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Trayvon Martin

The Trayvon Martin case has been rising slowly in the news. We don’t know everything a this point. But a basic picture has emerged.

George Zimmerman, 28, a neighborhood watch volunteer with a long history of calling in everything from open garage doors to “suspicious characters,” called police to say he had spotted someone who looked drugged, was walking too slowly in the rain, and appeared to be looking at people’s houses. Zimmerman sounded alarmed because the stranger had his hand in his waistband and held something in his other hand.

The unarmed teen was carrying Skittles and a can of Arizona iced tea.

Zimmerman said he had stepped out of his truck to check the name of the street he was on when Trayvon attacked him from behind as he walked back to his truck, police said. He said he feared for his life and fired the semiautomatic handgun he was licensed to carry because he feared for his life.

Read the whole thing. The investigation of Zimmerman appears to have been cursory. The more information that emerges, the worse this looks. Zimmerman called the police, who warned him to back off, that they would handle it. And Martin was apparently on the phone to his girlfriend at the time, worried about the man following him:

Eventually he would run, said the girl, thinking that he’d managed to escape. But suddenly the strange man was back, cornering Martin. “Trayvon said, ‘What, are you following me for,’ and the man said, ‘What are you doing here.’ Next thing I hear is somebody pushing, and somebody pushed Trayvon because the head set just fell. I called him again and he didn’t answer the phone.”

There were no direct witness so we don’t know precisely what happened, who initiated the encounter and whether Zimmerman was justified in shooting. We may never know. But I think Martin was owed a much more thorough investigation than the one that appears to have been made.

As is often the case, the usual suspects are emerging to blame Florida’s “stand your ground” law, which sides with people defending themselves in public areas from criminals. I have a few thoughts on this aspect of the case.

First of all, many of them are objecting not to Florida’s perhaps overly generous law but to the idea of “stand your ground” entirely. Several have said we should return to the “duty to retreat” principles that defined our gun laws for so long. Under this paradigm, self defense is only allowed when retreat is impossible. Ted Kennedy, in his thankfully failed Presidential run, wanted to establish “duty to retreat” as a federal law even for people in their own homes. But you have a fundamental right of self-defense … yes, even in the public streets.

But, in my view, “duty to retreat” is basically ceding public areas to criminals. It posits that it is the duty of the law abiding to flee. It returns us to the idea that the police should have a monopoly power on the use of force. Given the problems the police sometimes have with their use of this power, I’m not happy with that.

Let’s step back a moment from this tragedy and imagine a different scenario: an armed criminal wandering a neighborhood. Is it the duty of the citizens to flee into their homes and call the cops in the hope that maybe, eventually, something will be done? I’m with John Locke on this one: if you meet someone who intends you harm, you are in the state of nature. The law works in a reactive, not proactive way.

Now, that having been said, I think that Florida’s law has some issues, if not in conception than at least in execution (no pun intended). The right to bear arms also comes with responsibility. If we respect the right of people to bear arms in public we also have to hold them accountable when they do dumb, stupid and deadly things with them. “Stand your grand” should not empower people to wander the streets shooting suspicious characters and not being held accountable. Some of the examples cited in the articles above are disturbing — people have been exonerated from murder or homicide charges when they clearly intended or initiated violent contact.

So the gun-grabbers are absolutely wrong on the principle: you have a fundamental right to defend yourself, even in a public space, even when cops are only a phone call and a long wait away. But there is a need to hold people accountable when they exercise their right to bear arms irresponsibly. And if the reports of this case are accurate, it is likely the Zimmerman was irresponsible in how he acted. And he should be held accountable.

43 comments

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  1. salinger says:

    Let’s step back a moment from this tragedy and imagine a different scenario: an armed criminal wandering a neighborhood.

    And we could imagine giant lizard with the ability to vaporize people with laser vision – it has absolutely no bearing on this case and bringing up scenarios like this only muddies the waters for people on both sides of the debate. It introduces a premise that has nothing to do with the facts of the actual matter – “what ifs” shouldn’t come to play.

    That being said – I believe Zimmerman showed his hand when he stated (paraphrased) “They always get away” and then admitted to the cops that he was indeed “in pursuit” of this “suspect” even after being told to stand down by law enforcement who had said they were on the way.

    I believe you give up your right to self defense once you start chasing any unarmed someone and any Stand Your Ground law is remiss without this stipulation .

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  2. balthazar says:

    I believe you give up your right to self defense once you start chasing any unarmed someone and any Stand Your Ground law is remiss without this stipulation .

    Too bad florida law doesnt believe that.

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  3. Kimpost says:

    Looks like Zimmerman likely killed an innocent man because of gross neglect, and that he’ll get away with it. Congratulations to him personally, too bad for Martin and his family. Ah well, shit happens.

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  4. Seattle Outcast says:

    Several have said we should return to the “duty to retreat” principles that defined our gun laws for so long

    The thought process of sheep.

    And what’s more, it didn’t “define our gun laws” outside of a very few locales.

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  5. Poosh says:

    Isn’t this more to do with a seemingly unstable idiot who should never have been allowed a weapon, and police trying to cover up an apparent murder, rather than the issues mentioned above? That’s the image I got, anyway, a paranoid retard getting out of his car and gunning a kid down, and the police proceeding to – for whatever reason – cover it up. It doesn’t sound like Zimmerman was irresponsible, but the system that allowed him to have a weapon i.e. he wasn’t a normal citizen.

    *that’s the impression I got form the article(s) anyway. Don’t really know.

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  6. Section8 says:

    And we could imagine giant lizard with the ability to vaporize people with laser vision – it has absolutely no bearing on this case and bringing up scenarios like this only muddies the waters for people on both sides of the debate.

    Not really. If the debate is whether or not this guy looks to be irresponsible and should be held accountable, I don’t think there is a debate. Hal even stated that, and I would imagine most here would agree.

    And if the reports of this case are accurate, it is likely the Zimmerman was irresponsible in how he acted. And he should be held accountable.

    The other part of this post was about whether the law itself is the problem and whether or not changing it would do any good, and present more problems when people can’t defend themselves due to the act of someone who is irresponsible. Basically punish the person, not the group.

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  7. salinger says:

    The other part of this post was about whether the law itself is the problem

    And this is what I was talking about muddying the debate with “what if” scenarios. We have a “what happened” scenario on our hands right now. This kid was not some armed assailant wandering about and threatening the neighborhood with grievous injury. He was a kid in a hoodie with a pocketful of Skittles who – it seems according to evidence – was shot to death by a gun toting vigilante who because of the local authorities interpretation of the law is still free and possibly armed (I haven’t heard anything about whether his gun was confiscated or not.)

    The situation at hand is the lens that the law needs to be examined through – an actual event – not the most defensible scenario that could be imagined.

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  8. Mississippi Yankee says:

    George Zimmerman, 28, a neighborhood watch volunteer with a long history of calling in everything…

    Ive seen this Zimmerman type all too frequently among casino security personnel. His major malfunction was (prior to the shooting) “Wanna be a Cop Syndrome”.

    He must be punished for his crime of course but more importantly the Sanford Police Department need to be investigated and chastised for their part.

    BUT, this post has confused two very different Florida laws (sort of tried to lump them together) The Castle Doctrine (your home) and the Stand Your Ground law (not having to flee no matter where you are) pertain to different segments of ones own personal safety. Zimmerman doesn’t have a leg to stand on in either case.

    The crux of this article is that the author, several FL politicians and the Justice Dept. want to disingenuously if not dishonestly try to make this a Second Amendment issue. IT IS NOT!

    All this is:
    1 punishable dumb-ass + piss poor police work = 1 dead black kid and a shit load of political shenanigans. How anyone can’t see what’s ‘a foot’ here fuckin’ astounds me.

    It’s an erection year for chrissakes

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  9. Section8 says:

    And this is what I was talking about muddying the debate with “what if” scenarios. We have a “what happened” scenario on our hands right now. This kid was not some armed assailant wandering about and threatening the neighborhood with grievous injury.

    Sure this is a what happened going on right now. We also have quite a few every day where people are attacked and not able to defend themselves precisely because the rules in general have made it that way. I bet the latter is much more frequent.

    He was a kid in a hoodie with a pocketful of Skittles who – it seems according to evidence – was shot to death by a gun toting vigilante who because of the local authorities interpretation of the law is still free and possibly armed (I haven’t heard anything about whether his gun was confiscated or not.)

    The only thing interpreted was what was claimed to have happened (self defense and hassling and then killing someone are two different things entirely), and it looks pretty clear they haven’t put much effort into it finding out exactly what happened. Of course you don’t want to see it from that point. Law or no law though, you still have the right to use your Duty to Retreat.

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  10. Section8 says:

    The situation at hand is the lens that the law needs to be examined through – an actual event – not the most defensible scenario that could be imagined.

    This law had nothing to do with it. Not even mentioned in the news articles Hal posted. The complaint had to do with a shoddy investigation where the facts didn’t seem to matter much, and Zimmerman’s word was sufficient. That’s what the state and federal prosecutors are taking a look at. That’s the problem the Martin family has about all this (although if some activists and political manipulators get a hold of them, they might tack this on too after the fact). Where the waters were muddied is when some left wing blogs and punditry decided to make this an activist cause against the right to stand your ground. Nonsense, as you pointed out.

    That being said – I believe Zimmerman showed his hand when he stated (paraphrased) “They always get away” and then admitted to the cops that he was indeed “in pursuit” of this “suspect” even after being told to stand down by law enforcement who had said they were on the way.

    It would look as though based on what we know he put himself in this situation, This not standing your ground, This is being an instigator. That’s not what this law is about, and it wasn’t even part of the equation of a shoddy investigation.

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  11. Kimpost says:

    I think that the intent of the law is one thing, but when many police officers and prosecutors say that the law makes it difficult to prosecute any shootings, then I think that people should listen. Not necessarily to eliminate said laws, but to make them better/clearer.

    This tragic incident doesn’t seem to be the only one, after all.

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  12. salinger says:

    This law had nothing to do with it.

    The cops cited it as the reason for not arresting. So, whether shoddy enforcement, interpretation, or drafting – the law is indeed a factor and deserves review.

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  13. Section8 says:

    The cops cited it as the reason for not arresting.

    They did? Where? I don’t see it. Now I very well may have missed it, but I don’t see it. Even if they did, again, it does not hold up to the facts as we see at this point based on what we know. So why muddy the waters? Do you not care about the guy with the candy? Doesn’t the fact alone that the cops didn’t put much effort into this matter to you? That the department itself may be inept or corrupt? Or is this just a talking point issue where the kid’s death can be used for activist causes rather than getting the investigation he deserves?

    I think that the intent of the law is one thing, but when many police officers and prosecutors say that the law makes it difficult to prosecute any shootings

    I highly doubt that. Slate was able to site one example. The law in its current form has been around since 2005. I’m curious how many people were not mugged, raped, beaten, killed because people thought twice about it. Of course that rarely matters to the left, as long as it’s not their family of course.

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  14. salinger says:

    Police declined to arrest Zimmerman citing the “Stand Your Ground” law. This law, passed in 2005, allows a potential victim who fears they are in great bodily harm to use deadly force in public places. The law was an extension of a rule known as the “Castle Doctrine” which states you may use deadly force against those trespassing on your property.

    http://www.northmobilepost.com/

    Do you not care about the guy with the candy?

    Rats – you got me – I’m an uncaring bastard who likes to see young black men gunned down by vigilantes as long as it keeps law abiding citizens from protecting their property and family – thought I’d sneak by you there – but you were too shrewd.

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  15. Section8 says:

    Sorry, a blog powered by World Press as a “news source” doesn’t cut it for me. I see text, I don’t see any reference back to the story such as AP or Reuters, etc. also seems like a little commentary cleverly thrown in.

    – I’m an uncaring bastard who likes to see young black men gunned down by vigilantes

    Pretty much. If you gave a shit you’d care about how the investigation was handled. Throwing in the black men comment as an explanation point to “prove” you’re not racist still has nothing to do with how the investigation was handled. Basically the probability of a botched investigation means nothing to you, a botch investigation, that if it is found that way Zimmerman will be responsible regardless of any existing laws, because that law would not protect him. This whole ordeal is just an opportunity to spout off about a law and is made more juicy for you if you can throw in the race angle somehow. Pretty sad. Most care about seeing justice. Folks like you want to prove your worth as a human by spinning every angle of it for talking point purposes. Sad.

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  16. salinger says:

    Citing Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, enacted in 2005 under Governor Jeb Bush, and presently on the books in seventeen states including Illinois, Ohio, and New York among others, police had not arrested George Zimmerman.

    How about the Washington Times – a nice right wing newspaper for you?

    Also – I think the fact that that Zimmerman is heard saying “fucking coon” on the 911 call warrants inclusion of race. This goes way beyond botched investigation – and I think my first comment on this posting of:

    I believe you give up your right to self defense once you start chasing any unarmed someone and any Stand Your Ground law is remiss without this stipulation

    pretty much states where I stand here and any attempt to paint me with a different brush is disingenuous at best. Good day.

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  17. Hal_10000 says:

    The more I read, the less this looks like a “stand your ground” incident. It doesn’t appear that zimmerman was attacked. I agree with MY, this is looking more and more like shitty police work and a failure to properly investigate.

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  18. balthazar says:

    BTW according to Zimmermans father, he is hispanic, whats poor old Al Sharpton gonna do now? Incite a Hispanic/black race war?

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  19. Section8 says:

    How about the Washington Times – a nice right wing newspaper for you?

    Any newspaper would do. Thanks.

    Regardless as everyone has said here including you, it looks like Zimmerman acted irresponsibly, whether it’s neglect, manslaughter or just plain murder we don’t know. But what we ALL seem to AGREE UPON is that attempting to determine what happened was done in a piss poor manner (except for you since you don’t seem to care about that aspect). Again NOT ONE PERSON here is disputing there is a problem here based on what we know. What is the issue is what a appears to be a botched investigation that should be corrected. That should be the focal point, as no law would protect him from the manner in which he acted from what we see so far. NO LAW PERIOD. All this is irrelevant, however, for opportunists.

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  20. salinger says:

    attempting to determine what happened was done in a piss poor manner (except for you since you don’t seem to care about that aspect).

    What is wrong with you? What part of

    I believe you give up your right to self defense once you start chasing any unarmed someone and any Stand Your Ground law is remiss without this stipulation

    don’t you get? Of course I think the “investigation ” is feloniously inept.. Why are you so bent on impugning my integrity over this?

    If not for the Stand Your Ground law – Zimmerman would be under arrest right now – prove that statement wrong and you have a case. That’s it – I’m done – have a good day.

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  21. Section8 says:

    Of course I think the “investigation ” is feloniously inept.. Why are you so bent on impugning my integrity over this?

    Ok, then there is no reason to go beyond that. Yet you want to go further and state it’s the law even though you know the law excuse was based on an inept investigation in the first place.

    I believe you give up your right to self defense once you start chasing any unarmed someone and any Stand Your Ground law is remiss without this stipulation

    Agreed no one disputes that, but it’s not the law that’s the issue, it was a police force who apparently thought that said issues such as chasing down someone down and playing cop, that disobeying police orders didn’t matter, that the kid might have been the one crying before he was shot didn’t matter. It ALL matters, and apparently the state of Florida does believe it matters. That’s why they are investigating rather than saying they need to change the law right away. They are focusing on the broken link, not using some other link up the chain. That’s where justice fades and politics begins.

    By the way, if the kid did go after Zimmerman as he claims, it was because he felt threatened and was standing his ground after being followed and harassed. Do you think he should have been arrested if he was still alive?

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  22. sahrab says:

    Your own source refutes the cops “Defense” (probably be better to actually read it before using it as a source)

    You relied upon:

    Citing Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, enacted in 2005 under Governor Jeb Bush, and presently on the books in seventeen states including Illinois, Ohio, and New York among others, police had not arrested George Zimmerman.

    Yet your own source states:

    Also referred to as the Castle, or Defense of Habitation, Law Stand Your Ground is a doctrine that “designates a person’s abode as a place where a person has certain protections and immunities and may in certain circumstances attack an intruder without becoming liable to prosecution.”

    However, Zimmerman shot and killed the child on the street, not in or near his home and witnesses reports raise questions about how the shooting could be justifiable homicide.

    In other words…. Stand your Ground didnt fit the definition of the bill.

    But what are Floridas definitions for Stand Your Ground/Castle Defense?

    Florida Statute 776 Justifiable use of force

    776.012 – Use of force in defense of person.—A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if:
    (1) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony; or

    (2) Under those circumstances permitted pursuant to s. 776.013.

    776.013 – Home protection; use of deadly force; presumption of fear of death or great bodily harm.—
    (1) A person is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another when using defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another if:
    (a) The person against whom the defensive force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or if that person had removed or was attempting to remove another against that person’s will from the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle; and ….

    There is much more to 776.013 but its only relevant to home defense (Not relevant to this case)

    776.031 – Use of force in defense of others.—A person is justified in the use of force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to prevent or terminate the other’s trespass on, or other tortious or criminal interference with, either real property other than a dwelling or personal property, lawfully in his or her possession or in the possession of another who is a member of his or her immediate family or household or of a person whose property he or she has a legal duty to protect. However, the person is justified in the use of deadly force only if he or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony. A person does not have a duty to retreat if the person is in a place where he or she has a right to be

    But wait you say, what about the defense against prosecution? Thats covered as well

    776.032 – Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force.—
    (1) A person who uses force as permitted in s. 776.012, s. 776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force, unless the person against whom force was used is a law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(14), who was acting in the performance of his or her official duties and the officer identified himself or herself in accordance with any applicable law or the person using force knew or reasonably should have known that the person was a law enforcement officer. As used in this subsection, the term “criminal prosecution” includes arresting, detaining in custody, and charging or prosecuting the defendant.

    Since he wasnt covered in the above statutes he doesnt get immunity

    But wait, you say, what about justification in the face of an aggressor?

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

    Since Zimmerman pursued Trayvon, he doesnt fit this one either. If anything Zimmerman fits the definition of the Aggressor.

    Clearly this is a case of the Cops takign the easy road “Waah castle doctrine wont let us do our job” and not only fucking up, but doing so spectactularly in the national media. We’re sure Rich will come on a perform his usual Polic apologetic gymnastics, but that doesnt excuse the cops from not doing their duty.

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  23. sahrab says:

    damn moderation

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  24. salinger says:

    (probably be better to actually read it before using it as a source)

    Are you guys just fucking with me? I mean it’s quite a contortion routine you are going through to pin the tail on the liberal. Let me simply state (re-state) in words I have already used my two premises – please feel free to show me where any of these statements are false:

    1) The investigation cops cited the Stand Your Ground Law as the reason no arrest was made.

    Whether this was the result of shoddy police work or not is not the issue – I am merely quoting sources as to what the cops have said. I say nothing about repealing the law – but if it is worded in such a way that the investigating officers feel they have no grounds to arrest someone who they know chased another down – maybe it needs to be tightened up.

    2) As soon one chases an unarmed “suspect” they give up their right to a self defense – any Stand Your Ground law that does not follow this stipulation is remiss.

    Do you agree or disagree with this statement?

    By the way, if the kid did go after Zimmerman as he claims, it was because he felt threatened and was standing his ground after being followed and harassed. Do you think he should have been arrested if he was still alive?

    If he injured or killed ZImmerman – yeah. At the very least brought in for questioning. People go to trial with a self defense – defense every day. I don’t think this is a call that an investigating cop should be able to make.

    Now I have to pack for a work trip. Keep outta trouble.

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  25. Hal_10000 says:

    I think it’s significant that almost everyone quoted in Brazelon’s article I linked is either in gun control or a prosecutor. Surprisingly, they don’t like stand your ground. But again, this seems more irrelevant with each passing hour as there was no ground-standing going on.

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  26. sahrab says:

    Are you guys just fucking with me? I mean it’s quite a contortion routine you are going through to pin the tail on the liberal. Let me simply state (re-state) in words I have already used my two premises – please feel free to show me where any of these statements are false:

    Sure no problem

    You stated:

    The cops cited it as the reason for not arresting. So, whether shoddy enforcement, interpretation, or drafting – the law is indeed a factor and deserves review.

    In your above statement you attempted to lump the two (shitty cops and the law) while ignoring that the law was not the factor, it was ONLY crappy police work.

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  27. salinger says:

    The cops cited it as the reason for not arresting. So, whether shoddy enforcement, interpretation, or drafting – the law is indeed a factor and deserves review.

    So you don’t think the problem here was – shoddy enforcement, interpretation, or drafting of this law – and no review of any of those items as they pertain to this law is needed?

    Gotchya.

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  28. sahrab says:

    Nice moving of the goal posts…

    The problem was the shoddy (your term) shitty/crappy/lousy/lazy/dereliction of duty (my terms) of the police in this case.

    The Law had no bearing on the case, other than by the shitty/crappy/lousy/lazy/dereliction of duty police officers. If the police decided not to investigate and cited a law on jay walking would you still be jumping through these convoluted hoops?

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  29. salinger says:

    The Law had no bearing on the case, other than by the shitty/crappy/lousy/lazy/dereliction of duty police officers.

    Seems the Governor disagrees with you.

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  30. sahrab says:

    Are you sure about that sparky? not that a governor (who is a politician) disagreeing with me necessarily supports your convoluted argument.

    Because here is what Governor Scott said:

    “If there’s something wrong with the law that’s in place, I think it’s important we address it. I’m going to look at it. If what’s happening is it’s being abused, that’s not right. We all want to live in a safe place,” Scott said.

    Where does he say there is a problem with the law? He says IF there’s something wrong, and if its being abused. Seems like Political doublespeak merely to pander to a subset of his voting constituents.

    But hey, you have Cher supporting your argument surely you cant be wrong.

    Stop the presses, he does say:

    “Any time we see something like that we have to review and make sure we’re not giving people the opportunity to use the law unfairly,” Scott told reporters earlier in the day.

    Sounds to me like he’s supporting my argument. The shitty/crappy/lousy/lazy/dereliction of duty police officers who refused to do their job and then tried blaming a law that did not apply.

    Once again, since you ignored it earlier If the police decided not to investigate and cited a law on jay walking would you still be jumping through these convoluted hoops?

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  31. salinger says:

    “If there’s something wrong with the law that’s in place, I think it’s important we address it. I’m going to look at it. If what’s happening is it’s being abused, that’s not right.

    As opposed to -” Fuck no the law is fine I refuse to look at it.” Seems a much more sane and open minded approach – even from a Republican.

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  32. Section8 says:

    As opposed to -” Fuck no the law is fine I refuse to look at it.”

    The common complaint was that the investigation was not handled properly. That is what we should be looking at. How many times from how many people does this need to be repeated?

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  33. Poosh says:

    I didn’t know the apparent victim was black !? But the shooter was ethnic too from the looks of it,

    Must be confusing for liberals.

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  34. balthazar says:

    The shooter is a self and family identified hispanic.

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  35. Poosh says:

    Not to make light of the subject but

    RACE WARS !!!!!!!!!!!

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  36. salinger says:

    Okay I am between flights and 13 hours different so excuse the lapses.

    But if you guys really think that a 300 percent increase of “justified homicides” 90% of those against unarmed “assailants” – one involving a chase down ending in the stabbing of the victim – and all of the killers walking because of this law isn’t a problem then fine.

    If you think the fact that this Zimmerman guy is still armed and walking the streets – the reason for this being cited by the cops being this law – then good.

    If you think that there are absolutely no unintended consequences to this statute – such as a vigilantes knowing that if he kills and shoots his only witness he will most likely walk Scott free – then I have no case against you.

    Good luck with that.

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  37. AlexInCT says:

    But if you guys really think that a 300 percent increase of “justified homicides” 90% of those against unarmed “assailants” – one involving a chase down ending in the stabbing of the victim – and all of the killers walking because of this law isn’t a problem then fine.

    Without the underlying data and the source, I am dismissing these statistics as inconsequential to the decision. In fact I would call it hysterics. And I can use your own numbers to make the case that more people being killed because people now can protect themselves without fear of the gun haters using the law to punish them for doing that.

    Making the argument that despite all safety precautions too many people die from car accidents, and then claim we should completely do away with driving, would set off alarms. Most people would find that ridiculous. Just like people like me find it ridiculous that leftists want to restrict my ability to protect myself because some bad apple might have abused a law that sticks in their craw and prevents them from driving forward with the disarming of the pesky populous.

    This is definitely a tragedy, and if Zimmerman did commit a crime I hope he gets convicted for that. But I am definitely not going to let people hiding behind emotional cries of racism or faux statistics muddle the water in an attempt to deny anyone the right of self protection.

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  38. Poosh says:

    Why are people saying Fox News is being “biased” over this and trying to play it down and not mention it. …. On both Hannity and O’Reily the gave segments on this subject and discussed it. It’s like people make shit up about Fox News…

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  39. AlexInCT says:

    Why are people saying Fox News is being “biased” over this and trying to play it down and not mention it. …. On both Hannity and O’Reily the gave segments on this subject and discussed it. It’s like people make shit up about Fox News…

    It’s likely because Fox News actually wants to report and not spew the liberal talking points that the racebaiters thrive on, and we can’t have any of that. If you are not on the side of those that say this incident was racially motivated to gin up anti-self defense or gun support, then you are not reporting anything. Discussing the fact that both participants are minorities, that it clearly looks like the police didn’t do their job right, and that one person abusing a law – and we are not even clear if that’s the case – should not be grounds for getting rid of the law, pollutes the narrative. And Fox News is contantly guilty of this sort of behavior. People need to be emotionally controlled into believing the right things, not be able to use facts to make up their minds.

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  40. Section8 says:

    But if you guys really think that a 300 percent increase of “justified homicides” 90% of those against unarmed “assailants” – one involving a chase down ending in the stabbing of the victim – and all of the killers walking because of this law isn’t a problem then fine.

    I agree with Alex. Some data to back up this claim would be important. For the sake of fun though, I’ll up the number to 400%. Actually, make it a thousand.

    If you think the fact that this Zimmerman guy is still armed and walking the streets – the reason for this being cited by the cops being this law – then good.

    Not one person has said this. The issue is that it appears the cops did not do a proper investigation to come up with that excuse. This been repeated on nearly every post here over and over and over again. Please, give the straw back to the farmers, you seem to be taking it all to make your argument. He was not arrested, that does not mean he got away with a crime. It has been escalated to the state which is what should happen when it appears an investigation is not done properly regardless of what law is referenced.

    If you think that there are absolutely no unintended consequences to this statute – such as a vigilantes knowing that if he kills and shoots his only witness he will most likely walk Scott free – then I have no case against you.

    Where is it stated in the law intentional, implied, or otherwise? Where are the stats that if you kill your only witness you’ll likely get away with it?

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  41. Section8 says:

    Ok, in Florida the number of self defense shootings has gone from 12 to 35 per year, so the 300 percent would be accurate, but the number itself is relatively small. How many were erroneously justified, and not saving a life of the person that was attacked, and possibly would have been killed is not reference in the article nor does it say how many were unarmed.

    Link

    Also in the article

    Meanwhile, two legislatures who helped pass the law in 2005, former state Sen. Durell Peaden and current state Rep. Dennis Baxley, are now defending it and both say that it should not apply to Zimmerman.

    “They got the goods on him. They need to prosecute whoever shot the kid,” Peaden, a Republican who sponsored the bill, tells the Miami Herald. “He has no protection under my law.”

    “There’s nothing in this statute that authorizes you to pursue and confront people, particularly if law enforcement has told you to stay put,” Baxley echoes. “I don’t see why this statute is being challenged in this case. That is to prevent you from being attacked by other people.”

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  42. Mississippi Yankee says:

    It would appear that by not applying the “48 hr smell test” (myself included) there are more facts coming to the surface. Things like racist accusation against Zimmerman can (but won’t-more on that later) re-thought. It seems he and his wife mentored two black youths a few years ago. A 13 yo girl and 14 yo boy. He and wife are also active fund raiser for an African-American church in their community.

    And although there were reports that Trayvon Martin was seen on top of Zimmerman it has come to light that Zimmerman did sustain a broken nose, facial bruises and a cut on the back of his head that required stitches.

    I was fine with my own conclusions until Rev. Al Sharpton became evolved in this clusterfuck. Then my suspicious mind started to dig.
    Now y’all know who Al Sharpton is right?
    Here comes Al Sharpton and his Traveling Racial Grievance Show. You would think that after the Crown Heights riots, the Freddie’s Fashion Mart arson, and the Tawana Brawley hoax Sharpton would have no credibility, but it doesn’t work that way. from GOC

    Only because I remember them from the 60′s/early 70′s and how divisive they were way back then I must ask;
    How much of a distraction would a good old national race riot be for an incumbent administration with falling popularity and poll numbers at all time lows?

    As Rahm Emmamuel said “never let a crisis go to waste” One might also add: BUY MORE AMMO!

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  43. Mississippi Yankee says:

    Here’s a link to an Anderson Cooper interview with Zimmernan’s Attorney.

    The most interesting information Sonner gave Cooper, however, was his accusation that Martin had hurt Zimmerman during the violent exchange.

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