On August 1st, 2010, Marissa Alexander of Florida was at the house of her estranged husband to retrieve some items left behind after they had broken up. While at the house, she ran in to her husband, Rico Gray, whom she has a restraining order against. Feeling threatened, she went to retrieve her legally-owned gun from her car and fired a warning shot at a wall.
Some have argued that Marissa Alexander deserved to be convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, because she could have just left the house without shooting near her husband. However, Marissa Alexander had a strong reason to instill a sense of fear in her husband that she would not let him continue to harass her.
Marissa Alexander is being unfairly tried in an appeals court because of Florida’s strict gun laws. Marissa Alexander was a frightened woman who evidently feared for her life enough to acquire a gun, and the state of Florida is attempting to put her away in jail for using a gun for its purpose, to scare away harmful people. Shockingly, we have not heard as much outcry from the Al Sharpton-Jesse Jackson-MSNBC crowd about this injustice.
Because Mrs. Alexander actually used her gun to protect herself, the Left has all but refused to acknowledge her for fear of admitting that guns can actually protect people. While MSNBC and the Huffington Post have carried her story, their reporting has been minimal, and in a strange fashion for them, unbiased. There has been little outcry over this, but I want to bring the story to people’s attention. I ask that we as conservatives stand with Mrs. Alexander in her pursuit for justice.
This case illustrates the importance of keeping Florida’s stand your ground law in place. While I will admit that it is not completely obvious that Mrs. Alexander was threatened, there is a strong enough case to prove that she did feel threatened and needed her gun to protect herself. We should stand with Mrs. Alexander and demand that she receive equal protection under the law to protect herself from her estranged husband. One of the most important reasons for being able to own a gun is to protect one’s self.
There has been much talk in the past couple of months about how conservatives can reach out to minority voters. The Republican Party can use examples like this to reach out to blacks, hispanics, LGBT persons, and other minorities by treating them differently than Democrats do: as equals. We should stop assuming that any ethnic or sexual orientation group has different needs than another group. ALL groups can feel threatened at times, and ALL groups have a need to protect themselves. When we seek to limit access to guns, we are trying to disarm everyone–including minorities.
Stand with Marissa Alexander, and stand with the right to defend yourself.
Matthew Lamb | Loyola University-Chicago | @mlmb24