On “Inside Her Story” this morning, Jacque Reid talked to Jordan Davis‘ mother, Lucia McBath. McBath says that despite the outcome of the Michael Dunn trial she still believes justice will be done and she forgives her son’s killer. Here is their conversation:

JACQUE REID:  You know, many of us are still trying to process the verdict in the Michael Dunn trial. Dunn used “Stand Your Ground” as his defense against shooting and killing Jordan Davis because Davis and his friends were playing loud music in their car. Now that the jury deadlocked forcing a mistrial on murder charges against Dunn, a new trial is set for the future. Meanwhile, a mother, who lost her son, is working to make sure other mothers don’t suffer the same pain. I’m going Inside Her Story with Jordan Davis’s mother Lucia McBath. Good morning, Mrs. McBath.

TOM JOYNER:  Oh, bless your heart.

LUCIA MCBATH: Good morning, good morning.

TOM JOYNER: Bless your heart, Mrs. McBath.

Jacque: Now you are still in DC this morning and you were there for President Obama’s announcement yesterday about My Brother’s Keeper initiative, which is about finding more ways to create pathways of success for boys and young men of color. Did you get an opportunity to meet with President Obama yesterday? I know there was a lot going on.

Lucia: Oh, there were so many people there. I didn’t get a chance to shake his hand, but we were sitting just two rows from him. So it was just so exciting to be a part of history and to see him in person. I was just extremely encouraged by yesterday’s events.

Jacque: The parents of Trayvon Martin were also there, and I know that you all had been in touch through what you had been going through with your son and the trial and everything. How helpful had they been through all of this?

Lucia: They have been extremely encouraging. You know, we have always been talking back and forth, texting back and forth, and particularly during our trial. Our communication was a little bit more rapid and increasing. And they were with us yesterday; we sat right next to them yesterday. And I think that, you know, it’s kind of like collation building for the two families, that we’re going to be working together, working very closely, going forward towards really making some change with the laws so that, you know, no other family has to suffer the way we have.

Jacque: Now I know next month you guys are going to be addressing the state legislature about Stand Your Ground. Do you think that law will ever go away?

Lucia: It will. It will have to. There’d be so much public pressure, and public opinion, definitely, about the law beginning to change, the more that each state individually knows about the law. The citizens are learning about the laws in their individual states. It’s going to have to change. t’s a matter of just changing the culture. We have to change the gun culture in the country. Once we change the mindset it will happen. It’s not going to happen overnight, but it will happen.

Tom: Will we see you March 10th in Tallahassee?

Lucia: Yes, sir. I will, we will be there. We’ll definitely be there; we will not miss that for the world.

Tom: Tell your husband I’m going to hug you real tight.

LM: Okay.

Tom: I’m going to hug him too.

Lucia: (Laughs)

Jacque: Mrs. McBath, let me ask you for those out there dealing with various difficult times. How are you able to forgive Michael Dunn? You said publicly that, you know, you wouldn’t forget what he did, but you were able to forgive him.

Lucia: My faith in God, because God commands us to, no matter how heinous we’re treated by others. You know, that, what he has done, he has to deal with that issue, what he’s done, with God. mean that will be his discussion, that will be his heritage, his legacy, that he will have to deal with, with God. I’ve done what I am commanded to do, because I really do feel sorry for him. I know people think that I’m crazy when I say that, but I really do feel sorry for him.

Jacque: I think it’s commendable.

Tom: I know your husband doesn’t feel the same way.

Lucia: No, he does not. Ron does not feel the same way. But, you know, I also look at it too is that, you know, from a male/female perspective, you know, it’s going to be a little bit different. And he has to handle that the way that he needs to. I believe that he will in some time because he is a God-fearing man. I believe at some time he may, but he has to, you know, work through that process on his own.

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4 thoughts on “EXCLUSIVE: Inside Her Story – Lucia McBath Talks Forgiveness and More

  1. Guns are on the front burner again, there is no 2nd amendment right to own a gun. Why aren’t we debating that THE 2ND AMENDMENT THE GUN CONTROL DEBATE WILL GO NO PLACE UNTIL THE 2ND AMENDMENT HAS BEEN FULLY DEBATED. “[THE} GOVERNOR {IS} CONSTITUTIONALLY THE COMMANDER OF THE MILITIA OF THE STATE, that is to say, of every man in it able to bear arms.” Thomas Jefferson to L.C Destutt de Tracy,1811. i.e. The 2nd amendment is a military document whereas the Governor gets his constitutional right to possess a national guard within his state. Nothing to do with an individual right. Subject: A Superb article about guns and the 2nd amendment

    The debate on gun control will go nowhere until the debate on the 2nd amendment has concluded. Some are doing an enormous dis-service to the US public. I think they might be a little over their head as far as knowledge of our constitution. I am sending an article about gun ownership and the 2nd amendment. The article of many by Marc Rubin which I believe the media would be wise to invite him on their program. It would send the debate into

    new territory which would provide an exciting new slant on the subject.

    There is no 2nd amendment right to own a gun and there never was
    •By: Marc Rubin. There’s been a lot in the news lately about the Obama Justice Department supposedly wanting to take away peoples 2nd amendment rights. And the issue of illegal guns going to Mexico and contributing to the gang violence has brought up discussions as to whether actions proposed by the Justice Department might be violating 2nd amendment rights. Obama in his recent press conference with the President of Mexico, in answer to a question about banning assault weapons said he thought they could do it and “still respect the 2nd amendment right to bear arms”.

    And just the other day the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in a case involving Alameda County in California that the 2nd amendment applies to individuals. They were wrong.

    Every so often the discussion of the 2nd amendment crops up as it’s doing now and the same people make the same mistake and show the same ignorance regarding the 2nd amendment.

    Publicly there are few politicians or people in the news media well versed enough in the Constitution to get it straight. That and the fact that most of them are afraid of getting a lot of angry letters from people who don’t want to hear that truth or politicians who are afraid that speaking the truth will cost them votes and typically politicians and journalists always take the cowards’ way out. But the plain truth is, once and for all, the 2nd amendment has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with an individual’s right to own a gun. And never did. There is no Constitutional right to own a gun.And there never was.

    Not that I’m a proponent of confiscating people’s guns. Or banning them. I’m not. There is not a shred of evidence anywhere to show that guns owned and registered by law abiding citizens are any threat at all to the public welfare and most statistics prove it. Drunk drivers are literally hundreds of thousands of times more dangerous and more of a threat to public safety than anyone legally owning a gun. But for gun enthusiasts and politicians to keep trying to hide behind the 2nd amendment doesn’t do anyone any good. It just promotes the kind of dishonesty as well as public ignorance and pandering by politicians that most citizens are tired of. It also shows an unwillingness by politicians and the press to simply be honest.

    Whatever laws we have in this country governing guns is and always has been the result of political will and acts of congress, not the 2nd amendment. This is why the NRA has a very effective lobbying effort. If the 2nd amendment had anything to do with an individual’s right to own a gun they wouldn’t need lobbyists and would save a lot of money. But political will is also why Congress will never pass a law banning individual ownership of guns. There is no political will by any political majority to do so and probably never will be.

    The fact that Obama “agrees” with a 2nd Amendment right to own a gun just shows again, how either Constitutionally ignorant or willfully ignorant politicians can be, which is an utter disgrace considering their position. As far as most citizens are concerned, they simply believe what they read or what they are told. It’s not up to them to be researching the Constitution to learn what it really means, but it is up to someone like the President and other members of Congress who swears to uphold and defend it to know what they are talking about. Which they clearly don’t.

    People ignorant of the Constitution which unfortunately includes the President, along with many members of Congress and the press, seem to refuse to read the 2nd amendment as it was written. And to acknowledge that the Constitution and the people who wrote it and founded this country were the greatest collection of geniuses in the principles of self government this country ever had at one time in one place. When you acknowledge that, then you take the words they wrote and argued over, debated and ratified in the Constitution seriously. And you don’t try to pretend they mean something they were never intended to mean to suit your purposes. They knew what they were doing. They knew what they were saying. And they knew what every word of that amendment meant ( as well as everything else in the Constitution). And every word in the 2nd amendment means the same thing today that it meant in 1789 and in all the years in between.

    The fact that the 2nd amendment has nothing to do with an individual’s right to own a gun is not a secret. Former Chief Justice Warren Burger, Chief Justice during Nixon’s term wrote that “the idea that the 2nd amendment has anything whatsoever to do with an individual’s right to own a gun is the biggest Constitutional hoax ever perpetrated on the American people”.

    And if you don’t want to take Burger’s word for it, there is one other important group that knows the 2nd amendment has nothing to do with an individual right to own a gun. The NRA knows it. More about that later.

    There is a philosophical approach in applying the constitution that ironically enough is the conservative approach and it’s called “original intent”. Where the original intent of the framers is known and is clear, where their words and what they meant and intended are clear, there can be no other interpretation of a particular clause, provision, article or amendment other than what the framers meant and intended. Nowhere is that clearer than in the second amendment. And while there are many, many ways to prove the 2nd amendment has nothing to do with an individual’s right to own a gun (all of which I will provide), all it really takes to understand the amendment is what you were taught by Mrs. Applecheeks, your 4th grade English teacher when you learned how to conjugate a sentence with a subject and a predicate.

    But the first thing you need to know about the 2nd amendment is something very few people know: it was written, rewritten and revised 7 times. That’s right, 7 times. There were 7 versions of the 2nd amendment, and they are all available to be seen in the Library of Congress.

    The 2nd amendment is only one sentence yet the Founders took the time to debate every word. And revise it seven times. And so, as a result of their debates and a desire to be abundantly clear, they changed a word here, another one there, added and deleted, until they arrived at the final version, to make sure its meaning was crystal clear and would endure. And so as a result of their debates they revised it seven times until there was unanimity. They did not rewrite it seven times so people could pick and choose what words they wanted to hear and ignore the rest. Or make them mean what they wish they meant.So keep in mind that every single word was important to the Framers and what they intended. Every word.

    The amendment reads: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”.

    Read the whole sentence not just part of it and go back to your fourth grade English class and how to conjugate a sentence. The subject of that sentence, and therefore the amendment, is ” a well regulated militia” not “the right to bear arms”. The subject is the militia and the modifier is “necessary to the security of a free state” which is the purpose of the amendment.

    The 2nd amendment is about giving the states an absolute right to have their own armed militias which today has been transformed into the National Guard. It also guarantees that the states have the right to have the same weapons as a federal army, a right in existence today and has always been, since the National Guard of every state does have most of the same weapons that the Federal army has. National Guard units have tanks, they have fighter jets. They have bombers. And it’s why National Guard units have been fighting in Iraq since 2002. The 2nd amendment guarantees the right of the states to have them. It is also what allowed the states of the Confederacy to have the weapons to fight a Civil War.

    If you think the amendment gives an individual the right to have those weapons try putting a tank in your backyard. And keep in mind the entire amendment wasn’t written so that it could be diced and sliced with words ignored to suit someone’s purpose. The amendment means what it says.

    The next line refers to ” the right of the people…”.

    For those who don’t know there are two types of rights enumerated in the Constitution, states rights and individual rights. As any Constitutional scholar will tell you, when the Framers were referring to a state’s right they used the term “the people:”. When they were referring to an individual right, they used the word ” person”. The 5th amendment is a good example. It begins with the words, “No person shall…” and lays out guarantees, among them, double jeopardy and that no person in a criminal case shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.

    Once you understand who the Framers are referring to when they say “the people”, which is a collective for the individual states, and not referring to an individual right, it’s time to deal with the most misused and misunderstood part of the 2nd amendment – the words “to keep and bear arms”.

    Unfortunately for President Obama, Lou Dobbs, Joe Lieberman and others in congress and the media who badly and ignorantly misuse the phrase, “to keep and bear arms” doesn’t mean the right of an individual to own a gun. At least not in terms of the Framers intended with the 2nd amendment. It doesn’t mean the right to go hunting or take target practice or to shoot an intruder. It has nothing to do with an individual’s right of self-defense (though it doesn’t speak against it either). And it didn’t mean the right to strut down the middle of Dodge City wearing six guns. If it did Wyatt Earp wouldn’t have been able to arrest anyone who did and confiscate their guns because Earp banned them from Dodge City and no one ever accused Wyatt Earp of violating the Constitution.

    First the term “arms” meant something very specific to the Framers who wrote the 2nd amendment in 1789 and it meant the same thing to them as it means now and that it has meant all through history.

    The word “arms” in the 2nd amendment means one thing and only one thing. And it doesn’t mean the right to have a gun you have in your house. It means weapons of war. Military weapons of war.

    The “right to keep and bear arms” means that the Constitution is guaranteeing the states not only the right to have their own militias or military, but the right to “keep” their own weapons of war. “Arms” didn’t just mean guns. It meant cannon. It meant swords and bayonets, cannon balls, powder, even war ships. “Arms” meant anything that could be used as a weapon of war. And it guaranteed the right of the individual states to have any weapons they wished, including the same military weapons as the Federal army. That guarantee is made clear in the last clause. As everyone knows there is a big difference between someone who owns a gun store and someone who is an “arms” dealer. And arms dealer is in the business of selling military weapons.

    But the meaning of the word “arms” isn’t the only thing in the 2nd amendment that people get wrong. They also don’t know the meaning of the term ” to bear arms” which also had a very specific meaning to the Framers in 1789.

    “To bear arms” didn’t mean to show them off. It didn’t mean to go hunting or to use them to defend against a burglar despite what Lou Dobbs, President Obama and some Constitutionally challenged Congressmen think. “To bear arms” meant only one thing to the Framers It meant to go to war.

    The Founding Fathers in the 2nd amendment guaranteed the right of the individual states not only the means but the right to go to war and defend themselves both against the possibility of a future President deciding to become a tyrant and using military force to give himself dictatorial powers, or to defend themselves against a foreign enemy that might invade the shores of New York, Massachusetts, or New Jersey. It guaranteed that the states had both the means (” the right to keep…”) and to use them, (to “bear arms”,)to defend themselves without having to depend on a Federal Army to do it for them or against a Federal army itself if that became “necessary to the security of a free state”.

    If the Founding Fathers had intended the 2nd amendment to be about the right of an individual to own a gun they would have said so.And they didn’t.

    The final clause could be the most important because it impacts every gun law on the books. The clause says the right granted in the 2nd amendment “shall not be infringed”.

    “..shall not be infringed” means just that. It doesn’t mean ” shall not be infringed except sometimes..”: or “shall not be infringed unless we want it to be”, or “shall not be infringed unless we decide there is a good reason to infringe upon it”. It means the right granted in the 2nd amendment cannot be diminished, restricted, reduced, or encroached upon in even the smallest way.

    We all know what “fringe” means and where the fringe is — on the outer edges of something. And the amendment makes clear you cant encroach upon the right granted in the 2nd amendment even there, on the fringe.

    The 2nd amendment is only about a state’s right to have its own army and for that army to have any weapons it chooses, and that the Federal government cannot interfere with that right in any way. And that has been the case since 1789.It has never applied to an individual. And was never intended to.

    If the 2nd amendment had anything to do with an individual’s right to own a gun, the clause. “shall not be infringed” would make every single gun law on the books, and any restriction of any kind unconstitutional. The NRA knows this and knows both the “infringement” clause and the entire amendment has nothing to do with an individual’s right to own a gun. Otherwise they would have challenged gun laws a long time ago on the grounds they violated the “infringement” clause of the 2nd amendment.

    New York city’s concealed weapon law is a perfect example. You cannot carry a concealed gun in New York city unless you are issued a permit by the police department. Just the requiring of a permit would certainly be an “infringement” of a 2nd amendment right “to keep and bear arms” according to the Constitution if it related to individuals. But even more than that, 90% of the people who apply for the permit get rejected. You don’t get the permit unless the police department decides you can have one. And they decide most can’t.

    That doesn’t sound like a Constitutional right “to keep and bear arms” that hasn’t been infringed upon to me. And no one knows this better than New York Giants former star receiver Plaxico Burress who is was arrested, arraigned and is now looking at a 3 year mandatory jail sentence for accidentally shooting himself in the leg with a concealed hand gun he was carrying without a permit. Burress certainly has the financial means to challenge the law on Constitutional grounds and he certainly has the money to pay good lawyers but no one has even remotely suggested that they will challenge the New York City law on 2nd amendment grounds or that the law is a violation of the “infringement” clause. And for good reason. They would lose.

    So the NRA and their very smart lawyers have never brought suit against any state or municipality or against the Federal government challenging any restrictive gun law on the grounds that its unconstitutional and violates the rights granted in the 2nd amendment or the ” infringement” clause in particular.

    And if you are thinking “what about the DC gun ban and the Supreme Court decision”, even before it had been decided, constitutional experts and lawyers knew it had nothing to do with the 2nd amendment because DC is a special case and whatever the Supreme Court decision was going to be, it wouldn’t impact the 2nd amendment debate. DC is not a state. DC is essentially funded by Congress. They don’t even have a say in the election of the President. They stand outside anything that refers to states rights in the Constitution because it is not a state and the 2nd amendment is a states right issue, not an individual rights issue. The DC ban against hand guns ( which Obama was for before he was against) didn’t decide any 2nd amendment issues.

    The last thing to keep in mind with regards to “original intent”, is to understand America in 1789 which is something Justices do when they are deciding a constitutional issue where the legislative history isn’t known. They take everything into account to try and ascertain the intent of the Framers and the context in which the Constitution was written.

    America in 1789 was 90% rural. And in 1789 America just about everyone in the Colonies owned a firearm. They used them to hunt. They used them to defend themselves against Indian attacks. They were a tool as basic to American life in 1789 as a lawnmower is now to the suburbs.

    Owning a gun in 1789 America was common. It wasn’t controversial. And you can be sure that the greatest minds in self government the country ever had didn’t spend all that time debating and rewriting an amendment 7 times that gave people the right to own a lawnmower.

    Again, this has nothing to do with taking away people’s guns. There is no reason to. The problem in this country isn’t guns owned by law abiding citizens, its illegal guns that do the damage and laws need to be passed to address that, not restrictions on citizens who obey the gun laws already on the books. There should be some mandatory gun training on how to use a gun for anyone who wants one, just the way you have to pass a drivers test to get a license to drive to cut down on accidents and other public safety issues. But the gun problem in America is illegal guns.

    And an illegal gun means just one thing — a stolen gun or a gun obtained fraudulently.

    There should be laws requiring a gun owner to report a lost or stolen gun within 24 hours to local law enforcement and any gun owner who has a gun lost or stolen twice in a year should have their licenses revoked. Mandatory security measures for gun dealers and shops could also be initiated to cut down the frequency of stolen guns. And additional jail time, stiff jail time should be imposed on anyone in possession of an illegal gun.

    If politicians who are Constitutionally challenged would stop misusing phrases like” to keep and bear arms”, clearly not having the slightest idea of what the clause really means, and what the Framers were talking about, maybe more time would be spent dealing with the real problems posed by illegal guns instead of hiding behind the charade of what they think the 2nd amendment means’

    As far as the recent decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals regarding Alameda County in California, that ruling should come as no surprise. And it is not definitive. The 9th Circuit is the most liberal court in the country and only the most liberal interpretation of the 2nd amendment, one that completely disregards the original intent of the Framers and what the words actually mean, could choose to give the term ” to keep and bear arms” such a broad meaning and one completely unintended by the Framers. In fact the only way to apply the words in the 2nd amendment to an individual is to completely disregard what the words were intended to accomplish, which is what conservatives usually complain is legislating from the bench.

    There is talk of appealing the 9th Circuits ruling to the Supreme Court. But anyone can challenge any gun law in the United States as being unconstitutional on the grounds that it violates both the second amendment and specifically the “infringement” clause if they think the 2nd amendment applies to individuals.

    They can start with New York City’s concealed gun law. If they are right, the law will be struck down and every gun law in the U.S. will get struck down with it and the matter would be settled once and for all. And if not then the country can move on and focus on the real problem which is illegal guns.

  2. VBucGreen on said:

    Ms. McBath your are a beautiful person inside and out. My prayers will continued to be with you and your family and I hope that Jordan receives justice.

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