Hooper: ‘Stand your ground’ can’t stand against senseless shooting over parking space

Published July 22 2018
Updated July 23 2018

No 5-year-old should witness his father’s death.

No person should die over a parking dispute.

But that’s what happened in Clearwater last week. Michael Drejka, 47, confronted 25-year-old Britany Jacobs because she was parked in a handicapped spot at a convenience store.

Her boyfriend, Markeis McGlockton, 28, came out the store and shoved Drejka to the ground, according to video of the confrontation. Drejka pulled out a gun and shot McGlockton.

BACK STORY: No arrest in fatal shooting during argument over handicap parking space.

McGlockton stumbled back inside the store, where he collapsed in front of his son and namesake, Markeis, and died.

Gun rights advocates — and those gripped by fear that a life-taking threat exists in every coffee shop, drug store and movie theater — will spend the next days and weeks trying to justify Florida’s "stand your ground" law and Drejka’s tragic decision.

Nothing they say will erase the senselessness of this act.

"Just because you can doesn’t mean you should," Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said, crystalizing the law’s tragic lack of focus on judgment, reaction and reason.

If we have to live with the worst law ever crafted by the Florida legislature, can it be revised to include some kind of provision for provocation?

To legalize instigating incidents and resolving them with gunfire is to invite the anxious to lure unsuspecting victims into arguments so they can kill them.

That may not be a crime in today’s Florida, but it should be. That may not be wrong in the eyes of the law, but it’s wrong in the eyes of a 5-year-old,

While Drejka goes free, a child is sentenced to a lifetime of trauma and heartache.

For no good reason.

That’s all I’m saying.