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George Zimmerman in court, June 24, 2013
There are many lessons to be learned from the acquittal of George Zimmerman in following a stranger around, confronting him and then shooting him. I have great confidence that our friends on the other side of the ideological aisle will learn none of them.
“Now we’re getting down to it. Gun control. A Hispanic guy shot a black guy who was beating his head against the sidewalk, so let’s grab up all the guns. Let’s keep people from being able to defend their own lives,” Daily Caller blogger Jim Treacher wrote.
Rather more to the point is whether or not following a stranger around, confronting them and then shooting them when it looks like you're going to lose the fight counts as "defending your own life." In Florida, it does. Florida has something called a Stand Your Ground law, and your ground is defined as wherever the hell you are, doing whatever the hell you want. If the other person doesn't like it they're free to stand their ground themselves, in which case the person who is right, in the eyes of the law, is whoever lives afterwards and can tell their side of the story.

This isn't a case about guns. This is a case about what you're legally allowed to do with your gun, and the debate is about whether or not we think the Florida approach is the right idea. Under the Florida approach, you're going to simply have people "accidentally" having to shoot other people all the time—specifically, people they are mad at, or people they simply suspect are up to no good—and we're all going to call that "safety" because hey, if you didn't want to be shot walking down the street, you should have been carrying your own gun and shot the other guy first. That's the Wayne LaPierre approach to things. They proposed it. Florida said "yes, please."

Note the defend their own lives part. George Zimmerman could easily have "defended his own life" by not following Trayvon Martin and causing a confrontation. He didn't. He "defended his own life" from a situation he himself caused. In any similar context, the person being followed around the neighborhood would be perfectly justified in fearing for his own life, and right to "defend his own life"—in theory. In practice, Martin didn't have a right to "defend his own life", which is why Zimmerman was forced to shoot him. It only works one way.

Find out why below the fold.

Why? If Martin had a knife and had struck the first blow, would the knife rights lobby have treated him as a hero? If Martin had a gun, would he still be standing his ground in shooting the random stranger following him home from the local store? Would the same groups celebrate him for "defending his life"? Would it still be considered a necessary side effect of the law, one of those tsk-tsk, no-harm-done consequences of a culture that says you can shoot anyone you like, so long as you're the person with the gun and you can make a reasonably good argument that they had it coming?

“By injecting himself in a minor Florida criminal case by implying Martin could be his son, the president of the United States — a onetime law lecturer, of all things — disgraced himself and his office, made a mockery of our legal system and exacerbated racial tensions in our country, making them worse than they have been in years,” Roger L. Simon wrote on PJMedia.com.
It's only a minor criminal case if your brain says that black teenagers ending up dead for looking suspicious in the wrong neighborhood is, indeed, a minor criminal case. Similar things, however, seem to happen in America with some regularity. It seems to happen more frequently in certain states. Zimmerman followed Martin because Martin was black and a teenager and that is all that it took to be "suspicious" in George Zimmerman's neighborhood. So racial tensions in America were doing fine, with all that, before Obama stuck his head in and fouled things up?

Forget the immediate reaction of the rest of the country to the case. Forget the radio waves of the nation that have five years now erupted in constant predictions as to the blackness of the president and how the blackness of the president puts good white Americans at risk because the black, black president has plans to take care of his own "kind." Forget the Supreme Court deciding that certain bits of the Voting Rights Act were archaic now, deciding it while one of the marchers that got his head bashed in by law enforcement those decades ago was in the room, listening to them debate it as if it were the stuff of colonial times, something too foreign now to the American experience to still be plausible—it was Obama speaking on it that put "racial tensions" in a bad way? That's what did it?

Here is the problem. Certain portions of America—Florida, to name one of them—have decided that this is the good and proper way to live. If you are in certain neighborhoods, you may get shot for walking down a sidewalk when someone thinks you don't belong there. This is considered security, and freedom, and a minor price to pay compared to living in any alternative world in which George Zimmerman was not carrying a gun while deciding which of the people in his neighborhood might or might not be allowed to walk down the sidewalks and what he should do about it. The problem is that there's not a damn person, among those that consider Zimmerman a hero, who would be praising Trayvon Martin for winning that same fight. Trayvon Martin was considered a thug the moment he got shot. That's all there is to it. Because he "looked like" a thug.

You can suppose the reasons for that all you want, but it's definitely an ideological choice. As for the security and freedom provided by the new Florida law, it's difficult to keep from noticing that in practice it's not much different from the security and freedom of those much simpler and straightforward days a long time ago that Antonin Scalia is still pissed off at losing. You know the ones. The ones where, if you found yourself in certain neighborhoods and the law-abiding citizens there felt your presence was a bit out of place, you might have gotten shot for walking down the sidewalk.

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Comment Preferences

  •  If Zimmerman didn't have a gun (77+ / 0-)

    he would not have gotten out of his car and followed Trayvon Martin. That's the part of the gun debate some people refuse to see.

    Many people who have guns feel empowered to the point where they don't use common sense to AVOID confrontations.

    I have known people who carry to grow paranoid, as well. It's a chicken-and-egg scenario.

  •  The bumper sticker reads . . . (5+ / 0-)

    The bumper sticker reads, "Only a Pussy Carries a Gun."

    If it ain't broke, break it.

    by tomwfox on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 07:27:57 AM PDT

  •  I better not say too much (39+ / 0-)

    Lots of people will come to that conclusion. Maybe some here.

    The real issue, is that SYG laws escalate violence by eliminating any form of accountability for personal actions in situation where those with weapons already have stopped thinking because of their superior position.

    It incentivizes murder to leave no witnesses.

    Fucking uncivilized.
     

    400ppm : what about my daughter's future?

    by koNko on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 07:28:02 AM PDT

    •  Leaving no witnesses (20+ / 0-)

      To me that is the crux of the matter.

      Even those on the left now seem to be accepting what the defense never proved--that Martin struck the first blow.

      I think it is crucial that every time we talk about this case we insist that we do not know who started beating up on whom, who approached whom--

      because there is only one person alive who knows this--and that person is the killer of the only other person involved.

      Just because the government keeps a record of real property transfers, it doesn't mean that the government wants to confiscate your home.

      by NCJan on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:12:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't accept the lying Zhole at all nt (8+ / 0-)

        nosotros no somos estúpidos

        by a2nite on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 09:16:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Me either, a2nite (7+ / 0-)

          I don't buy the theory that someone who is beating the crap out of a person wouldn't have any blood or DNA on their hands whatsoever. Z was lying his ass off.  

          America, where freedom isn't free, but it is for sale.

          by rlharry on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 10:20:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What does that say about the people who (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rlharry, koNko

            believe him?

            "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." --Benjamin Franklin

            by politicalceci on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 11:13:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Depends (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              politicalceci, koNko

              Perhaps some on the left feel that since the issue can never be resolved one way or the other, it has become a distraction and it's time to move on and talk about how to prevent this from happening again.  

              Perhaps it is because some on the left choose to believe the negative ways in which the defense painted Zimmerman.  They painted him as an ineffective puffball bumbler rather than as he truly was--a man who had previously imagined himself threatened by and therefore justified in assaulting a woman and a police officer on two separate occasions.  

              Perhaps it is because we as human beings--even we on the left--don't really want to believe that in the United States in 2013, a stalker with a violent history who assaulted an unarmed teenager and shot him dead was allowed to do so with no consequence.

              I myself think that in spite of, or perhaps because of all the above reasons, the possibility that Zimmerman started the fight it should never be conceded.

              Just because the government keeps a record of real property transfers, it doesn't mean that the government wants to confiscate your home.

              by NCJan on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 11:49:01 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Because some people buy into the defense (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                NCJan, koNko

                propaganda that he was weak and vulnerable the night of the murder, it makes GZ even more dangerous.

                With the perception of being "a wimp", he can get away with nefarious and underhanded things because people are so willing to be taken in by his false persona.

                Just like B-37, GZ is someone who operates as a "stealth adversary" and confidence person in order to get anything he wants by using others--even those who believe in him.

                "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." --Benjamin Franklin

                by politicalceci on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 02:53:33 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  No, it's because its freaking justice (0+ / 0-)

                that if you don't know one way or another, the State loses.

                That's how justice should be.

                •  On the one hand, yes (0+ / 0-)

                  On the other hand, the purpose behind law (or justice) shouldn't be to make the legal system so complicated and so "Simon Sez" that what everyone knows is wrong turns out to be okay because of I's not dotted and T's not crossed.

                  Just because the government keeps a record of real property transfers, it doesn't mean that the government wants to confiscate your home.

                  by NCJan on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 09:15:22 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  I don't understand why they're people here (7+ / 0-)

            Defending him. It's not right. Killing this kid was not right when he was the adult, cowardly but bolstered because he had a gun.

            Zhole was wrong & the "process" is wrong.

            nosotros no somos estúpidos

            by a2nite on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 11:48:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Leaving no witness certainly works in some peoples (7+ / 0-)

      minds.

      Someone tried to make that point right here on dKos: http://www.dailykos.com/...

      It seems some people are making the incredible claim that because Trayvon Martin did not testify in court that he was in danger of death or great bodily harm, that he was not in danger in the eyes of the law and not entitled to stand his gound. Even though he clearly ended up dead. But Zimmerman was able to make this case, and convince many that he was the one in danger.

      I replied, but the diary was already slipping too far down the list.

      •  Yes nt (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rlharry, politicalceci, koNko

        nosotros no somos estúpidos

        by a2nite on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 09:42:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  "In the eyes of the law" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        koNko

        According to the lawyers here, if (hypothetically!) GZ hadn't swung first, made an explicit threat, or pulled his gun, then the law supposes that TM had no legal grounds to apprehend a violent design on the part of the creepy guy who was following him around at night.

        Dickens said something about the law supposing things.

        Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

        by Dogs are fuzzy on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 11:07:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Do you think it would be an improvement to (0+ / 0-)

        have convictions handed down by the State even though the case cannot be proved?

        Really?

        Yes, it's really bad that Martin could not testify,  But there were other witnesses and other evidence.

        I don't like the idea of convicting people based upon what people imagined they did.

        •  States don't hand down convictions. (0+ / 0-)

          Juries do.

          States should however make sure due process is followed, including having charges heard in court by a jury. Stand your ground in this case almost prevented any of this from happening. Were it not for the huge public outcry, there would not have been any charges or trial.

          And I don't think the law that allows Zimmerman to say the magic words that he feared for his life, whereas the dead man could not, should outweigh the actual evidence.  But it seems stand your ground laws try to do just this.  Just say the magic words, and you can't even be charged.

  •  George Zimmerman spent many years terrified (19+ / 0-)

    before he killed. That shouldn't have been that difficult to prove.

    Stand Your Ground laws have got to go. Everyone is shooting like they are 007 and they are 99.

  •  NRA should be mad at Zimmerman (18+ / 0-)

    Gun right advocates should see this case as an example of someone who misused a gun and who's actions hurt their cause.  Why they don't is somewhat of a mystery and conflicts with their argument that they want gun owners to be responsible in their handling of weapons.

    What happened in Florida and Zimmerman's acquittal has put stand your ground laws in jeopardy across the country.  And it should.  It has clearly demonstrated how flawed these laws are.   It is also one more drop in the bucket for tougher gun laws.  Next time someone sees a some guy walking around the neighborhood with a pistol on his waist is their thought going to be "good he is protecting me and my property" or is it going to be "where are my children"?  All-in-all not a good day for the NRA.

    So why are they are this guy's side?  Why are they defending his action and not attacking him and demanding his conviction?   Could it possible be that a lot of the fear they work to create in order to sell more guns involves scary black men,  coming "race riots", etc.?  

    Choosing between using this case as an example of how the NRA is really for "responsible gun owners" and defending a irresponsible gun owner who confirms the fears many on the gun control side have says all you need to know about the NRA and those on the right who have defended Zimmerman.

    The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones! - John Maynard Keynes

    by Do Something on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 07:45:52 AM PDT

    •  He's their poster boy nt (3+ / 0-)

      nosotros no somos estúpidos

      by a2nite on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 07:50:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe it's merely so that the Martins of the world (8+ / 0-)

      will HAVE to end up buying guns and carrying so that they can have a gun fight in the street as to whos' right to self defend has the best defender.

      What an ugly world these people live in. Next in their sites is an arms war and the dismissing of collateral damage in placating their fears.

      Repuublicans = people scared of life constant enemy (death). Seeing boogy men every where and spending a countrys', a states', a citys', a familys', and a persons money & time arming to the teeth only to find the enemy has better arms leading to a never ending defensive stance justifying even more life-de-enhancing behaviors.

      AS I see it, life is a risk... I will take reasonable steps to self defend but I am not going to warp my life into a miserable paranoid "cling to life at any cost" burden on every other life on earth. I will step out and take a chance  but then I am a liberal who looks at other life as a fellow traveler not threats divided into neat little boxes for ease of identification. What is wrong with these people? If we work to get along, to find ways to ease the chaffing, our own lives are more satisfying and pleasurable. Geesh, my son has become one of these and I blame it on the company he has kept since he was a teen.

      Fear is the Mind Killer...

      by boophus on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:01:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not if you're black you can't; (12+ / 0-)

        SYG is for whites only. This is ALEC legislation. They wrote laws to make it easier to kill people in the streets if you're white & get away with it. Don't need the police or lawyers or judges in the way.

        Gotta keep the n!----s in their place.

        nosotros no somos estúpidos

        by a2nite on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:12:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Glass half full (5+ / 0-)

        This Friday on PBS, David Brooks said that Obama may have changed his (Brooks's) mind about SYG.  It is because this "discussion" is becoming about what kind of society we want to live in.

        In his Friday remarks, Obama imagined a society where government and communities took action so that confrontations were resolved before they escalated into deadly violence, as inevitably will happen when everyone is armed.

        Prior to Obama's statement, Brooks said, he had been romanticizing the wild west and the American individualistic character, which led him to support Stand Your Ground as an integral manifestation of American culture.

        After Obama's speech, Brooks didn't say but implied, he began to see SYG in the context of his Hobbesian notions that humans were essentially evil and must be governed in order to be controlled.

        While I disagree with both Brooksian views, I believe that his latter conclusion indicates progress on our part.

        Just because the government keeps a record of real property transfers, it doesn't mean that the government wants to confiscate your home.

        by NCJan on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:32:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's funny (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dr Swig Mcjigger

        I hate guns.  I have never owned one except for a 22 rifle I owned when I owned a farm, and never since.

        I am darkish-skinned.

        My blonde-haired, blue-eyed girlfriend has  had a concealed carry in Florida for maybe 15-20 years.

        Yet I am the one arguing that the ZImmerman case was returned correctly, because of my historical knowledge of the problems a heavy handed state can cause.

        She, on the other hand is convinced Zimmerman hunted down Martin.

        So you should all be very careful with your knee jerk stereotypes.

    •  Sensible gun rights advocates do see it that way (6+ / 0-)

      Zimmerman is a textbook example of someone who misused a gun. Most CHL instructors would tell you that if you go out armed, you should attempt even more to avoid potentially dangerous situations, not to go towards them.  If I were an armed CHL  holder in that situation, I would have stayed in my car, windows up, doors locked, and car moving if I had lost sight of a perceived criminal.

      "I'm a progressive man and I like progressive people" Peter Tosh

      by Texas Lefty on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:40:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The RKBAers here have been eerily quiet (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, jds1978, nellgwen, eps62

      about SYG and this case in particular.  My guess:  They support SYG, but can't actually come out and claim that it worked here.  

      Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

      by Mark Mywurtz on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:41:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Perfect capture of the stupidity of SYG (15+ / 0-)
    [Hunter]...in which case the person who is right, in the eyes of the law, is whoever lives afterwards and can tell their side of the story...
    It's not who's right, who's just but just who's left standing.

    What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. King Henry, scene ii

    by TerryDarc on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 07:47:48 AM PDT

    •  Well.... (5+ / 0-)
      It's not who's right, who's just but just who's left standing.
      Sadly isn't that like what's being taught as 'history'?
      Much of what I learned from history books has very often been completely de-bunked as false by time and the truth being finally told (and believed) by the vanquished.
      And as for a 'minor Florida criminal case', when a crime results in a death it isn't 'minor', certainly not for the person killed, certainly not for their family and loved ones, and in this case not for generations upon generations of black people who did nothing, NOTHING, to have violence thrust upon them.

      I think, therefore I am........................... Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose....AKA Engine Nighthawk - don't even ask!

      by Lilyvt on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:17:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  this seems rather like... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite

      This theory seems rather like drowning "witches" in Salem, then waiting to see which drowned witches floated or didn't.  

  •  There's another alternative world that even (14+ / 0-)

    the 'gun grabber' paranoics wouldn't need to worry about.

    This is considered security, and freedom, and a minor price to pay compared to living in any alternative world in which George Zimmerman was not carrying a gun while deciding which of the people in his neighborhood might or might not be allowed to walk down the sidewalks and what he should do about it.
    How about simply one in which someone who stalks another person who was doing absolutely nothing criminal, confronts them, and then ends up killing them in a fight, no matter HOW they're armed, is going to go to jail for manslaughter, at the very least, if no higher charge can be proven?

    The dead person should be given the presumption of innocence, until anyone can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they were, I dunno, walking around for the sole purpose of getting someone to try and attack them so they could start a fight.  Aka, a vigilante looking for trouble.

  •  Your rights, protected by corporations (17+ / 0-)

    Here in America, our constitutionally-mandated civil rights are being tossed out.  Freedom from having your personal communication searched - gone.  Freedom  from detention and arrest - gone.  Freedom to have legal representation in a trial - gone.  Freedom to have your criminal case heard by a judge and a jury of peers - gone.

    But your right to own and use a gun has been vastly expanded.

    And that is because an entire industry makes money every time anyone buys or uses a gun.  So that industry wants Americans to buy and use guns as often as possible.  The gun industry lobbies long and hard to change the laws to make buying and using guns easier, and their profits rise.

    No one makes any money if personal communications go unmolested.  No one makes any money if Americans go around without being arrested - indeed, there is now a prison industry that makes money from having people in jail, so in all likelihood we will see yet more people behind bars.  No one makes any money when Americans have jury trials.  So no 3-piece suits are lobbying congress to expand the right to jury trials or freedom from search and seizure.

    Today, our civil rights are protected not by a constitution, but by corporations.  Where a corporation can make money from Americans exercising a civil right, that right gets protected and expanded.  If the exercise of a civil right does not enrich a large corporation, that right is ignored, or re-written out of existance.

    "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

    by Hugh Jim Bissell on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 07:49:46 AM PDT

  •  How do we discuss race in this country (12+ / 0-)

    when right wingers pretend that racism doesn't exist, except in the minds those brown people? For a bunch people who whine about how PC we've become as a society, right wingers seem hesitant to engage in an open and honest discussion about race.

    Perhaps it’s because they know they will sound more like their Stormfront and Klan brothers without the PC filters? So instead they do what Simon does, deflect and blame the other side.

  •  The right is supposed to be the champion of (9+ / 0-)

    freedom, right?

    Many on the right believe blacks should not wear certain cloths.

    Many on the right think blacks should not walk in certain parts of town or a certain part of a community.

    That is not freedom.

    This is an issue of FREEDOM.

  •  Another nonsense diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kirrix, Rohan

    All I had to read was that SYG was the reason GZ was acquitted to know this was another nonsense diary by someone who was upset but not willing to do the work to understand the law.  First SYG did not apply here, it was good old fashioned self defense from English Common Law.  Second, SYG only removes the requirement to retreat when confronted with deadly force in places other than your home or place of business.  Under the pre-SYG law you had a duty to retreat if confronted with deadly force in areas not your home or business if you could do so with complete safety.  SYG removes that requirement.  That's all it does.  It doesn't affect this case at all. And, it doesn't allow a hypothetical armed TM to shoot GZ for following him.

    If what you think is a problem actually is, then there should be cases that show it.  If people are being shot  under SYG indiscriminately then show me those cases.  Not this one which has nothing to do with SYG.  If you have a case against SYG, then make it.  With cases in which SYG applies.  This diary is an embarrassment.

    •  It seems Stand Your Ground was why the police (19+ / 0-)

      felt they could not charge Zimmerman in the initial investigation.

      "The police said they have found no evidence to dispute Mr. Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense. Without that, the Stand Your Ground law makes it hard to make an arrest, and for prosecutors to charge and bring to trial."
      http://www.nytimes.com/...
    •  Disagree (14+ / 0-)

      Juror:

      “The law became very confusing. It became very confusing,” she told Cooper Monday night. “We had stuff thrown at us. We had the second-degree murder charge, the manslaughter charge, then we had self defense, Stand Your Ground.”

      Juror B37 mentioned Stand Your Ground a second time of her own accord, saying the jury ultimately made its not-guilty verdict Saturday night based on the evidence and “because of the heat of the moment and the Stand Your Ground.”

      Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up. A. A. Milne

      by hulibow on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:03:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The juror was talking about self defense and (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rohan

        confused the terms.  SYG did not apply.  It would only apply if GZ had had the opportunity to retreat with complete safety.  By his story he did not.  And there was no evidence to dispute his story about what happened at the time of the shot.  

        •  He bloody well did. (19+ / 0-)

          From the moment he left his car and started following Trayvon, he had the opportunity to retreat with complete safety.    'Nonsense' is ignoring every action up to the moment of the shot, as if the only thing that mattered was the one moment at which he suddenly decided he had to kill or flee, and decided he couldn't possibly flee.

          •  That is not the point in time that is relevant (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Janet 707

            It is the duty to retreat from deadly force or the threat of deadly force.  When he got out of the car there was no force or threat of force.  

            •  He shouldn't have gotten out of the vehicle (7+ / 0-)

              THAT is the bottom line and what so many people are willfully ignoring.

              EVERYTHING else followed from that single stupid, STUPID decision.

              Too bad there is no law against "criminal stupidity".

              If it's
              Not your body,
              Then it's
              Not your choice
              And it's
              None of your damn business!

              by TheOtherMaven on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 10:07:47 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              eps62

              That if we ignore all of the evidence showing that he failed to retreat, then there is no evidence that he failed to retreat.

              Seriously, though, your argument makes sense only if we ignore everything but the last moment. By that rationale, there would seldom, if ever, be a duty to retreat.

              This case involved one person literally running after another, looking for, at best, a confrontation while armed. Saying that he didn't have a duty to retreat at the very last second is saying that there is no duty to retreat at all, which is what SYG hopes to accomplish.

            •  No threat? Not in GZ's mind. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              eps62

              He seemed to have thought he was pursuing a burglary suspect. If he's studied crime-fighting literature he knew that burglars are not always as peaceful as many believe. He told the dispatcher that TM was reaching for his waistband (with both hands, full, but I'm analyzing GZ's state of mind and not reality).

              So GZ would have thought there was a hazard, at least.

              That apparently doesn't create a legal duty to avoid the situation. Fortunately there are ways to change the law.

              Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

              by Dogs are fuzzy on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 11:32:21 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  HIS story (4+ / 0-)

          SYG gives George Zimmerman to tell HIS story and make the murder excusable.

          Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up. A. A. Milne

          by hulibow on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:22:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You're a mind reader? That's an assumption. (6+ / 0-)

          Here's another assumption - and assumptions is all there are after Zimmerman got out of his car.

          I think Zimmerman had his gun drawn as he followed Martin.

          Zimmerman had plenty of time to retreat. In fact, he never should have followed - that alone disqualifies him from being able to say he could not retreat. And the authors of Florida's Stand Your Ground law agree.

          So, you are arguing against the AUTHORS of Florida's Stand Your Ground law. They don't agree with your assessment.

          •  No, I'm saying that the jury could not apply SYG (0+ / 0-)

            The jury could not apply SYG to this case even if they wanted to.  There is no evidence that he had an opportunity to retreat.  The prosecution had the burden and introduced no evidence to dispute GZ's version of what happened.  And the physical evidence supports GZ's version.  

            •  Agreed - that's not my point, though. The defense (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DSPS owl

              didn't use a Stand Your Ground defense, you are right about this.

              But, the jury discussed Stand Your Ground and the judge's charge to the jury was defined by Stand Your Ground - the judge did not actually say the words "STand Your Ground" but what she did and could say was DEFINED by the Stand Your Ground law:

              The judge’s charge to the Zimmerman jury said that he had the right “to meet force with force, including deadly force” if he believed he was in danger of death or great bodily harm.

              Before Stand Your Ground, however, the jury’s charge would have been far different: “The fact that the defendant was wrongfully attacked cannot justify his use of force likely to cause death or great bodily harm if by retreating he could have avoided the need to use that force.”

              http://www.miamiherald.com/...

              That "meet force with force" idea came from Stand Your Ground. Furthermore, the authors of Florida's Stand Your Ground law believe Zimmerman could not use a defense of even traditional self defense:

              Traditionally, self-defense laws did not typically extend beyond a person's home, but the Florida law, and at least 20 more passed across the country since them, allows a resident to "meet force with force" almost anywhere, including the street or a bar.

              Zimmerman, 28, reportedly admitted to police that he shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on the evening of February 26. He was released without being charged after claiming he killed the boy in self-defense. But 911 recordings released over the weekend suggest that Zimmerman, who has a concealed weapons permit and volunteered in an apparently informal neighborhood watch program, pursued Martin, despite being told police were on their way.

              It is the fact that Zimmerman ignored the 911 operator's advice not to follow Martin that former Sen. Peaden says disqualifies him from claiming self-defense under the law.

              "The guy lost his defense right then," Peaden told the Miami Herald. "When he said 'I'm following him,' he lost his defense."

              Rep. Dennis Baxley, Peaden's co-sponsor in the Florida House, agrees with his former colleague, telling the newspaper that the law does not license neighborhood watch or others who feel "like they have the authority to pursue and confront people. That is aggravating an incident right there."

              http://www.cbsnews.com/...
          •  Sheer speculation that fits the facts well (0+ / 0-)

            If GZ had not had his gun out, it's hard to see how he could have drawn it. If TM attacked, it makes more sense that he would have had some motivation to do so.

            Yes, attacking a man with a gun out doesn't make much sense, but most of us have been 17 at some point  in our lives and could understand it.

            Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

            by Dogs are fuzzy on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 11:37:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Who knows what TM could have been thinking? As (0+ / 0-)

              far as he knew, GZ was going to follow him back to his dad's girlfriend's apartment and so some serious harm. Maybe TM had heard about crime on the neighborhood. And here is TM who could see GZ with a gun following him. TM decided GZ looked suspicious and was up to know good, so he stood his ground with his fists.

              Maybe TM hid along that walkway not wanting to lead a suspicious guy with a gun back to his dad's girlfriend's apartment, and GZ found him. Maybe he finds him at close range. Maybe GZ surprises TM - TM sees the gun and panics, and there you go.

    •  And about the traditional "self defense" defense, (13+ / 0-)

      here is a co-author of Florida's Stand Your Ground law, explaining that he thinks Zimmerman lost his claim to self-defense, the minute he left his car.

      Zimmerman, 28, reportedly admitted to police that he shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on the evening of February 26. He was released without being charged after claiming he killed the boy in self-defense. But 911 recordings released over the weekend suggest that Zimmerman, who has a concealed weapons permit and volunteered in an apparently informal neighborhood watch program, pursued Martin, despite being told police were on their way.

      It is the fact that Zimmerman ignored the 911 operator's advice not to follow Martin that former Sen. Peaden says disqualifies him from claiming self-defense under the law.

      "The guy lost his defense right then," Peaden told the Miami Herald. "When he said 'I'm following him,' he lost his defense."

      http://www.cbsnews.com/...

      In other words, the police accepted self defense because Stand Your Ground makes it difficult to charge and prosecute.

      The other co-author of Florida's Stand Your Ground law also thinks Zimmerman was wrong to pursue Martin:

      Rep. Dennis Baxley, Peaden's co-sponsor in the Florida House, agrees with his former colleague, telling the newspaper that the law does not license neighborhood watch or others who feel "like they have the authority to pursue and confront people. That is aggravating an incident right there."
      They say Stand Your Ground doesn't need to be changed, but a complimentary law should be added that stops people from escalating a situation such as Zimmerman did:
      "If you want to pass something, pass something that limits their ability to pursue and confront people," Baxley said. "It's about crime watch," he said. "What are the limitations of crime watch? Are you allowed to jump out and follow people and confront them? What do you think is going to happen? That's where it starts."
      •  The person who runs the NW program (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rohan

        disagreed at the trial.  Admit it.  You guys are grasping as straws.  The facts in this case support acquittal and do not support conviction.  You don't want that to be true and you are desperately trying to find a version of the facts that is supported by physical evidence.  Remember the prosecution did not challenge Dr. Di Maio with a expert of their own.  They essentially accepted his testimony about where the gunshot came from.  Whether GZ should have followed or not is irrelevant.  Whatever conjecture you have about what happened is not relevant.  There is no evidence as to that.  So what would you base a conviction on?  

      •  Another question for lawyers, about Peaden (0+ / 0-)

        Why do many of you argue that GZ was within the law when an author of the law thinks otherwise?

        Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

        by Dogs are fuzzy on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 11:39:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Self Defense is Stand Your Ground in Florida (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, DSPS owl

      The written instructions that sat with the jurors as they deliberated and made verbally by the judge (you can see a video of this if you look it up) made very clear that under Florida law, a shooter has a right to stand his ground:

      From the judge's lips and pen:

      If George Zimmerman was not engaged in an unlawful activity and was attacked in anyplace where he had a right to be, he had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he reasonably believed that it was necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.
      Since Zimmerman’s lawyers did not invoke Stand Your Ground as a defense, observers have characterized this case as a regular old “self-defense” case, rather than a “Stand Your Ground” case. But what these jury instructions make clear is that, in Florida, there is no longer an effective distinction. Stand Your Ground is the state’s self-defense law, whether or not a defendant opts to use the specific verbiage.

      America, where freedom isn't free, but it is for sale.

      by rlharry on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 10:50:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I see it as a bug in pre-SYG law (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DSPS owl

      Florida requires the prosecution to prove a negative beyond a reasonable doubt. Sometimes possible, but good luck with that! It also doesn't seem to require that the person claiming self-defense must have acted with the reasonable prudence required in all our other activities.

      Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

      by Dogs are fuzzy on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 11:26:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just a Reminder... (7+ / 0-)

    The only reason this case is high profile is that the police initially just let the guy walk, as in "Oh, you shot an unarmed black kid 'cuz you felt threatened? No problem my good man - why don't you just go on home and forget all about it."

    Frankly, George Zimmerman should sue the Sanford PD for not doing their job, thus giving him his unwanted celebrityhood. Then the Sanford PD could countersue saying that they most certainly would have done their job if they'd known he was hispanic and he hadn't fooled them by having such an anglo-saxon name.

    When you put a sign up next to a freeway, people will read it until someone takes it down.

    by freewayblogger on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 07:56:04 AM PDT

    •  Sue for not collecting or preserving evidence? (0+ / 0-)

      I don't know whether it's possible to sue over that, but if GZ were innocent then the failure to photograph the sidewalk or get him to a hospital hurt his defense.

      Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

      by Dogs are fuzzy on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 11:43:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  No citizen has any authority over me. (11+ / 0-)

    None whatsoever.

    Every now and then when I was delivering pizzas in backwater neighborhoods I took liberties with 4 way stop signs.

    Once a homeowner there saw this and yelled at me to "Come back here, asshole"

    "Fuck you, bitch" was my retort (I can't talk like that here - but I do in the real world) as I drove on. He has zero authority to say jack to me. He can call the cops if he's so butthurt about it. But I'm down the road with no incidents.

    Zman has deep psychological needs for power over others as evidenced by his recurring attempts to become a cop. When he failed  - twice - he became a volunteer neighborhood watch dick. A half-assed substitute for his fantasies, which he got to act out.

    And which he';s going to act out again now that he has been summarily rewarded.

    Zman is another word we can;t use here but is more than an apt description as to why he would need a gun, the non-fighting loser.

  •  IMO (8+ / 0-)

    Roger Simon's quote reveals more about him than he wanted us to know.

    SYG laws are stupid in my opinion. If you are endangered by someone at home or on the street and you can not get away or save yourself any other way, you have a right to defend yourself. That was the old standard and I fail to see why it was ever fucked with.

    There is a lot of blame to go around here. Florida is as culpable as SYG, IMO. Our state has SYG, I didn't know it until well after the fact. I would bet that the majority of people here don't know that. Florida seems proud of it and makes sure it's widely known. Like it's gathering it's crazies and showing how to run with it.

    I support a nationwide push to get rid of these ridiculous laws. Self defence should be a given, but this is like a pre-crime version of it.

    "Humidity built the snowman. Sunshine brought him down" John Prine

    by high uintas on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 07:57:56 AM PDT

    •  Can I suggest a reason without being hated? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      high uintas

      In theory, without SYG anyone can exclude you from public places by threatening you.

      For instance, imagine a minority group member going to the polls. People he recognizes as violent bigots are there first. They say "We don't want to hurt you, boy, and we won't if you fulfill your duty to retreat".

      Yes, yes, of course I realize the law isn't meant to protect minorities. If you prefer, imagine a woman and her violent ex ordering her back into the house every time she goes shopping.

      Yes, of course you can retreat and press three buttons on your phone. I didn't say I agreed with the reason.

      Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

      by Dogs are fuzzy on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 11:49:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No reason to hate on speculation (0+ / 0-)

        I did my best to come up with some justification for SYG. I honestly can't. In the scenario you mentioned concerning a woman and an abusive partner, logic tells you that you do what you can to make yourself safe before you would have to resort to deadly force.

        In a situation where someone gets the drop on an individual and the only defense is immediate, that is covered by regular self defense law. No choice. SYG flies in the face of logic, everyone has the right to self defense and I believe the duty to avoid resorting to shooting someone if at all possible.

        "Humidity built the snowman. Sunshine brought him down" John Prine

        by high uintas on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 07:00:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  On the face of it (0+ / 0-)

    the last man standing gets to write the narrative. But putting the circumstances into the hypothetical from President Obama doesn't make me feel hopeful that the outcome of a trial would be equivalent.

    I just ask people to consider if Trayvon Martin was of age and armed, could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk?

    Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up. A. A. Milne

    by hulibow on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 07:59:13 AM PDT

  •  Any chance of changing the huge picture (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    on the Front Page?

  •  Concealed carry and open carry makes pseudo-cops (15+ / 0-)

    ... out of the George Zimmermans of the world. The NRA has flogged the "self-defense" myth for the past three-plus decades now, ever since the gun makers realized they needed to drum up a new market as rural populations shifted to urban centers and hunting and other shooting sports began suffering steady declines.

    This is what brought us to this point. I see NRA "self-defense" talking points regurgitated, verbatim, here at Daily Kos, especially from proponents of concealed and open carry.

    All of these concealed/open carry folks are "responsible gun owners"... Until they're not. We haven't heard too much from the RKBA contingent here on Stand Your Ground laws since the verdict, though in perusing past comments, those who are proponents of open or concealed carry would likely view such laws as reasonable.

    My point is that Stand Your Ground didn't appear out of nowhere. These inane and insane laws are part of the NRA's and the gunmaker's long march to "normalize" handguns as part of daily American life.

    Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

    by Bob Johnson on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:04:39 AM PDT

    •  Apparently you missed my comment upthread (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Janet 707

      As to your point, you fail to understand that handguns and firearms are a part of daily life already across wide swathes the the country. They have been for a long time.

      SYG is a ridiculous law, no need for it other than to to inflame the us vs them tensions that already exist in this country.

      I have long believed that the right is clinging to that last branch they caught as they fell off the cliff. They have lost everyone but the abortion is evil crowd and the racists. They are now openly courting both of them and they will do anything to gain their favor.

      By aligning themselves with laws like this and championing someone like Zimmerman they drive that wedge a tad further, they force their foot further in the door and tie the issues of guns and rightwing politics closer together.

      Some of us help them in that quest to gain a few more votes by alienating Democratic gun owners. Not calling anyone out, just sayin'.

      "Humidity built the snowman. Sunshine brought him down" John Prine

      by high uintas on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:20:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's the need to always be carrying a handgun... (6+ / 0-)

        ... that has been the greatest propaganda victory for the NRA and gun makers.

        "Self-defense" is a myth and I see the talking points of that myth regularly regurgitated here by a few members of our local gun crowd.

        Most of the daily gun toters here need a security blanket. They talk about how much they dislike major urban areas (you know, because they're so dangerous), while they live in rural areas free from those bad influences. And, yet, they still feel the need to carry a weapon on them in case the SHTF (that's the gun lovers' abbreviation for Shit Hits The Fan).

        What a steaming load.

        The NRA and gun makers have convinced a bunch of scared and insecure (mostly) white men that they need to carry a gun to be safe.

        Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

        by Bob Johnson on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:28:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The majority of gun owners I know (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          happymisanthropy, Texas Lefty

          do not carry. A few do and they have their reasons. It seems that diving into the psychology of the why of it has hung you up. Whether someone is carrying for security real or imagined shouldn't be your issue unless you are determined to make this personal.

          What matter is it that you disagree with the reasoning of a few members of RKBA as long as there is no negative effects to you or others from it. It's not like you're Dr. Phil.

          Believe me there are plenty of Democratic gun owners, many who do carry and tho they live a different life than you they agree with you on most things. Why push them away? Why the need to get inside their minds and insult them?

          "Humidity built the snowman. Sunshine brought him down" John Prine

          by high uintas on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:47:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The passage of concealed and open carry laws in (2+ / 0-)

            ... states across the country has been a long, concerted march by the NRA and the gun makers. There is historical context to this "normalization" of gun carrying.

            The need to carry a gun hasn't always been the case here and it seems contrary to life in a civilized society. (Of course, I've had one of the major proponents of carry tell me that life in the U.S. is not civilized.)

            I'm not psychoanalyzing those who carry. I'm talking about how we as a nation have reached a place where so many (mostly) white men feel that they must carry a weapon on them at all times.

            That path leads directly to George Zimmerman.

            Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

            by Bob Johnson on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:57:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's called social psychology and it's not going (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              a2nite, schumann

              away, but a rare practice nevertheless, look it up on wikipedia, maybe? the science of hooman beliefs, attitudes, opinions, values, cognition, persuasion, influence and ethics, it's not psychoanalysis (a very different practice)

              Mr Johnson offers  informed  commentary addressing some beliefs, attitudes, opinions and values, but it looks like like the other guy took it personally ... because, ... um, Dr Phil?

              The psychology of why is still relevant, in HU'S own words imagined threats, and they have guns; now it's a social problem also, Mr Johnson's just putting the pieces together, looks like to me

            •  "I'm not psychoanalyzing those who carry" (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              high uintas

              You said they need a security blanket and are scared and insecure.

              Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

              by Dogs are fuzzy on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 12:02:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, they profess they need their weapons for (0+ / 0-)

                ... when the "shit hits the fan."

                I wonder how often that is?

                So wouldn't you describe that as a security blanket?

                Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

                by Bob Johnson on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 02:21:14 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  By the way, you don't know what you're (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                a2nite

                ... talking about in regards to the history of concealed carry in the U.S., as I point out in another post to you.

                The push for concealed carry started about 30 years ago when the NRA and the gun makers changed their marketing push for guns from hunting and sport shooting to guns-as-self-defense as the gun makers were trying to deal with the decline in hunting and sport shooting.

                Only four states had concealed carry laws on the books prior to 1976. In the rest of the states, the practice was outlawed, and most of the laws against concealed carry were passed in early- to mid-1800s.

                Hell, Texas didn't pass their law allowing concealed carry until 1995.

                Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

                by Bob Johnson on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 02:27:37 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  If self-defense were a myth (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          high uintas

          we wouldn't issue guns to the police.

          If you're attacking the perceived need for protective armament then you've got great reasons to back you up. The dramatic decline in violent crime over the last few decades, for example. Most people's fear has no proportionate relationship to reality.

          Most people. On the other hand, one of the gun people I know online is a lesbian transsexual living in Idaho. She has different safety needs from the white men the gun industry markets to. I don't begrudge her her revolver or her legal ability to assess her needs.

          Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

          by Dogs are fuzzy on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 12:00:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Self-defense with a gun is a myth. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            a2nite

            A myth perpetuated by the NRA and the gun makers. Most people in this country were not allowed to carry guns from the mid-1880s until the 1980s. That was 100 years where carrying guns was illegal in nearly all states.

            It's only when the NRA and gun makers needed to open new markets (as hunting and shooting sports declined), that states began responding to NRA lobbying efforts to make concealed carry the law.

            Carrying a gun is not part of a long American tradition. Quite the contrary. It's the result of a heavy-duty marketing and lobbying push by gun makers and the NRA.

            Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

            by Bob Johnson on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 03:41:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I accept that the CC laws of now are (0+ / 0-)

              relatively new but CC was allowed by special permit for a long time, even after the federal gun regulations of '34. I knew a woman who carried all through the seventies legally. I knew a lot more people who carried illegally, more than one of them was African American and related to me.

              That to me is the biggest "myth", that making something illegal will make it go away. We can aspire to a less violent society and work to change those cultural dynamics that promote violence, but we can't wish it away or just make a law against it.

              "Humidity built the snowman. Sunshine brought him down" John Prine

              by high uintas on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 07:08:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not making them illegal. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                a2nite

                Simply making them much more difficult to get, especially handguns. This country is absolutely flooded with handguns. It's insane. No civilized country has such easy access to weapons. And, of course, the gun manufacturers love it because they don't care who gets a gun. A sale is a sale.

                Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

                by Bob Johnson on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 07:16:21 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I've read your recommendations (0+ / 0-)

                  before, but I have forgotten the details. I remember thinking that they were a bit onerous.

                  My thinking would be a smart background check that has teeth coupled with a time limit on gun purchases. 90 days between or whatever would best discourage straw purchases.

                  By "smart background check" I mean one that focuses on those people who have exhibited violent behavior. Convicted of a violent crime rather than any old felony. A violent misdemeanor is worse to me than a felony drug or white collar conviction.

                  We need to use available technology to target areas were violent gun crime is greatest and work to determine it's causes and possible cures. I know that sounds like I'm being Capt. Obvious but knowing something without taking action is useless.

                  We know that certain urban areas are rife with drug and gun crime yet we try to craft laws that treat East Asshole, Utah population 12 as if it's the same and needs the same treatment.

                  We also have to accept that there will be people who go off the rails and commit horrific crimes. We don't have to like it or encourage it, but it will happen. How much are we willing to give up for security is always a good question. For you and I (I'm presuming now) it wouldn't be much, no gun to give up. For others it could be a great deal.

                  "Humidity built the snowman. Sunshine brought him down" John Prine

                  by high uintas on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:18:20 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  How about you get to buy one handgun a year? (0+ / 0-)

                    Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

                    by Bob Johnson on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:22:00 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  My proposal is about as far as I want to go (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      andalusi

                      in limiting a right, even that makes me queasy. I'm pretty serious about the Bill of Rights.

                      "Humidity built the snowman. Sunshine brought him down" John Prine

                      by high uintas on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:28:51 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  "A right" (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        a2nite

                        Like concealed carry? That "right?" That didn't exist in most states for 100 years? Until the NRA started lobbying like hell and buying off politicians?

                        Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

                        by Bob Johnson on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:34:30 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  No. You know we were talking about (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          andalusi

                          purchasing a gun. See, you just can't help yourself. You have no interest in talking about this issue, only fighting. I know you get positive feedback and that makes you happy, but I have no interest in fighting. That was one of the most intellectually dishonest responses I've seen in a long time Bob. Why do you have to do that?

                          "Humidity built the snowman. Sunshine brought him down" John Prine

                          by high uintas on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:55:45 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  No, you're wrong. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            a2nite

                            All of this talk about "rights" when it comes to guns is fairly recent. (Recent being the past 30-35 years.) It's a creation of the NRA and plenty of people have bought into their intense marketing effort.

                            A civilized society is not one where people are walking around armed, and where guns are as easy to get as drivers license.

                            It's a warped, distorted culture.

                            Some people believe all that horseshit. I don't.

                            Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

                            by Bob Johnson on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 09:06:24 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The "talk about rights" (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Bob Johnson, andalusi

                            started in earnest after '68, longer than 30 to 35 yrs. I don't know where you got those numbers but gun issues played a role in elections here in Utah in the early 70s, I remember some of the campaigns.

                            The whole idea of restricting the 2nd started in 1934 as a result of the violence of the Prohibition. Do you see any correlation, does this sound at all familiar?

                            As the link points out, prior to 68 one could purchase a rifle or shotgun by mail merely by stating they were 18, a handgun if they stated they were 21.

                            But, bottom line it isn't just talk about rights, it is a right granted by the Bill of Rights. To think otherwise is delusional IMO. oldpotsmuggler, who I disagree with entirely, at least understands that you would need to amend the Constitution to change that.

                            Goodnight Bob. I can't keep my eyes open any longer.

                            "Humidity built the snowman. Sunshine brought him down" John Prine

                            by high uintas on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 09:25:59 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Good night. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            high uintas

                            Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

                            by Bob Johnson on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 09:34:35 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

      •  The "abortion is evil" pitch is just a way to get (7+ / 0-)

        what they really want.

        Women added to the roster of "those who will serve us."

        Take a look at all these ugly trends towards blaming and demonizing certain types of people.  Racism, hatred of gays, hatred of none-Christians, of the poor, of women....

        The root cause of all of this?

        White, straight, "Christian" males.

        Who have the lion's share of the power and the money in this country, from the boardrooms to the House and Senate.  The lion's share....and they intend to keep it.

        So...keep women "barefoot and pregnant." Get rid of the free public education that helps minority kids climb the economic ladder. Demonize the gays. Blame the poor for not only their own predicament, but for crime, welfare costs, high taxes. Use carefully crafted propaganda to turn people who might object into "those others." Tell those who are white, Christian, but poor that their troubles are all due to "Those Others" and if TOs can just be put back in their "traditional place", life will be all pink roses and Mom's apple pie again.

        Money and power. It's always about money and power!  

        Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

        by Sirenus on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:56:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You nailed it with this: (10+ / 0-)
      All of these concealed/open carry folks are "responsible gun owners"... Until they're not.
      More people armed means more people shot.  It's not rocket science, it's arithmetic.
    •  More normal historically than you think (0+ / 0-)

      An older gun writer wrote about his father going to the tailor and having the tailor ask which side he carried his gun on, so as to design the jacket appropriately.

      This sort of thing never happened where you live? I believe you. Regions and subcultures vary all over the place in this country.

      Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

      by Dogs are fuzzy on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 11:53:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You are misinformed. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dogs are fuzzy, a2nite

        The push for concealed carry as either may issue or shall issue began in the late 1970s. Prior to 1976, only New Hampshire (1923), Vermont, Washington (1961) and Connecticut (1969) had concealed carry on the books.

        Georgia Governor Zell Miller pushed through a concealed carry law at the NRA's urging in 1976. Indiana pushed through a bill in 1980, Maine and North Dakota in 1985, and South Dakota in 1986. Florida's law cam on line in 1988, and then other states fell like dominoes:

        Oregon, Pennsylvania and West Virginia in 1989
        Idaho and Mississippi in 1990
        Montana in 1991
        Alaska, Arizona, Tennessee and Wyoming in 1994.
        Arkansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, Nevada, Utah, and Virginia in 1995.
        Kentucky, Louisiana, and South Carolina in 1996
        Alaska, in 1998.

        As I noted in my post, the big push by the NRA and gun makers to "self-defense" began when hunting and other shooting sports began to decline about 30 years ago.

        Concealed carry went away in the early- to mis-1800s as the nation transitioned from the wild west to a more civilized society.

        So while your anecdotal story may be interesting, concealed carry of handguns is a relatively recent occurrence in most of the U.S.

        Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

        by Bob Johnson on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 02:18:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Great Diary (9+ / 0-)

    I believe what is happening is that most of these people are automatically assuming that Zimmerman was acting from a position of authority.  He was not. They assume that he had a right to pursue Trayvon Martin, he had a right to use his gun and shoot Trayvon when he felt that his life was in danger. My question is where does this authority come from?? A real police officer CAN NOT just stop a person. In reality had a police officer driven up beside Trayvon and said "hey, what are you doing here?" He didn't have to answer. If Trayvon had then walked away from that police officer while he was still talking to him, he would have had a legal right to do so. And if by chance that officer was so incensed that Trayvon had ignored him that he got out of his patrol vehicle, and approached him and said "stop", Trayvon STILL didn't have to stop.  He could have run away and the officer could have chased him to the Georgia state line, it wouldn't matter.  Until Tayvon actually broke a law or that police officer at least could establish reasonable articulable suspicion all he would have been able to do was jog after him. Not stop him. Not fight him. And certainly not shoot him.  

    •  Really? The police don't act that way in CLE (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      schumann, doroma, DSPS owl

      nosotros no somos estúpidos

      by a2nite on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:51:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Great point about GZ playing cop (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DSPS owl, a2nite

      Quibble, though -- running away from a police officer is considered grounds for reasonable articulable suspicion and justifies a Terry stop.

      Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

      by Dogs are fuzzy on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 12:05:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No running away from a police officer (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dogs are fuzzy

        alone is not enough for RAS. That quibble would get a real police officer jammed up for doing what Zimmerman did. Actually a legal terry stop depends on the totality of the circumstances such as running away plus being in high crime area+lookout+crime,etc. (Galindo-eriza v State (Ga))   If he is smart That police officer will probably have thought of the RAS by the time he catches the person, but running itself is not RAS.  Thankfully Most folks just come when you tell them. I always hated running "just cuz".  But in this case: Public street, walking away, no crime, no RAS for the real police.  So the question is wtf was Zimmerman's basis of authority for false inprisonment?

  •  Kos members, please don't try to avoid jury duty. (9+ / 0-)
    •  Instinct from past experience (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, smileycreek

      on a murder trial makes me want to fight tooth and nail to never get stuck in a room full of dip shits ever again. But you are right.

      Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up. A. A. Milne

      by hulibow on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:25:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  George Zimmerman for whatever reason (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DSPS owl

    believed that he had some kind of authority to "stop and frisk." The truth is he had no such authority and left himself open to being a victim of stand your ground.

    The truth about Trayvon Martin is murkier. He believed he could overpower a lard ass like Zimmerman. So he stood his ground with whatever weapon he had which was his fists. He didn't have a weapon like a tazer or pepper spray, which being a minor he was perfectly justified in carrying, and would have quickly incapacitated Zimmerman since it turned out that Zimmerman was a threat.

    Let's look at the scenario if Martin kept on walking to his father's house. Zimmerman would have continued following him until he reached the house at which point in Zimmerman's sick mind he probably would have thought Martin was a burglar, confronted him, then the whole thing would have taken place right on the front step of the house.

    The juror that I heard say that if Martin had continued walking home he would still be alive is full of shit. She only believes in her mind that we are dealing with an angry young black man and a nice polite white guy. She is clueless. We are really dealing with 2 angry young men. One pissed off because he thought black men were coming into his neighborhood to rob houses and one who was angry because he was treated like shit by an uncaring society.

    Knowledge is Power. Ignorance is not bliss, it is suffering. If you like hypocrite Obama, you'll love hypocrite Hillary.

    by harris stein on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:36:59 AM PDT

    •  We don't know how TM felt; he died alone in the (4+ / 0-)

      Rain, a child.

      Who was Zhole the monster & what was his authority? It was in his mind. Trayvon had every right to be where he was and to defend himself from some crazy man following him.

      Zhole the monster is 100% responsible. Please don't forget that.

      nosotros no somos estúpidos

      by a2nite on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 09:08:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No right to assault (0+ / 0-)

        First of all, he was not really a child. He was 17, nearly a legal adult and 4 inches taller than Zimmerman.

        And you don't have the right to assault someone you don't like, even if that person is following you.  

        http://www.shieldofachilles.net

        by Rohan on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 11:03:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If you're a Zholes defender leave me alone; (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eric Nelson, doroma, sukeyna

          Zhole was the armed adult. He got out if his car armed. He had no business trying to stop & frisk or whatever evil he wanted to do.  

          Zhole was &  is a menace.

          nosotros no somos estúpidos

          by a2nite on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 11:12:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The only "evil" (0+ / 0-)

            he wanted to do was follow Martin and report him to authorities. Nothing illegal in that. He didn't  try to stop him or frisk him.

            http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnrohan/sets/

            by Rohan on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 11:34:01 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I warned you to leave me alone (0+ / 0-)

            If your one Zhole's side, I'm not interested. If it's ok to kill Trayvon Martin, then it is ok to kill my nephews and the men folk in my family. No that is not ok. Our family does not carry weapons and we are law abiding. This is something that I'm sure that many black people are tired of saying. Most of us behave ourselves. The evil white MSM has encouraged this portrayal of us as criminals. This serves a purpose. Makes it easier for us to go to jail, kill each other, get killed by the police or stupid white men or make our lives miserable since we rreally aren't  human let alone citizens.

            The murdering Zhole had no right to do anything to interact with Trayvon Martin. He was not the police. He wanted to be 'Dirty Harry'; he made a massively bad mistake and he won. He lived and killed the other witness.  Whatever he said is some made up shit so that he wouldn't be punished.

            Dont care what you have to say...  I've seen it all. He doesn't get out of his car; he doesn't carry a gun, no death. He was such a coward that he would not have gotten out of his car without that gun. Trayvon Martin was unarmed. Who was the danger? Murdering Zhole was.

            Don't care I will call him evil all day and a murderer all day. I'm not lawyer and I don't care. I don't care that he has feeling. He's a monster. Fuck him Fuck his white supremacist supporters and friends. I will always be on Trayvon Martin's side.

            Please see my diary on why Trayvon Martin could be my nephew.

            I hope that is clear.

            You can say yeah but....I DON'T CARE!

            nosotros no somos estúpidos

            by a2nite on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 12:42:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No idea what "Zhole" means exactly, (0+ / 0-)

              and don't want to know. I'm sure it's part of the normal slang inside your victim bubble.

              Everyone has the right to defend themselves from a deadly assault.

              You can control guns, but if Zimmerman used a knife or something, it wouldn't change the princple of self-defense.

              You're right, your nephew could be Trayvon Martin, and so could I. If we were slamming another man's head in the pavement, we could also get shot in self - defense, just like anybody of any race.

              http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnrohan/sets/

              by Rohan on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 01:20:41 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Inventing facts (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rohan

      Notice that you are inventing facts to support your pre-existing belief about GZ.  GZ would have followed him home and shot him.  No evidence to support that.  You conclude that GZ believed he had some authority to stop and frisk.  No evidence to support that, or to support that he did stop and frisk other than he wanted to be a cop.

      Okay, let's use the same kind of reasoning based on what little we know about TM.  TM had tweeted about being or wanting to be a gangsta.  From that let's suppose he acted like a gangsta.  What would a gangsta have done if he was followed by some lard ass.  Attack him and beat him up?

      If that kind of reasoning is invalid for TM why isn't it also invalid for GZ?  

  •  It is about GUNS... (7+ / 0-)

    ...because when a person is carrying a gun, he intuitively knows that he can very quickly eliminate his opponent without any effort; ergo, people get into situations they would normally avoid, but for "a gun."

  •  Serious question re: "Stand your ground" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Janet 707

    Assume the following scenario:
    I enter a "biker's bar" with my Colt 45 tucked in a holster under my shirt.  I walk over to a few gentlemen who are wearing their "colors" and start a conversation with a clever remark like "only an a-hole would wear a vest that ugly".  They do not appreciate the remark and three of them approach me - two brandishing beer bottles.  They do not look happy - in fact, they look rather angry - and certainly threatening.  So I pull out my gun and shoot all three - it's an automatic, it's close range, it's a "take down" gun, and I know how to use it.  I kill one or more of them.
    Here's the question: Forgetting about race (we're all white), am I within the law to go into a bar, insult the patrons in a way that is sure to elicit a very angry response, stand my ground rather than get beaten to a pulp at the least, and kill several of the people who are threatening me?  Does the fact that I incited the potential violence mean that the "Stand your ground" law is not applicable?  I have received two opposite opinions to this question - and I think that it's a rather important one.

    •  Probably is applicable (0+ / 0-)

      but that has more to do with the death of the "fighting words" doctrine than with Stand your Ground.  Blame the Supreme Court, not the florida leg.

      I want to see Snowden get a fair trial, an impartial jury, and the same sentence James Clapper gets for lying to Congress.

      by happymisanthropy on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 09:37:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Insults are different than following someone (0+ / 0-)

      There's not really a law against following someone, unless there's trespassing or a restraining order involved.

      Different courts interpret instigation differently, but I think most would consider insulting the patrons as instigating a fight. That's certainly more of an instigation than simply following someone.

      HOWEVER, the law never gives you free reign to assault someone, even if they are throwing insults at you, so in the case you mentioned, yes, you would probably acquitted just like Zimmerman. And rightly so.

      http://www.shieldofachilles.net

      by Rohan on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 11:07:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So two opinions agree that I could shoot (0+ / 0-)

        And that makes sense to me (sense only in legalese - the SYG is the one of the most irresponsible laws I can imagine).  But it is consistent with a rapist not getting off because someone wore "provocative clothes" and insulting someone (or, for that matter, someone's god) should not lead to being physically harmed/killed.  So are we all going to witness the scenario in my original post - except that both the insulting and the warring parties are (rival) biker "clubs" and the "winners will be the ones with the most bullets?  
        One of things that the GZ trial brought out was that (race aside), the last person standing was the one who stood their ground successfully.  The other person, almost by definition, was the aggressor - the victorious do get to write the history books.  The people who put this law on the books were only thinking about protecting "honest white people" - it is going to be very interesting to see what happens when "lesser people" successfully stand their ground against the people who the law was meant to protect.  A few instances like that (and they will happen given enough time) and the Law just might get repealed...

        •  You GREATLY misunderstand (0+ / 0-)

          The "winner" in your situation is not the one who has the most bullets or stands their ground successfully. There is only one side that can stand his/her ground, and that is the side that was attacked.

           The victim is legally justified to defend himself, that is all. If Martin had killed Zimmerman, he couldn't use self-defense or SYG as an argument because Martin assaulted Zimmerman, not the other way around.

          http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnrohan/sets/

          by Rohan on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 01:26:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I've asked almost this exact question (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite

      The lawyers who have defended the verdict were absent from the ensuing discussion.

      Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

      by Dogs are fuzzy on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 12:10:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The problem is in this phrase, right here: (9+ / 0-)
    looking suspicious in the wrong neighborhood
    But Martin wasn't "looking suspicious in the wrong neighborhood."

    There is nothing inherently suspicious about wearing a sweatshirt. There is nothing inherently suspicious about carrying snack foods. There is nothing inherently suspicious about having a higher percentage of skin melanin. There is nothing suspicious about walking - even if it's dark out.

    Martin was, instead:

    walking with snacks in his father's neighborhood
    Even those of us who care deeply about the injustice of Martin's murder have a tendency to use the destructive lingusitic framing of those who support white supremacy in describing the injustice.
  •  Sick (4+ / 0-)

    I am sick about this verdict like many reasonable minded Americans.  And I am proud of my (black) President clearly articulating what so many of us of all races find so tragic and unjust about a society in which black boys/men are judged to be criminals for no reason whatsoever, just because of the "sin of their skin."

    A woman called in Stephanie Miller Show with this experience:  (Both women were white.)  Woman X was walking toward her car with a cart of groceries.  Woman Y sees Woman X's bumper sticker that says "Healthcare for All."  Woman Y yells at Woman X "Ignorant Socialist!"  Woman X tries to engage her in a conversation, but Woman Y has no part of it, and hurries to her car.  Woman X has to pass Woman Ys car to get to her own vehicle.  Woman Y looks frightened, as Woman X walks near her car.  Does Woman Y  have a gun? Does she feel threatened?  If she shoots Woman X because she felt threatened, according to Stand Your Ground, she would be perfectly justified in killing Woman X.  (After all she is an ignorant socialist)

    Do we really want to live in this kind of environment?  Where anyone who perceives fear or threat can murder anyone with impunity?  Talk about the Wild West!

     

    America, where freedom isn't free, but it is for sale.

    by rlharry on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 09:17:22 AM PDT

    •  Your example is nonsense (0+ / 0-)

      In your example, woman Y would have NO legal justification to shoot woman X. She wasn't being physically assaulted.

      Simply "feeling threatened" is not enough. You need to be credibly be in fear for your life.

      http://www.shieldofachilles.net

      by Rohan on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 11:10:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nope (0+ / 0-)

        You don't have to be physically assaulted to implement Stand Your Ground.  In this hypothetical, if Y felt that X was angry, walking toward her car with intent to do some kind of harm, either with a hidden weapon or some other means of aggression, in Florida, and Texas, it is shoot first, ask questions later.  Just like the guy who shot into the car of kids who were playing their music too loud. He claims they were being aggressive; claims they had a shotgun.  Ends up killing a black kid and his defense is Stand Your Ground.  If there had been no witnesses, he might have a fairly good case under this insane law.

        America, where freedom isn't free, but it is for sale.

        by rlharry on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 02:12:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You are playing with nuances here (0+ / 0-)

          So I'll rephrase a little bit.

          True, anyone could CLAIM self-defense or stand your ground in just about any situation. In court, I could claim that a five year-old boy was threatening me with his ice cream cone if I wanted to.

          However, good luck convincing a jury that you were truly in fear for your life if no one was actually attacking you. It's just not realistic. There's also no evidence that GZ brandished his weapon or made threatening moves to TM.

          http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnrohan/sets/

          by Rohan on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 03:44:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I wouldn't be trying out your theories of law (0+ / 0-)

      into action if I were you. You might end up spending years in the gray barn inn thinking about how maybe you had the wrong idea after all.

      “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

      by ban nock on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 11:19:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  this is another discussion america cannot have (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rlharry, Janet 707, DSPS owl

    the racists and the gunnys have the bully pulpit nationally and in almost all states. those 1200 radio stations are louder and can yell longer than obama or any activists or protestors.

    ALEC and the NRA passed those stand your ground laws because they had all those megaphones and could coordinate their efforts in those states with those stations.

    they get to blast states and communities with lies and fear and racism and gun control distortion and no one gets in their face- outside of the limbaugh boycott there is NO organized challenge to their most important tool. because no one gets in their face at the talk radio level they make the hate and racism acceptable.

    until americans fix that problem this is another dysfunctional national discussion.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 09:24:16 AM PDT

  •  The Race war (1+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Rohan
    Hidden by:
    Armando

    let's don't facts get in our way of race baiting!

  •  "Security & Freedom" to boss AA around as.. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, rlharry, sukeyna

    ..Joy Ann Reid And Reverend Al Sharpton so accurately indentify. The white privilege of even a white child having the status to join in the policing of any AA of any age
    A modern day resurfacing of the White Citizens Council attitude that in order to take back and preserve America, certain people need to "know their place".

    After all what's the point of a "gated community" if just anybody is allowed to walk around and scare "people"?

  •  Martin and Zimmerman (0+ / 0-)

    If Trayvon Martin had not turned to confront Zimmerman he would still be alive today. If he had not grown up in a culture that taught him that when he gets mad at somebody he is to use violence to deal with it. If Zimmerman had not had a gun with him and had waited for the police instead of following Martin, Martin would be alive today.
    Zimmerman is guilty of being stupid and not listening to advice that asked him not to follow Martin.
    However, he is not guilty of second degree murder or manslaughter.

  •  Yes, we know "the ones." Sanford, FL, was one. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Eric Nelson, rlharry, DSPS owl

    As Hunter wrote:

    You know the ones. The ones where, if you found yourself in certain neighborhoods and the law-abiding citizens there felt your presence was a bit out of place, you might have gotten shot for walking down the sidewalk.
    In the movie 42, based on the career of the first back Major League baseball player, Jackie Robinson, we see Jackie and his young wife arriving in Sanford, Florida, as he joins the exhibition season training camp of a Brooklyn Dodger farm club.

    He won't be accepted in any hotel in town, so the club puts him up at the home of a black resident. One night, an old white guy drives by, grinningly warning that a crowd of men coming along behind him don't approve of a black baseball player staying there. Robinson is roused from sleep and drives hurriedly out of town, just ahead of that crowd of menacing Sanford residents.

    That - ostensibly - was Sanford, Florida in 1945. Trayvon Martin was visiting in Sanford in 2012.

    Has anything fundamental changed?

    2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 10:46:58 AM PDT

  •  You might want to ask Adam B to more fully (0+ / 0-)

    explain SYG as well as self defence etc. I don't think it means you can plug someone cause you don't like them and Adam is just the guy to explain it in a way to be understood.

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 11:15:33 AM PDT

    •  Heard from various lawyers SYG is an immunity.. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      doroma

      ..statue, so I looked it up. GZ lawyers didn't opt for the immunity hearing as the judge may have required GZ to answer questions under oath before the judge.

      GZ lawyers may have believed (probably correctly) that the judge would not grant Zimmerman immunity at the hearing. So it went before a jury with no GZ testimony on record.

      From the "authors" of SYG law

      Author of "Stand your ground law"  former Senator  Durell Peaden says George Zimmerman should probably be arrested for killing Trayvon Martin

      It is the fact that Zimmerman ignored the 911 operator's advice not to follow Martin that former Sen. Peaden says disqualifies him from claiming self-defense under the law.
      "The guy lost his defense right then," Peaden told the Miami Herald. "When he said 'I'm following him,' he lost his defense."
      Rep. Dennis Baxley, Peaden's co-sponsor in the Florida House, agrees with his former colleague, telling the newspaper that the law does not license neighborhood watch or others who feel
      "like they have the authority to pursue and confront people. That is aggravating an incident right there."
      Both co-sponsors told the newspaper, however, that they did not think the law needed to be re-examined.

      http://www.cbsnews.com/...

      These are "authors"/supporters of the SYG law. Now that the trial is over, it would be very powerful evidence to the fact that this is bad law.

      The way the law was built and used in jury instruction for Zimmerman’s standard self defense trial is a loophole for crime, and an incentive to shoot to kill - (no witness beyond the shooter)

      I say standard self defense since SYG is an immunity statute and that wasn't the basis of Zimmerman’s trial. His was Florida's existing standard self defense trial

      Law that narrows the scope to exclude too many or all other pertinent facts - as what happened in GZ trial.

      By circumscribing any shooting to the few moments of contact is not justice. It's the opposite.  The whole picture must be considered - including racial profiling when it happens

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      •  lawyers look at laws, and the word "evidence" has (0+ / 0-)

        a very specific meaning other than how you used it. Courts don't look at opinions on months old news videos as evidence.

        As I understand it SYG was not used in this trial, so I don't understand why it's under discussion, except that someone doesn't like it.

        I've found Adam B to be pretty good at explaining legal issues.

        “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

        by ban nock on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 12:01:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •   SYG defense will still be part .. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DSPS owl

          ..of the jury instructions  even if GZ did not get immunity from prosecution based on (SYG) immunity

          Stand your ground is not a defense, but an immunity statute,providing immunity from prosecution -

          This article explaind that GZ did not get SYG immunity,

          A defendant charged with a crime who wants to raise Stand your Ground files a motion to dismiss claiming stand your ground immunizes him from prosecution....
          A hearing is held
          A hearing is held before trial. The burden is on the defendant to prove by a preponderance of evidence that stand your ground immunity applies.
          The judge weighs the facts. If the judge agrees the defendant has shown stand your ground immunity applies by a preponderance of evidence, the charges are dismissed. The defendant can't be prosecuted.
          That didn't happen, it went to trial

          But the stand your ground will still be part of the jury instruction.

          From a Law firm in Florida:

          The defendant is entitled to a jury instruction on self-defense in Florida when there is any evidence to support the claim.

          So even though GZ didn't get SYG immunity from procecution and the case went before a jury, the jury will be informed about the stand your ground statute.

          What Evidence is Required to Raise a Self-Defense Claim in Florida?  

          The defendant is entitled to a jury instruction on self-defense in Florida when there is any evidence to support the claim.  This is a low standard and even a “scintilla” of evidence will be sufficient, even if the self-defense theory is extremely weak or improbable.  Self-defense may even be inferred from the State’s evidence without the Defendant or a defense witness ever taking the stand.
           - emphasis added

          And from pre-trial last year from former Florida state senator & former federal prosecutor Dan Gelber SYG will still play a crucial role in GZ trial as part of jury instruction (video of Dan Gelber)  

          to the best of my limited Knowledge and research can find

          P.S. Adam B is excellent on these issues

    •  I don't need Adam B to explain shit to me. I can (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, Eric Nelson, sukeyna

      read about SYG myself..

  •  Several things wrong in this diary (0+ / 0-)

    From the above:

    George Zimmerman could easily have "defended his own life" by not following Trayvon Martin and causing a confrontation. He didn't. He "defended his own life" from a situation he himself caused.
    That's like saying the rape victim could have avoided being raped by walking in a different area and wearing less revealing clothes. So she was raped in a situation that she herself caused. You believe that too?
    In any similar context, the person being followed around the neighborhood would be perfectly justified in fearing for his own life, and right to "defend his own life"—in theory
    No, not even in theory. Martin had no justification for "fearing for his life" simply because someone was following him. It's annoying when that happens, but you have no right to assault someone, no matter how annoying it is.

    http://www.shieldofachilles.net

    by Rohan on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 11:16:59 AM PDT

  •  The Stand Your Ground laws are... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, doroma

    really about who is left Standing, and who is on the Ground. If Your're the one still standing after a confrontation, obviously, the good guy won.

    "The only way to stop a black guy with Skittles is with a good guy with a gun."  - Wayne LaPierre


    Glottal fricative and breathy-voiced mid-low central unrounded vowel, repeated.

    by glb3 on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 11:22:57 AM PDT

  •  Can't blame a 2"x4" for not learning... (0+ / 0-)
  •  The jury instruction basically introduced (0+ / 0-)

    stand your ground and it confused the jurors.  I still think Zimmerman did not meet the self defense test (as understood under common law).  He was the provoker, had an opportunity to back off but did not, was the first to commence the fight by laying a hand on Trayvon, and used a disproportionate amount of force (deadly force) to respond to Martin's counter.  Martin had as much right to self-defense as Zimmerman, and Zimmerman had a higher burden to avoid the fatal result.  

    If I were the prosecution, I would try to appeal the ruling because of the flawed jury instruction.

    As for lessons of the trial:  The far right will see that this ruling represents an odd, out of the mainstream result and future juries will make a correction to swing the law to place more of the burden on the assailant than the victim. Rather than a statement in favor of stand your ground defenses, this decision will become an outlier and there will be a regression to the common law standard.

    Alternative rock with something to say. Check out Global Shakedown's latest album, "A Time to Recognize": Available on iTunes/Amazon, or stream it at http://www.myspace.com/globalshakedown.

    by khyber900 on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 12:25:09 PM PDT

  •  Stand Your Ground = More Gun Sales (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Bob Johnson

    Recent report by a former gun lobbyist, speaking on NPR: That the Stand Your Ground win is a boost for gun manufacturers.

    If we are a)scared of bad (darker-skinned) guys; b)have guns; and c)won't be prosecuted for using them in questionable ways -- then the best way to 'protect' ourselves is to buy more guns.

    The former lobbyist identified this as a specific focus of the gun industry.

  •  Bad Guys Usually Faint (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Johnson

    "Stand your ground" as portrayed by Glock: Ridiculous Glock Ad

  •  Quote say "A hispanic guy" as in he's not half (0+ / 0-)

    German and Zimmmerman has to apply the one drop racist rule to himself, actually the media, as well.

    That's bs.  He is both German and Peruvian PERIOD.

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