The mothers of two Florida teenage boys slain by gunfire were slated to testify about their opposition to their state’s infamous “Stand Your Ground” law in a Capitol Hill hearing scheduled for Tuesday morning. But the mass shooting at the Washington Naval Yard the day before, a short distance away from the Capitol building, prompted Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois to postpone the hearing before the Senate Judiciary’s subcommittee.
Sybrina Fulton and Lucia McBath–the mothers of the late Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis, respectively–were invited to testify, along with scholars on the subject of gun crime. The symbolism was not lost on McBath’s attorney, John Phillips, as he noted that a deadly incident involving firearms caused the postponement.
“I can’t even put it into words how bitterly ironic and significant that is that we were all delayed [on our way to a gun-control hearing] because of a shooting in D.C.,” Phillips told Yahoo! News. The hearing has yet to be rescheduled.
Watch host Melissa Harris-Perry’s open letter after Jordan Davis’ shooting death, and read about the questions it immediately raised about Florida’s “stand your ground” law. Harris-Perry also interviewed Davis’ parents during the March on Washington commemoration last month about their gun-control activism.
Below, Harris-Perry’s essay from last weekend on gun deaths, introducing our discussion on gun politics.