New Anti-’Stand Your Ground’ Ad Features Trayvon Martin Reenactment

While the wall-to-wall cable coverage may have subsided, the activism being waged on behalf of Trayvon Martin has only intensified in the weeks following The Zimmerman Trial.

Earlier this week, a controversial PSA was released by the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) that repositions the tragedy in the context of the Stand Your Ground law that played a role in allowing Martin’s murderer to walk free.

The intense ad features footage of Zimmerman and Martin stand-ins standing off in the rain and is set to the sound of the 911 calls made the night of Martin’s death.

With the sound of the actual gunshot that took Trayvon Martin’s life, viewers are presented with the image of a lifeless body clothed in a hoodie only to have the camera pan out to reveal 26 additional bodies, each representing the various states where Stand Your Ground laws are still on the books.

The ad was the brainchild of Grey Advertising producer Floyd Russ – who has a history of creating gun control advertisements – with this particular ad’s concept coming to him the night the verdict of the Zimmerman trial was announced.

Russ and his colleagues then raised $5,000 online to cover the cost of production and then drew up a list of prospective clients to pitch the ad to, with CSGV being the first to respond.

In a press release announcing the video and acknowledging the efforts of groups like The Dream Defenders, CSGV stated:

We hope our “Stand Your Ground” PSA will mobilize new activism on the issue and bring us to a point where our laws are acting to protect victims, as opposed to creating new ones.

The ad closes by declaring that “Our Laws Should Protect Victims. Not Create More” before admonishing viewers to “Stand Up To ‘Stand Your Ground’ Laws in 26 States” with a link to a petition included in the video’s youtube description.

Reaction to the video has been mixed, with some critics suggesting on the organization’s Facebook Page that it goes too far.

Mark O’Mara – Defense Attorney to George Zimmerman- has also penned a blog post pushing back on the ad.  His blog,  includes a new post today expressing his “complicated” feelings around gun ownership wherein he states;

“After seeing the results of so much gun violence, I often think we would be better off in a world without guns. Realistically, we don’t live in that world. During the Zimmerman case, I received threats, and I had real reason to fear that someone might wish to harm my staff, my family, or me. I’d be lying if I said there weren’t times that I felt more secure because I had a gun nearby for protection, and I wouldn’t fault anyone else who had legitimate fears for their safety for feeling the same way.”

O’Mara has previously suggested that the Zimmerman Trial gave George Zimmerman “even more reason” to carry a gun.  Yesterday, Zimmerman seemed to have taken that to heart as he was spotted posing for photographs at the Florida headquarters of Kel-Tec, the gun manufacturer that made the gun that took Trayvon Martin’s life. Zimmerman received a tour of the store before purchasing a Kel-Tec KSG, a type of gun that holds twelve rounds of 12-gauge shells.

Updated to include O’Mara’s post.

4 Responses to "New Anti-’Stand Your Ground’ Ad Features Trayvon Martin Reenactment"
RevBev | Thursday August 22, 2013 01:43 pm 1

Not to assess the merit of the ad….Just to say I’m so glad they are on the case. I do assume that they got the permission of Trayvon’s parents, so certainly if the ad is OK with them, it is certainly OK with me. Thanks for the post. The message needs to be dramatic as the tragedy was merciless and life-ending and life-changing, and the laws and injustice need attention.


tejanarusa | Thursday August 22, 2013 01:59 pm 2
In response to RevBev @ 1

Gotta agree with you, Bev; hope they have the parents’ agreement. The reenactment is very affecting; I hope they never watch it.

And the insatiable grammar scold in me must point out that “donning” does not mean “wearing.” To “don” a hat or clothing is to put it on, not to wear. Sorry, but the word is jarring and jerks the reader out of the narrative.

Otherwise, well done.


alan1tx | Thursday August 22, 2013 07:36 pm 3

I hope the “other side” doesn’t go this route.

Can you imagine the all the murders committed that can be exploited, maybe out of context, not that this one is, but crime after crime after crime could be played for political gain in an ad.


Sara Haile-Mariam | Friday August 23, 2013 08:28 am 4
In response to tejanarusa @ 2

You’re right/ I’m going to update that- thanks!


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