McCain Joins Obama, Says It's Time to Review "Stand Your Ground" Laws
In a surprising move, Arizona Republican John McCain followed the president's example Sunday and called for a review of “Stand Your Ground” laws.
McCain spoke on CNN’s “State of the Union” program and urged Arizona legislatures to reassess the self-defense laws in response to George Zimmerman’s shooting of the unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin.
"Stand Your Ground laws may be something that needs to be reviewed by the Florida legislature or any other legislature that has passed such legislation," McCain said. “I’m confident the members of the Arizona legislature will because it is very controversial legislation,” he added.
"Stand Your Ground" laws legally allow a person to use force in the name of self-defense — without legally having to try to avoid a confrontation first. Although Zimmerman's lawyers didn't overtly cite the law in the trial, they did tell the jury to keep the legislation in mind, and Zimmerman was in part acquitted of the murder because of it.
Recently, President Obama also questioned the law, telling people to consider whether — had Martin been legally armed and feeling threatened — the reaction would have been the same if he had shot Zimmerman.
"Do we actually think that he would have been justified in shooting Mr. Zimmerman, who had followed him in a car, because he felt threatened? And if the answer to that question is at least ambiguous, it seems to me that we might want to examine those kinds of laws," Obama said.
McCain also emphasized the need for unity at this juncture.
"Isn't this time for us to try to come together? Isn't it time for America to come together in light of several weeks of what is really exacerbating relations between elements of our society?" McCain asked.