an emotional hook to justify their vigilante bill.

“Shoot at Will” is not nearly as palatable as “Stand Your Ground.” When the gun manufacturers that bankroll the NRA can make millions, why should facts get in the way? Eventually more than two dozen other states enacted similar laws.

Peaden will have to answer for Martin’s death on his day of reckoning, and the NRA leadership won’t be there to throw a party for him, unless they have parties in hell.

Rick Outzen is the publisher/editor of Pensacola's Independent News.

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Do you think we should have a trial first before we sentence Mr. Zimmerman? The problem with this case is that Zimmerman looks too Hispanic to really be useful to Obama's professional agitators. His re-election committee was hoping for a white white Zimmerman that would encite his base. Now Obama's professional agitators and you look like an angry mob that wants to deny a Latino his right to a fair trial.

Why is that the left media is continually trying Zimmerman in the press? And now we want to add accomplices assuming a conviction? The way the left has attacked this case is a disgrace.