But little besides politics emerged from the session, held in the Senate’s made-for-television hearing room. Democrats, who hold majority power in the Senate and are trying to keep it, supported Sybrina Fulton’s call. Republicans, led by Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.), said the matter should be left to the states that passed the laws.
Said Cruz: “This is not about politicking. This is not about inflaming racial tensions. This is about the right of everyone to protect themselves and protect their families.” Cruz made reference to statistics that, he said, show that African Americans cite stand-your-ground laws in self-defense at least as often as whites.
Martin’s mother told the panel that she attended the hearing so senators can “at least put a face with what has happened with this tragedy.”
“I just wanted to come here to . . . let you know how important it is that we amend this stand your ground, because it certainly did not work in my case,” Fulton said, speaking without consulting prepared remarks. “The person that shot and killed my son is walking the streets today. This law does not work.”
Lucia Holman McBath, the mother of Jordan Russell Davis, implored the Senate to resolve the nation’s debate. Her 17-year-old son was shot and killed nearly one year ago in Jacksonville, Fla., when Michael David Dunn, 46, allegedly opened fire on a Dodge Durango with four teenagers inside after complaining about their loud music and saying he saw a gun and thus a threat. Authorities never found a gun in the vehicle, the Florida Times-Union reported. Dunn’s trial is set for next year.