As Ohioans are demanding justice, Ohio House GOP push “kill at will” legislation
This piece was written by Matt Nowling, who is a communications fellow for the Ohio Democratic Party and the president of the College Democrats of Ohio. He is from Columbus, and he is a rising senior at Denison University in Granville.
It has been inspiring to see people from across the world march for Black Lives and demand justice for George Floyd’s family. I have been especially energized to see folks from big cities and small towns demand reform to our criminal justice system. From Piqua to Middletown to Cincinnati, Ohioans are ready for change.
But as folks across the state demand reform to our justice system, Ohio Republicans are pushing a bill that would put Black families like mine in danger.
The so-called “stand your ground” legislation would allow a person to use deadly force, even if there is a safe and clear way to avoid danger. This sort of law was first implemented in Florida, and it has proven to be a clear threat to public safety. It was associated with a 32 percent increase in firearm homicide rates and a 24 percent increase in overall homicide rates.
These laws do not deter crime, but instead promote the escalation of deadly violence in avoidable situations, especially against Black folks. That’s why some progressive activists use the term “kill at will” when they talk about these laws.
Florida’s “stand your ground” law became infamous after it denied Trayvon Martin’s family justice and…