Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, released a Mother's Day video urging viewers to press lawmakers to reconsider their support for controversial stand your ground laws.
"This will be my first Mother's Day without my son, Trayvon," Fulton says. "I know it will be hard, but my faith, family and friends will pull me through. This Sunday, I'm going to say a prayer for other mothers across America who share this unbearable pain."
Just like me, 30,000 mothers lost their children this year to senseless gun violence. Nobody can bring our children back, but it would bring us comfort if we can help spare other mothers the pain we will feel on Mother's Day and every day for the rest of our lives. I'm asking you to join Florida by calling upon the governor of your state to re-examine similar stand your ground laws throughout the nation to keep our families safe. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Happy Mother's Day.
Fulton has been in the national spotlight since her 17-year-old son, Trayvon Martin, was killed after a run-in with a local neighborhood watch member in late February. Martin was unarmed. Prior to the shooting, his shooter, George Zimmerman, reported that Martin, who was returning to his father's fiancee's home after a trip to the convenience store, looked "suspicious." The case has become a flash point in the national conversations around gun laws and racial profiling.
The video was made on behalf of the Second Chance on Shoot First Campaign, an organization seeking to change what it sees as dangerous gun laws around the country -- and the stand your ground laws in particular. Under Florida's Stand Your Ground law, a person can use deadly force to protect herself if there is "a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another."
It was that broad reading of the law that was believed to have prompted Sanford police to let Zimmerman go without charges after the shooting. After widespread outcry and some major changes in Sanford's police department, Zimmerman was arrested six weeks later and charged with second-degree murder.