Obama Says 'Stand Your Ground' Laws Encourage Violence

White HouseWhite HouseIn remarks at the White House today, President Obama joined Attorney General Eric Holder in suggesting that eliminating the duty to retreat for people attacked outside their homes encourages unnecessary violence:

I think it would be useful for us to examine some state and local laws to see...if they are designed in such a way that they may encourage the kinds of altercations and confrontations and tragedies that we saw in the Florida case, rather than diffuse potential altercations. 

I know that there's been commentary about the fact that the "stand your ground" laws in Florida were not used as a defense in the case. On the other hand, if we're sending a message as a society in our communities that someone who is armed potentially has the right to use those firearms even if there's a way for them to exit from a situation, is that really going to be contributing to the kind of peace and security and order that we'd like to see?

Obama's argument seems to be that Florida's "stand your ground" law, even if it had nothing to do with George Zimmerman's defense or acquittal, fostered a mind-set that led to his deadly confrontation with Martin. It is impossible to say for sure whether changing the rules for self-defense somehow emboldened Zimmerman to follow Martin or to get out of his car that night, but the idea does not seem very plausible to me. Was Zimmerman sitting in his car, weighing the pros and cons of getting out, when it occurred to him that should he happen to suffer a life-threatening assault at the hands of the "suspicious" character he had spotted, he would be more likely to get away with shooting him dead than he would have been before Florida's self-defense law was amended in 2005? Probably not. If his mind got as far as the possibility of a life-threatening assault, I suspect he would have stayed in his car.

As for the question of whether the mentality allegedly encouraged by the "stand your ground" law led to an unjustified use of force, we got a pretty clear answer from the jury, which not only concluded that the government had failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt but seems to have accepted Zimmerman's argument that he reasonably feared for his life at the moment he fired his gun. Although Obama apparently disagrees with that judgment, he sees nothing wrong with the process that produced it:

The judge conducted the trial in a professional manner. The prosecution and the defense made their arguments. The juries were properly instructed that in a case such as this reasonable doubt was relevant, and they rendered a verdict. And once the jury has spoken, that's how our system works. 

That respect-the-verdict message seems inconsistent with prosecuting Zimmerman again for the same shooting, as the Justice Department is considering. But Obama seemed to tamp down expectations of federal charges:

I know that Eric Holder is reviewing what happened down there, but I think it’s important for people to have some clear expectations here. Traditionally, these are issues of state and local government, the criminal code. And law enforcement is traditionally done at the state and local levels, not at the federal levels.

The same could be said of the rules for self-defense, of course, but that does not stop Obama from weighing in on how state legislators should write them:

For those who resist that idea that we should think about something like these "stand your ground" laws, I'd just ask people to consider, if Trayvon Martin was of age and armed, could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk? And do we actually think that he would have been justified in shooting Mr. Zimmerman who had followed him in a car because he felt threatened? And if the answer to that question is at least ambiguous, then it seems to me that we might want to examine those kinds of laws.

Martin would not have been justified in shooting Zimmerman simply because Zimmerman had followed him. But if Zimmerman had attacked him, Martin would have had a right to "meet force with force," including deadly force if he reasonably thought his life was in danger, which is not the same as merely feeling threatened. Why does Obama think this is a hard question?

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  • Warrren||

    So it's SYG not thuggery? Good to know. He is the LIGHTBRINGER!

  • Dweebston||

    If SYG emboldens would-be vigilantes, what about concealed carry, or open carry, or any possession of firearms whatsoever? Why isn't self defense indictable as a factor in encouraging unnecessary violence?

    Right, right, reasonable controls and all that.

  • LarryA||

    That's the primary anti-gun argument. Individuals should rely on government law enforcement. When law enforcement is minutes away, "If the criminal wants your wallet, give him your wallet. Otherwise someone might get hurt."

    Not working out too well in England.

  • Sevo||

    Obozo lies.

  • ||

    I'd just ask people to consider, if Trayvon Martin was of age and armed, could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk? And do we actually think that he would have been justified in shooting Mr. Zimmerman who had followed him in a car because he felt threatened?

    Answer, question 1: Um, yes, he could have. I would love to see the reactions in the media if a black man was forced to run away when threatened by a white (or Perjewvian) one.

    Answer, question 2: Justification under the SYG law does not come from feeling threatened but from being threatened. And proving that in a court of law. Why is that so goddam hard to get?

  • Caleb Turberville||

    You know, I really don't see how Obama could be an authority on this issue. He's obviously busy, and this case was tried at the state level in Florida. Not to mention that Stand Your Ground was enacted in Florida in 2005, a one year after Obama abandoned his law career to entire national politics. I don't know, but it seems the President (and this is just me) called a press conference to score political points...But, hey, that's just me.

  • Tony||

    Oh yes, his political advisers surely all convened to urge him to go on national TV and talk about being black.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Look, it would be a lot different if he had practiced criminal law or civil rights law within the last decade. But from what I can tell, Obama's words bear no relevance to this case, other than the cheap partisan points he might be able to score.

  • Tony||

    The speech was about a lot more than SYG. His political advisers have advised him, with total success until today, to treat race as a live wire. If you know anything about how the Obama operation works, you'd know that this speech was specifically not about scoring political points.

    Not that a politician trying to score political points should be all that shocking.

  • Contrarian P||

    Please, tell us how the "Obama operation" works. His entire campaign was based around him being black, being something new and different. His supporters deflect criticism of him as being racially motivated. His speech quite clearly is aimed at shoring up his support from the Democratic base, most of which believes Zimmerman got away with murder, and deflect attention away from the NSA, Obamacare's recent troubles, and the other troubling issues of his administration.

  • Loki||

    I have little doubt that Tony has intimate knowledge of how the "Obama operation" works. Of course, what you need to realize is that in this case "operation" is a euphemism for "Obama's cock."

  • Tony||

    You do realize that Obama isn't running for reelection, because he can't, right?

    Isn't the real problem here your near-OCD need to think everything Obama does is cynical and evil?

  • C. Anacreon||

    Help me out on this, Tony. Let's do a hypothetical. Let's say you are a security guard at a shopping mall. You see a young man going around behind a department store to the loading dock, where recently people have been stealing off of delivery trucks. Although techincally this person is doing nothing illegal at this point, you decide to follow him to see what he's up to, as he more than likely does not have a good reason for going back there.

    This all seems completely reasonable on the security guard's part to me, and, I assume, most people. He should check this out -- in fact, that's something he's been given responsibility to do.

    So everything makes sense so far. But now let's say the young man is black. In your world, suddenly this security guard is not behaving correctly, but he is instead "profiling."

    And thus I assume that no one should ever investigate suspicious behavior by a black person, because that is completely wrong to do?

  • C. Anacreon||

    From testimony and police reports, Zimmerman followed Trayvon because he was walking between houses on private property, looking as if he might be "casing" them -- and it is likely that he initially was not even certain about his race. In fact, it was all about the behavior. But suddently in the past few days, the whole case is about the evil of "profiling" -- which wasn't even being discussed a week ago!

    It seems to me that the goalposts keep moving. First he shot a kid who was only walking home. Then when it became obvious that it was self-defense, that Trayvon attacked him, and he was acquitted, the whole argument changed, and now it is that he only did this because Trayvon was black. (Obviously so they can trump up civil rights charges when regular laws weren't enough.)

  • Tony||

    Well GZ wasn't a security guard, he could have been a creeper for all TM knew. Race may not be the whole story, but the sense I'm getting here is "Can't we please stop talking about black people's problems? Let's get back to why it's the world's greatest evil that I have to pay taxes."

  • Jordan||

    but the sense I'm getting here is

    My strawman sense is tingling!

  • BambiB||

    I don't see any need for OCD. A general awareness of events suffices. If it walks like a chicken and it clucks like a chicken...

    Point is, there are way too many disasters that point directly at the executive branch. Fast & Furious (with the 'executive privilege' coverup), NSA spying on Americans, IRS attacking tea party groups, unilaterally going to war against Libya, a whole raft of campaign promises that turned out to be lies, the mounting disaster that is Obamacare, more debt than all other presidents combined... Any other president would have been impeached two years ago.

    I'm hard-pressed to think of anything Obama has done right! (I guess he finally did wind down the war in Iraq.) Opining on SYG laws is just a minor screwup for Obama. He's better known for disasters of much greater scope and weight.

  • Number 2||

    Yes, Obama's political advisors would NEVER, EVER, urge him to go on national television to exploit a tragedy to push his political agenda and gin up his political base!

    Just like Obama would never have dreamed of exploiting the Newtown shooting (remember that?) for political gain!

    And just like the way Obama never injected himself into the case of the police officers who accosted the Harvard professor!

    Gosh, you convinced me...

  • Tony||

    And how dare he! What does he think he is, a politician?

  • Jordan||

    Wow, what a sterling defense!

  • barfman2013||

    *barf*

  • Paul.||

    Obama says a lot of things... I no longer listen to any of them.

  • Enough About Palin||

    "if Trayvon Martin was of age and armed"

    If, is the middle word in life.

    /Col. Kurtz

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    On the other hand, if we're sending a message as a society in our communities that someone who is armed potentially has the right to use those firearms even if there's a way for them to exit from a situation, is that really going to be contributing to the kind of peace and security and order that we'd like to see?

    Whereas the message that people have to run from aggressors will no doubt contribute to peace and security.

  • OldMexican||

    But if Zimmerman had attacked him, Martin would have had a right to "meet force with force," including deadly force if he reasonably thought his life was in danger, which is not the same as merely feeling threatened. Why does Obama think this is a hard question?


    Because he wants to outlaw armed self-defense. Why is this so hard for you, obtuse libertarians, to understand that?

  • kinnath||

    Martin 'could have been me' 35 years ago

    If only

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Hey!

  • BambiB||

    Sweet!

  • BigT||

    Prez : "When Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said, This could've been my son. Another way of saying that is, Trayvon Martin could've been me 35 years ago. "

    So Obummer broke someone's nose and banged his head against the ground? (Or similar violence) A real thug.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "This could've been my son. Another way of saying that is, Trayvon Martin could've been me 35 years ago"

    Or at least Obama and His Son, if not identical, are of the same essence.

  • Adam330||

    I look forward to Obama's memo to all armed FBI, DHS, etc. agents that
    they should not use those firearms if there's a way for them to exit from a situation.

  • Adam330||

    Oh, to DoJ telling to them to criminally prosecute for murder any agent violating the policy.

  • AlgerHiss||

    Our skinny little Marxist becomes more worthless and inane each day.

    You "hopey-changey" people that elected this trash ought to be ashamed. But of course, you're not.

    You still have that goofy look of leftism in your million-mile stare.

  • SIV||

    SYG aside, our President firmly established today that he is the biggest racial demagogue in American politics this side of Senator Theodore Bilbo.

  • mr lizard||

    Has it changed the mindset here? Sort of. SYG allows a possible victim to consider the immediate threat and take action accordingly, instead of pausing at a crucial moment to worry about prosecution or lawsuits. However in a high stress situation I think survival instincts trump long term consideration.... Which is how it should be.

  • Adam330||

    Yeah, I can't see how SYG/duty to retreat is likely to change anyone's actions. People in self-defense situation are acting on instinct, even if they happen to know the law of their state, which most don't.

  • LarryA||

    It changes the behavior of anti-gun prosecutors, who will use the duty to retreat to hammer even justifiable self-defense.

  • BambiB||

    The principle abuse of SYG is after the gun smoke clears. It's when thugs try to justify an attack on the basis of SYG. Some prosecutors, ever anxious to preserve their "win" records, won't go after criminals who invoke the defense, not because they can't win, but because they might lose.

    But SYG laws prevent another more heinous abuse: That of prosecutors going after innocent people. Look at the Zimmerman trial. Understand that the prosecutors withheld evidence and argued a case that was all smoke, mirrors, innuendo and emotion - without the smoke and mirrors. They never had any case at all. Even early in the trial, when they were putting on witnesses that set the tone for the duration, I found myself asking, "Is this a prosecution? Or a defense?"

    I actually felt a little sorry for the prosecutors, being stampeded by political criminal Angela Corey into a wholly unsupportable trial... until after the trial when it became clear through their comments that they were always more interested in a "win" than they were in justice.

    So SYG does address one form of prosecutorial misconduct to the extent that it deprives prosecutors of the ability to dissect for hours a decision that had to be made in fractions of a second and prevents them from shifting the burden from a criminal who attacked a victim to the victim himself for not finding a means of escape that may only have been known after-the-fact.

  • Nazdrakke||

    Orwell should have followed up his "There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them," with "and there are some things so absurd only a politician would say them."

  • Tony||

    You don't have to automatically accept every newfangled Republican gun fetish law that pops into existence. Even if you think they're good policy, their outcomes are not exactly settled history, so the haughtiness is a bit misplaced. Obama's wrongdoing, according to this article, is expressing an opinion about a type of state law he doesn't like (while expressly noting that this is a matter of local law enforcement). Inpeach!

    Oh, and look at all the little racist fucks who've showed up. I love watching libertarians set fire to their own dinghy.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    I see somebody forgot to lock the cover on the slimepit again.

    Tony got out.

  • Loki||

    *scans rest of comments*

    I don't see anyone saying anything that could be construed as racist in this thread. Take your meds, it'll help silence the voices in your head.

  • Contrarian P||

    Please, which Republican gun fetish law are we accepting? What outcomes are you referencing?

    Obama's wrongdoing according to the article is talking out of both sides of his mouth and using a case which had nothing to do with something he doesn't like to score points. I didn't see anything about impeachment.

    Also, please submit evidence of any racially motivated comments. Your baseless accusations expose you for the intellectual weakling you are.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    You don't have to automatically accept every newfangled Republican gun fetish law that pops into existence.


    Like the second amendment, for instance. Correct?

    Even if you think they're [sic] good policy, their [sic] outcomes [sic] are not exactly settled history,


    So you mean to say that all laws should be subjected to cost-benefit analysis rather than raw morality tests?

    That would probably end up hurting most of YOUR favorite social-engineering laws and regs.

    Obama's wrongdoing, according to this article, is expressing an opinion about a type of state law he doesn't like


    He's expressing an opinion on a law he's misrepresenting, which means he's being an idiot twice.

    Oh, and look at all the little racist fucks who've showed up.


    I knew you would like that touch.

  • BigT||

    and look at all the little racist fucks who've showed up

    Just one - you.

  • Rich||

    *** takes deep breath ***

    Serious question: What *exactly* in SYG do, um, these people find objectionable?

  • Loki||

    The fact that you don't have to try to run away from a violent confrontation where your life is in danger and can respond with force, up to and including lethal force, if you reasonably fear great bodily harm or death.

    That's it really. These assholes hate the idea that some people are actually willing to defend themselves rather than piss their pants and call the cops. And then of course hope the cops get there in time to do anything other than process the scene of their murder.

  • Rich||

    Thanks, Loki.

    I'll take the serious questioning a little further: *Exactly* what law(s) says you *have* to try to run away from a violent confrontation where your life is in danger?

    If there really is such law, that law is bullshit.

  • Loki||

    *Exactly* what law(s) says you *have* to try to run away from a violent confrontation where your life is in danger?

    Admittedly I was engaging in a bit of hyperbole there. I was loosely referring to the "duty to retreat" which some states have when it comes to self defense.

    I googled and found a volokh.com article that provides a decent overview of "SYG" vs. "duty to retreat."

    The seconds paragraph in my post above was only slightly exaggerating though. I've actually had people ask me why I study martial arts when I can just call the cops if I'm ever assaulted. When I explain to them that the cops will likely not get there in time they usually just say "Well, why don't you just run away? It seems to me you just like violence and want to be able to beat people up if you feel like it."

    At which point I have to stifle the urge to say "Yes, I like beating people up, and I'm starting to get the urge to beat you up for being a dipshit."

  • Rich||

    Thanks again. The link is good.

    In duty-to-retreat states, the defendant is not legally allowed to use deadly force to defend himself if the jury concludes that he could have safely avoided the risk of death or serious bodily injury (or the other relevant crimes) by retreating. As best I can tell, the current rule is that 19 states (plus D.C.) fall in the duty to retreat category: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island; Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Wisconsin; Hawaii, Wyoming.

  • The Heresiarch||

    Is there any empirical evidence that states with SYG laws have a disproportionately higher rate of homicide, or homicide by vigilante? Given the huffing and puffing over SYG, I think that if there were some solid statistical evidence it would have been mentioned. I'll take silence as a "no," until proven otherwise.

  • The Heresiarch||

    Is there any empirical evidence that states with SYG laws have a disproportionately higher rate of homicide, or homicide by vigilante? Given the huffing and puffing over SYG, I think that if there were some solid statistical evidence it would have been mentioned. I'll take silence as a "no," until proven otherwise.

  • Tony||

    There's not much, but here's this.

  • G-dub||

    "While the overall homicide rates in those states stayed relatively flat, the average number of justifiable cases per year increased by more than 50% in the decade’s latter half."

    So, basically, the same homicides that were happening before SYG continued to happen at the same rate after SYG, but more of them were considered justified due to the law. This proves what, exactly?

  • Loki||

    That white Hispanic racists can feel free to gun down Obama's son, duh.

  • Not Sure||

    The law works to help people defending their life?

  • Contrarian P||

    That's an absolutely laughable article. The point of the first part of the article seems to be that if you expand the definition of what constitutes justifiable homicide, justifiable homicides will increase. That's like expanding the definition of cars to include trucks, motorcycles, and bicycles and then being shocked to discover that there are more cars on the road.

    Reading the study itself, as far as the claim that homicides increase in the states in question, the study period (2000-2010) is incredibly small, especially since the first state (Florida) to pass a SYG law did so in 2005, meaning that the period studied is five years or less in all cases. The authors also offer no good explanation as to why the laws being in effect would produce a substantial number of new homicides, especially since the number of burglaries, carjackings, and the like, which would lead to more castle doctrine situations did not increase in a statistically significant manner. In other words, the authors see an increase in murders during the period studied and ascribe the increase to the SYG laws, conveniently ignoring the economic collapse that occurred during precisely the same period or other potentially confounding factors. It's a worthless study.

    I realize it's not your study and you were just pointing it out, but still, the fact that this sort of highly questionable crap is even cited at all disturbs me. I see it way too often in medicine (witness: the whole autism/vaccine scare).

  • Tony||

    I said there wasn't much. I said specifically that the jury is still out on its outcomes on crime.

    I personally don't favor the laws, because I know its primary motivation is the gun lobby and not to solve a social problem that actually exists, so I distrust it implicitly.

  • Jordan||

    not to solve a social problem that actually exists

    Assault, rape and murder don't exist?

  • Tony||

    All of which regular self-defense covers.

  • Jordan||

    Unless the state decides to prosecute you for not running away. "Sorry Mrs. rape victim, we know you were scared shitless and had no time to react, but we don't appreciate you taking the initiative to defend yourself."

    /Typical progressive

  • Jordan||

    It's funny how progressives become die-hard law and order types when discussing self-defense, especially in light of all the abuses and miscarriages of justice conducted by police and prosecutors on a daily basis. Hell, the Zimmerman trial alone was a political show-trial.

    "Better 100 innocent men go to jail for legitimately defending themselves, then 1 guilty man go free because he claimed self-defense."

  • BambiB||

    not to solve a social problem that actually exists
    Actually, you're wrong.
    But the problem probably isn't one you've considered.

    Imagine you're attacked and defend yourself with deadly force. Months later a prosecutor spends half a day in a courtroom deriding a decision you made in less than 3 seconds. The prosecutor says you could have gotten away safely and you are obligated to prove this is not true. The prosecutor points out that your attacker had a bad heart and a false leg when he brandished his machete and threatened to cut your head off. But at the time, you didn't know it.

    Sorry. You should not have "stood your ground". You should have known that your attacker could not have caught you from behind when you turned to run. You should have known that his heart would never have allowed him to keep up with you. The jurors are obligated to play the "what if" game in perfect 20-20 hindsight, and the prosecutor is urging them to convict you because of your lack of knowledge at the time.

    Of course, with Stand Your Ground, that's all irrelevant. You prove the attacker threatened your life, he had a weapon and you were in reasonable fear of death or great bodily injury and you're NOT GUILTY.

    Which result strikes you as most just?

  • Loki||

    Why does Obama think this is a hard question?

    Because he's a moron. Next question.

  • freeAgent||

    I thought the speech was pretty good for something coming from Obama, though that question about Trayvon possibly being justified in shooting and killing Zimmerman for following him in his car was ridiculous. As an intelligent person, he has to know that was a completely inapt comparison and isn't even remotely legal under Stand Your Ground/Self Defense laws.

  • PapayaSF||

    Sorry, I think it was terrible. For the good of the country and his own legacy, it would have been better to make this a Sista Souljah moment: rebuke his extreme supporters who want to lynch Zimmerman, tell people to respect the jury decision, and tell young black men that if they don't want to end up like Martin, to not act like Martin.

  • Tony||

    According to that juror who was interviewed by Anderson Cooper, SYG played a direct role in their thinking. It was in the jury instructions as part of the law they had to consider. She specifically said "felt threatened" as well. Zimmerman had the rights under SYG whether his defense team argued it or not.

  • Jordan||

    Zimmerman had the right to defend himself without SYG as well. Fail.

  • Calidissident||

    That juror also said that she pretty much believed that things happened as Zimmerman said; that Martin threw the first punch, and had Zimmerman pinned on the ground bashing his head against the concrete when Zimmerman shot him. In this scenario, SYG is irrelevant as Zimmerman could not retreat, and Zimmerman was justified in shooting Martin under general self-defense law. If she thinks SYG was relevant in the scenario she believed happened, then she's misinformed. The jury instructions also included things that were clearly irrelevant to the case, such as incidents occurring in dwellings. The prosecution explicitly stated the case was not about SYG and the defense did not use SYG as a defense. Case closed.

  • Tony||

    SYG informed everything from the initial lack of arrest to the jury's decision, as the juror herself explicitly said. So they believed GZ's account. OK, the other party wasn't able to give his account, since he was dead.

  • Jordan||

    In other words, SYG had nothing to do with the verdict.

  • BambiB||

    Your comment only highlights the most spectacular strategic mistake by the defense in the entire trial: Allowing a jury that consisted of 6 women. Half of them were ready to convict Zimmerman of something. Anything. They would have convicted a ham sandwich!

    I was never so afraid of an innocent man going to prison for doing the right thing as when they announced an all-female jury.

  • Sevo||

    Tony| 7.19.13 @ 7:56PM |#
    "According to that juror who was interviewed by Anderson Cooper,"

    Oh, goody! Why not get one 'interviewed' by Rush?
    Shithead, here is what matters:
    The prosecution claimed X. They presented the case for X. The defense disputed the evidence for X.
    The jury looked at what both sides presented and said the prosecution did not prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that X occurred.
    Now it you wish to claim a political result of that process, fuck you.

  • pmains||

    Is it really worth listening to what our anointed God-Emperor has to say? You know that it's going to be drivel. He will offer false choices, attack strawmen, etc. etc. Why play the game of pretending that you could or should make sense of it? That's just playing his game.

    Put another way, these speeches are aimed at two groups. The first are the adulators, who listen to these talks the way they listen to bedtime stories. These are comforting, largely nonsensical narratives that make them feel good.

    The second target group are the fools who want to argue with Obama. You cannot argue with a psychopath. They don't care about right or wrong; truth or falsehood. Argument and rhetoric are simply means to ends.

    The best response is to pointedly and condescendingly ignore the gibberish. Provide a coherent alternative that in no way attempts to engage the troll.

  • Tony||

    So you didn't listen, but nevertheless you have a strong opinion on it.

  • Sevo||

    Tony| 7.19.13 @ 7:56PM |#
    "So you didn't listen, but nevertheless you have a strong opinion on it."

    Shithead, please do tell us of the content of Nixon's resignation speech.
    I turned it off after a minute or so and had a strong opinion of it; I'm sure, you, shithead, listened to the entire collection of lies, much as Obozo delivered, right?
    So, please, shithead, tell us of the exact content of that speech and exactly where Nixon lied. I'd love to compare it to Obozo's lies.

  • setTHEline||

    Perhaps he distrusts Obama implicitly regardless of what he says (I know I do). You know, like a bill supported by the gun lobby.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Traditionally, these are issues of state and local government, the criminal code. And law enforcement is traditionally done at the state and local levels, not at the federal levels."

    Translation: The FBI has *already* investigated this case and failed to find a racial motive. We'll do another investigation in hopes we can find something, but don't get your hopes up, we'll probably just go through the motions and acknowledge that our insinuations of racism can't pass the smell test. But we can at least prolong the investigation long enough to string along the low-info voters.

  • Sevo||

    EvH,
    "We'll do another investigation in hopes we can find something, but don't get your hopes up, we'll probably just go through the motions and acknowledge that our insinuations of racism can't pass the smell test. But we can at least prolong the investigation long enough to string along the low-info voters."

    As per some other examples, I'm pretty sure there is no intent to string along any voters; that assumes an intelligence that isn't eveident.
    I'm presuming (!) that Obozo is simply playing what he and his political advisers see as an 'instant' distraction in the hopes that the IRS/NSA/Drone/Snowden stuff gets ignored.

  • ||

    Well of COURSE stand your ground laws increase violence!

    Without them, you have one person, a criminal engaging in violence. With them, you have two people engaging in violence, the criminal attacker and the victim defending himself. This absolutely represents a net increase in violence.

    But the two acts of violence are not equal unless you consider the criminal's unlawful desire to harm someone of equal importance and validity to that victim's desire to remain unharmed. If both desires are equal (contrary to all law and custom) then OF COURSE a victim resisting is a bad thing, since it increases the amount of violence in the interaction.

    Of course, by that measure, all police must be disarmed to prevent increases of violence. Likewise, the military must be disbanded, since resisting an invasion would also increase violence. Plainly, the government does not consider the act of defense to be equal to or worse than the act of aggression.

    Which leaves me wondering why Obama self-identifies with a violent, racist thug who attempted murder and was killed in self-defense by his would-be victim?

  • Sevo||

    Gindjurra| 7.19.13 @ 10:41PM |#
    "Well of COURSE stand your ground laws increase violence!
    Without them, you have one person, a criminal engaging in violence. With them, you have two people engaging in violence, the criminal attacker and the victim defending himself. This absolutely represents a net increase in violence.

    Maybe, or maybe not.
    *If* criminals had warning that victims may not be simple victims, but had the power to resist, I'm pretty sure that a good number of criminals would, well, maybe engage in panhandling.
    This is an economic issue; the margins are what matter. If the cost of stealing from people becomes higher than the return, even idiots like shithead could decide that there are other alternatives.
    Well, that may be assuming too much of shithead...

  • Duelles||

    Obama is an economic moron and now shows himself to be just stupid. When, legally, someone who starts a fight can kill to defend himself as self defense. . . . What is he thinking. My home is my castle and so is my body. Violate either and take your chances. The older I get, the slower I run. Retreat gets more difficult.

  • Banh||

    Barack Obama is "President Lite", just like a Budweiser. He is an activist in his soul. He knows how to stir up the shit, how to piss people off, how to justify, how to manipulate, how to divide and how to go golfing after he's done. He does NOT know how to devise let alone execute a workable solution for anything. He obviously doesn't know how to read the actual black to white or white to black crime statistics either. Holder, Sharpton, Jackson and Obama need some Rosetta Stone English lessons.

    This guy just wants the peasants to walk away from conflict because he has no answers for anything. (How's CHICAGO doing with stand your ground, Barry?) He certainly knows how light a fire under racism though, doesn't he? The distance he puts between himself and the general population is immense, but he acts like such a warm and fuzzy guy in front of the mike. "I got your back!!" His favorite slogan. Question is, is he watching your back, getting ready to stab you in the back, putting sand in the Vaseline for some more political sodomy, or looking at your wallet thinking how to take more money? Why doesn't this guy do anything while standing in FRONT of me, looking America in the eye?

    Our first Golf Cart Presidency...

  • BambiB||

    Obama has an entire Secret Service dedicated to his protection. He's not competent or qualified to express any opinion on what safety means to the rest of us.

    Trayvon Martin was a violent thug who attacked a neighborhood watch captain who was only looking out for his neighborhood. People that don't get that are sadly misinformed, are simply stupid or are dishonest partisans. Obama may be all three.

  • BeBraveUSA||

    Its hard to retreat when your getting your head slammed into the ground repeatedly. Just saying...

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