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story.lead_photo.caption Sen. Stephanie Flowers, D-Pine Bluff, is shown in this 2014 file photo.

State Sen. Stephanie Flowers, D- Pine Bluff, on Monday addressed the minor celebrity status she experienced over the weekend as her angry response to a proposed stand-your-ground bill was viewed more than 10 million times online.

The senator concluded her statement on Monday by saying she would not apologize for her "passion and emotion," which triggered the viral response.

Some Republicans in the Senate had hinted on Twitter that action should be taken to censure Flowers, though Senate President Pro-Tempore Jim Hendren, R-Gravette, said Monday he would not support such action.

Flowers said she was encouraged by the support she said she received from every state in the South, where laws allowing the use of deadly force without a "duty to retreat" are nearly ubiquitous. Opponents of such laws, including Flowers, say they lead to higher rates of violence against black people.

In remarks to the Senate Judiciary Committee last Wednesday, Flowers spoke against a "stand-your-ground" bill by state Rep. Bob Ballinger, R-Hindsville, and began to raise her voice after several committee members moved to limit the debate as the meeting dragged on into the evening.

[RELATED: Complete Democrat-Gazette coverage of the Arkansas Legislature]

"My son doesn't walk the same path as yours does," Flowers said. "This debate deserves more time."

When the committee chair tried to tell Flowers to stop, she responded, "No I don't. What the hell are you going to do, shoot me?"

Later in the meeting, Flowers suggested that she and members of her Pine Bluff community would "invoke" the stand-your-ground law if it passed and lawmakers showed up in the city carrying their own guns.

Ballinger also spoke from the floor of the Senate Monday, saying he would not move to censure Flowers but calling her remarks "not justifiable."

Ballinger's stand-your-ground bill, Senate Bill 484, failed on a vote Wednesday, but is back on the agenda for a Judiciary Committee meeting scheduled for later Monday.

Check back for updates and read Tuesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.


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Archived Comments

  • tweedyboy57
    March 11, 2019 at 4:53 p.m.

    SHOOT FIRST! The Wild West brought back to life by the Republican Party. As a RESPONSIBLE Gun Owner I reject these attempts to appease the NRA LOBBY

  • TheAntiBrummett
    March 11, 2019 at 5:02 p.m.

    The consummate stateswoman.

  • HarleyOwner
    March 11, 2019 at 5:02 p.m.

    Better to be judged by 12 rather than carried by 6. If a thug breaks down my door, I will shoot and take my chances

  • hearegoodgmailcom
    March 11, 2019 at 5:06 p.m.

    This rant of Senator Flowers was embarrassing to say the least. Her language was foul and I was extremely offended. I would get arrested for terroristic threatening if I made some of the comments she made. I listened to the entire disgusting outburst. She verbally attacked and threatened Senators Garner and Ballinger. I will stand my ground if I am threatened and fear for my life. I don't care what race my assailant might be. Color isn't the issue. Crime is. Law abiding citizens have the right to defend themselves against evil. Senator Flowers has a thing or two she needs to study and learn.

  • 23cal
    March 11, 2019 at 5:36 p.m.

    As study by Cheng and Hoekstra (2013), found stand-your-ground laws to be associated with significant increases in homicide rates of 6 to 11 percent.
    Humphreys, Gasparrini, and Wiebe (2017) used segmented quasi-Poisson regression analysis to examine changes between 1999 and 2014 in Florida’s monthly homicide rate before and after the introduction of Florida’s 2005 stand-your-ground law. Their estimates show that Florida experienced a significant 24-­percent increase in total homicides and 32-percent increase in firearm homicides following enactment of the stand-your-ground law in 2005.
    About "If a thug breaks down my door, I will shoot and take my chances." So would I. However, this has absolutely nothing to do with stand your ground laws, because you have no obligation under them to retreat if inside your home.

  • limb
    March 11, 2019 at 5:38 p.m.

    There are already sufficient self- defense laws. Gardner and Ballinger are well known jerks.
    Sunlight is cleansing.

  • Cockeyedview
    March 11, 2019 at 5:39 p.m.

    The woman doesn’t have enough sense to know how stupid her actions are.

  • kb2
    March 11, 2019 at 5:44 p.m.

    Hey 23CAL,
    You might wanna read the rest of the article you quoted. The final paragraph says this: Firearm homicides. We identified two qualifying studies that estimated the effects of stand-your-ground laws on firearm homicide rates. ­Webster, Crifasi, and Vernick (2014) found that these laws have uncertain effects on firearm homicides. Humphreys, ­Gasparrini, and Wiebe (2017) found a significant effect suggesting that after the law’s introduction, it increased firearm homicides in Florida. Based on these findings, we conclude that there is limited evidence that stand-your-ground laws may increase firearm homicides.

    Also, remember that there are justifiable homicides also. "Homicide" isn't synonymous with murder. And let's not forget what other crimes might have been prevented by the use of a gun in a dire situation...

  • NoUserName
    March 11, 2019 at 5:57 p.m.

    23 - "However, this has absolutely nothing to do with stand your ground laws, because you have no obligation under them to retreat if inside your home." and "Cheng and Hoekstra (2013), found stand-your-ground laws to be associated with significant increases in homicide rates of 6 to 11 percent."
    Actually, the 2013 article was referring to, among other things, the change in laws regarding retreat. So your 6-12% increase INCLUDES blowing away somebody who breaks into your home.
    The changes included in that 2013 article are: "Elements of these laws include removing the duty to retreat in places outside of one's home, adding a presumption of reasonable belief of imminent harm, and removing civil liability for those acting under the law."
    What I didn't see easily in the articles cited is how many of of those homicides were considered justified given the change in laws.

  • titleist10
    March 11, 2019 at 5:58 p.m.

    Blacks should teach blacks to OBEY police officers and they would not have near the number of problems-this applies to ALL PEOPLE