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« More Milestones on our Downward Spiral | Main | Agenda21 – drones overhead, black boxes in cars, … »

22 April 2012

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Earl Crabb

The most damning evidence against Zimmerman at this point (and I am not assuming guilt until ALL the facts are in) is that he fulfilled his obligation as a neighborhood watchman by alerting the authorities to the "suspicious character". Said authorities then advised him to back off, which he apparently did not do. A recipe for disaster.

George Rebane

EarlC 609pm - agreed Bob. But my hope here is that we would get some perspectives on the general notion of SYG as it concerns the 'security in your person' provision of the Constitution and as a structural right as posited in the Bastiat Triangle.

Douglas Keachie

Photos of the back of the head show two scratches, and blood the bleeds downwards, only. Supposedly taken right after the incident. Seems odd to me that there is NOT a companion photo of the face showing damage to the nose. If the back of head damages occurred during heading banging, then the blood should have been irregularly mushed around. Looks to me like self inflicted woumds, against a plant, bush tree, or nearby fence. I've got a great place of him if he gets out on bail, and for the rest of you looking to escape problems associated with George's Singularity vision of the future: http://www.pakalertpress.com/2012/04/11/the-doomsday-shelter-being-built-below-kansas-prairie-where-millionaires-will-be-able-to-sit-out-the-apocalypse-in-style/

Douglas Keachie

I run into Zimmerman on a dark night. He is "scary" to me. I shoot and kill him. I scrape my head against a nearby fence, claim he attacked. All perfectly legal, apparently. BTW, the distance back to his car, and the initial evidence that he is NOT the one calling for help on the tape, will also be considered. I suppose using the "Twinkies" defense would be appropriate here, since he is up against the fact that with iced tea in one hand and a bag of Skittles in the other, Zimmerman's supposed assailant already had his hands full.

Douglas Keachie

Neighborhood watch folks should either be unarmed, or patrolling in pairs, just as there are two key turners in missile launch facities.

Douglas Keachie

MettaWorldPeace and Zimmerman have a lot in common.

Earl Crabb

Well, if the question is boiled down to one's ability to defend one's self, I'm all for it, especially as I become older and unable to defend myself physically or unable to run fast enough to escape a dangerous situation.
However, I don't know that I would feel more secure living in a society where everyone is armed to the teeth. I've been in situations where I've had to talk someone down from solving a dispute with a gun, and my motivation was as much my own preservation as the would-be shooter or his intended target. Once bullets start flying there is always the danger of becoming collateral damage.
Modern technology has given us more options; cell phones that can alert authorities and record crimes in progress, and less lethal means of self defense.
You have to ask yourself if Zimmerman wouldn't have been able to defend himself as well with a can of pepper spray. One advantage of that scenario is that Trayvon Martin would be alive today to tell his side of the story.

Todd Juvinall

Someone on another blog said there was another form of self defense called "flee to the wall". They said it was a sold as "stand our ground". I searched for it but came up with nothing. I never heard of it.

Since no one knows anything about what really happened, everyone is simply guessing. My understanding is there was a witness who says Martin was beating up Zimmerman at Zimmerman's car. He had returned to the car? Did Martin follow him?

Steven Frisch

One also has to ask, " what is the responsibility of a neighborhood watch member?"

The police had been notified, the incident recorded, no indication of a violent crime in commission at the time, and the watch member had been advised to leave it to the authorities.

But if Mr. Martin had beten Mr. Zimmerman to death, do any of us have any out that he would have been arrested? Would SYG have protected Mr. Martin? Somehow I doubt it.

Brad Croul

So, Martin is walking through a neighborhood. Zimmerman is suspicious of him, and he calls 911. The 911 operator tells him to not to confront the guy. But Zimmerman sets out after him. Martin notices some dude stalking him. At some point Zimmerman confronts Martin. Martin stands his ground (not Zimmerman), and has no gun but tries to fight off his attacker and is shot by the wannabe cop with a gun.
Is that what happened?

THEMIKEYMCD

Our 'justice system' is a farce. It is illegal to protect property by force (only the government can transfer property by force). Defending one's life (or that of a loved one) by force is no longer acceptable.

Still.... "better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6" (unless the media gets a hold of the story).
Zimmerman has no chance of a fair trial.


The media acted as a misinformed lynch mob in the Zimmerman case, we don't even know what we don't know and we don't know what we think we know.

Scott Obermuller

The question being asked here concerns SYG. I think George had to realize it would degenerate a certain amount into imagined scenarios in the Zimmerman/Martin case. I think the issue of the law becomes moot most of the time by circumstances. If I think I'm in danger and have a lethal weapon, at some point I'll be making a decision as to using the weapon. My personal safety trumps worrying about statute law at that moment. What I'd like to hear from the good folks that post here is what they would do if confronted/cornered by threatening types. I'm sure a lot would simply state that they wouldn't carry a gun and the issue is pointless to them. What if you did have a gun and you were threatened? The idea of using a cell phone to call for help is ludicrous. Muggings and such are over before you could even make the call. Forget the Z/M case here for now. Just because Zimmerman will invoke it doesn't have any bearing on the law itself. My take is like most folks. Why do we have to have a law to allow ourselves protection from assailants? Isn't that a given in a civilized society?

A Facebook User

George,
In the Martin/ Zimmerman case who was the victim?

A Facebook User

Todd,
Here is the thing we do know what happened. Zimmerman was told by 911 not to pursue and he ignored the orders. Travon (Slim) Martin girlfriend was on the phone with him when Zimmerman approached Martin. Martin's father lives in the neighborhood and he was armed with candy and ice tea.

ABC News report
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jhes6BlFf8&feature=related

The right to defend/ protect ourselves is pretty established but this law was put in place to limit liability of the biggest gun retailer in US- WalMart.

George Rebane

ScottO 837am - Yes Scott, I did know that progressives would have a hard time discussing SYG per se - their collective ideology reliably predicts that they advocate the use of force first, by the state, second, the socially aggrieved criminal (and they're all socially aggrieved), and last, by the law abiding citizen.

However given this, there are still contingencies that surround SYG which IMHO are worthy of a reasoned discussion. BobC's 512am states that he's leery of "living in a society where everyone is armed to the teeth." Not long ago America was armed to the teeth (from NYC to SF), and you'd be hard pressed to find a crime statistic that hasn't multiplied many times over after we began letting criminals and the police be the only reliably armed members of society.

A hundred years ago no one would have dared go into a public place and start wantonly shooting innocent people. He would have been dropped after his first shot (or maybe even before).

Paul Emery

Not true George. Crime rates, at least it California. are down

http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/cacrime.htm

A Facebook User

George,
Your revision of history would be comical if it wasn't about such a serious issue. As our government increasingly becomes the tool for big business guns have become more abundant in our society. The numbers actually support your final statement but since it is obvious you're talking out of your hind quarters I won't give you pleasure of making this point in a later comment. Personally I don't think there is a real connection to gun ownership and crime but I would use the argument for defending gun rights.
http://www.ammoland.com/2010/01/13/gun-owners-buy-14-million-plus-guns-in-2009/#axzz1ssgkTQKq

Earl Crabb

A hundred years ago you didn't have meth, and I've seen plenty of situations where alcohol is enough inspiration to abandon reason.
And sorry to have mentioned the Zimmerman/Martin case. It just seems to be an example of SYG that bears inspection. How can you generalize when every situation is different?

Douglas Keachie

The days of a six shooter are gone, and the days of spray guns are here (Uzi's, etc.) I'll be damned, Ben, never thought of the legal protection it offers Walmart! George, would you drive anywhere in anything less than a bullet proof car if all (including the dumbest newly hatched meth head) could carry and claim you tried to run them off the road? I am taking at least one of the dogs with me on a regular basis. There is no question that in a gas station or parking lot, I get more respect, than I would alone, and whatever I have in the car is much more safer. Our new shepherd, Lucky, has now, eight months later, bonded well with Katrina, and they keep the deer etc, at bay from the garden. We still need one more shepherd, so that two stay behind and one travels. A society where everyone has a dog is a much more civilized society, and safer than an armed to teeth society. Dogs should be amendment 2B.

Todd, so far I have seen nothing that indicate Zimmerman was anywhere near close to his car. He does seem to have been the aggressor.

Douglas Keachie

Walmart is such a charming company, from this mornings Reuters, oh and Zimmerman's out of jail: (Reuters) - Allegations that Wal-Mart Stores Inc stymied an internal investigation into extensive bribery at its Mexican subsidiary are likely to lead to years of regulatory scrutiny and could eventually cost some executives their jobs.

The New York Times reported on Saturday that in September 2005, a senior Wal-Mart lawyer received an email from Sergio Cicero Zapata, a former executive at the company's largest foreign unit, Wal-Mart de Mexico, describing how the subsidiary had paid bribes to obtain permits to build stores in the country.

Wal-Mart sent investigators to Mexico City and found a paper trail of hundreds of suspect payments totaling more than $24 million, but the company's leaders shut down the investigation and neglected to notify U.S. or Mexican law enforcement officials, the Times reported.

Legal and retail experts said that the allegations, if proven true, could badly hamper the company and its management for years. They could lead to a time-consuming global probe, substantial financial penalties paid to U.S. authorities, and the departure of some executives.

One option Wal-Mart will have is to remove some of those involved in the alleged bribery or cover-up as this could make it easier to reach an out-of-court settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice concerning possible breaches of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), a U.S. law that forbids the payment of bribes to foreign government officials.

"Among the remedial actions is 'house cleaning' of anyone involved in illegal conduct," said Richard Cassin, a lawyer who is an expert on the FCPA and writes a blog about it. "If a company can say those involved in the questionable conduct are already gone, the DOJ is likely to look more favorably on the company and current management."

Douglas Keachie

"A hundred years ago no one would have dared go into a public place and start wantonly shooting innocent people." That would be 1912, and I think you need to go back yet another 50 years to get where you want to go. Of course that far back, most folks had to work at eeking out a living or starve, so they were preoccupied, no pun intended.

A Facebook User

Earl,
The war on drugs has definitely increased gun sales over the last 40 years. Just look at the southern border of the US and the findings that 70% of guns found in drug trade come from US. Prohibition doesn't work and creates crime through underground market. The US drug and gun policies (example Fast and Furious) has created this entire mess on the border. Entrepreneurs see prohibition as a chance of making quick turn around profit. The public gets the financial burden of enforcing and incarceration of non-violent drug offenders. We also become the victims of the tough on crime bs. Laws affect law-abiding citizens much more than criminals.

Here is a 2010 report on the violence of Juarez.
http://www.democracynow.org/2010/3/16/charles_bowden_on_the_war_next

George Rebane

The question remains - When a law abiding citizen is assaulted, does he have the right to take available measures that maximize his survival probability?

And EarlC (our beloved Bob) makes the point well in his 926am, albeit in a backhanded way - "how can (we) generalize ...?" We have to generalize in law, we have no choice - the Constitution generalizes all over the place.

The alternative is to tacitly accept that each individual has the right to defend himself, and that right is adjudicated in court on a case-by-case basis. Today's farcical justice system would then become a three-ring circus with the state being forced to prosecute everyone so involved. No longer would the authorities be able to dismiss an obvious case of self-defense as falling into an allowable category of rights. Criminality would then truly become the mode of behavior that most reliably succeeds in society.

Douglas Keachie

IF, and when a citizen is assaulted, which has not been established here. The whole reason behind the laws concerning concealed weapons is to avoid just exactly the dilemma the SYG sets up. If you give everyone* the right to CCW, you get far more accidental shootings. If you do OCW for all*, you still get way too many accidental shootings. I wonder what the stats of the Old West actually were, too bad we don't know one way or the other, but in any case the population sample would have been way too small. I rather doubt the East Coast had most folks armed and carrying. The weapon of choice and means of murder in the gold camps was a hammer smashed through a sleeping head. Maybe we should all carry carpenter's belts?

*"all" and "everyone" refer to citizens not otherwise prohibitied from carrying.

George Rebane

PaulE 920am - My reference was to a longer time interval that going back to 1960.

And sidetracking to the 'guns for self-defense' issue. The part that does not come into play during these debates is the number of crimes that are thwarted or prevented by armed law-abiding citizens - acknowledging the gun as a preventative is tabu. More here
http://www.cato.org/publications/white-paper/tough-targets-when-criminals-face-armed-resistance-citizens

Paul Emery

How far back do you George and do you have documentation or is this folklore?

Paul Emery

Rewrite
How far back do you go George and do you have documentation or is this folklore?

Brad Croul

GeorgeR 1002am - It has always been understood that you can defend yourself against attackers. But, when is deadly force justified?

In the Martin/Zimmerman case you brought up, are you assuming that Zimmerman, or Martin, was the agressor?

Based on what I have heard, Zimmerman is guilty of, at least, manslaughter, not self-defense use of deadly force.

This case shows why we need to be more careful who we allow to carry guns around.

Brad Croul

And, if you want to go along the lines of, "everyone should be carrying", you need to make guns available to teenagers like Martin so they can defend themselves from overzealous night watchmen.

Ryan Mount

This whole situation is a mess. And then let's add in the mob frenzy and the trial by the media, and we've got a show P.T Barnum would have loved to sell. Remember: people are making money off this tragedy!

Given all of the other unnecessary gun-related violence that has happened since this tragedy, why are we not up in arms about those? The simple answer is this case is more fashionable and it happened in an affluent area. There are other reasons too why this case has dubiously captured our imaginations, but even mentioning those could cause a blog food fight. But you can see for yourself here:

http://www.bradycampaign.org/facts/gunviolence/factsethnicity

George Rebane

PaulE 1046am - Assault crime rates and mass murders are hard to find for extended periods. I rely on historical accounts (e.g. the monumental Time-Life History of the West). Perhaps you could find some old news stories about mass killings a century ago, they most certainly would have made the newspapers. Here are a couple of refs that may contribute to this side thread - http://hnn.us/blogs/entries/25730.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_the_United_States

Note the graphs in the latter that increase during a period when gun ownership and use were being proscribed, and then start decreasing when the 'right to carry' laws started being re-enacted about 1990. But then, that's a correlation and not necessarily a causal link. Maybe your research can shed more light.

BradC 1100am - "... when is deadly use justified?" Well, I have maintained that it's always justified during an assault in which the assaulted perceives that his life in danger or of being maimed. Please read this post, and tell us under what circumstances during an assault is the victim not justified in using deadly force for self-defense. For a useful discussion it's best to avoid a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking (post hoc reasoning), since the victim must decide and act in an extremely stressful situation (e.g. contemplating his own momentary execution) with very little information beyond what he directly perceives.

Todd Juvinall

What ws Martin doing in a gated community? Was he trespassing? I don't know what the Florida laws are regarding gated communities but it would seem to me if he was not a resident he would be viewed as a suspicious person. It seems Alan Dershowitz the famed liberal lawyer is totally disgusted with the prosecutions indictment of Zimmerman.

http://conservativebyte.com/2012/04/dershowitz-blasts-zimmerman-prosecution-not-only-immoral-but-stupid/

When I think abut this case I ask myself, what would Steve Frisch do? LOL!

Douglas Keachie

So even if Zimmerman came up behind Trayvon and tapped him on the shoulder, and said, "WTF are you doing here?", Zimmerman would be justified in shooting Trayvon if Trayvon suddenly turned around and punched him (a poossible scenario, IMHO) ? I don't think so. Basically, Zimmerman appears to have INVADED Trayvon's personal space. So the question becomes, under what circumstances do you have a right to protect your personal space, and are invaders allowed to use deadly force during unwarrented intrusions, just because they feel threatened?

Douglas Keachie

Mass killings are dependent on semi to fully automatic hand acrryable weapons with large clips. Did not exist in 1878. or even 1912.

"The Thompson Submachine Gun was developed by General John T. Thompson who originally envisioned an auto rifle (semi-automatic rifle) to replace the bolt action service rifles then in use. While searching for a way to allow such a weapon to operate safely without the complexity of a recoil or gas operated mechanism, Thompson came across a patent issued to John Bell Blish in 1915 based on adhesion of inclined metal surfaces under pressure.[11] Thompson found a financial backer, Thomas F. Ryan, and started the Auto-Ordnance Company in 1916 for the purpose of developing his auto rifle. The principal designers were Theodore H. Eickhoff, Oscar V. Payne, and George E. Goll. By late 1917, the limits of the Blish Principle were discovered: rather than working as a locked breech, it functioned as a friction-delayed blowback action. It was found that the only cartridge currently in U.S. service suitable for use with the lock was the .45 ACP round. Thompson then envisioned a "one-man, hand-held machine gun" in .45 ACP as a "trench broom" for use in the on-going trench warfare of World War I. Payne designed the gun itself and its stick and drum magazines. The project was then titled "Annihilator I", and by 1918, most of the design issues had been resolved. However, the war ended before prototypes could be shipped to Europe.["

Douglas Keachie

Todd, who, in LWW, knows all the other residents well enough by sight to be able to decide at night who is and who isn't a resident? For that matter, during broad daylight? How many residents can you correctly identify, under ideal conditions? Would you blast a way only to discover you killed the visiting brother of the Homeowner Association's President?

George Rebane

Well, it appears that serving up the expected anecdotal outliers are in full swing here, and stuck firmly in speculations about the Zimmerman/Martin case. Admittedly, a serious discussion of SYG is hard stuff, but then that's what we try to do around here.

Douglas Keachie

So seriously, in this discussion, what right does Zimmerman have to invade the personal space of Trayvon in the first place?

Douglas Keachie

Or more generally, what right does anyone have to invade the personal space of another? You are out for a walk. Can I position myself so that you have to change course and walk around me? Can I keep on repositioning myself to block your changing path? If you should walk into me, do I have the right to shoot you?

Douglas Keachie

You can't have a discussion without considering personal space, as that is what "your ground" is. How big is that bubble? How big is it visually, auditorially, and physically?

Douglas Keachie

Yes George, I know it may be hard for you after delivering your unsupported anecdotal evidence of crime statistics from the Old West, but some of us are into dealing with the hard questions.

billy T

Dr. Rebane, at least you tried. As soon as you posted your thoughts yesterday I knew where this was going. Not that I am innocent of straying off topic often. STG is a great topic. I once volunteered a great amount of time for a non profit helping homeless and providing an drug and alcohol free place for people to go and chill. Sort of like the Spirit House in Grass Valley. Anyways, the local residents were up in arms and some wanted the place shut down or moved away from their backyard. I understood both sides of the issue. The point is a neighbor testified that she felt "apprehension" while walking her dog by the place. Never mind there where no problems like burglaries or assaults or people camping out or pissing in neighbor's backyards like the HH has to deal with. She felt apprehension was enough. If under a perceived threat, the fight or flee instinct kicks in. Even an ant has that instinct when messed with. It is not natural to turn one's back to the opponent when doing battle. Mankind used to live in caves and when the saber toothed tiger approached, his instincts look over. His nostrils flared for more oxygen, his heart rate quickened for heightened reflexes, even his body emptied the bladder to prepare for do or die. We still have these survival instincts and SYG is a natural human reaction to imminent danger, real or perceived. The other option is to run away as fast as the feet will move. Self preservation in a second overrides calm reasoned thought. Then our reason takes over and reassess the threat. That dog charging at you is just running down the street heading home. I feel folks are off target when they debate over a gated community or various laws or skittles. We don't know if the exchange lasted over a period of time with ebbs and flows of adrenaline and who felt threatened when. Probably both felt threatened at one time. But the bigger issue is can a person defend his life and property lawfully? Can a person repel a threat, even if that threat is only "apprehension"?

Gregory

The neighborhood streets are not anyone's "personal space". It is legal to follow someone on public property, and even Washington State's supreme court has ruled that Washintonians have no duty to retreat in the face of attack if they have a legal right to be where they are. It will be up to a jury to actually hear and judge all of the evidence, but there seems to be some evidence to support Zimmerman's claim that he was attacked before he drew and fired his weapon. There is also some evidence of poor judgement by Zimmerman, but again, that's up to a jury to decide, assuming a trial by jury.

"Mass killings are dependent on semi to fully automatic hand acrryable [sic] weapons with large clips. Did not exist in 1878. or even 1912."

I guess Keach doesn't think Ulysses' homecoming in Homer's "The Odyssey" was an impressive mass killing.

Pure BS. This is what happens when someone like Keach starts writing without much knowledge. Semi and fully automatic hand carried firearms are 19th century inventions, and the 9mm cartridge was introduced in 1902 for the Luger pistol. The "Broomhandle" Mauser, functionally equivalent to Zimmerman's gun, was introduced 106 years ago in 1896, and even Keach may notice it sure looks a lot like Luke Skywalker's "blaster".

Douglas Keachie

One shot into the air or ground would have had the entire neighborhood out there instantly to help sort things out. Take for example this person at the Gifford's shooting. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ldi1mgVgsAc

Gregory

Keach, I doubt you'd fire a warning shot into the ground if your head was being bashed into the concrete. Or, as an early report claimed in the Martin shooting, that your assailant was trying to grab your gun.

Just how hard does your head need to slammed into concrete before you decide you are in grave danger? We're talking about normal craniums, not Scottish.

There is no duty to wait for the cavalry to arrive to save you.

Douglas Keachie

Gregory, heads slammed into concrete do not show two lateral slices with neat blood stains going downwards only, CSI 101.

And if they were going to photograph anything, where are the companion images of the face, with the same time stamps and camera? Where is the image of where the head hit the ground and left blood. Where there nearby bushes trees, fences, sharp edges of building that may have produced the scrapes?

How much into Martin's "stood ground" personal space, take your pick did Zimmerman have to be for Trayvon to spin around and land a punch? While holding onto a cell phone a bag of Skittles, and a can of ice tea? Is your brain case immersed in ice tea for you to miss all that?

Gregory

Keach, that's all for a jury to decide. Expect there not to be anyone like you allowed to serve.

Gregory

Zimmerman's claim is that martin invaded his space (beginning the physical attack) from behind as he walked back to his car. It is plausible, but again, it's up to a jury.

Somehow, I suspect anything more than negligent homicide may be very hard to get past a jury, but who knows? Maybe the proscecutor has more than Alan Dershowitz seems to think.

Douglas Keachie

Mass killings references were those of the modern day, George was claiming that they happen because of not everyone being armed as they were in the Golden Days of yesteryear. Do you suppose the availability of such weapons (which you listed) was very high in the first 30 years after their invention? Since you be so smart, why don't you come up with the production figures? How long were passenger airliners flying before DB Cooper came along and found a new use for them?

Let's hope the jury is smarter than both of us put together, wouldn't that be a hoot!

Gregory

"Gregory, heads slammed into concrete do not show two lateral slices with neat blood stains going downwards only, CSI 101."

You've been watching too much tv. When you are sitting or standing, a wound's oozing blood flows downwards. Physics 1A.

Really, Keach, once again you're just free associating. Think, for once! Use it or lose it, although I suppose it may already be gone forever.

Douglas Keachie

"Or, as an early report claimed in the Martin shooting, that your assailant was trying to grab your gun." looks like the lawyer quashed that one. It would then be admissible that Zimmerman had pulled it out and threatened Trayvon. Walking back to the car? Well now just where did this killing take place? At the car, or where Zimmerman chased Trayvon down? So far the concrete has been described many times, and never once referred to as "sidewalk." That should tell you something.

Douglas Keachie

"You've been watching too much tv. When you are sitting or standing, a wound's oozing blood flows downwards. Physics 1A."

When you are prone on a concrete walkway, the back of your head is not vertical.

Todd Juvinall

Humans have murdered each other since the cave. Mass killings have happened since the cave. For some reason humans have a propensity for death and murder. Usually for land or gold. Cannae, see here
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Cannae

came to mind. Hannibal slaughtered a gazillion Romans because he could. He did it with swords, up close and personal in 216 BC. He did this a few more times. He did mass killings without a 9mm.

Trayvon Martin was part of this tragedy. A jury will need to sort it out.

Douglas Keachie

If you look at this video, you can see that the concrete in question is a pathway between two rows of buildings/apartments, and that is is nowhere near any roadway with a parked car. http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/2012/04/20/video-new-photos-of-george-zimmermans-head-wound-released-mildly-graphi/

Again, why no front of face image taken at the same time, 3 minutes supposedly after death shot (that data can be very easily manipulated, and may have been, in this case see TPIC: http://www.iptc.org/cms/site/index.html?channel=CH0099 Pictures could have been taken much later, and the data changed, as PD video does not appear to show that level of damage a short time later.

George Rebane

Oh my. Let me propose that our own DougK has discovered a suspected conspiracy by the local law enforcement agency in the way they took and released photos of Zimmerman. Additionally, can we not stipulate that until the jury returns a different verdict, that we all just find Zimmerman guilty of Murder One - the sumbich clearly set the whole thing up.

With that under our belts, maybe some of the SYG discussion can have a chance, or at least more of a chance than this proposal has.

Gregory

"When you are prone on a concrete walkway, the back of your head is not vertical."

Keach, the photo was taken a couple minutes after he got up.

"looks like the lawyer quashed that one"

The leaks haven't been from Zimmerman or his lawyer.

Keach, give it a rest. You're just making stuff up, again. Wait for the trial, if it happens.

Personally, I wouldn't be surprised if Zimmerman isn't lynched, given the emotions whipped up by the usual suspects. Whether or not that happens, I'll also not be surprised if Zimmerman or possibly his future widow sues NBC over the doctored 911 audio they aired as if it was news, and all the other false news broadcast as the issue escalated and the mentally infirm (like Keachie) started seeing red.

Douglas Keachie

OK, so let's see how far from George Zimmerman's initial 911 call to the death scene things really are. To save you the viewing, Greg, it's kinda like someone on at the Rood Center chasing someone to Hirshman's pond. www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUqUGJ9a3yk

Douglas Keachie

According to the lady who listened to the encounter, live, in her backyard, the help help help stopped when the gun went off.

Gregory

George, I think one tenet of standing your ground has to be that, if you are armed, you have a special responsibility to not go looking for trouble, lest you find it.

I was chatting with one friend of mine, who, when the event occurred, was carrying concealed legally due to his position with CalFire. A guy who took great exception to his driving a car that was dog slow ended up following him to a local parking lot, and the guy did his best to provoke a fight. My friend just rolled with the rhetorical punches and went into the supermarket, not wanting to have to shoot the asshole.

The guy later made the local papers as a major meth supplier as he was arrested and jailed, which is how we came to be discussing him.


I believe the gun types call the situation 'I'd rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6'. Zimmerman has found out just how big a life changer being judged by 12 can be.

Douglas Keachie

Greg, you are now crossing the line, and the "mentally infirm" may indeed get a lawyer himself this time, or should I just declare you to be equally like the mentally infirm of whom you have just written, and call it even?

Todd Juvinall

I have a recollection of a video of some little fellow picking on a bigger fellow in some middle school back east. The big fellow was a kind, peaceful boy and the little fellow was a jerk who knew the big fellow would not fight back but run. Well, someone was using their cell video on the little fellow picking on the big fellow for the umpteenth time and all of a sudden the big fellow snapped and SYG. He kicked the little fellows ass. He did not get pickewd on again.

Douglas Keachie

Todd, and the connection here? are you saying that if Trayvon had been allowed to beat up an unarmed Zimmerman, then maybe Zimmerman would go back to minding his own business?

George Rebane

Gregory 245pm - I fully agree with the policy that if armed, one should not go looking for SYG situations (they're easy enough to find), and, instead, one should do everything possible to avoid having to draw his weapon. As taught in CCW classes, not matter what the circumstances, drawing your weapon will be a life changing experience. My own feeling is that if you know that with high likelihood you can prevail as the victim of an incipient assault, then you should make an extra effort to peacefully disengage.

Years ago in soCal our entire family studied karate and were members of a JKA dojo, there such avoidance behavior was always lesson one. And any student who gave even a hint of studying karate for the purpose of gratuitously having the opportunity to pound someone into the ground was immediately asked never to darken the door again. The law is equally harsh on certificated martial arts students.

We have always found people involved in shooting and martial arts activities to be courteous, polite, helpful, and friendly (and even deferential).

Gregory

Todd, how many duck hunters would there be if every 20th bird could shoot back?

The reflexive Zimmerman bashers seem to think that if someone is only using fists, all an armed person should be allowed in defense is their own fists. That is not the case under the law.

A sad case, many ruined lives. Let's hope the body count stays at one.


Brad Croul

GeorgeR - 1122am - On several different occasions I have heard of a person being punched, knocked out, then falling backward onto the sidewalk and dying from the punch/sidewalk concussion.

So, if some young punk comes up to me and glares at me and his fists are all balled up, I should just shoot him because I am in danger of being knocked down and hitting my head? According to your definition, I am in danger of being maimed or killed.

I am pretty sure it is true that Zimmerman called 911 and he was not in any danger at the time. Whatever happened after that is for the court to decide.

If some punk is walking through my yard at night should I chase him down, corner him, and when he charges me, shoot him?
I think not.

I think most of the concealed carry types are wannabe cowboys. Most gun owners leave their guns at home. If you come across someone with their gun pointed at you, it is pretty much too late for you to get the upper hand - even if you spend your free time practicing your quick draw.

At some point you have to decide if you are the agressor, even if someone else started the confrontation.

The whole SYG thing sounds like a lot of macho posturing. Run Fu is sometimes better than Kung Fu, especially if your opponent has a gun in his hand and you don't.

Douglas Keachie

Greg proves he can't read maps.

Gregory

Keach, you're running on less than hearsay evidence. Call it "Keachie dream" evidence.

Douglas Keachie

Nope, instead, I'm Greg's worst nightmare. You park at the Rood Center and walk to Hirschmans, some car follows you, you walk faster and leave the Hirschmans parking lot and on around the lake. The dude parks, gets out of his car, is still following you, and you are armed with skittles, iced tea, and a cell phone. He then shoots you on a rainy dark night, scrapes his head against a nearby tree, and claims you attacked him, good luck and bon voyage, Goodknight. Hirschmann would at least yield a good granite rock, but that back area commons was nothing but grass, nothing for Trayvon to defend himself against a gun.

Gregory

Looks like a psychotic break in the making.

Scott Obermuller

I'm truly amazed at the number of folks that have fabricated the reality of what happened in the Z/M case. Some sort of mystical film was taken of the whole thing and was secretly shown to a select few. Could we just possibly stick with absolute known facts here? The rest is all conjecture and bias. I find very few here willing to talk about what would happen if they were carrying a gun and were threatened with violence. Some seem to be thinking the law is not a good idea, but it's hard to tell. We do not know what happened when Zimmerman made contact with Martin. We do not know what was said or who was the aggressor at that point. Maybe everyone (starting with President "I don't know what happened, but if it helps my re-election, I'm happy to pour gasoline on the fire" O'Blabber) can all just calm down and wait for the justice system to have it's course.

Gregory

"So, if some young punk comes up to me and glares at me and his fists are all balled up, I should just shoot him because I am in danger of being knocked down and hitting my head? According to your definition, I am in danger of being maimed or killed."

If you have a deadly weapon in your hands and someone advances on you in obvious anger knowing you have the weapon, yes, my understanding is that, with a stand your ground law (and even in California, IIRC you have a right to stand your ground in your home,, including temporary residences like travel trailers and rented lodging) you have a right to self defense that includes pulling the trigger. If you don't pull out the weapon until after the attack continues, you also have the right if a reasonable person would think you are being threatened with great bodily harm.

Then you may be faced with that "being judged by 12" situation.

Douglas Keachie

We do know where Zimmerman was told to back off, about 200 yards away, and that was after Zimmerman says he had already been tracking Trayvon. We do have an ear witness from less than 60 feet away who says the cries of "help, help, help" ceased at the instant of the gun shot, see the video above, we do know that the site of the shooting was at least 50 yards from the nearest roadway, in a large open area with a concrete pathway with no curbs, surrounded by grass. Do you dispute any of this? Which of these are not absolute known facts?

"I find very few here willing to talk about what would happen if they were carrying a gun and were threatened with violence. "

and I find very few here who will recognized that Zimmerman went looking for trouble, which is what we are looking at here. When he couldn't find a wrong doing, he apparent provoked one, or just killed in cold blood, see earlier comments of mine about invading Trayvon's personal space.

Todd Juvinall

Scott and the conservatives seem to want to wait for the jury. The libs want to hang Zimmerman right now. Yep, those social liberals, those compassionate folks.

It looks like BradC has never been mugged. I ws robbed at gunpoint once, not much fun.

Douglas Keachie

BTW, interesting that the graphic chosen by George to head this article would clearly indicate that Zimmerman was the aggressor, what with Trayvon shown with hands in the air and Zimmerman holding the gun. Maybe George's unconscious is trying to tell him something.

Gregory

"We do know where Zimmerman was told to back off"

We don't know a damned thing. The facts will be established in court and judged by a jury.

billy T

Todd, yes I remember that little kid delighting in punching the big kid repeatedly cause the big kid never fought back. The bully was so cocky he had is groupies stand around with camera and waiting to show everybody what a puss the big gentle giant was. The kid hit the big kid in the face several times with a fist. The gentle kid tried to swat away the punches. If memory serves me correctly, the gentle giant merely picked up the aggressor and threw him down on the concrete head first. Don't think the big kid ever threw a punch, lol. As far a written human history is concerned, the first man born on the planet was Cain. He promptly murdered his brother. Guess we have not improved beyond that. I have zero training or schooling in human behavior. But I always look at human nature first because human nature has not changed or will not change despite what the warm and fuzzy folks long for. Human nature is the unmentioned flaw in many a social program and every unintended outcome that comes down the pike. Usually it is pride and everything flows from that.

Douglas Keachie

Home invasions are not even absolute protection for your right to shoot and kill. Remember this case from October 2007, and Ferguson's remarks? I do. Assistant D.A. Anna Ferguson said Tuesday that until investigators know more, she is not comfortable announcing that theft of pot plants was the motivation.

"It could have been many different things," Ferguson said. "There are so many possible scenarios - debts, a gang could be involved. People shoot each other over cheating."

Police found nine pot plants at the scene, Evans said. Police have been called out to Beck's property in the past for reports of attempted theft of marijuana, investigators said at the scene Sunday morning.

Shelton was pronounced dead at the scene.

Beck is recovering from three gunshot wounds, one to his abdomen and one to each leg, at Sutter Roseville Medical Center, according to a family member. Beck was in serious condition Tuesday, hospital spokeswoman Robin Montgomery said.

Police found evidence of three guns at the scene - the shotgun used by Beck, the AR-15 assault rifle used by Shelton and a .22 caliber rifle or gun, Evans said. Beck's wounds were inflicted with bullets from a .22 caliber gun, Evans said.

"That's probably why he's still alive," he said.

At least one other suspect fled the scene, investigators said.

If an accomplice is captured by police, he or she could be charged with Shelton's killing, Ferguson said. A co-conspirator can be charged with murder if anyone - an intended victim or not - is killed during the commission of a felony.

"It's the felony-murder rule," she said. "Because they came onto the property with guns, it was foreseeable someone could be killed. Even though the pot grower was able to shoot, the intruder could possibly be charged."

Ferguson also anticipated possible misconceptions people might have about home invasion and the law: If a person's home is being invaded, she said, that does not give him the right to kill a burglar or trespasser.

However, if it is proved that a deadly weapon was being brandished at a victim, she said, then killing may be legally justified.

"It does appear that the use of deadly force was justified in this case," she added.

Sheriff's investigators served a search warrant at Shelton's Yuba County home late Monday to gain more information about the other person or people who fled the scene of Saturday's shooting, Evans said.

Douglas Keachie

Greg, the 911 tape establishes the location of Zimmerman, in front of the clubhouse, quite nicely. If you wish to state that Zimmerman was unable to accurately tell the 911 operator where he was inside his own neighborhood, then we can pretty much discount EVERYTHING Zimmerman has had to say. Which way would you like it? You can't have it both ways. I love it when you've suddenly begun to realize that you are Wylie coyote, and you've been backed up to the thin air beyond the cliff's edge.....

"BEEP, BEEP!"

Earl Crabb

This conversation is really pissing me off. I want to shoot everyone.*

(*I'm just kidding. Don't call 911.)

Nobody has addressed my observation about 800 comments ago that a safer option might be to arm everyone with pepper spray. I'm not saying it's a perfect defense, but it seems to me a better option in many situations.

Douglas Keachie

Wasp spray apparently works well too, except against right angling wood boring bumble bees that maneuver like those synchronous robots. They are so dang fast! "bEEP Beep!" Drive my dogs nuts.

Douglas Keachie

When do we get to shoot China"

"China had a trade surplus of 14.5 billion euros with Germany last year, but German firms have proven much more successful than their European peers in entering the Chinese market.

Germany produces the high-quality machinery and equipment that Chinese companies need to manufacture their goods, many of which end up back in Germany. China is a giant market for German cars, while Chinese exports to Germany include textiles, electrical goods and toys.

Wen is due later on Monday to sign a deal with German carmaker Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) for the building of a new factory in Xinjiang province in western China.

"The world is open. We all profit from open markets, not closed markets," Rainer Langelueddecke, head of the Association of German Tool Manufacturers, told Reuters in Hannover, noting that more Chinese firms were also setting up shop in Germany.

But not all German businessmen take such a sanguine view. Some expressed concern during Wen's two-day visit that China is not only a crucial partner - and the destination of 7 percent of total German exports - but also an increasingly effective competitor that is moving up the value chain.

"Chinese manufacturers may become more and more competitive and become more challenging for German companies," said Thomas Schrader, managing director of Air Handling Technology, adding that China was now a bigger market for German mechanical engineering products than the United States.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who led a large business delegation to Beijing in February, also commented during Wen's visit on the speed of China's emergence as a major industrial power and said Germany should not rest on its laurels.

German businessmen and politicians have expressed concern over the lack of a level playing field in trade with China - including state support for Chinese exporters - as well as about intellectual property theft and other legal issues."

billy T

My my. This one case is making so many waves. Glad nobody here is silly enough to play the race card as the press first did when this story went national. To quote one of my favorite writers: "There are two groups that see everything through the prism of race. Liberals and skinheads." I know liberals think all gun rights are bad, wrong, evil. If you all must discuss this particular shooting, then knock yourselves out. Remember one things: Florida law is not California law so quit comparing self defense in CA with FLA.

Douglas Keachie

"Remember one things: Florida law is not California law so quit comparing self defense in CA with FLA." You need to remind Greg, not me.

George Rebane

BradC 355pm - Sorry to hear you conclude that "The whole SYG thing sounds like a lot of macho posturing." The rest of the nation takes the issue very seriously, whether pro or con of the new SYG state laws that have been passed. I also wasn't sure of your own take on the scenarios you fashioned, seemingly out of whole cloth. But I do appreciate that you didn't join in the DougK 'let's hang him and then give him a fair trial' parade.

Douglas Keachie

Let's see, how much of the Pot Patch Pirates car chase did your doubt ever happened, until it was all settled in court, George? Did you doubt the whole thing? Did you think there was a possibilities the CHP wrapped a car around a tree with a dead body, just to fake everyone out? Basic simple easy to establish facts you pretty much accept ahead of trial, now don't you? Of course if there's a possibility that it might cast negative aspersions upon the Constitutional act of gun totin', THEN you want to wait until ALL the evidence is in and properly adjudicateed, and if your side loses, THEN you want to wait until it's gone through the appeals process, and a final THEN, even if the Supreme Court rules against you, THEN it is those danged activist judges appointed by you know who.

Selective application of "wait until it is all in and tried" to deny the validity of looking at what is basically known, is really rather juvenile. Next you'll be saying that Zimmerman didn't really pull the trigger and that there was a 2nd shooter on the grassy knoll.

On the pot patch pirates, since I arrive on scene very fortunately 20 minutes too late (20 minutes earlier and I would have been part of the collateral damage, pulling out onto 49 just above Peterson's Corner), I kinda didn't doubt that somebody sure smacked that tree.

Douglas Keachie

I'm all in favor of giving him a fair trial. That's more than he gave Trayvon.

Paul Emery

RE George 10:46

How do you categorize the mass murder of Native Americans in California between 1850 and 1910 when there was a bounty paid per scalp. Also the hundreds of lynchings by the KKK and other groups. Mass murder? Sure. How about the The Ludlow Massacre where women and children were slain buy a rampaging National Guard. Mass murder? You bet!1

Yes, those were the good old days.

billy T

I think the last lynching in the USA was Clarence Thomas in front of the Senate. Or maybe it was Oprah Winfrey when the Texas cattlemen sued her and she claimed she was being lynched by the beef sellers. I like beef and take pride knowing my food poops on vegetarians' food. Priceless.

George Rebane

PaulE 709pm - Yes, those were atrocities indeed. And we can walk back through all recorded histories to biblical times to dig them out. But by sheer numbers, they were lost in the noise when the 20th century totals were added up as cited many times in these pages - 120 million non-war government killings of their own people which figure does not include those murdered my Mao during his 'Cultural Revolution'. That number is still incomplete and being constructed by historians and demographers; it promises to double the already toted number of deaths. And of that sum 'only' about 860,000 were killed by governments of free or non-collectivist countries.

DougK 640pm - You again put a lot of words in my mouth with that one. Does such prescience come from the same jar as that which lets you render verdicts from a perusal of media mangled evidence?

Todd Juvinall

When I was robbed at gunpoint it was by a black fellow. He was never caught for that crime. I guess I should have cried racism according to the left.

Gregory

Paul, young black men are nowadays killing more young black men than the Klan ever dreamed of, but black on black doesn't make headlines. In fact, if the Klan knew what a welfare state would do to Blacks in this country, they probably would have all gone social democrat long before it became fashionable.

Now, we have a infamous case of a young latino Jew being referred to as a White latino in order to make it a white on black killing, despite the fact that none of Zimmerman's grandparents would have been "white enough" to have had a chance in Hell to join any exclusive East coast country club.

Earl, tell you what, let's have a Gedankenexperiment duel. You can have pepper spray, I'll choose a projectile weapon. How do you think it will turn out? There's no barrier against law abiding adults keeping and bearing pepper spray now, so if it makes you feel better, get a can.

Let's remind Keachie... California does have Stand Your Ground, within your home, and The Union story he linked was a perfect example of that. In fact, I've had a family friend cop tell us that if you shoot someone coming through your window, be sure to drag them all the way in before police arrive to make the report easier to write.

Scott Obermuller

I was commenting on the fact that few are willing to stick with George's topic and the good Prof Keachie quotes me and then complains that he can't find anyone to agree with him. "he apparent provoked one, or just killed in cold blood" Any proof Doug, or is this another post-modern free thought "feeling" that came through the floorboards?
Apparently we're off the rails on this one and high balling through the weeds. Ah well, I'll read the comments for fun.

Douglas Keachie

Greg, you missed the part where she qualified it. "Ferguson also anticipated possible misconceptions people might have about home invasion and the law: If a person's home is being invaded, she said, that does not give him the right to kill a burglar or trespasser.

However, if it is proved that a deadly weapon was being brandished at a victim, she said, then killing may be legally justified.

"It does appear that the use of deadly force was justified in this case," she added."

"then killing MAY be legally justified. She also was active in The Union on this issue, and made it very clear that just because someone is on your property, you can't just waste them. Two intruders, both armed, three shots into the homeowner, and it only MAY be justified??? It's certainly upped my interest in early detection and dissuasion, by non lethal means. Just discovered new dog likes to hang near where the brightness light is, so the one near the bedroom window is being doused in favor of one further away, closer to the main gate and garden area.

Minorities are not a united front. Poles and Italians often had strong ethnic hatreds, and committed unspeakable acts towards one another, just based on ethnicity, among other groups, as recently as 80 years ago. Go to your local HS, and see who hangs with whom, in any urban district, with mixed enrollment. Color lines are often still there, and it is not just a black and white thing. Asians hang with Asians, etc., sometime even among the high achievers. Zimmerman could well harbor racist sentiments, which might have been a factor in him getting out of the car to track down where Trayvon was headed. Too bad he didn't just follow at a distance, and discover that Trayvon had a welcome mat out for him. Seems to indicate that he did indeed catch up with Trayvon, and maybe he thought Trayvon's purchases were loot from some heist, who knows, but if you go back to Greg's earliest posts here on this topic, you'll see that Greg was willing to enter into speculation on other fuzzy facts. If not, why did he even bring them up?

Douglas Keachie

So George, what evidence so far do you believe about the Trayvon Zimmerman case? Any of it? That's the best way to clear out any words that may have found their way to your (and Greg's) mouths, You both seem to be saying, "wait and see, but by golly maybe Zimmerman is telling the truthiness about it all, and anyone who says otherwise is jumping the gun." Let's hear you say that Zimmerman may also be a lying cowardly SOB who instigated it all, and THEN maybe I'll believe the sincerity of your first statement. Just because Zimmerman is alive and can talk, that does not make his testimony true, especially when he has so much to lose. Not as much as Trayvon lost, however...

Douglas Keachie

Scott, nobody other than me has noticed that Trayvon "stood his ground" and is dead for it. Nobody wants to carefully out line just how much "ground" you own when out in public, a topic I have brought up. Not my fault the rest of you really have nothing to say other than "shoot first, ask questions later."

George Rebane

DougK 916pm - I have made no presumptive statements about the guilt or innocence of Zimmerman. The case may turn out to be just as you have been trumpeting, the sumbich started it all and is guilty of a wanton, or at least clumsy killing.

SYG does not depend on 'owning' a certain amount of real estate when out in public. It does depend on the degree of danger perceived by the victim of an assault. I have attempted to open the discussion with this, and now discover that the notion is not as accessible as I had thought, as witnessed by all the outlier scenarios presented here.

Let's take the easy case first. Person A (Andy) is assaulted by Person B (Ben), a nearby security video records the whole thing. And Andy first discovers Ben's presence when the assault is launched. However it proceeds, Andy is in reasonable fear of his life or limb in Ben's hands. Take the case where escape is already impossible - Ben has Andy by the throat, or on the ground, or against the wall, or ... . Can Andy use deadly force to protect himself?

Given an answer to this, we can back off and introduce the possibility of an attempt to escape. Must Andy expose himself to the heightened danger of attempting to escape if he can use effective (including deadly) counter force against Ben? In other words, in this situation is Andy obligated by law to put himself in greater danger if he can avoid it?

We can discuss SYG in such a stepwise fashion in which Andy the victim is presented with more alternatives both before the assault and after it commences. Jumping into some specific complex scenario, putting words into everyone's mouth, and presenting your unerring conclusion has not gotten us very far. And going back and forth about what is (not) known about the Z/M case makes the discussion impossible to follow.

Douglas Keachie

OK so we go abstract, but I will still reference additional thoughts along the way. If the use of a gun to a vital part of the body is the only option open to Andy, then he shoots and kills, in self defense, and goes free. If there is any chance he can merely wound the assailant, has more wiggle room, and instead shoots with intent to kill, then he is not going scott free. If he has a gun, he should have been trained to avoid getting in such places in the first place (Heinlein Rule #1 for survival), and he should also be aware of taking a risk, and be on heighten alert for problems, thus allowing for two things: Being able to land a non lethal shot, and having the element of surprise. The presumably unarmed assailant is going to be in shock of awareness that the victim has a gun, after the first shot, if not physical shock from the bullet wound. If he is a meth head, it may mean nothing, in which case Andy has to be ready to empty the clip, almost immediately after the first shot, and will be exonerated.

Since we have one witness 60 feet away who says "help, help, help" ceased after the one shot, and the preliminary forensics seems to rule out Z as the helper yelper, it would seem that Z had the upper hand, and had no need to shoot. I'm still looking to find out exactly what part of T Z hit. Front side or back side. head or torso?

Scott Obermuller

Good night Doug.

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