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Grayson responds to Fla. boycott, questions ‘so-called rights’ to bear arms

Alan Grayson
Photo Credit Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

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Members of the Congressional Black Caucus are doing their part to exploit the outcome of the Zimmerman trial by adding their support to a boycott of Florida.

Jesse Jackson appeared Thursday on CNN calling for a boycott of the state, “to isolate Florida as a kind of apartheid state given this whole Stand Your Ground law.”

Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., begrudgingly came to the defense of the state he represents, but his words are sure to leave Floridians thinking with friends like this, who needs enemies.

Making little effort to hide his disdain for the constitution, he told The Hill on Friday: “The right-wing ideologues who control the Florida legislature couldn’t care less about a state-wide boycott. All they care about is the right – these so-called rights – for everyone to bear arms.”

Grayson acknowledged that a boycott would impact employment and business, before adding it’s “simply not what motivates the right-wing zealots who control the legislature in Tallahassee.”

The point of contention behind a boycott is Florida’s suddenly “controversial” Stand-Your-Ground law, even though it played no role in George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the death of Trayvon Martin.

In addition, according to the Daily Caller, the self defense law benefits black Floridians at a rate far out of proportion to their presence in the state’s population — nearly double — and the success rate of their claims exceeds that for Florida whites.

As for the boycott, Rep. Lacy Clay, D-Mo., told The Hill, “That’s probably the best strategy, because people understand dollars and cents.”

“And they understand, if there’s a significant drop-off in revenues – at conventions, at Disney World and Universal Studios – that that will get the attention of the powerful,” he added.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., agreed, calling the jury’s verdict “a travesty,”  and Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., is also on board, according to The Hill.

“I would support whatever it takes to get these stand-your-ground laws off the books,” she said.

Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., said boycotts are “emotional reactions” and have to be carefully considered. “The Florida legislature is not forward-leaning,” he added.

Possibly a good thing if “forward-leaning” means being bent over a barrel.

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Tom Tillison


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