Defenders of Freedom, please responde...
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Posted by Bridgier (+9176) 9 years ago
The "Stand Your Ground" laws, as currently exist in Florida and other states: A good idea, or a nightmare of vigilantism? Discuss.

As it is my current policy to allow my esteemed interlocutors to have the first word in these discussions, I will allow the Defenders of Freedom to speak first.
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Posted by Cory Cutting (+1271) 9 years ago
They are good laws if you are the one using it, not so much if you are on the other end (or someone who wants to defend the other guy).

As for the Florida case, *based soley upon what is in the news* I beleive that unless some strange video recording shows up, the "fearful" person will not be tried. He's the only one to tell the story. And who can prove he was not in "reasonable fear for his life"?

The rest of all of this is BS promoted by the "opposite racism" in America.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9176) 9 years ago
And who can prove he was not in "reasonable fear for his life"?

Does this not seem to be a fairly large loophole in the law, a-la "reasonable and prudent" speed limits?
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4459) 9 years ago
If the law allows heavily armed Neo-Nazis to keep the peace, I'm all for it. Guns are very stabilizing, they should make a new law that requires everyone to own and carry a weapon at all times. There would be no more crime.

[This message has been edited by Buck Showalter (4/10/2012)]
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Posted by howdy (+4942) 9 years ago
in my opinion it is a nightmare of vigilantism...I have relatives that are police officers in Florida (not in that town thankfully) and they both say that Zimmerman should have been charged...
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1669) 9 years ago
Should the victim not have been the one allowed to stand his ground? After all, he was the one being pursued by an armed man. Zimmerman should have been the bloody fool. Had he stood down, like he was instructed to do by the 911 operator, none of this would have happened. Since when is this not the classic case of manslaughter? Zimmerman would not have had to hide behind this foolish law if had followed law enforcement instruction.
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Posted by David Schott (+16946) 9 years ago
From what little I know of the case I'd agree with Denise. My understanding is the 911 operator instructed Zimmerman not to pursue Martin but he did. Zimmerman wasn't "standing his ground", he was pursuing the guy that ultimately came up dead. Cory, have you heard differently?
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Posted by Cory Cutting (+1271) 9 years ago
Bridgier, it is very subjective. Unfortunately, the only person who can give a possibly different scenario is dead. But the laws do set a standard for reaching what is "reasonable".

Just as a police officer must have "reasonable suspicion" that someone is/has/or is about to commit a crime to make accusing contact with a subject--

Reasonable is what would make a "reasonable" (or normal/non-psycho/on-their-rocker type) person believe____________.

Based upon what information is public, I would say that "reasonable fear" is there, but that would not keep the suspect from being charged. He was told he didn't need to pursue the kid; he lost sight of the kid and went looking for him; he confronted the kid.

All of these things lead me to believe that there were other options besides getting into a fight with the kid. Even if, at that exact moment of the fight, the suspect had reasonable fear for his life, he had plenty of opportunities to disengage from the situation. I think this line of reasoning would stand whether the law stated "one MUST retreat first", as most laws do, or not, as the Florida law apparently doesn't indicate.

That-is a determination to be made by a jury. So I say charge him and let the court decide.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4459) 9 years ago
The only solid conclusion one can make is that Florida is a bassackwards hole that doesn't deserve our tourism.

[edit]

I forgot to mention, a Bush is to blame.

[This message has been edited by Buck Showalter (4/10/2012)]
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Posted by miles city paintball club (+179) 9 years ago
mess with the bull and you will get the horns.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4459) 9 years ago
Dumb and armed

Oh well, I'm white and rarely out past 10. Not my problem.
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1669) 9 years ago
Who was messing with a bull????
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4459) 9 years ago
If it wasn't you, you should ignore it.
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Posted by Bob Netherton II (+1903) 9 years ago
Even if a cop uses his gun in the line of duty, there is an investigation and often a suspension until the investigation is complete. This stupid law has allowed gang members to go free because they were able to cite this stupid, short-sited law.

I see Zimmerman is ignoring his attorneys and is now "going rogue" including contacting that real man's man, Sean Hannity.

Despite all of this, I think we need to thank far-sighted geniuses like Jeb Bush, the NRA, and states like Florida(and Montana) for seeing to it that any [email protected] idiot can walk into a store and purchase a gun.

And... my hunch was right. The paint ball club is made up of a bunch nimrod dicks, if your "spokesman" is any indication.

[This message has been edited by Bob Netherton II (4/10/2012)]
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Posted by cj sampsel (+478) 9 years ago
Question. Was this neighborhood watch person wearing any kind
of uniform that would indicate some kind of authority? If not
I would be very suspicious of why I was being followed and possibly
confront the person. No matter what the facts are this man should be
in jail until things are cleared up. What about the initial reports of there being witnesses? What happened to them?
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Posted by howdy (+4942) 9 years ago
apparently his attorneys have quit and he has gone "rogue" and no one knows where he is...his attys have said he even has been talking to the special prosecutor which is a large no no and Sean Hannity LOL...the guy sounds a bit nuts to me at least...
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Posted by Amorette F. Allison (+1915) 9 years ago
Maybe the paintball club disapproves of sweet tea and Skittles?

Zimmerman chased the kid. That is not "standing your ground." That is assault with a deadly weapon.

Makes me glad I can't afford to Florida.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9176) 9 years ago
So, I wasn't necessarily interested in rehashing the specifics of the Trayvon Martin case, I was hoping for more of a big-picture discussion of these Kill At Will laws that are propagating around the country of late.

To return to Corey's comments, is the removal of the "must flee" clauses of the standard self-defense statutes and the reliance upon a subjective assessment of the shooter's feelings a good thing for civil society?
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Posted by Amorette F. Allison (+1915) 9 years ago
There was another "stand your ground" case in Florida where a kid was stealing a jet ski or something and the homeowner and her son came out with a shotgun and killed the kid. In the 911 call, they claimed the deceased had yelled "I've got a gun" so that is why they killed him.

The deceased was a deaf/mute who could not speak.

Gang members have also been getting off scott free for murder because they can claim they other guy threatened them. In those cases, the other guy probably did but should they be given state permission to murder each other?

And the dead person never gets to tell their side of the story because, well, they are dead. For the crime of walking through a neighborhood carrying candy and a can of tea.

The whole "stand your ground" thing is one of the "I'm a tough AMURICAN" things that never actually works out in real life because real life is far more complicated than a sound bit.
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Posted by miles city paintball club (+179) 9 years ago
so im a nimrod dick because i was ask to give my opinion. well.. dont know what to say back. except F U! im a american i like bbqs and beer not skittles and sweet tea. if you were to steal from me or my family and get caught in the act then you got whats coming to you.

[This message has been edited by miles city paintball club (4/11/2012)]
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Posted by Amorette F. Allison (+1915) 9 years ago
The young man who was shot wasn't committing a crime. He wasn't robbing from anyone. He was walking back from a convenience store to a friend's house. Would you shoot someone who was walking by carrying a can of ice tea and a box of Skittles just because he was walking by? That's what happened in this case in Florida. The man chased the kid down and shot him for the crime of walking through the neighborhood.

Can I shoot you if I see you in my neighborhood? Can I shoot you for wearing a hooded sweatshirt? Those were the "crimes" those dead kid committed.

I am allergic to beer? Does that mean I'm not a "real" American? Can you shoot me for that?
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Posted by howdy (+4942) 9 years ago
Sources out of the prosecutors office say that Zimmerman will be charged in the Martin case...Hooray IMO...Sounds like maybe manslaughter or something as the prosecutor chose to not use a grand jury and in Fla only a grand jury can charge you with murder...
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4459) 9 years ago
Any opinion stated in the form of a cliche can only come from a nimrod dick.

LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT!
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3710) 9 years ago
I am very much in favor of gun rights but I haven't been a member of the NRA in 10+ years because it's not really necessary right now. There have been no serious attempts at gun control in the US since the Clinton administration and while the NRA can certainly punish anyone that proposes any politically, I think the reason that they have that power is that there is a strong majority in the US that is against gun control and not many people at all that strongly support it.

The NRA as an organization has become a lot like Greenpeace in that they have "won". The stuff that Greenpeace was pushing back in their glory days has largely been accepted and implemented as policy and law and most of the US agrees with them. However, organizations have employees, infrastructure, and momentum that need to be maintained and as a result, Greenpeace has become more and more extreme in order to remain relevant, to the point where they are not even supported by some of their founders now.

I think that the NRA is now facing the same sort of thing. No one is trying to ban guns, almost all forms of regional gun bans have been struck down by the supreme court, Obama has never spoken the word "gun control" to my knowledge. They won. They have at least temporarily worked themselves out of a job. All that lobbying power needs to be pointed at something though, so they start doing things that are more and more silly to stay relevant. I don't claim to know a lot about the "stand your ground" law and the effects of it aside from this particular case which it may or may not apply to, but I think it's the kind of thing that the NRA is doing these days for lack of a better cause.

[This message has been edited by Levi Forman (4/11/2012)]
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Posted by Bridgier (+9176) 9 years ago
Okay, so... here's the problem mr. miles city paintball club - your opinion is just that, an opinion - and there's no particular reason that it should be exempt from criticism. If you don't like the criticism it received, then you have several choices: 1) Present an argument that supports your opinion, 2) Concede the point in question, 3) Throw a big fit about your opinion not getting the respect it deserves.

Do you have comment on the larger issue I'm trying to raise, that is: is society better or worse off when the state cedes a portion of its monopoly on violence to any public citizens who can purchase a firearm?
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Posted by Amorette F. Allison (+1915) 9 years ago
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - A law enforcement official says that the shooter in the Trayvon Martin case will be charged with second-degree murder and is in custody.

The official with knowledge of the case says that the charge against 28-year-old George Zimmerman will be announced at a news conference at 6 p.m. Wednesday. The official says he's in custody in Florida but wouldn't say where. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to disclose the information.

An arrest had been delayed because of Florida's so-called stand your ground law, which gives people wide latitude to claim self-defense in a killing and other altercations.

The lack of an arrest in the 17-year-old's death had sparked outrage and rallies for justice in the Orlando suburb and across the country.
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Posted by JCF (+391) 9 years ago
As to the stand your ground law, or as it is oft called in Montana, the "portable castle doctrine," they are an attempt to fix a problem that didn't exist. What they have done is create a dangerous situation in which thugs and murderers now have another tool to undo a righteous prosecution.

Before, self-defense was an affirmative defense that a person charged with a shooting could use to sway the jury and knock a hole in the prosecutions case, by causing reasonable doubt. Now, the prosecution must prove the elements of the crime (say homicide, as in the Fla case) beyond a reasonable doubt, AND in addition must also prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was NOT acting in self defense. It amounts to a HUGE burden shift, onto the State, to convict a murderer. It has created a huge loophole for murderers and would be murderers. We should go back to what we had before.
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Posted by JCF (+391) 9 years ago
And by the way, the Paintball guy is a real non sequitir, and like most guys way too "in" to "make believe" war like paintball, he is an idiot. Try fighting in real war dumb**s. Then you won't feel so tough, trust me.
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Posted by Cory Cutting (+1271) 9 years ago
Here's my problem with this whole thing. It has little to do with what happened, but with what everyone "thinks" happened.

We know: The victim (he is NOT a boy, he was 17. Boy would, to me, indicate a youngster, lacking in some capacity to fully rationally think. Kind of like a 5th grader. That's a boy. Not a junior or senior in high school. Using the term "boy" is only done to inflame the situation and direct people into thinking the victim was nothing but innocent.) was walking across a complex. The suspect called police and then followed, lost, and later found again, the victim. The suspect, against dispatcher advice (which, BTW, doesn't HAVE to be followed) confronted the victim. The suspect then shoots the victim during a struggle. The victim dies. The suspect says he was "in fear of his life". CNN reports that the police report states the victim was bleeding from the nose and back of the head, possibly indicating the suspect could have been in fear, but most likely in some sort of fight.

That's what we know people!!!! Amorette, I love ya, but your above post is EXACTLY why this thing is out of control. It has nothing to do with the iced tea or skittles or a hoodie. It is about the facts as outlined above. That is all we know. The rest is used to rile up the public and stir emotions.

The suspect was charged. The prosecutor must believe that she has the PROOF NEEDED to show that the suspect acted willfully and with malice (or whatever the requirement is by Florida law). The suspect has a defense that he was in fear of his life. Now it all goes to trial and the two sides tell their stories as they see it.

The rest is all BS - said by the media to get readers/viewers/listeners and the families involved out of anger and to get people "on their side".
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Posted by Cory Cutting (+1271) 9 years ago
As for the law, as asked by Bridgier, the law's intent is good, I think. However, it is a very very fine line between it having a positive effect and a very negative one. I'm not sure that we could ever come up with something that made that line more clear.
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Posted by K.Duffy (+1806) 9 years ago
Here's the part of Zimmerman's defense I have problems with:

CNN reports that the police report states the victim was bleeding from the nose and back of the head, possibly indicating the suspect could have been in fear, but most likely in some sort of fight.


Judging by the video of Zimmerman getting out of the Police car, I don't see any blood *shouldn't there have been LOTS OF IT ~ wouldn't it be visible on his shirt? Also no evidence pictures taken of his injuries? Really?
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Posted by Bridgier (+9176) 9 years ago
But WHY is it good?
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1669) 9 years ago
Cory, using the same reasoning, shouldn't the victim have had the right to "stand his ground" and defend himself against an armed man following him?

Quite honestly, with just these very few facts you have presented, he should be convicted of manslaughter. His actions alone set in motion the death of another human being. If he had followed the instruction of trained law enforcement professionals, he would not be sitting in custody today (finally), and one less family would be feeling anguish that was completely avoidable and unnecessary.

Zimmerman CHOSE to ignore the 911 operator. Zimmerman CHOSE to arm himself. Zimmerman CHOSE to follow this young man. This young man should have the same right to defend himself that Zimmerman is now claiming he needed to exercise.

If some schmuck decided your kid looked suspicious out walking at night, ignored instruction to stand down, followed your kid with a loaded weapon and ultimately killed him in an ensuing struggle, I have to believe you would be outraged. And rightfully so.

We cannot have armed citizens roaming our streets, deciding of their own accord who is guilty and who is not. If this allowed, without challenge, it will be chaos. Why have law enforcement officials at all, if we are allowed to ignore their instruction, do as we see fit and take the law into our own hands?

Sorry, Bridgier, for arguing the points of this specific case. I know this was not your intent here. Obviously, I believe society is worse off with vigilante justice, which is very clearly what happened here.

I also agree with Levi's post. As to Karla's comments, Zimmerman should have been reduced to a bloody pulp. That "boy" had total right to fear for his safety, being followed by a strange man, at night, and hopefully fought with everything he had. Unfortunately, this was a less than fair fight.
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Posted by Jeff Denton (+761) 9 years ago
You have to wonder why these laws were passed. There must have been some good reason, but as usual someone wasn't thinking about all the what ifs, what could go wrong.
My theory is that Zimmerman wanted to play the part of the big tough neighborhood marshall. Got himself good and ready for it. When the time was right he found his target. He stalked and provoked a struggle. Then he did what he set out to do, he shot his "criminal".
Yes, that he disobeyed an order to stand down was where he went wrong. There was no reason to go after the kid in the hoodie.
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Posted by Cory Cutting (+1271) 9 years ago
K.Duffy, unless you are in possession of information that has not been made public, or your source of news/media is saying things others are not, we don't know if there aren't pictures. We don't know if the suspect was cleaned up before he was placed in the patrol car. So asking the question is valid, but assuming how the incident went down based upon not knowing the true answers and some grainy video footage is not.

Denise, no one has said that the victim didn't have the opportunity to defend himself. Maybe he was one who "brought a knife to a gun fight". We still don't if the suspect was attacked first. Maybe while looking for the victim the suspect was ambushed by the victim, and the struggle ensued. Sure we have the statement of the girlfriend on the phone that says the victim was "just walking home", but she wouldn't be anywhere near the first witness that lied to protect someone (or a victim's reputation). But we don't know anything else but what has been reported in the news.

We have armed citizens everywhere! To believe anything else is moranic . The problems are the ones who carry them with ill intent, aka the people you refer to. Lumping them all into a group as people who are slinging guns "without challange" is not fair to the rest of the people.

Your statement "deciding of their own accord who is guilty and who is not" is again playing up on the emotions of the situation. This statement is not based upon anything that is available to any of us.

You are right. It was not a fair fight. And the victim did have the right to be scared. And he should have fought for his life. But the conjecture stops there. We don't KNOW anything else. Every one of us takes the risk of a confrontation with a better armed or prepared person in high risk situations.

Until we know for sure how it all went down, its all guessing. We have facts, and we have what we believe to be true. Only the facts count.

My whole point is that you all are stirred up based upon few facts and a lot of emotion. If the FACTS show that it went down exactly as you all believe it did, I will be right with you in saying he deserves to be found guilty. But until we know the facts (and the public may never know ALL the facts), it is unfair and against the whole basis of the justice system to assume anything.

Jeff, again, you have totally made an ASSUMPTION. You have no idea of what the surroundings were based upon the information available. Your statements do nothing to find the truth, only add fuel to the fire. Again, the "order to stand down" was nothing but advice from a dispatcher - who has no true authority to tell you to do ANYTHING. They can only make suggestions. It's the same concept as telling a child that isn't yours to stop doing something. You have no control over them if they tell you to procreate yourself!

[This message has been edited by Cory Cutting (4/11/2012)]
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Posted by Bob Netherton II (+1903) 9 years ago
These laws were passed, Denton, for political reasons. Essentially to satisfy the more paranoid members of society. Like Levi said, the NRA has gotten everything they want(and more in my opinion). I'm trying to think of a rational reason to legalize automatic assault weapons(unless you're worried about chemtrails, black ops, microchips in your vaccinations, etc).

A law like this may have been run up the flag pole to sniff out those commie pinko gun hating unamerican politicians so the NRA can give them a B+ instead of an A. I'm guessing there's more than a significant portion of the public that votes singularly on this sort of thing.
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Posted by Jeff Denton (+761) 9 years ago
Of course it was an assumption, Cory. What else could it be, it was offered as a theory. Something happened there, why? And what are they gonna do about the law that makes people think they can kill like that?
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Posted by Cory Cutting (+1271) 9 years ago
OK, Jeff... what would make you think that he actually "thought he could kill like that"? It's not like it was a stop and think moment. There was a struggle. Maybe he did think that he was going to shoot someone someday and looked forward to it. But maybe he didn't. By making that kind of statement you are adding to the fire.

I believe that those kinds of statements have no rationality to them, and are purely emotional. The emotional responses bring about this craziness we are experiencing over this thing.

Actually, I have partaken in a totally dumb argument. The chickens will continue to run around the yard, no matter how hard I try to reason with them.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3710) 9 years ago
It's good to keep in mind that we are also being manipulated by the media with regard to this story. The news today tells the story that they want to tell, not the one that actually happened. Why else would People Magazine use a 3 year old school picture on their cover?





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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11730) 9 years ago
You better check Snopes.

He chased the kid. The kid ran away. If the kid defended himself, he had every right to, especially in Florida.

And anyone under 30 is a kid to me. Sorry.
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Posted by Jeff Denton (+761) 9 years ago
I don't see it as an argument. I thought it was a discussion, about a terrible thing that happened. I don't trust the media's presentation, either, I know better.
Never mind.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3710) 9 years ago
Okay, ignore the third picture. I'm glad they arrested the guy, but in general be aware that any time you're watching Oprah, Ellen, or any TV show or cable news network, you're being intentionally whipped into a frenzy for the sake of ratings.
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1669) 9 years ago
Cory,

Maybe he was one who "brought a knife to a gun fight". We still don't if the suspect was attacked first. Maybe while looking for the victim the suspect was ambushed by the victim, and the struggle ensued. Sure we have the statement of the girlfriend on the phone that says the victim was "just walking home", but she wouldn't be anywhere near the first witness that lied to protect someone (or a victim's reputation). But we don't know anything else but what has been reported in the news.


Wouldn't these be assumptions/accusations, the very thing you are railing against?

We have armed citizens everywhere! To believe anything else is moranic.


I believe my exact statement was, "We cannot have armed citizens roaming our streets, deciding of their own accord who is guilty and who is not." Leaving off the second portion of my sentence completely changes the intent of my statement.

Quite frankly, nobody would be "stirred up", and I certainly wouldn't categorize anybody on this local board as stirred up, if the man had been taken into custody from the beginning. As someone stated prior, even in a police shooting, there is some immediate action. The Martin's family and friends certainly have the right to do their best to ensure that this tragedy does not go softly into that good night.

Good discussion, and I agree that now that he has been charged, hopefully the justice system will prevail and the jury makes the best decision possible, based on the facts presented to them. Good luck to them.
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Posted by howdy (+4942) 9 years ago
as my cop relatives said in Florida, "better late than never, charge him and let the justice system do its thing"....They seemed to feel that the dispatcher telling him to stand down was a biggie in their state and that was a key thing when he ignored it..but of course this is just another opinion....
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Posted by Bridgier (+9176) 9 years ago
I'm going to just keep asking this question until someone answers it - WHY are laws of this nature an intrinsic good?
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Posted by howdy (+4942) 9 years ago
They are not, IMO...
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3710) 9 years ago
Bridgier, who in the hell are you talking to?
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Posted by Bridgier (+9176) 9 years ago
well... mostly cory. He's said at least once that the law has "good intentions", but I'd like to hear that be fleshed out more. You're free to respond as well levi
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14943) 9 years ago
I want to suggest another possibility: The "stand your ground" law in and of itself may be reasonable. I believe that if someone breaks into my house, I have a right to defend myself.

Where this situation becomes problematic is when it is associated with a neighborhood watch program. IMO, it is the power given to citizen in a neighborhood watch program coupled together with the "stand your ground law" that gives minimally trained, power-hungry citizens the opportunity to be unduly and unnecessarily aggressive that leads to vigilantism.

I believe we would be better off with neighborhood watch programs and letting trained professionals (police) deal with the criminal element. Stand your ground laws are unnecessary. And if we were not so busy dropping bombs on mud huts in Bedouin countries, we would have the economic resources to afford proper homeland security where it is needed.

[This message has been edited by Richard Bonine, Jr. (4/11/2012)]
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Posted by Mathew Schmitz (+282) 9 years ago
You missed it Cory, even though you said it yourself. When Zimmerman was told "We don't need you to do that" it was HIS "stop and think moment". At that moment in time, he should have stopped and thought about his actions. He choose to ignore the very sound advice from a trained professional. In my opinion, everything that happened after that point in time is on his head. He forced the issue to escalate.
I also think local law enforcement has some self examination to do here. Zimmerman had called 911 47 times in the last 2 years? If that is a fact, someone should have seen this coming. He should have been sat down and been very sternly informed of his place in the law enforcement chain. Unless everyone of those 47 calls was determined to be a legitimate call to 911. In a gated community? Not likely is it? I expect that we will learn more about those calls as his trial progresses, and there will be much to learn about his mental state. Paranoid is the first word that comes to mind. Nothing scarier than a paranoid cop wanna be with a license to carry a gun, in a state that has this type of law in play.
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Posted by Jeff Denton (+761) 9 years ago
I think you nailed it, Mathew. "Cop wanna bees" get some wild ideas on how to upgrade to super hero. I've known a few. According to my very professional veteran relative in law enforcement, they generally flunked out of police academy yet still yearned to be an authority figure of sorts. When their dreams are dashed it might become an obsession. From what I'm told.
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Posted by Exalted Buckaroo (+247) 9 years ago
I'll let Bill Cosby speak for me, Bridgier, in this short clip from Sunday's Meet the Press when he says, "It's about the gun." Cosby's son, as you might recall, was murdered during a robbery while changing a tire on the San Diego freeway a few years ago.

http://www.bing.com/video...un/6nl6zu6
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Posted by SZ (+155) 9 years ago
I couldn't imagine losing a child like in this case. I don't give a flying flip if your red, yellow, black or white. The media has controlled this case (photos of Trayvon that was taken when he was 10 or 11 years old instead of the photo of him recently with the gold tooth flipping folks off/I think that means something that's not very nice, and showing a photo of Z/Zimmerman dressed in an Orange shirt which is consistent with someone from a Penal institution). Not saying that just because you have a gold tooth a flip folks off, your a criminal. I'd actually need to meet him and talk with him to make that determination. I think the case should've been presented to the Grand Jury where 12 people could decide, based on the facts and evidence can decide to indict or not. This has been made into a racial issue since the beginning, so if the jury was made up of majority white, you know what would've been said. I heard the media say that Z was no where to be found, before he willingly turned himself in. If you had a bounty on your head like the one put on by the "Black Panthers" of $20K, I'd probably hide out too. I listened to the Prosecutor on the case. She sounded like somone who's up for re-election, which she is, and sounded like the next Nancy Grace. Those of you that think we need another Nancy Grace, please raise your hand. I didn't think so. Second Degree Murder? I think if anything, Voluntary Manslaugther would have been more appropriate. I really think that based on the Prosecutor's statements and how it was presented, it's about the show.
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Posted by morrison (+11) 9 years ago
Since Mr Cosby had gotten one of NY's rare concealed carry permits I find it tough to buy his statement.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4459) 9 years ago
I'm not the only one who doesn't bother with the story attached to a headline.

https://secure.pqarchiver...cking+heat

Two-faced pudding man
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1669) 9 years ago
Not saying that just because you have a gold tooth a flip folks off, your a criminal. I'd actually need to meet him and talk with him to make that determination.


Um, I don't believe that meeting someone and talking to them is at all the way to determine a criminal. After all, I'm told Ted Bundy was a charmer. But that's just me. Allowing laypeople to decide who looks or sounds like a criminal is exactly what started this mess in the first place.

The world is full of wonderful, responsible, good-hearted people others would have no problem classifying as criminal, based on outward appearances alone (tattoos, piercings, goth clothing, low-slung pants, gold teeth).
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Posted by Amorette F. Allison (+1915) 9 years ago
Anybody who wears a hooded sweatshirt is a criminal.

Anybody who has a tattoo is a criminal.

Anybody who makes rude hand gestures is a criminal.

Anybody who scares me is a criminal.

If I have a gun, I can shoot anyone who fits the above criteria because I had reason to believe that person was a criminal.

That seems to be the logic behind this whole mess. Zimmerman was told not to follow the kid. The kid DEFENDED HIMSELF at one point from this strange man chasing him. After being punched in the nose (which is generally not a fatal blow), Zimmerman blew the kid away. Apparently, it has begun to dawn on Zimmerman that he killed an innocent in an adrenaline-fueled rush and he is not handling it well.

Which should be a warning to all the supposed "stand your ground" people. Zimmerman wasn't "standing his ground." He was terrorizing an innocent citizen. "Stand your ground" doesn't mean chasing strangers around and killing them.

As for "stand your ground" in general, it has been a disaster in Florida. Drug dealers are offing each other happily and are patted on the head and sent on their way because they were threatened by their attackers. Cops and prosecutors are tearing their hair out because murderers are getting away with, well, murder under the law.

There should be a way to define self-defense that doesn't give anyone free rein to commit murder and then claim they were just "standing their ground."
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Posted by howdy (+4942) 9 years ago
Well stated, Amorette...Ditto!!!!
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Posted by SZ (+155) 9 years ago
Um, I don't believe that meeting someone and talking to them is at all the way to determine a criminal. After all, I'm told Ted Bundy was a charmer. But that's just me. Allowing laypeople to decide who looks or sounds like a criminal is exactly what started this mess in the first place.

The world is full of wonderful, responsible, good-hearted people others would have no problem classifying as criminal, based on outward appearances alone (tattoos, piercings, goth clothing, low-slung pants, gold teeth).

Um, I don't consider myself a "layperson" when it comes to criminal element Ms Selk, especially after 24yrs in the field of investigations and enforcement. Meeting and talking to them is exactly how I made such determinations, combined with physical and circumstantial evidence. I think you misinterpreted the meaning of my post.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14943) 9 years ago
Um, I don't consider myself a "layperson" when it comes to criminal element Ms Selk, especially after 24yrs in the field of investigations and enforcement. Meeting and talking to them is exactly how I made such determinations, combined with physical and circumstantial evidence. I think you misinterpreted the meaning of my post.


OR... you didn't make the meaning of you post clear in the first place.
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Posted by K.Duffy (+1806) 9 years ago
Nicely played, Richard! +2
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4459) 9 years ago
Could someone help me determine if I might be a criminal?
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Posted by morrison (+11) 9 years ago
Well apparantly Buck if you own a firearm and consider it your duty to protect yourself and your family. You are not a criminal YET, but as soon as you pick up that gun something in that cold steel will leak into your skin causing you to walk down main street shooting anyone who looks at you sideways or spits on the sidewalk. I could not find the sarcasm font, hope it was understood to be sarcastic and not a claim that Mr Zimmerman is innocent or guilty.
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6175) 9 years ago
Just post a photo, Buck. That should be enough.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9176) 9 years ago
consider it your duty to protect yourself and your family.


So, how does "stand your ground" enhance your ability to protect your family by removing the "must flee if able" clause?

In other words - if you have multiple options available to you in a situation, should the law require you to pursue first those options that limit or reduce the amount of bodily harm incurred, or do you have the inherent right to escalate the violence of the situation regardless of the outcome?
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Posted by morrison (+11) 9 years ago
Bridgier, I do not believe that stand your ground law will hinder/help my ability to act upon my instinct to do what I believe is necc in a given situation. I do think the intent of these bills is fairly evident given their name. If it is found that Mr Zimmerman did in fact charge this situation I do not believe that he is covered under this bill. IMAO
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Posted by Kelly (+2691) 9 years ago
IMAO


Is that a contraction of "LMAO" and "IMHO?"
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4459) 9 years ago
Here is a recent photo, I look happier than usual. Am I a criminal?

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Posted by 007 (+160) 9 years ago
Buck..I would be happy too, with his health insurance.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9176) 9 years ago
oh well, I tried....
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Posted by howdy (+4942) 9 years ago
Bridgier, I think this thread is interesting and not a failure...you wanted to discuss that law about standing your ground and many folks answered it but got sidetracked due to the headlines lately about the Martin murder...Good job, Bridgier...I think it needed to be discussed and still needs to continue as far as that "stand your ground" law...we have discussed that Martin murder enough IMO...
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Posted by Amorette F. Allison (+1915) 9 years ago
"Standing your ground" means something completely different from "chasing someone down."
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Posted by howdy (+4942) 9 years ago
Ditto what Amorette said...completely different...and since when does a community need a "stand your ground" to defend itself...IMO, you retreat if you can safely do so and stand your ground if no other choice...
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4459) 9 years ago
You must be French

LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT!!!
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Posted by Bridgier (+9176) 9 years ago
Howdy - from a civility level, this thread was a success - but I really was hoping for some critical thinking beyond the sloganeering. Yes, I understand that some people believe that this is a good bill for reasons X, Y and Z, but I was unsuccessful in initiating a discussion about WHY reasons X, Y or Z were intrinsically good. I was really really hoping to start some back and forth regarding the state's monopoly upon violence.

Levi's comments regarding the NRA's ennui of purpose was interesting.

[This message has been edited by Bridgier (4/16/2012)]
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Posted by howdy (+4942) 9 years ago
the NRA leaves me cold (don't like them altho the hubby is a life member) as they come across to me as bullies...what this nation needs IMO is more common sense...perhaps our school systems should teach a course in COMMON SENSE....what do you think??
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Posted by cj sampsel (+478) 9 years ago
Stand your ground is a reasonable concept if used as a last resort.
It doesn't mean shoot first, ask questions later, or get your
story straight if there were no witnesses before the police arrive.
I normally don't watch Fox News except when at the gym because it's
always on, but they had an interesting discussion Sunday morning
on the case. In this situation both parties at one point or another
could be described as the aggressor or the victim. Of course this
could degenerate into a you started it! I did not you did! You did!
No, you did! scenario.

[This message has been edited by cj sampsel (4/16/2012)]
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Posted by Bob Netherton II (+1903) 9 years ago
Howdy. Do you really think we can agree on what common sense IS on this site?
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Posted by Kelly (+2691) 9 years ago
In this situation both parties at one point or another
could be described as the aggressor or the victim.


WRONG!
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4459) 9 years ago
I guess I don't see the error in that statement. It's totally subjective, though. You can't say Zimmerman wasn't being a chickenpoop and felt scared when he saw the guy in the hoodie and if he was getting his ass kicked (as he should have been) then he was probably scared again. The stupid ass law basically says, "If you're feeling scared, don't be afraid to shoot." The only intrinsic anything about it, is the intrinsic pile of unavoidable poop we walked in to.

[This message has been edited by Buck Showalter (4/16/2012)]
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Posted by howdy (+4942) 9 years ago
Bob II, damned if I know if this site can agree on anything LOL....
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11730) 9 years ago
I wonder, if the victim had killed the aggressor, would he have had a better case for self defense than his murderer.

[This message has been edited by Amorette Allison (4/16/2012)]
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Posted by howdy (+4942) 9 years ago
One would think so, particularly since the gun belonged to Zimmerman...However, who knows??
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