John McCain joins Obama in calls for review of 'Stand Your Ground'


WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 2: Senator John McCain (R-AZ) during a news conference on Capitol Hill February 2, 2012 in Washington, DC to discuss legislation to replace defense spending sequestration.(Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)


Pete Marovich

A top Republican lawmaker has joined President Obama in calling for a review of controversial "Stand Your Ground" laws after George Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder in the death of Trayvon Martin.

Senator John McCain of Arizona broke ranks with some in his party to call for a review of self-defense laws.

The laws have become a racial flash point after Zimmerman was found not guilty of shooting the unarmed teenager during an encounter at a Florida housing complex in 2012.

Zimmerman said he shot Martin in self defense.

"I can also see that Stand Your Ground laws may be something that needs to be reviewed by the Florida legislature or any other legislature that has passed such legislation," McCain said Sunday on CNN.

"But to somehow condemn the verdict, you would have show me where the jury was corrupted," he added.

Around 30 states have some form of "Stand Your Ground" law, which allows a person to use deadly force if they feel their life is in danger. The law in Florida does not require that person to first try and retreat.

When asked if Arizona should review its own laws, which are similar to the Florida statute, McCain agreed.

"I think that, yes, I do, and I'm confident that members of the Arizona legislature will because it is a very controversial legislation," he said.

President Obama made a surprise speech about the Zimmerman verdict on Friday.

In his candid remarks, Obama said that it would be "useful" for the nation to examine some of its state and local laws.

"If Trayvon Martin was of age and armed, could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk?" Obama asked.

More from GlobalPost: Obama: 'Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago' (VIDEO)

McCain said he did not share the opinion of his GOP college Sen. Ted Cruz who said that Obama's remarks on the law represented another approach to gun control.

"I respect his view, but I don’t frankly see the connection," McCain said. Instead, he praised the president's speech.

"Events like this highlight and emphasize that we have a long way to go," McCain said.

"The president very appropriately highlighted a lot of that yesterday, as only the president can."