July 21st, 2013
10:26 AM ET
1 year ago

McCain calls for review of 'stand your ground' laws

(CNN) - Sen. John McCain, who lost in 2008 to the first African-American elected to the White House, said President Barack Obama's speech about race relations was "very impressive" and agreed that "stand your ground" laws should be re-examined, including those in his own state of Arizona.

"The 'stand your ground' law may be something that may needs to be reviewed by the Florida legislature or any other legislature that has passed such legislation," McCain said on CNN's "State of the Union."

Arizona is one of 30 states that have such laws, which give individuals certain legal rights in cases of self-defense. The law in Florida has come under scrutiny recently during the trial of George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed teenager Trayvon Martin last year during a confrontation.

Asked if he thinks Arizona should review the law, McCain said: "Yes, I do."

"And I'm confident that the members of the Arizona legislature will, because it is very controversial legislation," he told CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley.

McCain said he didn't agree with fellow Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who argued Friday the Obama administration is calling for a review of "stand your ground" laws as a way to further its agenda against Second Amendment rights.

"Isn't it time for America to come together?" McCain asked. "I'd rather have a message of coming together and discussing these issues rather than condemning.

"I respect (Cruz's) view, but I don't frankly see the connection," he added.

Protesters stand up to 'stand your ground,' but laws likely here to stay

McCain said that while American society has made progress on racial issues, the recent tensions over the Trayvon Martin case have "highlighted the differences that remain."

"What I got out of the president's statement, which I thought was very impressive, is that we need to have more conversation in America," he said. "I need to talk to more of my Hispanic organizations in my state. I need to talk to more African-American organizations."

The longtime senator pointed to the economic disparities between African-Americans and other demographic groups, citing the city of Detroit, which he called a "wasteland," as an example.

"What's the majority of the population in the city of Detroit? Who suffers the most? Obviously we know the answer," he said of the city that filed for bankruptcy last week.

The main point that can be drawn from the president's speech on Friday, McCain said, was that "we've still got a long way to go."

"And I think the president very appropriately highlighted a lot of that...as only the president of the United States can," he said.

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Bessy

    @ Peace

    " they didn't find him guilty because of self-defense, which falls under Florida law, which is Stand Your Ground. "

    It would never have been a matter of " self Defense " IF HE DID NOT GET OUT OF THE CAR.

    July 21, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  2. Common Sense

    So what Raph. If you pull out your gun to shoot, then you could escalate the situation. Only 2 people were killed. If you intervene, then that could cause more loss of life. Your statement reinforces what many have said. Stand Your Ground gives a license to vigilantes to try to become law enforcement. Law enforcement are trained. I do not want some untrained person trying to play the role of cop. When a cop makes a mistake, the cop is liable for his actions. The NRA and others have tried to gun-toting people immune from prosecution. What happens if you make a mistake and hurt someone else in the process. If you hurt one of my family members, then I would not be understanding because supposedly you an untrained person was trying to say lives.

    July 21, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  3. Scott

    McCain is a self promoting liberal suck up. He is 100% wrong. There is no reason at all anyone should have to turn and run from an aggressor. Martin was the aggressor and he got what he deserved. There is no law against Zimmerman walking down the sidewalk in his own nieghborhood. There is a law against Martin attacking him.

    July 21, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  4. king

    you know what McCain probably the only repub that i could stand, even though he gets kookooo when election time comes around. but he thinks more mainstream and with more logic than any other repub. why should we give folks permission to go out of their home shoot someone and call it self defense. how much more guns will the repubs pour into our society by coming up with crazy gimmicks to flood our country with guns, another 5 years youngsters along with babies will be strapped walking down the street. i just want to know when does it ends

    July 21, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  5. gord

    stand your ground was meant to protect the rich.thats what republicans do .it backfired

    July 21, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  6. thadius shadrach

    MCCAIN IS a lovable old uncle,
    one of the most human guys in office,
    the suffering as a prisoner of war
    was great, he was humanized, and even
    though he is on the wrong side, old school
    ;principles still come through, along with the reason
    repuburats sometimes had in the past, until
    Barry Goldwater. .It shows here, and God bless
    him, and lead him to the higher Truth, he can
    change , everything does

    July 21, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  7. nx3pde

    This is the same guy advocating support for Al-Qaeda in Syria.What's his credibility?

    July 21, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  8. Fredsta

    McCain nails it! (God Forbid! lol) Collaboration is the winning strategy for US!

    July 21, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  9. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    McDoofus called a RINO by the Guns Over People tea potty in 5,4,3,2,1.

    July 21, 2013 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
1 2