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The Story that is Raw

This story examines some reaction to George Zimmerman's murder of Trayvon Martin while acting as a "neighborhood watch volunteer".

It focuses on a guy named Kent Holder in Tacoma, Washington, about as far from Florida as you can get without going to Canada.

Holder feels Zman "really screwed up"...Yeah, profound understatement, but it could be a lot worse....

In Holder’s view, Zimmerman violated two basic tenets of the watch program: Never confront a person you perceive to be suspicious, and never carry a weapon while on duty.

The National Sheriffs’ Association’s neighborhood watch program was established in 1972 to combat a spike in suburban and rural burglaries.

It was designed to empower civilians to act as “the eyes and ears of law enforcement” without taking matters into their own hands, said John Thompson, who directs the initiative. The association’s 37-page manual states that patrol members should be told that “they shall not carry weapons.”

Bolding is mine.

The article is written such that "paragraphs" are each 1 sentence, killing the ability to excerpt much meaning in the 4-paragraph fair use schtick, so you'll just have to click the link to read the whole thing.

Of course the whole issue of weapons is hotly contested region by region and areas with more foamy-mouthed gun fixations are focused on empowering people to tak guns with them, despite this being a huge mistake given what "neighborhood watches" are supposed to do: be eyes and ears for law enforcement.

Stand Your Ground laws - in my eyes - are specifically designed to encourage gun violence and have little to nothing to do with "self-defense". The way I have come to understand them is they will support somebody starting trouble and then shooting you if you begin to defend yourself successfully.

I mean...what could wrong?

Carmen Caldwell, the executive director of Citizens’ Crime Watch of Miami-Dade, in Florida, said that in the wake of the Zimmerman case, some trainers and others were considering new safeguards, which could include background checks on prospective members and teaching about racial profiling.
The takeway from this, I think, is that neighborhood watches are fine and dandy as long as people are not armed with lethal force. The purpose of them is not to be friggin' caped crusaders or worse - vigilantes, but this is exactly what ridiculous laws like SYG promote.

Mix in America's heinous problems with race and it's just a recipe for disaster.

I have discussed this with my Marine Gunnery Sargent running buddy - an encyclopedia of gun knowledge but who is not as "2nd Amendmenty as one might imagine. (He believes people should have a lot of training if they want to own guns and there should be a lot of rules to follow. He says "rules" because "laws" make people freak out needlessly)  

His FIRST comment and one he always comes back to is that Zman's first mistake was leaving that truck with a gun.

Period.

End of debate.

Originally posted to Toking Points Memo on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 09:24 AM PDT.

Also republished by Caucus, Shut Down the NRA, and Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

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