Zimmerman Case Is No Grounds for Gun Control

Trayvon Martin may have been the one using the idea of "Stand Your Ground."

From the beginning, people who would ban all private guns if they could have used the George Zimmerman case to push their agenda. They push on two fronts: First, they argue that Zimmerman’s 2012 fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin, who had no gun, demonstrates that guns are an unmitigated evil. Second, the antigun lobby is using the case to agitate for the repeal of “stand your ground” laws, which are on the books in many states.

It is hard to see how this case, in which Zimmerman was acquitted of murder and manslaughter, condemns gun ownership or concealed carry. Zimmerman claims he shot Martin in self-defense. The prosecution was unable to impeach that claim. It’s true that Martin had no gun and Zimmerman did. For many people, this in itself proves that Zimmerman used his gun unjustifiably, hence demonstrating that guns are bad per se.

But that makes no sense. Are we to believe that a gun is the only means of threatening a person with death or serious injury? People were killed by a variety of means before guns existed, including fists. So there is no prima facie case that a gun was used improperly merely because the person shot had no firearm. (In the murder case, the jurors apparently believed Zimmerman’s account that Martin knocked him down with a sucker punch to the face, then sat on his chest, banging his head against the pavement.)

Thus the Zimmerman case furnishes no ammunition — pun intended — for gun controllers. How could a justifiable homicide — the jury’s finding — provide evidence for banning or restricting guns?

We may go further and note that even a guilty verdict would have been no grounds for gun control. No matter what gun laws are on the books, bad guys will always get firearms. Gunrunning is as old as guns themselves. It is only the innocent who would be without guns, and that means more murders, more rapes, more assaults. The answer to gun violence is not to deprive the innocent of guns.

Let’s move on to “stand your ground” laws. Many states have passed these laws to clarify the law of self-defense. It is an old principle that one may use deadly force to defend one’s life (or other innocent life) in one’s own home. In other words, one has no “duty to retreat.” Elsewhere, however, there is a general duty to retreat. If you are threatened but can get away safely, the law requires you to do so rather than confronting the threat. This rule presumably evolved to prevent escalation of violence and to preserve the peace. The “stand your ground” principle clarifies things by holding that if one cannot retreat safely from a deadly or other serious threat when away from home, one may use deadly force to counter the threat. That’s all it does. It does not permit one to shoot someone else casually with impunity.

You may be asking what this has to do with George Zimmerman. The answer is — nothing. Zimmerman did not invoke “stand your ground” after the shooting last year. He could have asked for a hearing on the matter, but he did not. (Had he prevailed in that hearing, there would have been no murder trial.) The reason Zimmerman did not invoke the principle is obvious: His account of events rules out “stand your ground.” Remember, he claims that Martin knocked him down with a blow and then sat on his chest beating him. If you’re on the ground, you can’t stand your ground.

Ironically, Martin’s actions look more like a case of “stand your ground.” The prosecution’s account is that Martin saw Zimmerman following him. The residence to which Martin was walking was a short distance away, but instead of retreating for protection, he ended up in the deadly altercation. Why? If he felt he could not retreat safely, then he was standing his ground when he confronted Zimmerman.

“Stand your ground” is reasonable law. The Zimmerman case provides no reason to repeal it.

This column originally appeared at the Future of Freedom Foundation.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    If the gun grabbers couldn't ride the little coffins of the Newtown victims to victory, they're not going to do it on the case of an Hispanic dude shooting a black guy.

  • ||

    A 'white hispanic' dude.

    You cant push all the right buttons at once if you dont use the right terms.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    A white/black/hispanic/Jewish dude.

    If he hadn't become the target of the Progressive lynch mob, he could have easily gotten a cushy government job by checking off a few racial quotas.

  • ||

    You forgot German-Nazi.

  • AlmightyJB||

    A White dude "hunting down" a black dude to kill him because he was black. Also, Trayvon Martin should have been allowed to "Stand his Ground " when he was "attacked by" George Zimmerman. Those are the story lines being used to mislead the libtards and racially sensitive blacks into getting their panties in a bunch over this case. There is no point using logic with them, because they really could care less about the actual facts. The actual facts get in the way of them acting all victimy and giving sanctimonious speeches, blogs, tweets, and posts making sure that we all know how enlightened and superior they are to the rest of us neanderthals. Cause it's really always about them and their self importance.

  • General Butt Naked||

    We've moved on from that.

    Now it's time to get the message out about old ladies clutching their purses when they see President Noodles walk by. Or, young ladies quickening their pace when sharing an unlit street with our dark and menacing Dear Leader. Or when Dear Leader was followed around a store by a creepy ass cracka security guard once when he was a teenager.

    White people don't understand what it's like to experience these things because they have never happened to any white person in the whole history of the world. And are in no way a common experience for young men of all colors.

    White men can never understand the pain that comes with being an upper-middle class, ivy league educated man of color or womyn of any color. They're blinded by their privilege. They are literally blind to the women and minorities they walk over on their way to the top of society. Literally.

  • Virginian||

    Seriously, I know for a fact that I've been followed around in a store by security. And it pissed me off at the time. But the fact is that something like 80% of the crime in this country is committed by young men between the ages of 15-25. Because young men are, in general, impulsive and hotheaded. No matter what color their skin is.

  • General Butt Naked||

    It's funny that some think this fear only happens to black guys.

    I was leaving my house two days ago and it was freaking hot (93deg) and everybody was inside. My little working class ghetto area was unusually quiet as I drove up the street. Just as I was coming to a stop sign a tiny, naked black baby ran out into the street. He might have been 2 years old. I looked around and saw no one. He came running up to my truck looking totally lost and about to fall over. My first thought was, "Man, I got find out where this kid needs to go. He's gonna get run over or get heat stroke."

    Then I thought of a young white guy walking through the ghetto with a naked black baby and the trouble that he would get in. There would be no way that I would have ended the day not getting questioned by the cops. Especially if the parents, fearing a neglect charge, say that the kid was snatched off the porch.

    Luckily two old ladies pulled up behind me and gripped him up.

  • PapayaSF||

    Wow, what a conundrum. How messed up things are when adults are afraid of rescuing children.

  • SIV||

    White men go to Harvard while Black men go to prison. Amerikkka in a nutshell.

  • Ted S.||

    Now it's time to get the message out about old ladies clutching their purses when they see President Noodles walk by.

    They'd be right to, since President Noodles wants to tax them into penury.

  • PH2050||

    I love how a partly-employed student like myself is capable of oppressing the President. I never knew I wielded such power!

  • PapayaSF||

    Whenever I hear the term "white privilege" I think of poor whites in West Virginia, and how they have such unjust advantages over the Kanye Wests and Oprah Winfreys of the world.

  • PH2050||

    Exactly!

    Whenever I hear someone use terms like "white privilege" I think to myself "this person's probably a racist"

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Cause it's really always about them and their self importance.

    As demonstrated by the latest whining over people that lock their car doors when a unknown people approach.

  • PapayaSF||

    Don't forget the monstrous injustice of asparagus racism.

  • AlmightyJB||

    It's the asparagus that's racist. I never have trusted that vegatable.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    It ain't easy being green.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

  • TheSpiteHouse||

    From the "Further and Whimsical Tales of the Black Freighter".

  • PH2050||

    I'd still prefer lashing together the dead bodies of politicians to make a raft.

  • PH2050||

    Baby steps, FoE, baby steps.

  • ||

    "...those arguments fall apart upon closer examination."

    As do all anti-gun arguments. Ultimately they are arguments against the right of self defense, arguments against individualism. Your life is expendable for the sake of the collective.

  • PH2050||

    You *may* need to die so that someone's special little snowflake will feel safe. What's so wrong about that?

  • RBS||

    OT: What? Screwing around with nature might have unforeseen consequences?

  • Live Free or Diet||

    I wish I could find the quote. It's something to the effect of:
    . Both hawks and people like chicken.
    . More hawks means fewer chickens.
    . But more people means more chickens.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Skinner: Well, I was wrong; the lizards are a godsend.
    Lisa: But isn't that a bit short-sighted? What happens when we're overrun by lizards?
    Skinner: No problem. We simply release wave after wave of Chinese needle snakes. They'll wipe out the lizards.
    Lisa: But aren't the snakes even worse?
    Skinner: Yes, but we're prepared for that. We've lined up a fabulous type of gorilla that thrives on snake meat.
    Lisa: But then we're stuck with gorillas!
    Skinner: No, that's the beautiful part. When wintertime rolls around, the gorillas simply freeze to death.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    A neighbor of mine used to keep dead squirrels in her freezer, why not frozen gorilla corpses?

  • RBS||

    Well, they would certainly have more meat.

  • ||

    It's a paradox," said Marie Strassburger

    It's not a fucking paradox. It's THE law of nature. The strong survive.

    underscores the fragile balance of nature that biologists have struggled with in recent years

    Fragile? Fragile? It's the most resilient force in the world. It's been going on for SEVERAL BILLION years and has bounced back from innumerable mass extinction events.

    For wildlife biologist Glenn Stewart, who directs the University of California, Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group, allowing baby birds to topple into the choppy, frigid San Francisco Bay and drown is an indefensible approach.

    Another stupid ass city person who applies human characteristics and values to animals.

    AWWWWW! Wook at teh cute wittle birdie. How could we stand by and let it die? We must DO SOMETHING. We must decrease the species long term viability by allowing the stupid of the species to reproduce. Because, cute.

    It's difficult to think that sometimes we end up in that place, where you recover an endangered predator to the point they become a threat

    BIG RED TRUCK!

    See wolves. They spent two centuries wiping them out...FOR A REASON.

  • John||

    I am thinking the birds that the falcons use as prey are not too unhappy to see the baby falcons drown.

    There is no morality in nature. It is what it is. Why do people try to personify everything?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -We must decrease the species long term viability by allowing the stupid of the species to reproduce. Because, cute.
    -There is no morality in nature.

    There is no morality in nature, but there is morality in us. I for one don't mind us having the moral sentiments that make us want to save a drowning baby bird.

  • ||

    Do you shoo flies out of your house, or do you swat them?

    Do you bomb your home once a year using insect WMDs to rid it of pests?

    This is because, cute and fluffy. Has nothing to do with morality of humans. It is completely irrational. If it was a slimy reptile they wouldn't give a shit.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Maybe the morality of humans has to do with protecting cute and fluffy?

    Again, count me as in agreement with Adam Smith that 'irrational' human moral sentiment is an overall good thing.

  • KPres||

    Everything acts to further itself. The reason we care about birds and not insects is because birds are more like us than insects, and so we see more of ourselves in them. It's why we care more about domesticated pets than wild animals, and more about wild animals than rocks. Since the instinct is ultimately self-seeking, I can't see how it's good when it deceives into doing ourselves damage in the long run.

  • Zeb||

    If it was a slimy reptile they wouldn't give a shit.

    I very much doubt that is true.

  • Ted S.||

    She probably thinks that turtle in the ocean is her friend.

  • PH2050||

    This anthropomorphizing of animals needs to fucking stop, immediately.

    Only idiots would project empathy onto entities incapable of it.

  • Zeb||

    And how exactly do you know that animals lack empathy?

  • PH2050||

    Mirror test.

  • Zeb||

    This is closely related to the ongoing debates about animal rights or the legality of cruelty to animals. I'm rather ambivalent about it myself. To me it seems wrong to abuse a pet, or to deliberately try to eliminate a whole species from an area. But I can't say if that rests on any real principle, or if it is just my preference about how the world should be.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I saw a peregrine falcon flying about a few years ago. They are quite beautiful creatures.

  • Dweebston||

    In my freshly woken half-somnambulant state I read that as "penguin falcon," and was halfway to google.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Why should I care if the falcon baby birds drown? Big falcon deal. I bet you have a falcon "pro child, pro choice" bumper sticker on your falcon Prius, you falcon no-perspective-having idiot. Falcon moron.

  • Hash Brown||

    OT: I finally saw Atlas Shrugged II. I was kind of a let-down after AS-I, even though the cast was mostly better.

  • RBS||

    How so? It's streaming on Netflix isn't it?

  • Hash Brown||

    I thought the key scenes were handled terribly. Hank's hearing before the whatchamacallit board was especially clumsy. It would have been so easy to make it plausible.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The series should not have been set in modern day. An alternate history period thing could have made the whole story more plausible.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    I think setting it in the near future would be best, just like the book. Instead of a railroad you could have a space elevator, which is being repaired or extended with Rearden metal, and is destroyed by Project X. Much more interesting than trains in the 21st century.

  • Killazontherun||

    [Killaz whistles by, picks up a copy of The Fountains of Paradise, splices it with tons of Objectivist rhetoric, changes all the place names, Sri Lanka is now Death Valley, monks are now old hippies at a militant ashram-commune]

    Hey, guys, I think this one is gonna be a big seller!

  • RBS||

    That's unfortunate. I liked the first one, it probably helped that I had pretty low expectations though.

  • TheSpiteHouse||

    I liked both of them, but then I never read the book.

  • Hash Brown||

    That was precisely my experience with the first one. Since I expected it to be barely watchable, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it wasn't that bad. But then my expectations for part II were too high.

  • ||

    I thought the first one was HORRIBLE!

    The only way you could possibly have grasped the concepts was if you'd read the book. Moved too fast. No character development and ZERO concept development.

    HUGE potential to reach people and they flushed it down the shitter. Opportunity lost. I am dissapoint.

  • Killazontherun||

    It should be done as a HBO/Showtime style series. Move it very slowly with the first five episodes devoted to exposition that is explained with a lot of gratuitous nudity thrown in. Throw in the rape scene from the Fountainhead. But not only are Howard Roark and Taggert lovers, but he has not yet given up on his long time on again and off again flame Peter Keating. Taggert and Roark move on from one another, of course, and in his side story arch he does eventually give up on Keating as a lost cause, and decides to wonder the wasteland that is socialist America with Arcade Gannon, who better typifies his own ideals.

  • Anders||

    Killa you should have been in charge of this project.

    I agree with d'Anconia...the first one was a terrible let down.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Parts III and IV will be the speech.

  • Gene||

    Ugh.

  • Hopfiend||

    First thing to recognize is that there is a huge group of people who are not arguing in good faith. When you recognize that fact, you'll stop talking to them.

  • Tom||

    Anytime there is ambiguity of an event such as how the fight started between Zimmerman and Martin, people start religions and the mighty Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. al Sharpton are preaching it to drum up support for an inquisition.

  • John||

    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....idate-chr/

    Reason hasn't talked about this case but they should. Apparently the entire Delaware political class R and D alike set out to destroy O'Donnell and were willing to abuse government power to do so. They accessed her taxes and got the IRS to put a bogus lean on her house then used the bogus lean as a talking point against her.

    The fact that O'Donnell is one of the dreaded "other" and didn't go to the right schools and hold's views that are not considered fit for polite company, shouldn't matter. I don't care if she worships Satan. If they can do it to her, they can and will do it to anyone.

  • RBS||

    Whatever John. All Zimmerman all the time...

  • John||

    Reason should be all over this. It is a biPartisan abuse. They accessed her tax records the day she declared she was running against Castle in the primary. It wasn't the Dems doing that. They wanted her as an opponent. That was Castle.

  • Dweebston||

    Obviously Reason is playing softball with republicans because Kochs or something.

    A Treasury official contacted her to rat out the state. How common is that? Are they required to contact parties to their investigations? Tbh, I'm not sure what there is to report here until some of the silt settles around the facts. I could see O'Donnell eliding some facts to make a stronger public appeal.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    The fact that O'Donnell is one of the dreaded "other" and didn't go to the right schools and hold's views that are not considered fit for polite company, shouldn't matter.

    In Delaware, all that translates to "She doesn't have her parties at fire stations."
    No kidding. Joe Biden said, "There are three political parties in Delaware: the Republicans, the Democrats and the Fire Service, but not necessarily in that order of importance."

  • John||

    No kidding? Why are the Fire Fighters so powerful? Are there a lot of fires there or something?

  • Guillotined||

    I'm assuming they are unionized statewide? That should paint enough of a picture right there.

  • John||

    I am sure they are. But why them and not Teachers or cops? It just seems odd fire fighters would run the state.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Certain unions in certain states have entrenched themselves better than others. Kind of like prison guard unions in California.

  • AlmightyJB||

    "If they can do it to her, they can and will do it to anyone."

    This is the future. The more power and money we give them the more despicable lengths they will go to keep it for themselves.

  • John||

    And it was both parties. It was just the resident power grubbing assholes angry that she had the nerve to run.

    I think one of the reasons why Reason isn't talking about this is that they portrayed O'Donnell as a nut and Castle losing a bad thing. Now it turns out Castle was a total shit weasel. The country owes O'Donnell a debt for ending his career.

  • SIV||

    Welch stood up for O'Donnell as I remember.

  • PH2050||

    "bogus lean on her house"

    She should tell those kids to stop touching her residence and to get off her lawn!

  • The Hyperbole||

    I'm a little confused. I keep hearing that SYG had nothing to do with this case. The arguement seems to be that SYG only comes into play if you cannot safely retreat, and GZ couldn't safely retreat so SYG doesn't come in to play. Wha???

    In this article Sheldon says "The “stand your ground” principle clarifies things by holding that if one cannot retreat safely....one may use deadly force to counter the threat." then "The reason Zimmerman did not invoke the principle is obvious....If you’re on the ground, you can’t stand your ground."

    Am I missing some nuance here or does the principle actually hinge on whether one is on ones feet or not. Had Martins punch merely staggered Zimmerman would SYG then apply?

    For the record I'm perfectly fine with the verdict in this case the the principles of SYG in general. I just find some of these arguments kinda self-contradicting.

  • John||

    Sheldon fucked it up. SYG is for when you can't retreat. And it has to do with when you are the aggressor. Let's say I start a fight with you. I punch you. And then you punch me back. So, I punch you and you pull out a knife. Without SYG, I have to retreat in that situtation because I started the fight. What SYG says is that you can "stand your ground" and don't have to retreat and can respond with deadly force to this deadly force even though you started the fight.

    SYG doesn't apply where you can't retreat. And it doesn't apply where you are not the aggressor. Even without SYG, if someone attacks you in a public place and escalates it to deadly force, you can respond in kind. People confuse SYG with duty to retreat. They are two separate concepts.

  • ||

    If you are the aggressor, SYG does not apply, as committing assault or battery makes you engaged in unlawful activity.

  • sgs||

    "If you are the aggressor, SYG does not apply"

    Incorrect.

  • Xenocles||

    No, it's totally correct. You forfeit your rights if you're the aggressor, so SYG does not apply to you.

  • The Hyperbole||

    That would explain why SYG doesn't apply to GZ, however your explanation of SYG would seem to justify a mugger or rapist responding with deadly force if a victim fights back. In which case maybe I do have dome issues with SYG after all.

  • John||

    Yes. I am a bit slow today. SYG is killing off the duty to retreat.

  • ||

    See below. The rapist or mugger would be the one engaging in unlawful activity, not the victim responding with deadly force standing his or her ground. The language of the statue specifically precludes an attacker from using such a defense in the event he kills his intended victim for fighting back.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    In Florida, the mugger would be engaging in a felony so he could not use SYG as a defense, period. In the situation John describes the aggressor possibly could.

    776.041 Use of force by aggressor

    776.041 Use of force by aggressor.—The justification described in the preceding sections
    of this chapter is not available to a person who:
    (1) Is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of, a forcible
    felony; or
    (2) Initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself, unless:
    (a) Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent
    danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means
    to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily
    harm to the assailant; or
    (b) In good faith, the person withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and
    indicates clearly to the assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the use of
    force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Stand Your Ground, as I understand it, is a reaction to and retraction of a legal principle that held that if you were attacked, and had a viable avenue of retreat, you did not have a legal right to defend yourself. That principle, regardless of intention, lead to a pattern where, in effect, you and no right to self defense if some lawyer could come up with a way, however imaginative, that you could have retreated. In the Zimmerman case, SYG is not relevant because Zimmerman could not have retreated. Even at the hight of the "Duty to Retreat" idiocy, it would have taken a Prosecutor even dumber than the ones hounding Zimmerman to claim he could have retreated.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -no right to self defense if some lawyer could come up with a way, however imaginative, that you could have retreated

    In fairness it is not that easy. The prosecution would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the claimant knew that he could have retreated with complete safety.

  • General Butt Naked||

    In fairness it is not that easy. The prosecution would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the claimant knew that he could have retreated with complete safety.

    It's not that easy to get the verdict, but the prosecutor doesn't have to pay for the prosecution. He can throw charges at a guy and hope for a plea. The guy getting charged, meanwhile, may fight it and win, but spend his life savings, lose his home, job and wife in the process. And because prosecutors are known dickheads these laws (castle doctrine, stand your ground) are needed.

  • Virginian||

    Exactly.

    Plus from a self-defense/violent encounter perspective your best bet is a strong resistance from the beginning.

    Predators don't just attack. They approach, they crowd, they look for weaknesses and gauge their targets spirit of resistance. Whenever I get approached on a dark street, I stand on the balls of my feet, and move my hand to a predraw position.

    You'd be amazed how many shifty looking guys discover they don't need the time or a cigarette or some change after all. In fact, they'd rather cross the street and walk the other way.

    If you try to run from a mugger, he's going to see that as weakness.

    That's not even getting into the arguable cowardice of throwing down money and leaving his next victim to take their chances.

    http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_1.....asics.html

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I don't understand here.

    In a duty to retreat or no duty to retreat jurisdiction the burden will be on the prosecution to show self defense did not apply. In either a jerk prosecutor can throw charges at a guy to try to get a plea. The only difference in a duty to retreat state is there is another element the prosecutor would have to show existed in the case. I guess it might make it a little easier for the prosecutor.

  • General Butt Naked||

    You don't understand because you're not very smart.

    Can someone please explain to Bo why someone who defended themselves wouldn't have to go through a trial in a state with a syg law? I have shit to do, and this could take all day, as Bo "Intentionally Obtuse" Socrates needs detailed explanations of everything.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Now, let's not let time constraints be your avenue of 'retreat' here. I'm quite curious as to how SYG would prohibit an overzealous prosecutor from bringing charges and overcharges. I promise to check back later tonight. You can explain it to me sometime between now and then I'd assume.

  • General Butt Naked||

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I knew that was where you were 'retreating' to. But it doesn't afford you a retreat that is 'completely safe.'

    Florida's SYG has a provision granting criminal immunity, but it has to be brought in a hearing and the judge, if finding probable cause, can choose not to dismiss the charge on those grounds. The upshot is that it doesn't prevent jerk prosecutors from charge stacking and only in some pretty obvious cases would mean a dismissal before trial.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Why do you think Zimmerman waived his immunity hearing?

  • Acosmist||

    Because SYG wasn't relevant, are you serious? Do you claim to be a lawyer?! That would have contradicted what he told the police initially.

    Wow, make sure your malpractice insurance is paid up, dude.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    In FL defendant can claim immunity if any version of self defense applies. See 776.032(1)

    -A person who uses force as permitted in s. 776.012, s. 776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force,

  • Live Free or Diet||

    At one point there were states where, when they were attacked at home, judges were telling people they should have crawled out their bedroom windows to fulfill retreat duties.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I thought most jurisdictions that had a duty to retreat followed the Castle doctrine?

  • AlmightyJB||

    Yeah, that's how I understand it. Tantamount to the castle law. Without the castle law, if someone breaks in to your house and you have the ability to exit than you must do so. Castle law says that you don't have to leave. SYG I believe says that if attacked you may fight back "even if you have the ability to get away". Even without SYG, your most likely not going to be prosecuted for fighting back against an oppressor even if you have the ability to flee. Might be different if the aggressor try to flee and chase after them.

  • sgs||

    "I thought most "

    Consider why this adds nothing to his comment.

  • free2booze||

    It seems to me that "Duty to Retreat" is burden shifting, because it forces a person to prove that they had no choice but to act in self defense.

  • Dweebston||

    Which makes me wonder whether it's the invention of defense attorneys hoping to make defending clients easier against plaintiffs who didn't fold, or the invention of prosecutors hoping to make self defense an actionable offense, or some Progressive relic from the days of yor when the brotherhood of man precluded any such need for meeting violence with violence.

  • Virginian||

    The last one. Part of the stupid leftist movement of "You don't know that for sure, therefore you can take no action! The man running at you with a knife screaming might just be trying to warn you about the ninja assassin sneaking up behind you."

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -Part of the stupid leftist movement of "You don't know that for sure, therefore you can take no action.

    A person doesn't have to be sure, just have a reasonable belief. Contrary to the critics of self defense law that belief is tested with an 'objective' not subjective test.

  • Dweebston||

    Evidently, at least according to wikipedia, it's not so much a positive obligation as a legal nicety for reviewing self-defense cases... I had in mind more of a concerted anti-gun movement against self-defense claims.

  • free2booze||

    The intentions are clear. The left failed to capitalize on the blood of dead children, and pass gun control laws.If they can't disarm the public, they sure as shit can try to punish each and every person who dares use a firm arm in self defense.

  • PapayaSF||

    Hence Angela Corey's apparent crusade against anyone defending themselves with a gun. Various FB friends have been bringing up the Marissa Alexander case, as if it contradicts the GZ case in some way, and when I point out it was the same prosecutor, they get very quiet.

  • XM||

    Marissa Alexander intended to kill someone with the gun, so SYG didn't apply to her.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -"Duty to Retreat" is burden shifting, because it forces a person to prove that they had no choice but to act in self defense

    I don't think so. If duty to retreat were an element of self defense it would, like the other elements, have to be proven by the prosecution to not be the case (with the exception of Ohio which requires defendants to show self defense).

  • AlmightyJB||

    "with the exception of Ohio which requires defendants to show self defense"

    Is that the law in Ohio? I've never heard that.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I think it is the only state in the nation that does it, but it does.

    -The burden of going forward with the evidence of an affirmative defense, and the burden of proof, by a preponderance of the evidence, for an affirmative defense, is upon the accused.
    http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2901.05

  • Fatty Bolger||

    I think the purpose is quite simple, and that is to stop the victim of a crime from going to jail for defending himself, his property, or others. Which is exactly what happens when there is a "duty to retreat."

  • Zeb||

    That is my understanding of SYG as well. And I think it is a good law for the reasons you state; it's really needed to protect the right to self defense.
    But I also think that people still have a moral responsibility to retreat if possible when in a public place, particularly if there are other people around. Unless you are really sure of what is behind your target, and a decent shot, there is a lot of potential for danger to bystanders. But the person defending himself deserves the benefit of the doubt, so SYG is good for avoiding prosecution by some overzealous or gun hating prosecutor.

  • ||

    The part of the article to which you've pointed may be in error.

    http://www.leg.state.fl.us/sta.....6.013.html

    I believe this is the relevant section:

    (3) A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

  • John||

    SYG didn't apply here. Zimmerman had no avenue of retreat. What liberals want to do here is bring back the duty to retreat, meaning if someone attacks you and you defend yourself rather than running away, you are guilty. Think about that for a minute.

  • ||

    I wasn't saying it did apply here. I was affirming The Hyperbole's assessment that the article erroneously stated that SYG applied to when you have no avenue of retreat. That is not the case. The statute is designed to extend your right to meet force with force to any location where you have a right to be, not just inside your home, without having to retreat first, even given that it's an option.

  • PH2050||

    Damn. That is a scary thought.

  • Zeb||

    It's scary given the current climate as regards self defense and gun rights. But it shouldn't be so. If someone is threatening to shoot, stab, beat you, turning an running away isn't usually going to be a reasonable option if you have the capability to defend yourself. In a more sane world the duty to retreat would apply only when you are certain you can get away safely and the person who defended herself would get the benefit of the doubt if she claimed to have had no opportunity to retreat. As I said earlier, I still think that in public you still often have a moral duty to retreat if you can do so safely.

  • PH2050||

    I agree in that even with a firearm I stay the hell away from known bad areas and will haul ass (I'm pretty fast) in a split second if I feel in danger.

    However, there may be some who can't escape so easily or perhaps reside in a crime-ridden area and do not have the option to move.

    I'm still new to the ideas on this website so reading about moral duty to retreat would be very educational for me. Any suggestions?

  • The Hyperbole||

    So SYG only applies when you have an avenue of escape and don't use it? That makes sense. It seems most reporters frame it the way Sheldon did, is this due to a general misunderstanding of the law or just lazy journalism?

  • John||

    Yeah. If you have no way to retreat, you can't have a duty to do so. So even without SYG, you will still be justified in defending yourself.

  • AlmightyJB||

    " is this due to a general misunderstanding of the law or just lazy journalism?"

    It's due to the fact that they don't like the law. This hoopla is pure politics and does not have a damn thing to due with Trayvon Martin. if George Zimmerman were black and every other detail was the same no one outside out Sanford, FL would know or give a shit who Trayvon Martin was. How many of the protesters do you think sent a card or flowers to Tryvons family.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Imagine the story with a white Trayvon Martin:

    "PIERS MORGAN: Our guest today is a hispanic neighborhood watch officer, Jorge Zuniga -

    "ZIMMERMAN: It's Zimmerman, actually....

    "MORGAN: ...who says he was attacked and his life threatened, in his own neighborhood by this youth...

    [photo of a white teenager in skinhead attire]

    "...whom he shot in self-defense. Mr. Zuniga was escorted to a police station and interrogated before being reluctantly released.

    "Now, Mr. Zuniga, do you think the police would have interrogated you like this if this youth had been black?"

    ZIMMERMAN: Probably, yes. It's customary for the police to interview people in deadly shooting situations. I hated to do it, but I felt my life was threatened...

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    MORGAN: I know that, Senor Zuniga. But this about the police response. You self-sacrificingly volunteered to be the eyes and ears of the police in your neighborhood, which had been victimized by white skinhead burglars, including one who invaded your neighbor's house while she was still there. Yet the police treated you like a suspect. Now the dead thug's white-trash neighbors are calling you a killer. How does that make you feel that these rednecks couldn't control their own son and are blaming this on the minority guy? Doesn't it make you want to riot?

    ZIMMERMAN: No.

    MORGAN: Very courageous, forgiving attitude from hero Jorge Zuniga. Next, are Republicans trying to take away black people's right to defend themselves, and is this all part of a racist plot? We'll be back.

  • ||

    People were killed by a variety of means before guns existed, including fists.

    Oh, come now. Nobody gets killed in fistfights, because movies.

  • John||

    The whole "Zimmerman just should have taken his beating" or "he was a coward who went for a gun when the fist fight went bad" are two of the more appalling pieces of idiocy put out about this case. Amazing how many liberals who have never been in a fight in their lives now feel confident in saying that having a grown man on top of you beating your head against the pavement is something only a coward would fear for their lives during.

  • RBS||

    That's because they all believe they can just talk their way out of an ass kicking by "identifying" with the plight of their attacker.

  • Killazontherun||

    Hey, when GZ confronted Trayvon, and TM was all like 'What the fuck you think you are doing?' He could have used liberal powers of pursuasion and said, 'I wanted to see if you needed a ride. Walking around can wear a brother down.' And, Martin would have nodded and said, 'I misjudged you, you my Spic Cracka now. I'm yo nigga, 'cause I see now that you are down for the cause.' And, they would have rode around the block a few times, drinking ice tea and throwing back some skittles, and went back to Jeantel's for a memorable three way.

  • ||

    And why didn't it go down EXACTLY like that?

    Because it's in the manipulator's best interest to make the races distrustful of each other. The puppet masters pull the strings and profit while the puppets fight each other.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    You must right this fan fic, by the way.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    *write....God, what is wrong with me? Is Johnitis catching or something?

  • Killazontherun||

    I'm worse than you and John put together.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Except that Martin attacked Zimmerman because he thought Z was a gay rapist our for him and his little brother.

    So offering him a 'ride' would have enraged Martin even more.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    "he was a coward who went for a gun when the fist fight went bad"

    That's the argument I've been getting from a good friend of mine. Along with my friend saying how now it's OK to start a fight with someone and shoot them if they fight back.

    Mind you, this guy has a Masters and is a CPA and has a very high paying, respectable job. I basically have stopped talking to him until this blows over, as he has gone bat shit crazy over this case.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Your CPA should know that those are not the facts in evidence. Martin initiated the violence against Zimmerman, pinned Zimmerman to the ground, and beat him. Martin then saw Zimmerman's gun, reached for it, and a struggle ensued for the gun. Zimmerman got the better of that struggle and fired a round into Martin, resulting in Martin's death.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    My friend is the classic low information voter. He's smart and educated, but has no idea what's going on other than what the headlines say he should be outraged about this week. He works all day and spends all of his free time with his family.

    I did get the light bulb to go once, when I convinced him that when the left demonizes the evil rich, they are talking about him.

  • John||

    This case is like a disease. It infects otherwise smart, rational people and causes them to say absolutely stupid and irrational things.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    The most plausible explanation of what occurred in the Zimmerman situation is that a guy used a gun to save himself from being severely injured or killed via a beating. How that is turned into an argument for gun control is indeed quite the feat.

  • John||

    The argument is that if Zimmerman hadn't had the gun he would have never "confronted" Martin (whatever that means) and thus the entire thing would have never occurred. See if no one had a gun, no one would ever get into an argument that could turn deadly or something.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Well, that is more logical I guess. I can see how carrying a gun could embolden a person.

    But by that logic allowing people to drive cars emboldens them to sometimes drag race.

  • John||

    Exactly. And there is no evidence it actually emboldened Zimmerman in this case. Zimmerman was neighborhood watch. It is a good bet he would have followed Martin regardless of the gun.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I don't know about no evidence it emboldened Zimmerman, it's common sense to think carrying might make someone less afraid to do some things.

    But think about this: we are often told by communitarians that we need people to feel more empowered (how is this different than 'emboldened')to take care of their community. Perhaps he was overzealous at times, but this is Zimmerman. He could have hold up in his house and protected it, but he felt empowered to go out and try to protect his neighborhood. That shouldn't be a bad thing, and if a gun facilitated that it's not a bad thing either.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Again, if it had been Jim X the Black Muslims stepping forward to care for his neighborhood, getting chosen head of the Neighborhood Watch, and getting attacked by a white skinhead with a sketchy behavioral history and "thug life" social media presence, then the story would have been different. Especially if he had a history as a "social justice crusader" trying to prosecute a cop who beat up a black homeless guy.

    The same people who are calling for Zimmerman's head wouldn't just be giving Mr. X the benefit of the doubt, they'd be accepting his story as Gospel truth, and contributing to his defense fund. Al Sharpton would have been saying that Mr. X would have been given a pass if he'd shot a black youth. "No Justice, No Peace" protesters would have been outside the police and prosecutor's office demanding that all charges be dropped. And for once their demands would be actually legitimate.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Oh, and I forgot the point where the white skinhead was a homophobe who assumed without any evidence that Mr. X was gay. So you'd have the gay protesters alongside the black protesters with their placards and chants.

  • mr lizard||

    I live my life a quarter mile at a time...

  • MJGreen||

    At the same time, Martin was a wannabe hero, amped up and looking for a chance to flex his muscle; a man with MMA training who confronted a child.

    Their narrative is so freaking twisty that they can condemn Zimmerman at every turn.

  • MJGreen||

    Err, sorry, that should be Zimmerman in the first sentence, not Martin.

  • PapayaSF||

    The argument is that if Zimmerman hadn't had the gun he would have never "confronted" Martin (whatever that means) and thus the entire thing would have never occurred.

    And Martin could have burglarized someone in the neighborhood IN PEACE.

  • John||

    http://newsok.com/oklahoma-da-.....le/3864488

    OKC used private company to run a drug task force pulling people over on I-40. Blackwater apparently has come to law enforcement. That should turn out well.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    “I think his intentions were good, but I don't think he thought it out,” said well-known defense attorney Irven Box, who represents a Colorado man charged with marijuana possession after being stopped for a cracked windshield.

    Box said in no way should a private company be involved in drug stops when it gets paid from funds found on the stops.

    “That … at least gives the appearance that these seizures are done for profit and not to protect the citizens,” he said.

    The appearance? I think it exposes the truth.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Box said in no way should a private company be involved in drug stops when it gets paid from funds found on the stops.

    But it's ok for the public entity to do it. There couldn't possibly be any impropriety with that.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    I lived in CO for 6 years and I can't count how many times I was pulled over, or got stuck at one of those DUI checkpoints.

    I also got stopped a couple of times for walking around while not blonde in Denver.

    In the sticks, the cops put chalk marks on the tires of cars parked near bars so they can pull those cars over.

    It's such a fascist state that I had to flee to NJ for crying out loud.

  • Zeb||

    How does chalking tires help in pulling people over? Hard to see the chalk marks when the car is moving.

  • Generic Stranger||

    They were probably for parking enforcement. They used to do that at my university in the 2 hour limit parking areas to mark the cars in those spots so they could come back and ticket those who overstayed the limit.

  • ||

    The fact that pigs can set up roadblocks and abuse your 4th amendment rights is bad enough.

    Sometimes, no drugs were found and no one was arrested, but task force officers took money found in the vehicles anyway after a drug-sniffing dog got excited.

    Um... Not sure... But I think that's theft.

    Why aren't these fuckers in jail along with the idiot who enabled them?

  • ||

    Oh, nevermind. I didn't see the part about them having good intentions.

  • John||

    I would love to ask them if there was ever a stack of cash the dog didn't get excited over?

    I watch that reality show Fast and Loud. It is about a guy who buys and sells and sometimes rebuilds old cars. And he only deals in cash, up to $100,000 on some shows. He routinely drives all over Texas on the show with $10,0000 or more cash in his pocket. I always think "man he is so lucky some flatfoot hasn't pulled him over".

  • PH2050||

    “Yes, it's unusual, but what we're doing here is trying to finance law enforcement on the backs of criminals. At the end of the day, the money that we've taken here has been money that we've taken away from drug traffickers,” Hicks said. “This is money that we have taken away from the cartels and are putting it to good use in law enforcement. And I think that's a good thing.”

    OMFG go fuck yourself with a red-hot poker and die in a fire, you piece of shit DA.

  • John C. Randolph||

    Not sure... But I think that's theft.

    Oh, I'm quite sure it's theft. The whole "civil forfeiture" racket is a vast crime spree.

    -jcr

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I wonder if Blackwater has a branch in Wiesbaden.

  • Ted S.||

    “I think his intentions were good, but I don't think he thought it out,” said well-known defense attorney Irven Box, who represents a Colorado man charged with marijuana possession after being stopped for a cracked windshield.

    No; the DA's intentions were evil.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    He signed a one-of-its-kind contract in January to pay the Guthrie-based company 25 percent of any funds seized during actual training days. He agreed to pay the company 10 percent of funds seized by his task force on other days when the company trainers weren't present.

    I want to start my own highway robbery enterprise.

  • Dweebston||

    Do be sure you don't Moore it up.

  • Killazontherun||

    Anyone with even an ounce of respect for law enforcement is a Goddamned fool.

  • ecw||

    The lesson I take from the unfortunate and unnecessary killing of Martin is that these neighborhood watch patrols need far better training and screening, not to mention learning how to follow orders. Zimmerman was told by the dispatcher to stay in his vehicle and to wait for police to arrive. Had he done so he would have saved a life and years of legal bills. He had no uniform and from most accounts failed to identify himself. Martin had every reason to be afraid of Zimmerman and obviously Zimmerman was scared of the stereotypical image represented by Martin. It has nothing to do with gun control but everything to do with training and screening.

  • John||

    artin had every reason to be afraid of Zimmerman

    Why? It was a gated community. Why would you be afraid of someone following you in a good neighborhood? That is stupid. And further, Martin clearly wasn't' afraid of Zimmerman. Martin was a block away from his uncle's house. Had Martin been afraid of Zimmerman, he would have gone to his uncle's house.

    And remember, Martin was a troubled kid from Miami sent to live with his Uncle. The idea that some 17 year old kid like Martin from Miami would be afraid of some fat middle aged white guy following him in the suburbs is just laughable. That little piece of idiocy needs to die and stop being repeated.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Why? It was a gated community. Why would you be afraid of someone following you in a good neighborhood?

    That's silly. If a gated community was a crime-free zone, then why would a neighborhood watch be necessary? And even if what you assert were true, there seems to be a hard-wired physical reaction when in the presence of a stranger. I remember reading research on proxemics which cited a study that found when a stranger is within what a person considers to be their personal space (the amount of which varies by culture; for the average American, it's about 2 to 3 feet), there is a perceptible increase in heart rate and breathing, i.e. the body is preparing itself for "fight or flight".

    Does that excuse Martin's actions? Of course not, but ecw's point does stand that if Zimmerman had similar training to what "first responders" receive on the psychology of interacting with a stranger in a stressful situation, then perhaps the fight and the shooting wouldn't have happened because Zimmerman would have been better prepared to initiate contact with Martin.

  • Virginian||

    If you're going to do the neighborhood watch thing, then you need to do it in groups. Because if Zimmerman had one guy video taping the whole thing, and another guy waiting to shove Martin off him if necessary, the whole thing wouldn't have happened.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Indeed, and you should also post the video to youtube for hours and hours of entertainment. (Only if you're dressed up as a superhero, though)

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Heroic Mulatto,

    but ecw's point does stand that if Zimmerman had similar training to what "first responders" receive


    And if my grandma had wheels, she would be a bicycle. Ecw's "point" is meaningless; Zimmerman was a volunteer neighborhood watchman, not a paid guard; he was under no obligation to obtain training nor would he need any specialized training if his only responsibility was to report suspicious or criminal behavior, which is exactly what he did that night.

    None of those "what ifs" mean anything in the end, because it was Martin who assaulted Zimmerman, not the other way around.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    So volunteer firemen aren't any obligation to obtain training?

    C'mon son!

    [H]e was under no obligation to obtain training nor would he need any specialized training if his only responsibility was to report suspicious or criminal behavior, which is exactly what he did that night.

    And thus, you hoist yourself on your own petard. Zimmerman did more than "report" on that night, which is the whole fucking point. Both you and I know that after speaking with 911 he said something to the effect of "those punks always get away" and left his vehicle to follow Martin. Whether he left the vehicle to confront Martin or merely shadow him is something we'll never know, but by your own definition, we can safely say that Zimmerman's actions that night go beyond the job description of "neighborhood watchman".

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    *under any obligation

  • Virginian||

    How is it acceptable to watch and follow from a vehicle but not watch and follow on foot?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I'm not saying its unacceptable, but see my post upthread about the stressors inherent in strangers interacting. If you're going to do the whole law enforcement thing, you need to act intelligently. Leaving his vehicle to shadow Martin change the dynamics of the situation dramatically. Some training in the psychology of such interactions might have helped in this case. Gun or no gun, no one wants to put themselves in a situation where they get physically attacked, no?

  • Dweebston||

    Does that excuse Martin's actions? Of course not,

    is really the only takeaway of value, and conveniently, it's the one aspect of the case on which everybody familiar with the evidence presented in court agrees. Nobody needs rush to Zimmerman's defense for his brash attitude that night to make him any more innocent, and no amount of consternation over his choices makes him culpable for Martin's.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Indeed, if we're talking about a criminal case. Unfortunately for Martin's family, the powers that be could never think clearly enough to realize that they should have perused a civil suit. I believe Martin's family would have won a civil suit, if a criminal suit wasn't perused first. However, the verdict of the criminal suit will influence (rightly or wrongly) the judgement of the inevitable civil suit.

  • Virginian||

    Does anyone know if FL law gives immunity from civil suit to people who kill in self defense?

  • Dweebston||

    So in a murkier civil suit with less transparent benchmarks, Zimmerman might have gotten his just comeuppance? Besides the time he's served already and a pricey legal defense against frankly gossamer charges.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Well, yes. The prosecution would have an easier time in that their objective would merely have to be to proven that Zimmerman was responsible for Martin's injuries rather than if Zimmerman was guilty of a crime. Secondly, the standard of proof would have been significantly less in that they didn't need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. Thirdly, a verdict doesn't require every single juror to agree.

  • Killazontherun||

    There's a missing bit of info in all of this. Zimmerman took the time to go to his car and make the report. How did he catch up with Martin later? A few minutes is not a trivial matter to make up the difference on foot. Did Zimmerman start huffing it to catch up, or did Martin see Zimmerman go back to his car, deduce he was being called on, and swing back around to start the fight? Suppose the former has the better weight of proof to support it, Zimmerman did sound breathless at one point, but quickly resumed speaking normally. So, I doubt if he booked it, more likely being out of shape a simple sprint was pushing it for him. Why was Martin still around at that point? Zimmerman reported that he was peering into windows. Did he see something in one that caught his fancy? That slowed him down to the point Zimmerman could catch up?

    And as far as Neighborhood Watch, there is really not much to be taught that you would need a professional instructor to train on. GZ, unless he was not lying about getting out of the car to check the street name, broke the simple to understand rule of not engaging your suspect.

  • XM||

    Aren't "volunteer" firefighters civilians handpicked by the fire dept, which is a part of local government? You would need training to use all of their tools and such.

    The neighborhood watch sounds like a private organization who can set their own rules.

  • Zeb||

    It's not relevant to an incident that has already happened, but the point still has meaning.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    I remember reading research on proxemics which cited a study that found when a stranger is within what a person considers to be their personal space (the amount of which varies by culture; for the average American, it's about 2 to 3 feet), there is a perceptible increase in heart rate and breathing, i.e. the body is preparing itself for "fight or flight".

    And is that what caused Martin to go in search of Z, instead of home, after Jeantel convinced him that Z was a gay rapist?

    then perhaps the fight and the shooting wouldn't have happened because Zimmerman would have been better prepared to initiate contact with Martin.

    Zimmerman's testimony is that he lost sight of Martin and was blindsided when Maring initiated contact.

    Plenty of people don't believe Zimmerman on this point, which is fine. But speculation about alternatives is pure fiction.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    And is that what caused Martin to go in search of Z, instead of home, after Jeantel convinced him that Z was a gay rapist?

    Combined with being a stupid teenager and homophobia....perhaps. Again, it still doesn't excuse his actions.

    then perhaps the fight and the shooting wouldn't have happened because Zimmerman would have been better prepared to initiate contact with Martin.

    Zimmerman's testimony is that he lost sight of Martin and was blindsided when Maring initiated contact.

    I'm defining "initiate contact" here by choosing to follow Martin while knowing that Martin was aware he was being followed.

    Regardless of what you think of the two men, Zimmerman's choice to follow Martin on foot was not very bright. What if Martin led Zimmerman to an ambush by 3 or 4 of his friends? Zimmerman wasn't a cop, he couldn't count on "backup"; and as it was, he placed himself in a life-threatening situation.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Yes, I agree that in hindsight Zimmerman's action of following Martin was foolish - because Martin was a dangerous criminal, as shown by his unprovoked attack on Zimmerman.

    That does not mean, however, that Zimmerman is morally or legally culpable for Martin's death.

    Consider the following hypothetical situation. Zimmerman didn't have a gun and Martin killed or seriously injured him, perhaps unintentionally, during the beating.

    Would Zimmerman be morally responsible for his own death in that case for acting foolishly?

  • AuH20||

    I kind of hate the people who call Martin a "thug", because I think he was a dumb 17 year old whose family was trying to stop him from going down a bad path.

    But do I, at least within degrees of reasonable doubt, believe a guy like that may have thrown the first punch? Hell yes. And that is why you don't throw the first punch. You never know if the other guy has a knife or a gun or what have you.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I kind of hate the people who call Martin a "thug"

    But..but...he listened to the hippity-hop music, and he smoked the "weed". I bet you he sagged his pants too, like those hooligans at the mall!

  • Virginian||

    It sure would be nice if the media and/or the government would actually release all the evidence. I mean, they have his phone. His texts and his pictures would shed an awful lot of light on the kind of person he was.

    Cynical me says the media knows that to be true, which is why they won't release it.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Even if Martin were the capo di tutti capi of the Mafia, what of it? He wasn't caught in the middle of committing a crime, and anything about his past bear no part in what happened that night. And ditto for Zimmerman's troubled past.

  • Virginian||

    It's a piece of evidence to weigh in when considering if Zimmerman is telling the truth or not.

    If his texts are all about choir practice, and his pictures are of Boy Scout trips, I'm going to look on Zimmerman's story as rather dubious.

    If his texts are all about drugs, and his pictures are of stolen jewelry laying on a bad, as has been rumored, then it gives Zimmerman's story more plausibility.

  • AuH20||

    It's a valid point, Virginian. I think, though, at the end of the day, it is a bit sad that one assholish decision would end a kid's life whose family was doing everything in their power to get him off the bad path he was going down. Yeah, he was in the wrong when he took a swing at Zimmerman... and while I don't disagree with the verdict, I still wish that some part of his brain had said, "Man, it ain't worth it. Just go home to your dad and go to school tomorrow."

  • Killazontherun||

    Okay. He was suspended at the time, but, shit, why not go to school the next morning. The worst they could do would be to make him leave, right?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I don't know about Florida, but I know in other states a suspended student can be arrested if he or she comes on campus.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    If his texts are all about drugs, and his pictures are of stolen jewelry laying on a bad, as has been rumored, then it gives Zimmerman's story more plausibility.

    Only if Zimmerman has telepathy. Zimmerman didn't know the character of Martin before he confronted him. Good people are just as capable of violence as bad people. The only evidence that would matter is if Martin had a history of starting fights with strangers. Likewise, I ask you if Zimmerman's history of bitch-slapping his ex-girlfriend has any bearing on the apparent truth of Zimmerman's testimony? It might matter if Martin was a woman, but obviously he wasn't. So even if we accept your thesis, we're still at square one if Martin was a street punk and Zimmerman was a wife-beater.

  • Virginian||

    What Zimmerman knew doesn't matter.

    What I'm doing is trying to decide the accuracy of Zimmerman's statement. His story is that an enraged Martin attacked him. What I'm trying to do is look at Martin's past and see if a violent assault fits in with a pattern of behavior, or if it is an aberration.

    People are not blank slates. There is nothing wrong with considering people's past actions when making judgments about them.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    There is nothing wrong with considering people's past actions when making judgments about them.

    There is when it leads to confirmation bias (in a criminal case). You're line of reasoning is perfectly correct in everyday life, but in the criminal case we have to judge the two men on the events of that night alone.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    *your

  • Killazontherun||

    He reported a stranger peering into windows. GZ's reaction was based on Martin's behavior and not merely speculative.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Correct, but peering into windows doesn't give any evidence about a person's past, which I believe is the topic of debate.

  • Killazontherun||

    Then, what is the point of this?

    Only if Zimmerman has telepathy. Zimmerman didn't know the character of Martin before he confronted him.

    Why are the two of you even talking about the state of minds and what each inferred about the other, when a simple, empirical fact trumps either?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    That's what I was getting at with this:

    Even if Martin were the capo di tutti capi of the Mafia, what of it? He wasn't caught in the middle of committing a crime, and anything about his past bear no part in what happened that night. And ditto for Zimmerman's troubled past.

    Is peering into windows a crime in Florida? I know in some states it is and some it is not.

  • Killazontherun||

    You get close enough to my window to peer in it, you are definitely taking your chances. It is suspicious behavior, a prime indicator of intent.

    Kids need to be taught that it is not acceptable to be curious about your neighbor's possessions. They may not always put up with it.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    It might be down to regional culture, for as my parents found out the hard way, in NH, it is not illegal to walk into anyone's front or backyard unless a "No Trespassing" sign is posted.

    Long story short, my step-dad was a Guardian ad litem and in one case he dealt with, the father was a little loony. He got the idea in his head that my step-dad owed him money. (He thought the bill that the state sent him for my step-dad's consultation was too much). Anyway, this 6'7" 350 lbs of rage motherfucker finds out our address and drives his motorcycle over to our property. He walks into the backyard while screaming about all the things in it he will take "in payment". My parents called the police. After the cops arrived, they managed to convince the dude to leave, but they also told my parents that they couldn't charge him with any crime. They then informed my parents about the law and suggested they post a sign. This was more than a few years back, so the law might have changed from then to now, but just sayin'

  • Killazontherun||

    It seems he could have been arrested for creating a domestic disturbance without even evoking trespass. As we have learned from dunphy over the years, don't rely on cops, or pretend cops in his case, to know the law.

  • Killazontherun||

    But the question of whether its a crime in Florida, I don't really know. I did have a lady friend who had a peeping tom problem when she lived there. He went away for a few years for peeking. Different from peering, of course.

  • The Hyperbole||

    It's a piece of evidence to weigh in when considering if Zimmerman is telling the truth or not.

    Fair enough but some of the people so eager to prove that Martin was a wannabe gangsta come across, to me at least, as not being 100% cool with GZ's actions and need a little more justification. A bit of "Protesting too much" if you will. It seems to me that the physical evidence and eye witness testimony are enough to exonerate GZ whether Martin was thug Numero Uno or a misunderstood saint, thus all the attacks on Martins character are overkill.

  • Virginian||

    Yeah I blame the culture on that one. There has to be a Hero and a Villain. Martin has to either be a Emmett Till 2.0 or a doped up gangsta, and Zimmerman is either a stalwart good citizen or an evil racist vigilante.

    It's not that simple.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    anything about his past bear no part in what happened that night

    While that is true in a court of law, it's not true in the court of public opinion, and that's where this case is currently being tried.

  • JeremyR||

    More relevant, he was caught with stolen jewelry from a burglary

  • OldMexican||

    Re: AuH2O,

    I kind of hate the people who call Martin a "thug", because I think he was a dumb 17 year old whose family was trying to stop him from going down a bad path.


    I'm with you. I, instead, call Martin a thug because he assaulted a person with no provocation or reason, and because there is evidence he acted like a thug previously.

  • Killazontherun||

    And that jewelry identified from a break in got into his locker all by itself. Hate me all you want, he was a thug.

  • Killazontherun||

    If he lived to past the age of thirty he would have likely grown out of that shit. But kids who play at the game of thug take their chances with a world that is unforgiving for its only purpose of survival.

  • Killazontherun||

    If he lived to past the age

  • Killazontherun||

    for its only own purpose of survival.

    Getting the shakes from Belgium beer withdrawals.

  • John||

    And a 9-11 operator is not an LEO. You have no duty to follow their instructions. Zimmerman had every right to follow Martin. What is irresponsible about that? The only way it is irresponsible is if you assume Martin was a dangerous criminal and Zimmerman was putting himself in danger by following him. The only reason for Zimmerman to leave it to the cops is if Martin is so dangerous that only the cops could handle him.

    I don't think that makes the point you think it does.

  • free2booze||

    The operator testified in court, that his statement of "let me know if he does anything, ok" could have been interpreted as a request to follow Martin.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    "Testimony?" "Evidence?" Ha! The facts are that the police ordered Zimm to stand down. It's all over the internets.

  • Dweebston||

    The Sandford Chief of Police, an amalgamation of every hardworking, sweat-browed, gravelly-voiced police chief in every cop movie ever, was personally on the phone with Zimmerman authoritatively demanding that the latter "STAND DOWN, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD," only to be rejoined by the explosion of several gunshots as Zimmerman blew Martin away. "Perp's down, chief," the wannabe cop finally said, as the digitally transmuted echoes died away in the earpiece.

  • Killazontherun||

    Read with solemn tone at one of the rallies yesterday, you would have had the crowd both believing it and crying.

  • PH2050||

    This scene will be in the Lifetime movie.

  • sgs||

    "not to mention learning how to follow orders. Zimmerman was told by the dispatcher"

    HA! Dispatchers!

  • OldMexican||

    Re: ecw,

    The lesson I take from the unfortunate and unnecessary killing of Martin is that these neighborhood watch patrols need far better training and screening,


    Which translates to this: you took the wrong lesson from this unfortunate incident.

    not to mention learning how to follow orders.


    Saying "we don't need you to do that" does not sound like an order to an intelligent, English-speaking person.

    Martin had every reason to be afraid of Zimmerman


    "Every reason" sounds to me like he really didn't have a reason at all.

    and obviously Zimmerman was scared of the stereotypical image represented by Martin.


    Oh? What about Martin? You just said that "he had every reason to be afraid of Zimmerman." Wouldn't such a hyperbolic expression include a "stereotypical image" as well? Why thus single Zimmerman out, as if his preoccupation was extraordinary?

  • AlmightyJB||

    "these neighborhood watch patrols need far better training and screening, not to mention learning how to follow orders."

    So you represent the police union or are you just a run of the mill bootlicker?

  • free2booze||

    Zimmerman was told by the dispatcher to stay in his vehicle and to wait for police to arrive.

    You should do everyone a favor, and provide the quote from the 911 operator, where he provided the instructions you suggested. Here, I'll ever help you out by providing the link to the 911 call transcript.

    Have fun!

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    For fucks sake I can't take the derp anymore.

    No more clicking on Zimmerman links for me.

  • Killazontherun||

    I think the story would have died along time ago if GZ looked more like Danny Trejo's character from Machete than the pudgy kid with the sexy momma from Modern Family. I can understand the embarrassment to the black community over this. A 6"2' guy with two fists of whoopass killed by that kid?

  • PapayaSF||

    Zimmerman was told by the dispatcher to stay in his vehicle and to wait for police to arrive. Had he done so he would have saved a life and years of legal bills.

    GZ was not "told" any such thing. The dispatcher said "we don't need you to do that," GZ said "OK," and there is no evidence he followed TM after that.

    Besides, I'm sure that TM had been told to not attack people on the street. If he had heeded that advice, he'd be alive.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    better training and screening

    Maybe we should make neighborhood watch groups illegal, and replace them with full time unionized police patrols! With automatic weapons, complete immunity from any adverse consequences of their actions, no matter how egregious, and six figure retirement benefits.

    That's how we build a liberal paradise.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    That's pretty much the history of urban policing in America.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Should have finished the thread before posting.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I always think "man he is so lucky some flatfoot hasn't pulled him over".

    Everybody should travel with a Discovery Channel film crew, just in case.

  • John||

    Yes they should. Of course he was in that business and carrying that much cash long before he got the film crew. He really is lucky some cop hasn't just stolen his money.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Dumb and Dumber Debate Democracy and Debauchery

    No matter the topic, the two leading candidates for governor clashed on a range of issues Saturday, from education funding and taxes to transportation and government transparency, even finding disagreement on whether calls for Gov. Bob McDonnell's resignation over a gift scandal are warranted.

    I can't wait for this election to be over.

  • John||

    But then one of them will be governor. I have a bad feeling they will elect McCulliffe, a guy who literally has never made an honest dollar in his life, because of the abortionz and birth controlz!!

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    I can't see a positive outcome with either of them. Cuccinelli is a demagogue DA who would put his own grandmother in jail if it made him look tough on crime and Mcauliffe is a POS from the DC machinery.

    The Virginia GOP is in dire need of an overhaul. I thought McDonnell was going to be an improvement but it turns out he's as incompetent and bad as the rest.

  • Virginian||

    McDonnell has been excellent on guns and his efforts at restoring civil rights for ex-cons have been a welcome surprise. He will certainly be better than the next governor, assuming the Libertarian doesn't win.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Yeah but he has a bad case of 'corruption' from what I've heard.

  • Virginian||

    Dude, if I had a billion dollars, I'd spend 90% of it on bribing legislators to vote for libertarian policy. Politics is corruption, pure and simple.

  • AuH20||

    The effort by the Dems to make women like blacks (ie vote for them unquestioningly) has been impressive.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Coochi fucked it all away by taking the insane stance that he wants to revive statutes against sodomy and oral sex so he can have his war on the paedophiles.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    At least you're mentioning the context of that case. Cuccinelli specifically acknowledged that *Lawrence* protects adults from being prosecuted for consensual sodomy with each other. What he wants is to use the statute against people who want to commit sodomy with children.

    Maybe that's an abuse of the sodomy law, but that's not enough to swing the votes of more than a handful of libertarians (who probably wouldn't vote for C anyway because of his social conservatism). To get the swing voters, the Dems have to pretend that C wants to prosecute adults for sodomizing each other in the bedroom, which is absolutely not true, but they're still pushing the narrative.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Slate had an article on McDonnell the other day. I remember when his name was mentioned as a running mate for Romney. Now he's organizing a legal defense fund. Couldn't he have bought his own rolex and paid for his daughter's wedding? The arrogance and stupidity in his taking these gifts is astonishing. I imagine he just thought he deserved them.

  • Virginian||

    None of it was against the law, because the law doesn't have a timeline on reporting gifts. So as soon as it became known, he started filing paperwork to get into compliance.

    The big bombshell was last week when they finally figured out what the quid pro quo actually was. The head of Star Scientific was the guy giving him all this shit, and it turns out the VA pension fund just so happened to purchase Star Scientific stock.

    But that's just a total coincidence of course. No link here at all.

  • PH2050||

    Man, I do not miss VA but feel sorry for my parents.

  • Virginian||

    I love it here. Good economy, part time legislature (which is honestly the key to having a free state in the long run IMO), good gun laws. Mountains, rivers, beaches, four seasons none of which are too extreme. Good food, good beer, good music. Easy access to the whole East Coast along with the good parts of the TN/KY/WV area.

  • PH2050||

    I suspect you don't live in Virginia Beach. The local gov can make up for any non-interference from state gov

  • The Late P Brooks||

    NewsOK.com has disabled the comments for this article.

    Gee, I wonder why they felt it necessary to disable comments about a DA running his own special armed robbery ring.

    I'm sure the President is outraged by this, and will comment publicly at any moment.

  • William of Purple||

  • PH2050||

    Fuck, when will I learn my lesson to NEVER click on links in the comments.

    Now, where's the eye bleach...

  • free2booze||

    Best article I've read so far, comparing Marissa Alexander to George Zimmerman

    A closer examination of the facts in Marissa Alexander’s case, however, reveals why a judge rejected Alexander’s pre-trial “Stand Your Ground” defense — a specific defense under Florida law that George Zimmerman never asserted — and why a jury eventually convicted her on multiple charges, resulting in a mandatory prison sentence of at least 20 years. If Alexander’s case suggests a failure of the legal system to mete out appropriate justice, then the problem lies with Florida’s mandatory minimum sentencing requirements, not with the state’s self-defense laws.

    After only 12 minutes of deliberation, a jury convicted Alexander on all three counts of aggravated assault.

    http://mediatrackers.org/flori.....in-florida

  • Virginian||

    To me the Alexander case shows what happens when the justice system moves from victim's rights to State power. In cases of homicide, someone must speak for the dead. But in all other crimes, the victim should have a say, and perhaps the primary one. Obviously her husband does not want her imprisoned for her actions. So he tried to lie to the court to protect her. No one was injured. What she did was stupid and reckless, but at the end of the day, no one was injured by it. She is being sent to prison for two decades for punching a hole in drywall.

  • Dweebston||

    Victims need to be protected, most of all from themselves.

  • Dweebston||

    Having read the piece, I doubt the prosecution could look askance of Alexander's case based just on her husband's adjusted testimony. She seems unhinged. I agree with the author, the bad news here is the minimum sentencing.

  • Dweebston||

    And to placate HM, certainly her treatment at the hands of her abusive husband might have contributed to her derangement, a la Martin's response to Zimmerman's pursuit. In neither case does it justify the initial use of force.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    She doesn't sound like she's 20-years-in-prison dangerous. Especially since nobody died. Maybe I'm wrong. The governor should at least look into the sentence. But that's just me.

  • Virginian||

    Eh I'm a big fan of punishing people based on the harm they cause. I can see exceptions for say, a terrorist who's big bomb in Times Square failed to go off, but she didn't do that. She's a crazy bitch who should certainly never be allowed to own firearms, but if the actual victim is trying to lie to keep her out of jail, to me that's a sign that maybe the sentence is too high.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    What a surprise. The idiots on ABC are talking about Stand Your Ground. Resident concern troll Cokie Roberts says it has turned America into the gunfight at the O K Coral.

    The shit these people say goes way, way, beyond willful ignorance.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Rant Warning!

    I starred out feeling sorry for Trayvon's family and friends and about his death. The lounger this drags on the less sorry I feel. OK, I was 17 once. Like Trayvon, I dressed and and acted a great deal more badass than I could back up. Like Trayvon, I wandered into other peoples' property for no very good reason, and if confronted would have been hostile.

    But Trayvon's death is not a tragedy. A tragedy is an unforeseeable terrible and sorrowful end. Trayvon's death is simply the inevitable consequence of decades worth of radical chic, gansta style, and black-revolutionary Liberal bullshit. In order for (mostly) White Liberal Intellectuals to experience vicarious thrills, a cultural pattern has been established that will, inevitably, but young black men on a collision course with society. And whether it ends in the deaths of the Black youth or in their actually becoming criminals and thugs and preying on Society THIS CANNOT BE SAID TO BE UNFORSEEN. Anybody with the sense that God gave a turnip could see where this was going. The White Liberal Intellectuals HAVE TO HAVE SEEN where this was going.

    Trayvon was killed by the disturbed fantasies of the White Liberal Intellectual trash that are weeping crocodile tears over his corpse. He was put on a collision course with reality so that White Upper Class twits could feel morally superior to people like Zimmerman. The raggedy is that none of THEM will get shot.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • AuH20||

    I think the tragic thing is that their were people in his life, like his dad, who were trying to make him see reason, and make him not go down the bad path he was going down. Compared to a lot of kids in his situation, whose parents don't give a shit, and just let them become thugs... that's what sort of tragic.

  • A Serious Man||

    I agree. I think anyone that age has lots of potential regardless of the crap they listen to or if they smoke the reefer.

    But I can't feel sorry for someone who acted stupidly and the most plausible scenario, as I see it, is that Martin threw the first punch in what should have been a non-violent confrontation.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    Pretty good.

    I can't stand white liberals, and you expressed some of my thoughts on them better than I could have.

  • PapayaSF||

    I agree, except for two points at the end: many are weeping genuine tears, and it isn't so that they can feel morally superior to people like Zimmerman. They already do feel superior to any non-white they can patronize. No, this is so that they can feel morally superior to the Bad White People, the racists who don't believe in affirmative action, the dangerous nuts who believe in the Second Amendment, etc. It's largely an intra-race status game in which non-whites are props and pawns.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Oh, no, America has broken down into a caste system!

    They actually approached the edge of a sensible conversation about the dysfunction of urban-center America, but then they panicked and ran away.

  • Sevo||

    Well, it seems UC didn't screw up enough getting that hag as chief; they elected a "social welfare" major as 'student regent'.
    http://www.sfgate.com/default/.....671413.php

    It turns out to be every bit as bad as it sounds:
    "The Social Welfare major introduces students to problems, policies, and methods in the area of providing educational, cultural, medical and financial assistance to the needy. The curriculum focuses on courses which acquaint students with current knowledge about the field, rather than vocational training."
    http://ls-advise.berkeley.edu/major/socwel.html

  • Sevo||

    Ooops. That's OT above.

  • A Serious Man||

    They already approved Grand Moff Napolitaon's salary at half a million.

    THERE IS NOTHING LEFT TO CUT!!!!

  • Sevo||

    How is anyone ever going to live on THAT?!

  • A Serious Man||

    I heard someone seriously argue that Napolitano should be praised for foregoing the evil private sector world of consulting work in favor of being a selfless educator.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    University presidents don't teach (often).

  • A Serious Man||

    But she's a public servant, man!

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    The correct pronoun is "zhe"; Zhe is a public servant man.

    Other-er!

  • Dweebston||

    Napolitano's appointment is a teachable moment for all of us.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Don't worry. Between boosters and outside compensation, I'm sure she'll be getting more than that.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -The Social Welfare major introduces students to problems, policies, and methods in the area of providing educational, cultural, medical and financial assistance to the needy

    That in itself doesn't have to be objectionable. It could cover voluntary charitable efforts to provide such assistance. Even better would be to study how free markets in general worldwide tend to decrease inequality and lift populations out of poverty.

  • Sevo||

    "That in itself doesn't have to be objectionable. It could cover voluntary charitable efforts to provide such assistance. Even better would be to study how free markets in general worldwide tend to decrease inequality and lift populations out of poverty."

    It COULD cover that. It MIGHT be taught by unicorns.
    (this is Berkeley we're discussing)

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • PH2050||

    I can't wait to see all of the super smart liberal arts students (that Tony crows about) engage their superior intellects in such a demanding course of study.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    That's OT above.

    The industrialized perpetuation of victimhood is never OT.

  • Sevo||

    Good point, but take a look at the description one more time.
    This isn't even instructing people on how to hand out the goodies (how hard can that be?); this is about *theorizing* about handing out the goodies!
    Sokal could have a field day here!

  • A Serious Man||

    I love how the program has capped enrollment. I mean I totally would be down to have a major where you get full credit for writing "Needs moar free shit!" on each and every final.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Well even just theorizing might not be a bad idea. A lot of time at Cato and such is spent thinking about how to make the world a better place using voluntary methods.

    I doubt it spends much time on that in practice of course, but just saying.

  • A Serious Man||

    Also OT, but if you want some truly exciting sports, Phil Mickelson is a on a tear in the Open and just took the lead. Tiger is also making a charge after sucking for the first 12 holes, + 1 and three back of Phil.

  • Paul Stewart II||

    Stand Your Ground is not a law. It is a licence to kill. It is a fools way of dealing with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It yields neither. The law is a moron and it must be fixed. Zimmerman had no business stalking Martin. His gun emboldened him. If he in fact was scared to death of a 17 year old with no weapon that he was stalking; why did he get outta the truck? Cause the gun made him feel superior. He and the gun and Stand Your Ground are fools. Stand your ground against this moronic law. This isn't the wild wild west. It is modern day America.

  • Sevo||

    Gee, Paul, got any more idiotic statements to make?

  • OldMexican||

    If the troll does not engage, you must ignore.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    And if the glove don't fit, you must acquit!

  • A Serious Man||

    Zimmerman had no business stalking Martin.

    Yes he did, he was a neighborhood watch captain reporting suspicious behavior in a neighborhood that had been repeatedly burglarized.

    His gun emboldened him.

    Oh, you're a professional psychologist or a mind reader?

    Cause the gun made him feel superior. He and the gun and Stand Your Ground are fools.

    Again, how do you know that about Zimmerman? Conjecture is not fact.

    Stand your ground against this moronic law. This isn't the wild wild west. It is modern day America.

    Yes, another individual who's knowledge of that what the "wild wild" West was like comes from John Wayne movies. We welcome your vast wisdom and insight.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    He and the gun and Stand Your Ground are fools.

    One of those things is an inanimate object and another is an abstract concept.

    You should seek treatment for your schizophrenia.

  • Dweebston||

    The law is a moron

    Also a gem.

  • Zeb||

    Well, there is "the law is an ass". But that's not applied to a specific law.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Is it wrong for someone like Zimmerman to care for his neighbors and neighborhood?

    I mean, he could have stayed hold up in his house with his gun and not cared to try to help his neighbors out. Is that the better society you envision?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    No, the better society he envisions is ff brigands come to molest the peasantry, it should be left to the King's Men to deal with. Serfs and yeomen should bear arms in service to their lord.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Communitarians often talk about "empowering" citizens to "take back" their communities, to care for more than just their well being and property. That seems like what neighborhood watch does.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    If done correctly a neighborhood watch is an excellent idea. Ultimately, the responsibility to protect yourself and your family lies in your hands. This is why the right to self-defense should be a universal human right; that is, if you own yourself, you have the right to protect yourself from harm and continue your existence.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Sure, it's hard not to see how from a libertarian standpoint self defense is not a necessary corollary. But what I'm saying is that from even a communitarian stance neighborhood watches should be a good thing. AFAIK Zimmerman himself was never the target or victim of a burglary. He took time and his own safety at risk to try to protect other people's safety and property in his community. And for that he's a bad guy or something.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    But what I'm saying is that from even a communitarian stance neighborhood watches should be a good thing.

    You'd think, but communitarians argue that actions must be taken in light of consensus, and consensus is made manifest in the state. Zimmerman committed the sin of not being a duly deputized servant of the state, and thus was not given the right to act.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Many communitarians at least talk about extra-governmental or even anti-governmental community action in fond terms. I think Zimmerman's sin for them must really be that he practiced community action while armed with an evil gun...

  • Fatty Bolger||

    It is indeed a law in many states, and one that you clearly don't understand.

  • Cytotoxic||

    A- Could have been more subtle but it hits all the retarded notes.

  • PH2050||

    Hell, I WISH it was the "wild wild west".

    There would be less violent crime and people would be more polite.

    Sorry to burst your historical revisionist bubble.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    This isn't the wild wild west. It is modern day America.

    Cokie, is that you?

  • ||

    The "wild west" is a myth created by hollywood

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    This guy says gun violence was rare in the 'Wild' West. He tries to attribute it to what he claims was stronger gun control there, but I noticed he only concentrates on a few cities as examples of this while his claim about low gun violence was in reference to 'frontier towns' in general.

    -Gun violence in these towns was far more rare than we commonly imagine. Historians who've studied the numbers have determined that frontier towns averaged less than two murders a year. Granted, the population of these towns was small. Nevertheless, these were not places where duels at high noon were commonplace. In fact, they almost never occurred.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....56035.html

  • Irish||

    That's stupid. The reason there was little violence in the West is for the same reason there's little violence in small town Wisconsin. You don't see much violence in communities of 500 people where everyone knows each other.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Is that true in communities around the world and through time though?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Interesting question. My first instinct would be to posit "yes". Say, if you kill the only producer of apples in your community, not only do you risk not getting apples that year, you make other apple-eaters in your community angry at you for removing their source of apples as well.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Well, I don't want to say Somalia, but it's what I thought of. But also thinking of medieval places like Viking communities or even communities like the Yananamo (sp?). I imagine they are examples of small communities but lots of roving bands of brigands and violence. But I'm going off of CW here for what it's worth.

  • Generic Stranger||

    Most of the violence in Somalia comes from warlords trying to assert control over the population. I have little doubt that a small village in Somalia would be just as peaceful, absent the outside force initiated by the warlords.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    And everyone is armed.

  • Virginian||

    I love how he brings up Tombstone. Except Tombstone's gun control law worked right up until the point where a bunch of bad guys broke it and started shooting up the place. So really, it's just like every other gun control law in the history of the goddamn world: it works until a pack of bad guys decides they're not going to follow the law.

    I mean holy fucking shit, it's a famous historical event that was turned into a badass movie. How does he think it proves his point. It proves the opposite point: bad guys will always break gun control laws, and the only thing that can stand up to bad guys is a tubercular Val Kilmer good guys with guns.

  • ||

    "To me the Alexander case shows what happens when the justice system moves from victim's rights to State power. In cases of homicide, someone must speak for the dead. But in all other crimes, the victim should have a say, and perhaps the primary one. Obviously her husband does not want her imprisoned for her actions. So he tried to lie to the court to protect her. No one was injured. What she did was stupid and reckless, but at the end of the day, no one was injured by it. She is being sent to prison for two decades for punching a hole in drywall."

    Welcome to the "WODV" - War on Domestic VIolence. I've long opined that for the average innocent this war is worse than the war on drugs. Iow, innocents are far more likely to get arrested, and get rights taken away without due process, to include being ejected from their domicile without even being convicted of a crime (no contact and protection orders), having gun rights taken away w/o due process and also the VICTIMLESS PROSECUTION has been spearheaded by the war on dv. Iow, in many cases where the victim declines to press charges the state will go ahead and press charges. This happens far more often in DV cases than any other kind of crime. I've investigated scores of DV's and I see this shit firsthand. I arrested a woman yesterday for DV assault.

  • ||

    Did she commit assault? Sure. Did the victim want her arrested? no. But the law makes the arrest mandatory when there is a DV assault w/injuries. DV crimes are the ONLY crimes that have mandatory arrest provisions. And when she gets released, 99% chance the judge will issue a no contact order, so she won't be able to go back to her residence until AT LEAST the first hearing date in 2 weeks on the order.

    DV crimes have also eroded the right to confront one's accuser (several case law examples of that), using 911 tapes and hearsay exceptions such as excited utterance and present sense impression.


    All it takes is a vindictive girlfriend, roommate, spouse, etc. who is willing to lie about an assault and you are FUCKED and even without being convicted you can be ejected from your home AND have your gun rights taken away. If she changes her mind and doesn't want to go ahead with prosecution, the state is more likely to press charges with an unwilling victim than ANY other type of crime. By a substantial margin.

  • ||

    In many cases where the victim wants to be with the suspect after the case, the judge will refuse to lift the protection order thus making it a criminal act for the two to even ASSOCIATE with each other (see: erosion of the right to free association). I've had to make arrests many times on no contact order violations where I have found the couple together. In some cases, the victim is indigent and can't afford a lawyer to try to get the order lifted and w/o a lawyer and some legal acumen it's very hard to get the order lifted. Judges will err on the side of caution and not want to lift the order lest another assault (or even murder happen). Better to err on the side of the caution, they believe, even if it means denying the right to free association.

    In ANY other kind of assault, the philosophy is (where i work), no victim no crime. I've gone to bar fights with bloody noses etc. where we don't even take a report. I've gone to numerous "mutual combat" fights where even if somebody wants prosecution, if it's mutual combat that's a no go - EXCEPT domestic violence.

  • ||

    Reason doesn't cover DV war abuses very often, but in brief, the pendulum swung from one end of the spectrum, where the state/LEO's basically ignored domestic assault ("it's a family problem") which was BAD, to the other end of the spectrum where the state feels it has a duty to protect victims EVEN WHEN the victims don't feel like victims and/or don't want the state's help.

    And there is no quicker way to get gun rights taken away. Remember, all you need is a judge to agree to a DV Protection order, which does not require conviction of a crime, and that you have no right to an attorney to defend against, and your gun rights are gone.

    We wank about asset forfeiture, where money is taken away, but the war on DV can take away gun rights, the right to free association AND the right to occupy ONE's OWN HOME all on very minimal "process".

    The concepts pushed in the war on DV have even started to bleed over into non-DV investigations, but they are primarily seen on DV investigations. Get caught up in that web and stuff starts cascading rapidly.

  • Dweebston||

    Per the article linked by the OP, the "victim" at least initially wanted her arrested. It was Gray who called the cops, and Gray who gave testimony against Alexander that he later contradicted. I'm curious, because I've seen DV cases go to trial on flimsier pretexts with victims who provide no evidence after the initial contact and who avoid providing DA an interview or appearing for court. In this case, Alexander not only had contact but at one point socked her husband. If this isn't a DV case properly handled by the prosecutors, what would be?

    (Eliding all an-cap "no such thing as a good prosecution" sentiments for the sake of argument.)

  • ||

    True. I am talking to general principles, not necessarily the particular fact pattern in the ALexander case.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Volokh Conspiracy has been having discussion on how sympathy for the Confederacy is antithetical for libertarians. Highlights:

    -With due allowance for the “no true Scotsman fallacy,” any person calling themselves a “libertarian” who puts themselves on the Southern side, whether intellectually, emotionally, rhetorically or symbolically, is either a sadly misguided or misinformed libertarian, or not really a libertarian at all. Randy Barnett

    -While the cause of slavery is often identified with federalism and “states’ rights,” it’s also worth noting that the slaveholding states were anything but consistent advocates of states’ rights or limited federal power. Their view of the Fugitive Slave Clause and the various Fugitive Slave Acts made clear that they were all for a powerful federal government, so long as such power was used to force free states to cooperate in the maintenance of slavery as an institution, such as by assisting in the capture and return of alleged fugitive slaves. Jonathan Adler

    -Recognizing the evils of the Confederacy does not require libertarians to endorse everything the Union side did, or even to believe that the outcome of the Civil War justified its horrendous costs. But there is no intellectually serious libertarian case for actually supporting the Confederacy, as distinct from criticizing the war policies of the Union. Ilya Somin

    http://www.volokh.com/2013/07/.....ertarians/

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Volokh Conspiracy has been having discussion on how sympathy for the Confederacy is antithetical for libertarians

    Oh fuck...I'm getting too old for this shit.

  • Cytotoxic||

    This should be required reading.

  • Whahappan?||

    I'm not that up on so called libertarians supporting the Confederacy, so maybe it's more prevalent than I'm aware of. Mostly what I've seen is pushback against Lincoln idolatry, and the subsequent charges of being pro-slavery for disrespecting Saint Lincoln.

  • ||

    Stand Your Ground is not a law. It is a licence to kill. It is a fools way of dealing with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It yields neither. The law is a moron and it must be fixed. Zimmerman had no business stalking Martin. His gun emboldened him. If he in fact was scared to death of a 17 year old with no weapon that he was stalking; why did he get outta the truck? Cause the gun made him feel superior. He and the gun and Stand Your Ground are fools. Stand your ground against this moronic law. This isn't the wild wild west. It is modern day America.

    ---

    following somebody after you call 911 in order to update law enforcement with his location is not "stalking". As a leo, we welcome such proactive citizen behavior, even if dispatch SUGGESTS don't follow because they are cya'ing

  • PapayaSF||

    Following someone for a minute or so is also not "stalking."

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The country is a progressive dream of peace and tranquility. Or it would be if we could just confiscate all the civilian owned guns.

  • PH2050||

    We must kill people to save them!

  • ||

    "Zimmerman was told by the dispatcher to stay in his vehicle and to wait for police to arrive."

    That's a misrepresentation of what the dispatcher said, and furthermore, dispatcher have no "authoritah" to order a person not to follow another.

    Like I said, my dispatch routinely (per policy) tells people who are following bad guys not to do so. They do it to CYA, because they fear if they don't and the person gets hurt, that they will claim the PD was giving them tacit approval in following the person and thus the PD is civilly liable. Regardless, fortunately, many people ignore dispatch's "order" and continue to follow.

    A SUBSTANTIAL # of the crimes we solve/bad guys we catch are because concerned average joes GET INVOLVED and act as good witnesses and follow bad guys until we get there. At least half the DUI's we get, we get because people follow them until we get there to make the traffic stop, and they provide good witness statement as to driving pattern. We have also apprehended burglars and robbers and all sorts of criminals because people got involved.

  • ||

    Armed citizens are also a HUGE boon to law enforcement. They catch burglars, etc. in the act and hold them at gunpoint until we get there. Armed citizens with CCW's statistically are quite reserved in their use of deadly force and act responsibly, and if anything are TOO restrained in their use of deadly force (I recall one case where a local deputy was assassinated by a high on crack scumbag and an armed citizen didn't pull the trigger because he saw the guy's slide lock back when he ran out of ammo. So, he let the guy walk off with a gun (unloaded) after assassinated a cop lying on the ground. He would have been totally justified in shooting THAT fleeing felon).

    Armed law abiding citizens are an overwhelmingly positive factor in fighting crime and keeping our neighborhoods safe and free from crime.

    People have the absolute right to defend their property, their loved ones, and themselves from criminals, violent or otherwise, and they do, on the whole, a DAMN good job at it. We welcome citizens acting as good witnesses and defending their property.

    Tragically, sometimes they , like cops, pay the ultimate price

    http://www.komonews.com/news/l.....86701.html

    Average joes , NOT cops, are the first line of defense in protecting themselves and their neighborhoods. It's not Vigilantism if they are responding to a crime in progress (vs. hunting down past acts, which is vigilantism)

  • Virginian||

    if anything are TOO restrained in their use of deadly force(I recall one case where a local deputy was assassinated by a high on crack scumbag and an armed citizen didn't pull the trigger because he saw the guy's slide lock back when he ran out of ammo. So, he let the guy walk off with a gun (unloaded) after assassinated a cop lying on the ground. He would have been totally justified in shooting THAT fleeing felon).

    One could argue that he acted as a civilized human being should. It is telling that you as a supposed officer of the law wanted the man to summarily execute the criminal on the spot for killing a Hero in Blue. The proper viewpoint for a policeman should always be arrest and trial, followed by sentence, all carried out in the bright light of public scrutiny.

  • ||

    the fact that he executed a police officer is not relevant. the point is that the crime that occurred justified deadly force on a fleeing, armed, dangerous to the public felon, under tenn. v. garner (relevant case law) as well as basic morality and common sense.

    It is better to issue a command to "stop" and if the guy continues to flee you shoot him. The fact that he is temporarily out of ammo doesn't mean you let him get away when he has summarily executed a person (not a cop, a person), is still armed, and is fleeing. He represents a danger to the public.

    The case law in my state, and under federal standards allows one to shoot a fleeing felon in those circs, especially if one issues a comman to stop first, and it is ignored. One has a duty to protect the public, as a matter of morality, from such a dangerous person

  • ||

    "these neighborhood watch patrols need far better training and screening, not to mention learning how to follow orders."

    So you represent the police union or are you just a run of the mill bootlicker?

    -----

    What police union does NOT support neighborhood watches? My union certainly has never spoken out against neighborhood watches. We go to community meetings, and ENCOURAGE neighbhorhood watches. They are overwhelmingly a positive influence in fighting crime and helping to stop crimes, as well as catch criminals. We work hand in hand with neighborhood watches. They love us and we love them. It's a great relationship.

    They have far more "manpower", "eyes on the street" and frankly resources than we do in surveilling, helping to apprehend, and thwarting criminal behavior. I live in a neighborhood watch community and if you don't, and crimes a problem where you live - start one up

    Any PD that doesn't support neighborhood watch is a shitty PD.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Here: have a big steaming bowl of disjointed unsubstantiated assertions and wishful thinking.

    Let’s provide some much-needed direction for President Barack Obama and Clueless Joe.

    Detroit’s rebirth is what they ought to be focused on, thinking about how federal dollars can help fuel the city’s economic growth, shore up its services and attract the businesses and residents who will ply its future.

    Federal money is magic. Smear it all over a dead city, and watch it come back to life!

  • PH2050||

    +1 Lazarus

  • ||

    John: " And a 9-11 operator is not an LEO. You have no duty to follow their instructions. Zimmerman had every right to follow Martin. What is irresponsible about that? The only way it is irresponsible is if you assume Martin was a dangerous criminal and Zimmerman was putting himself in danger by following him. The only reason for Zimmerman to leave it to the cops is if Martin is so dangerous that only the cops could handle him.

    I don't think that makes the point you think it does."

    exactly. And as a line officer, we fully support the kind of actions that Zimmerman took (following and updating us). We are OPPOSED to our dispatch's policy of telling people not to follow, but they are too worried about CYA and civil liability and routinely tell people following bad guys not to do so. Fortunately, many (if not most) average joes ignore dispatch's "orders" (which they have no authoritah to make) and continue to follow bad guys, whether DUI drivers or burglars or whatever , and provide us with valuable info allowing us to CATCH bad guys vs. just responding after the fact and writing a report.

  • ||

    A *substantial* %age of bad guys we apprehend are because average joes GET INVOLVED, and follow bad guys until we arrive and/or in some cases hold them at gunpoint (like the guy who held a burglar in his garage for us until we got there. The BURGLAR actually called 911 because she was afraid the homeowner was going to shoot HER lol. It was awesome. We told her "we'll be right there to help you out" and did so. And she was arrested for residential burglary.)

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Nuthin up muh sleeve!

    Legislation to allow U.S. states to collect sales taxes on purchases made online is garnering support from both sides of the political spectrum, with a leading conservative economist saying on Thursday the tax would foster growth and job creation.

    ------

    The former member of President Ronald Reagan's administration estimates that by 2022 taxing online sales would add $342.9 billion to the country's gross domestic product and 916,627 jobs to its workforce. When considering the full legislation, which would also apply to catalog and other remote sales, Laffer found U.S. GDP would increase by $563.2 billion dollars and add 1.51 million jobs.

    How will this be accomplished?

    Trust us, we're from the government.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    What about in person sales to residents from other states?

    UNTAPPED GOLD MINE!!

  • PH2050||

    Because people never try to dodge sales taxes, right, Laffer?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Dweebston||

    I really was hoping this would turn into an ass-first sumo match.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Dweebston||

    Hah! Literotica. Not since high school have I... heard of that site.

  • ||

    That first girl in the pants is seriously hot.

  • PH2050||

    It's like baboons becoming exotic dancers or something.

    I appreciate an ample derriere but "twerking" just seems stupid.

    Then again, this is a generation that sees "leaking a sex tape" as a viable course of action to gain wealth and notoriety.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Heroic Mulatto,

    Zimmerman did more than "report" on that night,


    You didn't get the point, H. He had NO OBLIGATION, even as a volunteer neighborhood watch, to stay in his car - he's still a free, acting individual, bound by no law or contract to stay within such limited boundary.

    Both you and I know that after speaking with 911 he said something to the effect of "those punks always get away" and left his vehicle to follow Martin.


    What he said is irrelevant. Following someone is not against the law and does not violate the Non-Aggression Principle. None of those actions bring as a natural consequence an assault from another individual. You're placing too much attention on meaningless facts.

    we can safely say that Zimmerman's actions that night go beyond the job description of "neighborhood watchman".


    He was a volunteer neighborhood watchman, not under contract or bound by any special laws or regulations, which means there was no threshold of actions that he crossed - he had EVERY RIGHT to get out of his car to follow anyone he deemed suspicious.

    You keep thinking that Zimmerman did something wrong by following Martin, but I believe this is nothing more than post hoc reasoning from your part.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -You keep thinking that Zimmerman did something wrong by following Martin
    -Following someone is not against the law and does not violate the Non-Aggression Principle.

    I think you might both be correct. I'm a big fan of the NAP, but it's not meant to replace every precept of morals and prudence. Zimmerman did nothing illegal, and he didn't deserve assault or prosecution, but you can still say what he did in exiting his vehicle and following Martin on foot was unnecessary, overzealous and not prudent.

  • Dweebston||

    You're all three correct. Imprudent != immoral != illegal.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Yes, he should have hid in his bedroom like a good little proggy pussy.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Bo Cara Esq.

    I'm a big fan of the NAP, but it's not meant to replace every precept of morals and prudence


    The NAP is a moral principle that determines what is a good act and what is an evil act. Prudence only means not acting foolishly. One cannot replace the other, neither are they mutually exclusive.

    but you can still say what he did in exiting his vehicle and following Martin on foot was unnecessary, overzealous and not prudent.


    My opinion on that is irrelevant. I would probably have acted differently, but that does not mean Zimmerman's actions were inherently wrong.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -The NAP is a moral principle that determines what is a good act and what is an evil act.

    That's not right. It's a principle that can be used to determine when government action is appropriate and when it is not.

    Cheating on your spouse doesn't violate the NAP, but are you going to argue there's nothing inherently wrong with that?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -to determine when government action is appropriate and when it is not.

    Or perhaps better put, to determine when one's rights have been violated. But again, that doesn't cover every moral precept.

  • Dweebston||

    That's not right. It's a principle that can be used to determine when government action is appropriate and when it is not.

    Confused. Only governments can commit violence? NAP is the crux of the Zimmerman case, even if only we bother discussing it in those terms: whether Martin was acting according to that moral imperative when he attacked Zimmerman.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    See my restatement posted a minute after mine and preceding your reply by five minutes.

  • Dweebston||

    Fair enough. I've yet to see a compelling argument that Zimmerman transgressed a moral injunction, NAP or otherwise. Perhaps affecting a more Christian sense of forgiveness while he had head pounded against pavement would have spared Martin death and himself the uncomfortable aftermath.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    You might think it is a moral good to refrain from activity where you'd technically be in the right but which has a high chance of leading to an unfortunate result. For example, I'd be within my rights to have a friendly dinner with my insanely jealous' co-worker's attractive wife, but if that choice led to an altercation between he and I where I ended up killing him in self defense I can see someone complaining that I should have known better and refrained.

    Does Zimmerman following this young man at night, especially on foot, fall into this category? I'm not sure, but I imagine that's what people are getting at.

  • Dweebston||

    How is there a high chance of an unfortunate result in Zimmerman's actions whilst armed and on the phone with a police dispatcher? How would Zimmerman have known prospectively that Martin would shortly later attack him and force his hand, as it were? Particularly since the man felt himself armed for any ensuing confrontation, one of the few arguments I'll cede to the folks trying to turn this into a gun-control debate.

    I could make a similar argument about certain women wearing certain outfits in certain parts of town. The difference here is that Zimmerman balanced the risk of a confrontation against a) the eventual presence of police he himself summoned and b) his own ability to defend himself. You're arguing, as HM did more compellingly, that Zimmerman was being imprudent. I don't see it.

    And in any event, imprudence isn't immoral.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Bo Cara Esq.

    That's not right. It's a principle that can be used to determine when government action is appropriate and when it is not.


    The NAP applies to all our actions, not just government's.

    Cheating on your spouse doesn't violate the NAP, but are you going to argue there's nothing inherently wrong with that?


    Cheating on my wife violates the agreement I have with her. That may be an error of judgement on my part but the act itself hurt no one, be it in person or property. The NAP still applies to determine if my actions were inherently evil within the parameter of aggression, not of social convention. You are confusing moral judgment with judgment based on social customs.

    I can see someone complaining that I should have known better and refrained.


    Morally-ambiguous or clueless nosey busybodies will say anything.

  • lap83||

    I'm a big fan of the Non-Assuming Principle. I never assume I have enough information to make moral judgments about a situation I only know about from hearsay.

    I do think the jury made the right decision. But I also think anyone who thinks they can condemn Zimmerman or Martin is a moral busybody.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I never said Zimmerman did anything "wrong" or "illegal", but he did do something imprudent. You can't say that following a stranger is not going to make that stranger nervous, and you can't say that you can predict how a nervous stranger is going to act. Because of his imprudence, Zimmerman found himself in a situation that was well above his pay grade, and I have every right to view him poorly for that fact.

    You are correct in that Zimmerman had every legal right to act the way he did, just as I have every right to walk in downtown NYC at night with a shirt made out of 100 dollar bills. Any mugger who accosts me is violating the NAP, of course, but are you saying you wouldn't shake your head at my lack of common sense?

    What you don't seem to get is that any criticism of Zimmerman's actions on that night doesn't imply a belief in his guilt.

  • Dweebston||

    Zimmerman offered himself up on a silver platter, it must be said.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Heroic Mulatto,

    You can't say that following a stranger is not going to make that stranger nervous, and you can't say that you can predict how a nervous stranger is going to act.


    Sure, I can't say any of that. The problem is that you're ascribing to Zimmerman a responsibility that he did not have. What about Martin's actions? Just because a person thinks he's being followed does not mean he obtains license to assault someone.

    Besides, this discussion started because you gave validity to ecw's contention that Zimmerman should've received more training, as if the responsibility for everything was entirely on his shoulders. It's even worse than that: The contention ipso facto relegates Martin to the status of an unthinking animal that reacted to Zimmerman's actions like an amoeba reacts to outside stimuli.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    What about Martin's actions? Just because a person thinks he's being followed does not mean he obtains license to assault someone.

    You're right. I have never said Martin was in the right.

    Besides, this discussion started because you gave validity to ecw's contention that Zimmerman should've received more training, as if the responsibility for everything was entirely on his shoulders.

    It was. No one forced Zimmerman to join the neighborhood watch and go on patrol.

    It's even worse than that: The contention ipso facto relegates Martin to the status of an unthinking animal that reacted to Zimmerman's actions like an amoeba reacts to outside stimuli.

    Well, he was a 17-year-old teenaged boy. :)

  • shamalam||

    You make a decent point. Seventeen year old boys are not known for their excellent judgment.

    I have raised two sons. The youngest is the will be nineteen tomorrow, i.e. the exact same age as Trayvon. Neither of my sons, nor the multitude of their similarly aged friends would have attacked and assaulted Zimmerman in the manner that Trayvon did.

  • Frequent Poster||

    So if while driving to work, someone cuts me off in traffic, SYG will allow me to shoot them because I could reasonably believe I could suffer serious injuries due to their actions.

  • Dweebston||

    No, you're reading it all wrong. SYG allows you to immunize yourself from civil and criminal charges after the fact by attending a rote hearing where you high-five Klan members and police officers.

  • Irish||

    SYG allows you to immunize yourself from civil and criminal charges after the fact by attending a rote hearing where you high-five Klan members and police officers.

    How's that different from the average party at my house?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Because the "Klan members" and "police officers" aren't female strippers you pay to fulfill your deviant sexual cosplay fantasies.

  • Dweebston||

    And locking a bevy of underage prostitutes in your basement and forcing them to dress in costumes you've sewn can't really be termed a party.

  • PH2050||

    He swears, their tears were tears of joy!

  • Killazontherun||

    lol!

  • Irish||

    Why are all the people who show up to argue against stand your ground so incapable of understanding the law? Is there some mental illness that only effects certain liberals and makes them incapable of understanding legal concepts?

  • ||

    Why are all the people who show up to argue against stand your ground so incapable of understanding the law?

    This answers itself. They DON'T HAVE ANY GOOD ARGUMENTS against the law, so necessarily those who are arguing against it don't know what they're talking about. They're just repeating talking points they've heard on Facebook or in some other comments section.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Confusion about the law abounds even among its supporters on this very page. Scroll up and you'll see several discussions putting forward incompatible interpretations of provisions of the law.

  • Tejicano||

    Because just about anybody claiming this would 1) have been carrying a gun, and 2) have shot somebody with it. The average lefty sees either of these actions as wrong on their face so any law which could facilitate these actions cannot be right under any circumstances.

    It is less an inabillity to understand the law and more an inabillity to accept that either of the above cases could ever be acceptable.

  • Tejicano||

    Because just about anybody claiming this would 1) have been carrying a gun, and 2) have shot somebody with it. The average lefty sees either of these actions as wrong on their face so any law which could facilitate these actions cannot be right under any circumstances.

    It is less an inabillity to understand the law and more an inabillity to accept that either of the above cases could ever be acceptable.

  • Virginian||

    Exactly. Even the pro-gun lefties I know are pro-gun for hunting and sporting and home defense. Carrying a gun around is something they think is only for cops. Because cops are trained or something.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Infrequent Thinker,

    So if while driving to work, someone cuts me off in traffic, SYG will allow me to shoot them [sic]


    I don't think you need any law to justify your paranoid delusions.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    So if while driving to work, someone cuts me off in traffic, SYG will allow me to shoot them because I could reasonably believe I could suffer serious injuries due to their actions.

    Of course. Even if you have to follow her for a hundred miles. Not only that, you can follow her to her home and, once you know where she lives, return later to shoot her as she is mowing the lawn.

    Fuck off.

  • Dweebston||

    You're forgetting the Disparate Impact provision: the victim must be of a more marginalized minority than your own. No shooting up, only down.

  • Frequent Poster||

    Malcolm Gladwell was just on CNN arguing College Football should be banned because of brain diseases like CTE and cultural obesity.
    Why do world-class academic institutions need to play a 19th century game?

  • Irish||

    Malcolm Gladwell was just on CNN arguing College Football should be banned because of brain diseases like CTE and cultural obesity.

    Wait...

  • Killazontherun||

    Game of Thrones: In Memoriam (Comic-Con)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9m4ZPULXJKw

    Spoilers, no, not just Spoilers, EVERY Spoiler.

  • Dweebston||

    The series has some catching up to do. You know who else knows a bit about the major plot twists of the unfinished books? Dan Weiss and David Benioff, apparently.

    I know the ending in broad strokes. I don’t know every little twist and turn that will get me there, and I don’t know the ending of every secondary character. But the ending and the main characters, yeah. And [Game of Thrones producers] David Benioff and Dan Weiss know some of that too, which the fans are very worried about in case I get hit by a truck.
  • Dweebston||

    And you know who else was hit by a truck van prior to finishing a major fantasy series?

  • PH2050||

    Hah, nice.

    Just finished Full Dark, No Stars. I enjoyed it.

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