As we reflect on the verdict of the Trayvon Martin trial and watch as cities across America deal with the range of emotions it has caused to surface, let the country and its lawmakers be mindful of how far ranging can be the impact of laws we create.

I am sure that Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law was intended to be the cure all that allowed common citizens to protect themselves from the criminal element, but in the recent case involving it, an unarmed teenager was profiled, stalked, and murdered for no good reason.

Could our country be doomed by the instant courage and huge boosts of adrenaline that common citizens feel when they have immediate access to firearms? I believe in the right to bear arms but that right should not supersede the value of human life.

I urge all Mississippians to carefully consider the great public danger and destruction of lives that lies before us if our state does not consider any and all laws that allow anybody to walk around in public with loaded guns strapped to their waists.

As Chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus, I pray today for all Mississippians, especially young African American males who are often the victims and targets of injustice.

District 21 Senator Kenneth Wayne Jones
Chairman, Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus