Does the Walmart 1 Percent have a connection to the shooting of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed African-American teenager who was gunned down in Florida last month? Walmart, the largest seller of guns in the US, worked with the National Rifle Association to help promote the law that may be keeping Martin’s killer free.
Martin’s shooter, George Zimmerman, is protected by the so-called “Stand Your Ground” law, which permits the use of deadly force if an individual feels that their life is in danger. Where did this law come from? According to a report on Talking Points Memo, this law was championed by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
Minutes documenting a 2005 meeting from an old ALEC website provided to TPM by the Center for Media and Democracy and Common Cause show that Marion Hammer of the National Rifle Association (NRA) pitched model legislation to ALEC’s Criminal Justice Task Force. An old NRA update also documented the meeting. “Her talk was well-received, and the task force subsequently adopted the measure unanimously,” the NRA wrote in an Aug. 12, 2005 post on the NRA website.
We know that Walmart is a financial supporter of ALEC. But just how connected is Walmart to the “Stand Your Ground” legislation? According to a post from Media Matters for America, a senior Walmart executive was co-chair of the criminal justice task force that approved the proposal back in 2005.
ALEC’s Criminal Justice Task Force was co-chaired in 2005 by Republican Texas State Representative Ray Allen and Wal-Mart executive Janet Scott. Neither has had anything to say about ALEC’s Castle Doctrine despite being there at the creation. When contacted yesterday by phone, Allen claimed not to have heard about Trayvon Martin’s death. “I can’t say I’m familiar with [the shooting], I’ve been traveling for the last six days,” Allen told Media Matters. Allen left the Texas statehouse in 2006 and now runs his own lobby shop with the subtle name GovBizPartners. The Wal-Mart press office did not provide an interview with Jane Scott, Allen’s co-chair of the 2005 task force.
It’s not surprising that Walmart refused to comment, but the company probably can’t stay quiet for long. Already, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has written about the ALEC connection to the Trayvon Martin shooting. Meanwhile, Walmart is already under fire in New York City for being the largest gun dealer in the country. How long until more people connect the dots between Walmart, guns, and the killing of Trayvon Martin?
You can download a flyer about the connection between Walmart and ALEC by clicking here.