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View Diary: The Zimmerman Case: My take (Like it or not) (159 comments)

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  •  Zimmerman should have stayed in his car (2+ / 0-)
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    sandbox, Mannie

    but the last time I checked it was perfectly legal to walk down a sidewalk behind someone, and it's perfectly legal to ask a question.

    We've had some garage break ins on my block, it's made everyone on edge.  I saw a guy I didn't know walking down the alley behind my house and I took a look to see what he was doing (I took my dog, not a gun).  I had every right to walk down my alley, I had every right to walk up to this guy and to say "hi there, how are you?".

    He took off running and I declined to follow, but if I see him again I'm gonna call the cops and then take my dog for a walk again.

    •  And it would have been perfectly legal to shoot U (5+ / 0-)

      A man is simply walking down an alley? And you think it's okay to get your dog and stalk him? The guy doesn't know you, doesn't know your dog, all he knows is he walked by your house, and all of a sudden here you are stalking him with a dog that may be dangerous.

      If he sees you again and has a gun, under the precedent set by Zimmerman's acquittal, he would have every right to consider you a threat and shoot you and your dog.

      Good luck to you, sounds like you will need it.

      Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

      by absdoggy on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 03:33:32 PM PDT

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      •  following and observing is not exactly (0+ / 0-)


        •  if he's scared, it is (1+ / 0-)
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          as I understand the SYG law, even if you're wrong, as long as you feel your life is in danger it's ok to shoot.

          Dear NSA: I am only joking.

          by Shahryar on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 03:40:12 PM PDT

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        •  Following, observing, getting out of your (6+ / 0-)

          car and confronting is what to you?


          What if you were walking along on the street by yourself and someone did that to you?

          How would you react?

          Would you ask them over to dinner?

          FWIW - and I think it is worth A LOT - we do not know what Zimmerman said or did to the kid upon confronting him.

          We will never know now what happened, but what I can tell you for certain - and as this case proves - when people get scared for their lives, they can react very violently.  Martin probably fought Zimmerman out of fear, but he can't have his day in court to make his case because now he is dead.  Zimmerman saw to that and the Florida legislature, the judge, and a ridiculously poor prosecution team all have seen to aid and abet that end result.

          •  The guy with the gun is always right. nt (1+ / 0-)
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            "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

            by ranger995 on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 04:23:00 PM PDT

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            •  You describe a system of anarchy. (2+ / 0-)
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              greengemini, Tonedevil

              One which would dispose someone like Zimmerman in an instant - and a lot of other people who really do not deserve to be left to the hands of fate or vigilantes.

              Anarchy is not what I want in my country.  That's why I passionately object to the idea of "stand your ground laws".  It gives license to stupid idiots who think that might makes right.

              When I was in college in New York, there were these people who used to sit around in the East Village on street corners with signs advocating anarchy.  They were always skinny, small, weak and high.  They had no fucking clue that they would be the first to die were anarchy to actually take hold.  Zimmerman may have "won" this skirmish, but the reality is that if he continues to instigate confrontations, one day he will be the victim who is powerless to speak.

              If we want to drive our country to the pre-Hobbesian era where there is no social compact, I'm getting off of the bus.  It is headed off of a cliff, if that's what people want.

          •  It's not illegal, that's the issue (1+ / 0-)
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          •  You are right Inclusiveheart (0+ / 0-)

            We will never know what really happened that fateful night because all we have is Zimmerman's version of events. It's amazing to me how many people accept his word as the absolute gospel truth. I don't believe he's telling the truth. And the dead teenager can't speak to us from the grave.

        •  Yes, it is (3+ / 0-)

          I'm walking down an alley.  I see a guy in the house on my left looking out at me.

          Suddenly, this guy is coming up from behind me, with a dog.  Dog = deadly weapon in all 50 states. As Fall Line describes it, he then walks up to this guy, who is doing nothing, who he doesn't know, with his deadly weapon in tow, and wants to question him?

          Fact is, you wouldn't even need a stand your ground law at all.  I would have a justifiable reason to fear for my life at that point and would have the right to draw my weapon and tell Fall Line to back off and then attempt to leave and avoid further confrontation. And if the dog got loose or Fall Line said or did anything that appeared threatening to me, then I would have the right to self defense.

          Be it Zimmerman or any other nosy body who thinks its okay to play neighborhood cop and challenge people like this, its wrong.

          Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

          by absdoggy on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 04:35:20 PM PDT

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        •  Tell me that next time someone follows you on (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tonedevil, dewley notid

          a dark, rainy night.  

      •  NO, that is not true. A crime must be committed (0+ / 0-)

        first.  If so and so attacks you first, then you can and not before.

        •  No, that is not true anywhere in this country (0+ / 0-)

          The right to self defense in any state would never require that a crime must have been committed against you before you can use self defense measures.

          As I note above, if you see someone in the alley, and proceed to get your dog and go after that person to the point where you follow them and go right up to them to question them, as the commenter described, this sets up a situation where you are coming at someone from behind with a deadly weapon (a dog is a deadly weapon) and even without a stand your ground law, that person would have every right to defend themselves against a perceived threat.

          Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

          by absdoggy on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 06:36:00 PM PDT

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    •  It is legal, but it is not necessarily wise. (5+ / 0-)

      Even with your dog.  You or the dog could fall victim to someone who is far less interested in considering your life or the life of your dog to be precious - and to be rational in responding to you or your dog.

      The worst thing to do if someone breaks into your house or is in the process of committing a crime is to try to stop them.  Exceptions would, of course, be if they were causing bodily harm to someone else, but even in those situations if you have no back up, one should be really strategic about intervention so as to preserve life of the victim and oneself.

      What's so valuable in a garage that you'd risk your life for it?  What's so important in any garage that you'd risk your dog's life for it?  If you have anything in your garage - including your car - that is more important than your life or that of your dog's, I would suggest finding a better storage plan.

      Martin did not actually pose a risk to people or property as it turns out, though.  And that's an important point.  He was a kid.  Black or white - he was a kid who still did not have enough life experience - or fully developed frontal lobe - to recognize the danger he was in with someone like Zimmerman stalking him.  It isn't as if he should have to have that awareness, but he didn't and he did not run.  He didn't know that he should run.  He wasn't doing anything wrong, unlike your "suspect".  The fact that he did not run should have been Zimmerman's first clue that the kid probably wasn't guilty of anything.  But Zimmerman is an idiot and coward and now someone is dead because of that.

      Seriously, Zimmerman is the worst and most dangerous kind of coward.  He would stalk someone and confront them and when he gets scared by the fearful reaction that are a reaction to his confrontation - a confrontation that he initiated, he kills someone.  That's a problem.

    •  I dunno about you... (0+ / 0-)

      ...But I've been stalked by people with an intent to do me bodily harm before.  The only difference was that I knew that the people who were stalking me were indeed out to rough me up.  

      If I took off and tried to get away from the creepy stalker guy, and then he continued following me, I'd be fearful that the guy was going to mug me or worse.  That's an important thing to remember here -- TM tried to get away from the weird fucker stalking him and the stalker pursued.  Normal people don't do that without bad intentions or because you just did them wrong.  Cops do, but cops are cops.  Since this guy was obviously not a cop, TM would be perfectly right to assume that there was something wrong with this guy and to assume that the guy coming after him either had bad intentions or a serious mental defect.

      We don't know that Trayvon ambushed Zimmerman by anything other than Zimmerman's own testimony.  Given the fact that TM was on the phone when it happened, it sounds more like it was the other way around -- you don't chat with someone (on a phone or otherwise) while you're stalking another party; it can give you away.  Any kid who's played hide-and-seek knows this.  If anything, it sounds more like he was taken unaware by Zimmerman, who may also have been surprised when he ran into TM, even though he was looking for him.

      Frankly, at that point, if TM had been armed and shot GZ dead, I'd say that it was justified, that he could believeably say that he feared for his life.  Instead, it seems more like GZ jumped Trayvon, TM got the upper hand -- maybe, there was no real injury to the back of GZ's head, certainly not anything that would corroberate his claim that his head was being slammed against the concrete repeatedly like the OP's was against the car windshield -- and then GZ shot him.

      If you really want to cut out the racial bullshit, put a white girl in the place of the black man.  Even if we assume that Treyvon threw the first punch.

      A 17-year-old white girl is walking home from a convenience store.  An old dude in a car starts following her.  She runs off to lose him and he pursues.  A few minutes later while talking to her boyfriend on the phone, she's confronted by the same creep.  Fearing for her safety, of being beaten or mugged or abducted and raped, she attacks him.  The man shoots her.

      Do you really think that there would be jurors saying that the shooter had 'his heart in the right place' if that was the situation?

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