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Missing The Point

The point of the protests about the death of Trayvon Martin, is to obtain justice, not to ‘hang’ George Zimmerman.

The guilt or innocence of George Zimmerman should be determined by a trial, not by a police department or state’s attorney who are unwilling or unable to do their job.

I can’t imagine what kind of probable cause the Sanford Police think they need beyond a dead body and an individual who admits he caused the death. ‘Self-defense’ is a valid justification, but, that justification needs to be examined in a trial. This case has nothing to do with the ‘Stand your ground’ provision of the Florida Criminal Code, so Mr. Zimmerman was obligated to retreat if possible.

The reality is that a person was shot to death, and the Florida criminal justice system was ignoring it. That’s what the protests are about.

4 comments

1 ellroon { 04.01.12 at 11:35 am }

Excellent point, Bryan, and there was a discussion today on Chris Hayes’ show UP about this very thing. What really scares me is the fear we have about even discussing gun control. We have shootings at schools and kids die yet there is ringing silence on what to do about guns. Instead we are being encouraged to buy more and more guns.

There is a drop in crime across the nation. What drives the NRA to push these ‘Stand your ground’ laws? Why do we need people with twitchy fingers roaming about looking for someone to shoot? What do we gain from this?

2 Bryan { 04.01.12 at 11:02 pm }

The NRA is financed by weapons manufacturers. I know a number people who were long time members who have quit over this insanity. The NRA once focused on firearms safety, and hunters which is why it is named The National RIFLE Association. It was once focused on long guns, hunting weapons, not handguns. Things have changed in the organization, and it no longer has much interest in hunting or rifles.

I was required to carry a sidearm for most of 20 years. I have been around guns my entire life. I could get a concealed firearms permit with almost no effort. I don’t have one, because I don’t see the point. I don’t want to conceal my ‘home defense’ weapon, a shotgun. I want them to see it, be afraid, and leave. The thing is loud and makes a mess I don’t want to clean up. It would generate a lot of paperwork I don’t want to deal with. We have had problems down here, but everyone calms down and decides to be reasonable when the 12-gauge arrives.

After 9/11 there was a constant drumbeat of threats and the unscrupulous and crazies have built on it. There hasn’t been a gun bill of any kind being even half-heartedly pushed in Congress in the last four years, but there is a constant panic that the government is coming for your guns. Of course, we don’t bother to enforce the laws we now have, so new laws won’t do much good. We put more effort in hassling people over marijuana that machine guns, for which the Mexican drugs lords thank us.

People have lost their minds, and children in schools and coming home from the 7-11 are paying the price.

3 Steve Bates { 04.01.12 at 11:32 pm }

Missing the point indeed! If enough people in enough communities come to lack confidence that the law will be applied as is appropriate, for their protection as surely as against them, they will… quite understandably IMHO… resort to self-help. The NRA may be thrilled at the prospect, but I do not want to live in a society in which self-help is the primary vehicle of “justice.” No law… no civilization; it’s that simple.

Sanford PD did themselves no favor in my estimation when they threatened to arrest reporters for interviewing possible witnesses. The whole department needs refresher courses.

4 Bryan { 04.02.12 at 12:39 pm }

We are reaching the point where the police are the problem, not the solution. Why not take the law into your own hands if no one else is going to use it?

If the Sanford PD is so keen to use Florida’s stalking law, why didn’t they arrest Zimmerman for stalking Trayvon Martin?

The protests are about the failure of the government to act.