FL GOV. SCOTT REFUSED TO SUCCUMB TO HYSTERIA
When protesters angry over the verdict in the George Zimmerman case demanded that Florida Gov. Rick Scott do something about the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law, the Republican governor stood his own ground and said “No.”
Stand Your Ground was not an issue in the Zimmerman trial and Gov. Scott knew that. He also realized that the country was watching, and it required some serious political backbone to take a position that was hardly popular with the protesters or many in the media.
The governor met with several of the protesters, who reportedly wanted him to call a special session of the Legislature to repeal the statute, and he wouldn’t do it. In a statement to the press following that meeting, Gov. Scott noted, “The protesters again asked that I call a special session of the Legislature to repeal Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. I told them that I agree with the Task Force on Citizen Safety and Protection, which concurred with the law. I also reminded them of their right to share their views with their state legislators and let them know their opinions on the law.”
Rather than succumb to government by mob rule, Gov. Scott obviously gave the protesters a quick lesson in the real legislative process, no small feat when the crowd has broad media support that was hardly secretive about its sentiments.
A video of the meeting that was aired by MSNBC had Scott telling the protesters, “If you believe that stand your ground should be repealed, tell them why and give them your experiences and why if you believe that it causes people actually to do the opposite of what was the intention, give me your examples.”
Pressure on Scott started more than a year ago, leading him to do the right thing by appointing a task force to examine the SYG law. Public meetings were held around the state, and when it was finished, the task force concurred with the law.
A Navy veteran and graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Southern Methodist University law school, Scott is Florida’s 45th governor. He came to the Sunshine State in a roundabout way. According to his biography, Gov. Scott was born in Bloomington, Ill., but grew up in Kansas City, Mo. His father, a WWII veteran who served with the 82nd Airborne, was a bus and truck driver and his mother was a clerk at the JC Penney store.
Scott married his high school sweetheart, and the couple has two daughters, Allison and Jordan, and a grandson, Auguste.
The governor not only has a law degree, he also has a degree in business administration from UMKC.
He worked at the Johnson & Swanson law firm in Dallas for a time, and started Columbia Hospital Corporation with his wife. He also started the Conservatives for Patient’s Rights organization.
The governor has considerable experience working tough issues, and perhaps none have been so politically volatile as the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin shooting by Zimmerman, who was found not guilty of second-degree murder in July. That trial and verdict set off a chain of events that included protests and demonstrations across the nation. Florida’s self-defense laws fell under the spotlight, with the focus of anti-gunners being squarely on SYG, which had nothing to do with the actual case, but became a convenient target because the Left dislikes armed self-defense.
But after occupying his office for more than a day, the governor finally met with protesters and told them he would not go along with their proposal to bring back the Legislature to deal with the law.
The right of armed citizens to defend themselves in any place they have a right to be is a cornerstone of self-defense. More than half of the states have such laws, and Gov. Scott made it clear he would not throw his state law under a political bus. It was a courageous move that earns him recognition as the Defender of the Month.