Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 31, 2015

After Trayvon Martin Verdict, Durbin Pushes 300 Companies on ‘Stand Your Ground’ Laws

In preparation for a previously announced hearing on controversial “stand your ground” laws announced after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, Sen. Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., sent letters to more than 300 possible corporate backers of the American Legislative Exchange Council, requesting their position of such policies in states across the country.

Durbin may have a hard time getting Anheuser-Busch, BP, Comcast or the Koch Industries to file formal responses to Durbin about laws like the one that gained notoriety in the case of killed Florida teen Trayvon Martin, but Durbin’s going to try nonetheless, given that those companies back ALEC, which in turn pushed “stand your ground” laws. The letter, released by Durbin’s office, says the following:

“I write to seek information regarding your company’s position on “stand your ground” legislation that was adopted as a national model by an organization called the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC),” Durbin wrote. “In 2005, ALEC approved the adoption of model ‘stand your ground’ legislation entitled the ‘Castle Doctrine Act.’ This model legislation was based on Florida’s ‘stand your ground’ law, and it changes the criminal law regarding self-defense and provides immunity for certain uses of deadly force.

“Although ALEC does not maintain a public list of corporate members or donors, other public documents indicate that your company funded ALEC at some point during the period between ALEC’s adoption of model “stand your ground” legislation in 2005 and the present day. I acknowledge your company’s right to actively participate in the debate of important political issues, regardless of your position, and I recognize that a company’s involvement with ALEC does not necessarily mean that the company endorses all positions taken by the organization. Therefore I am seeking clarification whether companies that have funded ALEC’s operations in the past currently support ALEC and the model ‘stand your ground’ legislation.”


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  1. Demarcus Kennan

    Aug. 6, 2013
    6:48 p.m.

    This is only a start. We need to separate the white racists from their guns. We need to make sure that no further innocent black children get gunned down by vicious violent racist jerks like GZ.

    RIP Trayvon…the wonderful additions you could have made on this planet to the black family were stolen by a hateful racist white psycho who murdered you because of the color of your skin.

    • sevenbrokenbricks

      Aug. 7, 2013
      1:39 a.m.

      I call Poe’s Law.

      This is just believable enough to be satire and just satirical enough to be believable.

    • James Warren

      Aug. 7, 2013
      5:32 a.m.

      start my will never change the way it is now. in fact it is going to get worse before better. the only thing this is. is a start of people is FED up!! its never good for someone to die but tm was 17 he should have been thinking about that when he decided to attack a person that they never proved had his hands on him. and SYG had not a dam- thing to do with it. the lesson to to be learned here is keep your hands to yourself. you need to check up ..gun sales is through the roof. now before you attack you may want to get right with JESUS. the playing is over. i guess you was there like the rest of the hard headed ones talking junk. did you not watch the trial? at least george had a busted head and a broke nose to back his story unlike Simpson when he walked for double cold blooded murder. without a scratch. i am just so glad to know that tm got his wish..i read on his social media page (before they pulled it) he like to watch crackers bleed. i hope he got his eyes full that was the last thing he visioned. no bad wishes DEMARCUS but you could be the next one to get attacked …..then you may see this in a different light. SYG protects us all cowboy.

  2. TAR MAN

    Aug. 6, 2013
    11:30 p.m.

    “Ordinary citizens don’t need firearms, as their having firearms doesn’t serve the State” – Heinrich Himmler, 1938.

    • Nicholas DeLuca

      Aug. 7, 2013
      9:51 a.m.

      However, this is not Germany in 1938. This is the USA, 2013 and we have a gun violence problem.

      • JenniferGranholm

        Aug. 7, 2013
        11:44 a.m.

        None of my guns ever committed in violence. They are all well behaved and psychologically sound.

        But the US does have a problem with some violent subcultures.

        • Nicholas DeLuca

          Aug. 7, 2013
          12:01 p.m.

          Silly comment, Jennifer .. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. That is whay it is important to have comprehensive background checks so that people who would use guns for violent purposes , are not able to obtain guns. I know that most gun owners are responsible people, and I do not worry about you or them. I worry about felons, those adjudicated mentally ill, and those convicted of domestic violence.

          • chuckie2u

            Aug. 7, 2013
            1:05 p.m.

            Criminal minds do not bother with background checks nor do they register their firearms. Your local drug dealer can get you any weapon you want and they only want to see your money.

          • Nicholas DeLuca

            Aug. 7, 2013
            2:34 p.m.

            That is the standard NRA response. To be sure if somepne wants a gun badly enough, there are ways to get one. Do you know how many millions of prospective gun buyers were turned town when they tried to purchase a gun ? That is the other side of the NRA position. You might want to check it out.

          • sevenbrokenbricks

            Aug. 12, 2013
            9:19 p.m.

            People are still touting background checks? After the EEOC started suing companies for using them?

          • James Warren

            Aug. 8, 2013
            6:24 a.m.

            THAT! is why gun laws make no sense. criminals dont give a rats azz about a gun law…most of them carry guns so hot you could light a cigar with them.

          • Phil Ossiferz Stone

            Aug. 29, 2013
            4:51 p.m.

            Of course. Let’s give the same government that logs and monitors everywhere you call and everything you do online, that uses the IRS as a blunt instrument against its political foes, that launches wiretaps en masse against a free press, let’s give this amoral colossus access to even more private information. Nothing bad could possibly happen.

            The War On Drugs was and is a fantastic success. The War On Guns will be even better.

      • chuckie2u

        Aug. 7, 2013
        1:02 p.m.

        I think you are mistaken . We have a criminal problem that is supported by our Government via the neglect of social mores against those who rape, rob, murder and create violence against their fellow man. Self preservation take presidence over protecting those who perputrate violence.

        • Nicholas DeLuca

          Aug. 7, 2013
          2:28 p.m.


      • sevenbrokenbricks

        Aug. 12, 2013
        9:18 p.m.

        That’s what they said about Boston in the 1700s, around Germany in 1938.

        Statism is not a dead philosophy. It just smells funny.

        • Nicholas DeLuca

          Aug. 12, 2013
          9:54 p.m.


          • sevenbrokenbricks

            Aug. 13, 2013
            10:42 a.m.

            The opposition to the Second Amendment, ladies and gentlemen.

            Quick to dismiss an argument with their own brand of logic, and even quicker and louder to disavow that same logic when it no longer suits them.

            Gun control is, among other things, the idea that society is better served when someone rapes or robs or murders someone than it is when that someone dies trying. The Brady Campaign has been trying to distance themselves from that specific claim (“A rape is 30 seconds, but murder is forever / Guns are not the answer”) but unfortunately for them it is endemic to the gun control mindset in its entirety.

            It is not to be honored by any meeting of the minds. It is not to be respected as a mere difference of opinion.

            It is to be rejected, dishonored, and fought.

            I do not say ‘if need be, fought’ because defeat in this particular fight will leave you unable to fight for anything ever again – including your right to breathe anything but zyklon-B and lead dust.

          • Nicholas DeLuca

            Aug. 13, 2013
            12:16 p.m.

            IMO, the discussion is not about guns or controlling guns. It is about keeping guns out of the hands those who will not use them responsibly. I understand that guns do not kill people, people kill people. To that end it seems reasonable to prevent those folks from getting guns.
            There are millions of gun owners who handle and use their weapons in safe and responsible ways. And, have always done so. I have three guns, and I know that to be the case.
            It seems to me that the way to reduce gun violence is to keep weapons out of the hands of felons, those adjudicated mentally ill, those under domestic violence remands , and persons on the no fly lists.
            A comprehensive background check could do that. CBC works. Do you know how many potential gun buyers were denied guns as a result of the CBC?
            CBC law can be strengthened without violating the 2nd. Amendment.
            I am disappointed in the NRA and other Gun owner groups unwillingness to even talk about curbing gun violence. Such stridency serves no purpose .
            I think your claim that gun control is the idea that “society is better served when someone rapes , or robs or murders someone than it is when that some one dies. Is pure hyperbole and pareanoia and demonstrates the irrational stridency I mentioned.

          • sevenbrokenbricks

            Aug. 13, 2013
            8:57 p.m.

            And yet they will try.

            Note that they also talk about background checks as the answer to all of our criminal violence problems. This premise has a couple of major problems.

            First, weak background checks are not where most criminal use of guns come from. That distinction belongs to private party transfers from family or friends.

            Second, most of the denials that background checks accomplish is due to false positives like same names or data entry error.

            Third, these checks turn down a disproportionate number of minorities, especially African-Americans. Whether this disproportion is in the check or the population, the EEOC is pursuing lawsuits against businesses using them.

          • Nicholas DeLuca

            Aug. 13, 2013
            10:41 p.m.

            So I guess you are saying CBC will not work, can never be made to work and are not worth trying. What solution do you have to gun violence ?

          • sevenbrokenbricks

            Aug. 14, 2013
            3:38 a.m.

            Considering that gun violence is responsible for the defense and preservation of human rights and liberties at a rate of anywhere from 75,000 (per Violence Policy Center) to 2.5 million (per John Lott) times per year, while in the same span of time, the CDC reports 31,672 gun violence deaths per year, with 19,392 of them being suicides, 606 being accidents, and approximately 2,639 of them being due to law enforcement?

            At first, it ends up looking like not a damn thing needs to be done. As horrible as the Newtown massacre was, with 27 fatalities including the shooter, the same weaponry that made that as deadly as it was is why anywhere from 162 to 5,416 people weren’t murdered, raped, robbed, or otherwise.

          • Nicholas DeLuca

            Aug. 14, 2013
            2:40 p.m.

            I take that as definite NO to CBC.
            Here is an another “non-relevant” gun violence statistic for you to ignore, Since 12/14/12, the day of the Newtown massacre 7,130 Americans have died as a result of gun violence in the USA. The data are from the Slate Gun Violence Tracker. Cheers.

          • sevenbrokenbricks

            Aug. 14, 2013
            7:37 p.m.

            7,130 over 8 months? That’s almost one-third of the rate that the CDC data shows, and that was in 2010 – meaning it’s on the decline.

            That aside, though, can you tell me how many of those were suicides or justifiable homicides? Usually when someone talks about “gun violence” they can’t – or won’t – tell the difference between robbing someone at gunpoint, eating the business end of a shotgun to end the pain, or stopping a drug addict from raping oneself with two in the chest and one in the head. If the first is what’s on the decline, good. If it’s the last, not good.

          • sevenbrokenbricks

            Aug. 14, 2013
            3:45 a.m.

            But there’s another piece to the puzzle. The Newtown shooter himself, in his personal files found after the massacre, stated outright that he chose the school for his scoring run because there would be no other guns there – he would have a monopoly on force. When armed cops did show up, he killed himself.

            On top of that, the locations of theaters in the Aurora theater shooting have been analyzed and the results were that the theater he chose was not the closest or most populated, but it was the closest one that had posted signs refusing entry to armed citizens.

            That is why, when it comes to gun violence in the form of mass shootings, “gun free zones” are frequently pointed out as the problem, and definitely not as the solution. So if you needed to do something about the ‘epidemic of gun violence’ in this country, you could start there.

          • Nicholas DeLuca

            Aug. 14, 2013
            2:35 p.m.

            I take that as a no for CBC.

      • Phil Ossiferz Stone

        Aug. 29, 2013
        4:43 p.m.

        No we don’t. We have a hood rat problem. Nearly half the murders and better than half of all violent crime derive from black inner city men. Go to and look up the statistics for yourself.

        Oh, and we lost 323 people to rifle fire in 2011. Not evil nasty ‘assault weapons’, mind, but ALL rifles whatsoever. We lose more people to bee stings.

        • Nicholas DeLuca

          Aug. 30, 2013
          4:53 p.m.

          Phil…Clearly You are not interested in a reasonable discussion. I think there are sensible ways to have fair and effective background procedures that will help reduce gun violence and in no way impinge on 2nd. Amendment rights. The stridency and uncompromising nature of the NRA stance makes no sense to me. If options cannot be discussed nothing will happen . I am a gun owner and support the 2nd. Amendment.

          • Phil Ossiferz Stone

            Sept. 3, 2013
            2:33 p.m.

            I pointed you at the facts and I gave you the source. Nothing is more reasonable than that.

            And no, I’m not interested in any more small incremental steps backwards. Disarming and/or inconveniencing the law-abiding does nothing to reduce crime. It certainly has no effect on the gangsta thug subculture. Someday soon you may come to understand that, cocooned as you obviously are in your nice safe suburban bubble. Gun rights are not visceral to you; they are theoretical, optional, a thing to be weighed and debated in the abstract. That may change soon in the most horrifying way.

            You are a Good German for the likes of Feinstein and Bloomberg and the idiots that man the California state legislature — the people that want to turn me into a multple felon if I decline to register myself like a sex offender. I no longer have any patience with you or your simpering sweet reasonableness with the enemies of our Constitution. None. Good day.

    • James Warren

      Aug. 8, 2013
      6:07 a.m.

      that made more sense in 1938. you see in the news everyday where a ordinary citizen gets attacked by two,three, four or a whole gang either beat down or dead. i am one of them people with a honest heart and have no problem sending a demon back to he11 where he came from.

  3. Jack Deth

    Aug. 7, 2013
    3:43 a.m.

    “An armed society is a polite society.”

    “It’s better to be tried by twelve than carried by six.”

    “Only draw your weapon if you intend to shoot.
    And if you shoot. Shoot to kill.”

    “Gun Control is putting all six in the 10 Ring.”

    • Nicholas DeLuca

      Aug. 7, 2013
      9:49 a.m.

      Machismo !

  4. Edward C

    Aug. 7, 2013
    6:37 a.m.

    The funny thing that people cannot seem accept is GZ NEVER plead “Stand Your Ground”. He plead self-defense. It’s a fact. Apparently prior to GZ being charged someone warned the Martin family that if charged GZ could change his plea to Stand Your Ground and somehow the message became that he plead Stand Your Ground by the time the President made his speech. The only connection between the President, Illinois (as mentioned above) and “Stand Your Ground” occurred in 2004 when Illinois got a stronger Stand Your Ground Law – co-sponsored and brought to the floor by Illinois State Senator Barack Obama

  5. Cameiros

    Aug. 7, 2013
    8:43 a.m.

    Good on Durbin!
    Shine light on the corporate enablers of these idiotic laws.
    The American public is so enthralled by their guns that they vote in governments based entirely on their attitude to guns.
    Absolutely insane.

  6. electricjack

    Aug. 7, 2013
    12:14 p.m.

    A new idiot hunting for a reason to exist…useless seems to be the catch phrase for politicans from Illinois maybe its the water?

  7. chuckie2u

    Aug. 7, 2013
    12:56 p.m.

    The issue is getting down to survival of an individual who is attacked and fears for their life. We are hard wired by nature for self preservation which is a survival instinct and all the hand wringing by liberals won’t change the fact. It just so happens the bad guys in todays world arm themselves with weapons that go bang instead of knives,clubs,sticks and stones. The Governments emphasis should be in making the punks understand if they attack a person,break in their homes,try to rape or rob, that person has a right to defend themselves even if it means killing the attacker.

    • James Warren

      Aug. 8, 2013
      5:59 a.m.

      well put my friend…well put. anyone who is not in favor of stand your ground is a outlaw. like you said criminals arm themselves with guns. dont bring a flip to a gunfight.

  8. semby

    Aug. 8, 2013
    6:18 p.m.

    This is intimidation, he has a heck of a nerve doing this.
    We should send Soros a letter asking if he is anti-Israel.
    Slime Durbin!

  9. Masmani

    Aug. 14, 2013
    10:11 p.m.

    Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Patriot Party?

  10. JFP

    Aug. 27, 2013
    4:32 p.m.

    Durbin thinks he is so powerful and businesses will quake and cower at his intimidation. What a short, fascist, petty man he is.

  11. Jack Kelle

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    7:18 p.m.

    I recently finished working on an infographic that explores the history and some amazing statistics concerning this law from a visual perspective. I thought I would share it with you in the hopes you might make some use of it. Here’s the link:


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