Following the release of graphic video footage, the Georgia chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s volunteer networks, today released the following statement on the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery:
“While we’re learning more disturbing facts about this devastating shooting by the day, what we know for sure is that our community must do far more to stamp out racism in Georgia,” said Courtney Spriggs, volunteer leader with the Georgia chapter of Moms Demand Action. “As a former law enforcement officer, I’m sickened by the systemic racism and culture of ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ that has been encouraged by gun extremists and Stand Your Ground laws. Ahmaud Arbery should still be alive.”
“No one should ever have to fear for their life while jogging down the street, and there is no place in our society for racism or so-called vigilante ‘justice,'” said Angela Ferrell-Zabala, chief equity, outreach and partnerships officer at Everytown for Gun Safety. “We need to call out racism when we see it, and recognize the role that lax firearm laws play in making hate deadly. While we can’t change what happened, we can — and should — make sure that justice for Ahmaud’s family and community includes passing common-sense gun laws that can help prevent future tragedies.”
Georgia is one of the 26 states with a Stand Your Ground law. Stand Your Ground laws are associated with clear increases in gun homicides and encourage violence, often among perpetrators with violent backgrounds. In Florida, nearly 60 percent of people who claimed Stand Your Ground defenses had been arrested before. And when white shooters kill Black victims, the resulting homicides are deemed justifiable 11 times more frequently than when the shooter is Black and the victim is white.
More information about Stand Your Ground laws is available here.