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Ending Fecklessness on Guns

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Posted on Apr 15, 2012
Photo by Smarterlam (CC-BY)

By E.J. Dionne, Jr.

It’s understandable if unfortunate that the controversy surrounding the killing of Trayvon Martin has polarized the country along both racial and ideological lines. But there is one issue that should not have any racial connotations: the urgency of repealing “Stand Your Ground” laws.

And leave it to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to speak the blunt truth about why these laws are dangerous—and why the National Rifle Association keeps pushing them anyway.

“In reality,” Bloomberg said in a speech before the National Press Club last week, “the NRA’s leaders weren’t interested in public safety. They were interested in promoting a culture where people take the law into their own hands and face no consequences for it. Let’s call that by its real name: vigilantism.”

On guns, Bloomberg is strong and everyone else is feckless, to paraphrase the late columnist Murray Kempton.

OK, not exactly everyone else. Bloomberg’s partners in the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns—notably Boston’s Mayor Tom Menino, the organization’s co-chair—have filled the void left in state legislatures, Congress and the White House by moderates, liberals and many conservatives who ought to know better but are too petrified by the NRA to confront it. Mayors face the daily toll taken by gun laws dictated by gun lobbyists and are less easily intimidated.

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“Feckless” is a favorite word of columnists. Its first meanings, according to Webster’s, are “weak” and “ineffective,” and it is an ineffectiveness spawned by weakness that explains why Stand Your Ground laws spread through legislatures like a virus. By Bloomberg’s count, they are now on the books in 25 states. These laws didn’t arise in response to broad, spontaneous popular demand. As both The Washington Post and The New York Times reported last week, the idea came from on high, courtesy of the NRA, which worked closely with a right-wing group called the American Legislative Exchange Council.

“It was the NRA taking a stealthy fight to the states,” Mark Glaze, the director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, told me in an interview, “and 25 flowers bloomed.”

Resistance to the gun lobby has grown so feeble and the NRA has won so many victories that its legislative maestros must find ever more creative ways to prove its relevance.

One way is to pretend that President Obama, a disappointment to many who support more rational gun laws, is actually a grave threat to gun rights. He most assuredly is not. Yet Mitt Romney, who once supported gun-control measures, tried to Etch A Sketch that past away before the NRA on Friday, pledging to defend rights he claimed the president “ignores or minimizes.”

Another way is to come up with increasingly extreme laws to extend the reach of guns into American life. You can imagine that if the NRA proposed a statute to arm all 10-year-olds to make our schools safer, hundreds of state legislators and members of Congress would robotically vote yes. You can also predict what the NRA slogan would be: “An armed child is a safer child.”

What’s insidious about Stand Your Ground laws is that in every jurisdiction that has them, these statutes tilt the balance of power in any street encounter in favor of the person who has a gun. That’s what happened in the Martin case. The law provides a perverse incentive for everyone to be armed.

Equally problematic, these measures complicate law enforcement, breeding confusion for both police and prosecutors. They weren’t even necessary, since courts have long recognized the right to self-defense. As Glaze noted, “it’s not about standing your ground, it’s about taking authority away from police and ignoring 400 years of common law that has always allowed you to defend yourself.”

We need to know more about why officials in Florida were so slow in investigating and ultimately charging George Zimmerman in the Martin killing—and one can hope that things will become clearer as the case moves forward. But it’s very hard not to conclude that the Stand Your Ground law threw sand into the wheels of justice. As Bloomberg said, “The strongest law of all is one that is never on the books, and that is the law of unintended consequences. Stand Your Ground laws prove that that’s true.”

We do not need statutes that encourage citizens to assume that feeling threatened is reason enough to shoot another human being. And legislatures that just rubber stamp laws written by national lobbying groups turn the whole idea of “states’ rights” into an empty and laughable slogan.


E.J. Dionne’s e-mail address is ejdionne(at)washpost.com.
   
© 2012, Washington Post Writers Group


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By joe r, April 18, 2012 at 5:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bloomberg is not my leader. I for one don’t want Bloomberg making
policy. He will make the 99% the new Palestinians.

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By moonraven, April 17, 2012 at 6:34 pm Link to this comment

balkas:

Again, you cannot READ.

I did not say I was quitting the topic, which is gringo goons and their gun fetish.

I said I was quitting the exchange with you.

I’m done here.

Report this

By balkas, April 17, 2012 at 6:25 pm Link to this comment

moonraven, i am glad you’re quitting the topic. i was just trying to be polite. and
now that you are engaging in personal attacks, i am doubly glad of it.
if you cannot see the difference between interethnic/international and
intraethnic/intranational wars, obviously one cannot have any further discussion
on that topic.

Report this

By balkas, April 17, 2012 at 6:17 pm Link to this comment

moonraven,
it is pure phantacy that USSR had no mortal enemies once nazi germany invaded it.
and the red army did what it thought it had to do.
if fact, russians even condemned severely those russians who were captured by
germans or those who surrendered and who labored for germany during war.
it shld be noted that germans thought of russians as a subpeople who shld be
slaughtered like cattle. [no. stalin never did]
and because of that, that war was even more hellish than most and when one finds
self in hell; well, you act like demon or cornered rat.

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By moonraven, April 17, 2012 at 6:15 pm Link to this comment

balkas,

This conversation is over.

You are either deliberately perverse or you simply do not read English well enough to comprehend the UN Convention on genocide.

Don’t continue bitting my ass.

I didn’t write it, didn’t ratify it, and am tired of this unproductive discussion.

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By balkas, April 17, 2012 at 6:03 pm Link to this comment

moonraven,
tootsis were a folk and hutus another. while at war, hutus have slaughtered many tootsis [was it up to 1 million?] they
were engaged in civil war. we may call that genocide. my understanding is that no intraethnic war cld be considered
genocidal. intraethnic wars are about destroying an ideology and people, usually men, who cling to it.
generally, in such wars, children and women of one folk are not slaughtered/expelled/forcibly resettled by same folk.
no one is that mad or crazy to kill own people and whom they need badly.
when russians were killing russians in ‘18 [i am not talking now about white or belorussians, but russians] that was in an
intraethnic and not interethnic war. massacres, war crimes did happen, tho.
genocide is defined as one race exterminating/expelling another or one people exterminating another people or peoples.
even u.s civil war was mainly intraethnic. in that war massacres, torture, war crimes occurred against rebels but not
because of their ethnicity or even religion but because of what they thought and for which they fought.
==
that stalin was killing millions of civilians in cold blood, i think that is just fascist propaganda. during www2 red army was
executing its enemies. they were considered traitors and many were. russian partizans were at times even much worse
than the red army.
war is no picnic. in any war crimes happen.

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By moonraven, April 17, 2012 at 5:11 pm Link to this comment

balkas:  You did not understand my post because you did not READ it!

Russian on Russian genocide occured under Stalin—who targeted those folks in disagreement with his policy (or whom he thought were in disagreement with it).

Genocide occurred in Ruanda—and that was black on black.

Geonocide occurred under Pol Pot in Cambodia, too.

It is not necessary that victimizers and victims be of different races.

Article 2 of the UN Convention on Gencide defines genocide as:

any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

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By balkas, April 17, 2012 at 3:48 pm Link to this comment

moonraven,
as far as i know, if russians have killed millions of russians [fascist often accuse of them of doing that]
that’s not genocide [i am saying this even tho i have not got the point in your post of 10:43 am]
so, if in u.s whites wld be killing millions of whites that wld be not a genocide. but if whites wld
slaughter millions of black americans, that wld constitute a genocide. right?
btw, as far as i know, ALL WARS ARE WAGED FOR LAND; THAT’S THE FIRST CAUSE for all wars thus far
waged.
of course, each cult wants to spread itself. strong cult does cry for war and weak one opposes it.
we need to get rid of the myth that wars are waged for this or that reason. even in afgh’n and iraq, US
has acquired chunks of land that it’ll never return back to the two countries unless pashtuns and iraq
acquire WMD.
what is palestine, but amero-european army base with well-paid mercenaries?
i think chomsky sees it like that as well and being a zionist he objects to that fact. he wants an
independent israel and not a dependency and near total one at that, that it really is.
for that reason he denis palestinians ROR. ask him if you don’t believe me.

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By balkas, April 17, 2012 at 3:13 pm Link to this comment

moonraven,
you last post is unclear to me.
you do speak of genocide and give examples of it.
however, i did not accuse ashkenazic invaders of committing a genocide altho the invaders expelled many palestinians during their
aggression against palestina in ‘47.
some fled in terror; hoping to return to their homes; however, they were prevented from returning to their homes and are still refugees.
and that is a genocide. and the slaughter of them did not constitute a genocide but massacres or war crimes, because perhaps only few
thousands palestinian civilians were killed by ashkenazic terrorist actions.
as i said, i was not talking about genocide, but racism of whites against dark skinned shemites.
that’s the point i was making in two of my posts.
in my third post, i added ‘religion’ as a factor in european colonial war or wars.
so, to recap:
1. ashkenazim wanted land that never belonged to them. they had no connection whatever with the peoples of palestine. but even if, their
aggression is a crime, nevertheless.
2. waged war against palestinians; justifying it on DISCRIMINATION which is mother of all evil, including racism and meritocracy.
3. cults play a role in all wars i know of.
==
yet, it seems to me, that no cult i know of is racist. eg, christianity and judaism comprise many races and peoples. so does buddhism. all
cultists care about is propagation of their respective cults. all seem genocidal, tho, but not racist!

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By moonraven, April 17, 2012 at 11:43 am Link to this comment

balkas:

I think we are splitting hairs here-or perhaps not, as by your logic since the white-dominated US government arms and maintains the psuedo state of Israel that the majority in Palestine is therefore whit.

Sorry, but that’s stretching it too far.

Under the terms of the Convention on Genocide of the UN, a policy of exterminating a specific group of people does not always imply that the target group is of a different ethnicity.

For example, if the US government decided to exterminate poor whites in the US, that would be genocide—even though the US government is dominatly white.

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By balkas, April 17, 2012 at 11:21 am Link to this comment

moonraven,
yes, ‘religion’ [i prefer to call it “cult”] played a significant role in
conquest and colonization of palestina.
so did in the conquest of the americas.
however, i often assert that main reason for conquests of palestina,
afrika, americas, australia had been to obtain land.
and it wasn’t just talmudic cult which played a role in conquest of
palestina but also christianity, or to be more precise, white christians.
so, once again we have clear racism here.
[btw, i do not recognize state of israel. that’s the reason i still call that
region “palestina”]

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By balkas, April 17, 2012 at 11:06 am Link to this comment

moomraven,
what’s semitic, or actually shemitic, about herzl, marx, engels, ben gurion, kirk douglas,
yabotinsky, lieberman, paul newman, et al?
all of these people were whites from poland, russia, germany, caspian sea area…

sephardim and mizrahim are shemitic. however, sephardim had a small role in conquest of
the shemitic indigenes and mizrahim close to nil.
10% of the indigenous pop of palestine were either judeans or hebrews and most or all of
them opposed european invasion of palestina.
i had these facts in mind when i averred that there is also a deep racial divide in palestina

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By drbhelthi, April 17, 2012 at 10:02 am Link to this comment

“So, I say, enforce the law.It’s just that simple.” ron hansing

When the CIA/MOSSAD knocks off federal judges such as John Roll, who declared the section you refer to, to be unconstitutional, in order to enforce it anyway, one tends to think perhaps “enforcing” an illegal law may not be quite as simple as you suggest.  It is much easier to wholesale assault rifles and extended-clip pistols to drug dealers in Mexico and the southwestern US, under the guise of “tracking them,” and have these criminals do the bidding of the criminals leading the US DOJ. 

The MO of the CIA/MOSSAD in the continental USA, murder a number of innocent bystanders to disguise the focussed intent, especially a few children, such as Brevik in Norway.  Same old MO, where ever in the world it is applied.  Certain former insiders recognize it immediately.  Similar to slitting the wrist, almost, of a person who has already been murdered.
http://www.whale.to/b/tatum.pdf

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By moonraven, April 17, 2012 at 10:01 am Link to this comment

balkas:  There is no racial divide in occupied Palestine (sic for your use of the term Israel).

Both groups are semitic.

The divide has nothing to do with race—it has to do with religious belief—the religious belief on the part of Israelis that the Palestinians’ land belongs to Israelis only.

Sort of like the NATO riff, What’s OUR oil doing under their land?  Instead, it’s What’s our land doing under their houses?

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By balkas, April 17, 2012 at 8:43 am Link to this comment

there is a deep racial divide in US; perhaps second deepest in the world to the one in israel; and, thus, racism also.
however, racism [extreme as in US and israel or otherwise elsewhere] is only a symptom or an effect of the FIRST CAUSE:
DISCRIMINATION [OR LOOKING DWN ON PEOPLE]
discrimination arose probably 10-15 k y ago and existed everywhere except among indigenes of n. america and most afrikan
folks.
and, it shld go w.o. saying that where there is very deep and harsh discrimination, there is also angst, fear, hatred, wish to arm
self, frustration, gun fights, etc.
so, obviously, the cure for fears, hatred between races/individuals, etc., wld be to create a more egalitarian society which
automatically reduces discrimination, racial divide, racisms, fears, anxiety, hatred, etc.
however, US governance runs on the DISCRIMINATION; discrimination is its foundation.
bill of rights, constitution, declaration of independence, all u.s laws, have simply enshrined it.
in any case, as long as such a deep discrimination exists and is protected not only by laws but also police, most gun owners,
cia/fbi agents and the army, one can expect more deaths by firearms.
blacks appear to be victimized not only by the usual 1%, but also by their very own 1%, since the latter is an integral part of the
1%.
so, instead of having just one bad uncle, blacks [and latinos] have two bad uncles.

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By ron hansing, April 17, 2012 at 8:24 am Link to this comment

Can’t speak for Georgia, florida, or Arizona gun shows.

Regardless, if you built a M14, it is the law that you have to have a background check for the receiver.(this is common knowledge to those who purchase firearms… )

Soooo, if this did not happen, you broke the law, and the seller broke the law… You should have reported this to the DEA. Count yourself very lucky… that you did not get into the trap…


Check out the FFL law, its the size of a Sears catalog. Not to mention individual state laws. What I am saying these laws are already on the books.

So, I say, enforce the law.It’s just that simple.

If you go through the process to get a FFL license you will discover that this is true.

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By ron hansing, April 17, 2012 at 8:06 am Link to this comment

Goggle Lubbe Cafeteria shootings.

Well, we disagree… but so far we still live in a Free country… or should I say, “free”. You are free not to own a gun and I have no desire to force you to buy one. This is called individual freedom.

Not collective “freedom”, which is an oxymoron.

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By DornDiego, April 17, 2012 at 7:45 am Link to this comment

Hansing, Moonraven, Jimmy, MrFreeze, Mouseytongue…. are you all just one
person?

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By drbhelthi, April 17, 2012 at 3:57 am Link to this comment

Worry about private citizens with guns ? 

How many hundreds of assault rifles and pistols have been secreted into the hands of Mexican and US drug-dealers by the Bush + Obama DOJ political pimpery? 

Reminds me of the interview with known criminals, after JFKSr. was murdered.  The std. response was something like, “- - hell yes we support a gun ban, will make it a lot safer for us.” 

Since when did the concept alter, ” if legal ownership of guns by the citizenry is violated, only criminals will posses guns” ? 

Since the 2nd GHWBushSr puppetry administration, it has become increasingly difficult to distinguish between police types and criminals types. 

Hurrah for the police who know the difference, and demonstrate it with their deportment !

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By moonraven, April 16, 2012 at 5:15 pm Link to this comment

mrfreeze:

1.  Intelligence has got me to date a hell of a lot further than deliberate stupidity has got you gringos.  I have no blood on my hands, and you do.

2.  My stance on genocide is “shallow”, huh?  Like a “shallow” grave, filled with 20 million indigenous bodies.  And then there are the millions of other non-whites:  Millions of Vietnamese, millions of Arabs, thousands of brown folks and black folks.  It’s you and your empathic wall that’s not shallow at all—it’s thicker than the Great Wall of China.

3.  I don’t write diatribes, but speak the truth.  YOU write white power denial diatribes.  Don’t project your snotty snootiness onto me.

4.  Denial is not honest, and since you are deliberately in denial, you are not honest.

Clear yet?

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By moonraven, April 16, 2012 at 5:07 pm Link to this comment

MOusey:

Ya know what, bigmouth?  I can write anything I damn please.  I do not write on command.

However, if your curiosity is legitimate, and not just racist baiting, I can say that most of those killings were DIRECTLY race-related—carrying profiling to an extreme is how it was described in the newspaper—and happened IN THE OPEN, by WHITE private citizens and the Border Patrol.  Some even occurred on THIS side of the border (the deaths) from being shot at from YOUR side.

I would call them all murders.  I don’t much care what you call them.

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By mrfreeze, April 16, 2012 at 5:00 pm Link to this comment

moonraven - That’s your problem…..intelligence will only get you so far and your holier-than-thou stance on genocide is shallow at best. I still do enjoy reading your diatribes. And, I would like to know how you presume to know the subjective thinking of others, especially with particular regard to their “honesty.”

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By MouseyTongue, April 16, 2012 at 4:59 pm Link to this comment

Dear Moonraven, Lots of “desirable” killings of
undocumented workers down in South Texas.  In today’s
Mexican paper La Jornada, the Foreign Relations
Secretary’s office indicated that in the past ten
years 5,000 Mexicans have been killed on the border,
primarily in Texas and Arizona. unquote.

How many of these ‘killings’ were by legal gun owners
who were claiming legal use of deadly force?
All other things aside, this is a big - a HUGE point
in the proceedings against Zimmerman.

If you are going to actually provide data relevant to
the discussion, it would be ‘nice’ if you quoted how
many were murders, how many were accidental
shootings, how many were police related, how many
were home invasions etc.

Otherwise this is simply equivalent to dumping a
wheelbarrow of mud into the water cooler…

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By moonraven, April 16, 2012 at 4:43 pm Link to this comment

Scott:  Good post.

Lots of “desirable” killings of undocumented workers down in South Texas.  In today’s Mexican paper La Jornada, the Foreign Relations Secretary’s office indicated that in the past ten years 5,000 Mexicans have been killed on the border, primarily in Texas and Arizona.

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By it's only Scott, April 16, 2012 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment

SoTexGuy, being a fellow Texan, gun owner, shooting enthusiast, hunter, etc., I too am concerned about the attitude behind these “easier to kill folks and get away with it” laws.  We’ve always had the right to use deadly force to defend ourselves and others as long as it’s reasonable, so what’s the necessity for these laws?

I fail to see why “stand your ground” laws are necessary, and am highly suspicious af anything advocated by either ALEC or the NRA.  They only encourage those folks who fantasize about about shooting bad guys, when what is more likely to happen is that some day they’ll shoot their teenager when he’s sneaking in after curfew. 

The worst thing about the Martin shooting, however, was when the public debate shifted from whether it was a justifiable homicide to whether it was a desirable homicide.  Unfortunately, we’re going to be seeing more of that.

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By moonraven, April 16, 2012 at 1:08 pm Link to this comment

freezeframe:  MY intelligence is not in question.

So cut out the white-power catty digs and start being honest with yourself and others.

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By moonraven, April 16, 2012 at 1:02 pm Link to this comment

Sorry, freezeframe:  I don’t post to other folks’ specifications.  Especially not white folks’ denial dictates.

There is no possible way that I could EVER “overstate” the willful murder of 20 million indigenous folks in what you call the USA.

And not being a gringo addict, I don’t self-medicate whenever something might cause pain, either.

Suck it up.

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By mrfreeze, April 16, 2012 at 12:58 pm Link to this comment

moonraven - Please take the aspirin as a painkiller to soften your sometimes unnecessary bitter tone regarding all us “murdering/genocidal” white folk.

I do appreciate your commentary, but sometimes you simply overstate your case and it makes you sound far less intelligent than you are…...

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By SoTexGuy, April 16, 2012 at 12:56 pm Link to this comment

Oh yes! Four lines.. total clarity.. Moonraven has it right.

IMO

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By SoTexGuy, April 16, 2012 at 12:47 pm Link to this comment

Devheart.. I or you may well have to meet a minimum standard under the law.. While I eschew the hype over the Florida case it does seem obvious at least in the death of that kid Martin the shooter didn’t have to meet any such requirements.. only that he had a gun and the dead guy couldn’t speak for himself..

I’m a gun owner and a shooting enthusiast.. the muscular trash-talk of ‘right to bear’. ‘right to defend’ ‘right to kill’ is palpably anti-community and disturbing.

That’s what I think anyway.

Thanks for your reply.

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By moonraven, April 16, 2012 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment

Zimmerman is a sociopathic killer.

He wants to kill non-whites.

He believe that by doing so he will become a star.

He could even be right.

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By MouseyTongue, April 16, 2012 at 12:38 pm Link to this comment

I regret to say that once again someone seems to have
something to say, and cannot restrain themselves from
‘enhancing and fortifying’ their argument to the
point of invalidating their argument.
I see cops doing it in their complaints against
criminals, for fear that their belief in the perps
guilt may not be shared sufficiently, they mistate
facts, fabricate ‘facts’, create evidence and in many
other ways ‘ensure justice’ by use of criminal means,
for which they are exempt from any prosecution or
accountability no matter what the actual law says.
Stand YOUR ground, this is the key. NOT standing
PUBLIC property, sidewalks, roadways, plazas,
schools, government buildings, etc. etc. etc.
If someone is trying to kill you and or your family
(if they are trying to kill you, is it NOT reasonable
that they will eliminate all witnesses?) are you not
entitled to defend your home and family, using deadly
force where the threat is of itself deadly force?
I am Florida born. For all my life, the meaning of
the right to defend your home and property was
synonymous with self defense.
Zimmerman was in public, stalking someone on public
property through public areas, an unarmed person whom
he was stalking with a lethal weapon, after being
told (in so many words) NOT to.
The dispatcher said (if memory serves) We don’t NEED
you to follow him…
A wink is as good as a nod to a blind horse. No
matter what the dispatcher said, Zimmerman had
already made up his mind to stalk this kid through
the public streets.
For this, if NOTHING ELSE, he should be criminally
liable.
As he was NOT stalking Trevon while the kid was
invading Zimmermans property, Zimmermans home, even
Zimmerman’s CAR - as Treyvon had not braced him and
initiated an encounter of any kind - the warped,
twisted and contrived interpretation of his actions
as standing HIS ground is patently stupid,
ridiculous, absurd and an insult to the mental
abilities and perceptive abilities of any person who
is capable of tying their own shoelaces - or
successfully employing Velcro fasteners for that
matter.
If NOTHING ELSE, Zimmerman is criminally guilty of
gross stupidity employing a firearm, in public,
against an unarmed person.
Again, he was NOT standing HIS ground, he initiated a
conflict and used deadly force against an unarmed
person who died as a direct result of circumstances
which Zimmerman initiated, promoted and provoked, in
a public area, NOT his own property or home, with NO
danger to himself or his family THAT HE DID NOT
INSTIGATE HIMSELF.
AT LEAST, for crying out loud, make damn sure this
imbecile never again has the legal right to own,
possess or use a firearm ever again in his life!
IF drunk driving can be a felony, do not insult me by
saying that what Zimmerman did CAN’T be a felony!!!

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By devheart, April 16, 2012 at 12:35 pm Link to this comment

SoTexGuy,

I would encourage you to look at the actual statute in the law of the relevant state (Florida it getting a lot of attention for obvious reasons).

There is a lot of misinformation being spread around. Even with the so-called “Stand Your Ground” law, you still have to prove the trifecta of Ability, Opportunity and Jeopardy before being able to use deadly force. All the statute does is remove any “duty to retreat” when confronted with deadly force.

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By SoTexGuy, April 16, 2012 at 12:14 pm Link to this comment

Another thought.. when will the first ‘stand your ground’ state be forced to no-bill some huge gang shootout? .. dozens killed or wounded? ‘They came heavy to our crib’! ‘we only stood our turf and defended ourselves’!

No racial profiling intended.. same could go for the next Ruby Ridge or Waco confrontation.. Like so..

‘These guys were displaying weapons, we saw no sign they were legitimate authorities’.. ‘we opened up on them when a shot was heard’.. this is self defense!

Maybe ‘stand your ground’ ain’t so bad!

Adios!

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By moonraven, April 16, 2012 at 11:53 am Link to this comment

What would I do with that aspirin?

It’s not my custom to carry around aspirin.

And yes, high tolerance is a fry cry from the phrase I suggested and would definitely qualify as a euphemism, or—as you put it, soft-peddling.

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By mrfreeze, April 16, 2012 at 11:36 am Link to this comment

moonraven - It’s interesting how you would add that my use of the notion of “high tolerance” translates as somehow being “chicken shit” or condoning violence against any people. I was in no way attempting to soft-peddle our (as you more accurately put it) unquenchable penchant for violence. If you feel compelled to add even more firewood to blaze, so be it…just make sure to bring some aspirin.

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By moonraven, April 16, 2012 at 11:34 am Link to this comment

Hansing:

You are blind, brother!

Ever been to Arizona.

Background check my ass—in Arizona the ATP runs guns on order to the narcogangs!

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By moonraven, April 16, 2012 at 11:28 am Link to this comment

or, possibly UNQUENCHABLE.

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By moonraven, April 16, 2012 at 11:26 am Link to this comment

mrfreeze wrote:

“We Americans have an incredibly high tolerance for carnage and death. It’s in our historical and cultural DNA.”

Yep, 20 million indigenous deaths and you guys are still licking your chops for more.

I believe “high tolerance” is a chickenshit way of putting what should be unquenched thirst for carnage and death.

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By DonSchneider, April 16, 2012 at 11:04 am Link to this comment

Obviously Mr. Ron Hansing, you have never been to a gun show in Georgia or
Florida ! Background check Ha ha ha ha !  Speak for the Land of Oz, but not for my
home territory. We have gun laws that would make Dodge city of the 1800’s blush
crimson !  Not only can you buy… we bought an old M14 and the kit to return it to
its original semi automatic original form in March of this year in Florida. 
Propaganda that ! and I am a progressive leftie !  When in Rome…..

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By jake, April 16, 2012 at 10:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We live in a constitutional republic. the second ammendment to that constitution is the right of the people to keep and bare arms. if this is a problem maby you would like china better.

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By ron hansing, April 16, 2012 at 10:55 am Link to this comment

to minnesota.

I have never been to a gun show where a vender will not do a security check.

The government should files charges on those who obtain guns illegaly.. often they do not, and often will not file a federal case in which the sentence is much more severe.

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By ron hansing, April 16, 2012 at 10:51 am Link to this comment

To minnesota

clarification on gun shows…


All the gun shows i have been,all the venders require a background check. I have never met a vender at a gun show that will sell a gun to you without a background check.

Yes, individually, one can gift a gun to someone else, like give a gun to your son. But this is relatively rare. yes, some may do individual sells person to person, but this is illegal, as i recall. if you sell a gun this way, it requires a gun check… otherwise if it get stolen, it will be classified as stolen… and you are out of a gun if you bought one this way.

yes, most crooks get their gun… but illegally. but the government will not punish them to the full extent of the law… maybe that is where we shold,as i have alwyas said, focus out intentions.

To say otherwise is misinformation… or like i say just agenda driven propaganda.

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By Minnesota, April 16, 2012 at 9:38 am Link to this comment

E.J. is correct when speaking of the National Weapons Assn….aka NRA.  This ‘cartel’ has lost its bearings.  NRA used to be a hunter’s lobby…back when I was a member.

Over the recent years, since it turned itself into a weapons lobby, it has lost many of us ‘old time’ hunters who see through the their money game and scare tactic b.s. they use these days in order to coerce legislators in State and Nat’l offices to ram through pro-weapons legislation.

The increased handgun violence in the U.S.A. and Mexico is a direct result of the National Rifle Assn.s weapons promotion via their so-called, gun “Shows”  (wink, wink) where they arrange handgun sales between anyone who has the money.

The above along with NRA legislative coercion is turning citizens and our Country into fear-laden, look-over-your-shoulder backwoods lemmings.

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By Art B., April 16, 2012 at 8:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“What’s insidious about Stand Your Ground laws is that in every jurisdiction that has them, these statutes tilt the balance of power in any street encounter in favor of the person who has a gun.”

That’s ridiculous.  Unless you are a criminal (who couldn’t care less about the law and would be packing a gun anyway), carrying a concealed weapon is not about power.  It’s about having the ability to protect the life of one’s self and one’s family, when in a situation where there are no other options available (other than getting killed by a perp).  Concealed carriers are trained (in no uncertain terms) that drawing one’s weapon is an absolute LAST RESORT.

For every Zimmerman, there are literally thousands of law abiding citizens minding their own business, going about their lives, legally carrying a weapon exclusively for the purpose of defending themselves should the terrifying need ever arise.  If facts come to light that prove that Zimmerman was not acting in self-defense, then the law will do what it’s supposed to do, and punish him accordingly.  Don’t try to lump every concealed weapons permit holder in with Zimmerman.  That’s disingenuous at best.

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By jimmmmmy, April 16, 2012 at 8:48 am Link to this comment

Mr Dion is so wrong . Once again he rides his hobby horse while grinding his axe .Guns are not the problem , racial, and economic inequality bolstered by American stupidity are, and since in the democratic party these things don’t exist, you get this screed from its operative . There are several European countries where most people own guns and yet have very low gun crime rates. Taking a way personal freedoms don’t make you safer yhey make you a target for avaricious govs at every level. Look to China which has rigid gun control, and is one of the few countries that imprisons and torture more of its citizens then America. I believe thats the direction the U.S. would take if more gun laws were introduced. Most gun crime in the U.S. is basically people who are hopeless fighting over crumbs.

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By Howard, April 16, 2012 at 8:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Some” people have used knives, 2x4’s,cars, bats,
hands,screw drivers, ropes, etc. to harm or kill
people.
What does the “object” used have to do with my right to defend myself ?  Of course sooner or later a weak
minded or impulsive person will hurt someone with his
gun, screw driver, fist, rock, 2x4 or even his car.
  This does not preclude my right to use my gun in
self defense !

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By Dennis, April 16, 2012 at 8:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The National Weapons Assn.  (aka…NRA)  is the major violence-promoting cartel in the U.S.A. at this time.
It’s scare tactics are at the root of the majority of crime-related violence on our citizens.
They have used this tactic to coerce legislators so that they ram through thoughtless legislation while they stuff their back pockets with NRA money.

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By DornDiego, April 16, 2012 at 8:00 am Link to this comment

A big percentage of the gun-goofy are people who get a kick out of the sheer
effect of carrying; its impact on those around them.  Until recently California had
an open-carry law that actually permitted wearing them on the hip, as long as they
were unloaded.  So, what a lot of gun freaks want to say is, I could shoot you if I
wanted to.  The policy probably acted as an advertisement and advocacy. Possibly
some more guns were sold.  Possibly some of the freaks themselves were shot as
they were reaching for the bullet pouch, or clip. Perhaps during the time the law
was in place there was a rise in macho shootings.  Who knows? The NRA has all
the money to do the research. 
But it seems legislators realized the folly of that law and repealed it. They might
have understood that cops didn’t like having to check the weapons that were
appearing on the hips of the hill people to make sure they were empty.

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By ron hansing, April 16, 2012 at 7:53 am Link to this comment

If you don’t like guns, don’t have one. I reject the idea that someone else wants to control me and tell me how to live. I have one in every room in my house. My job is to protect my family. Period…

If I kill someone trying to harm me and my family, no matter how evil the perp is, I will forever regret it and this would haunt me for the rest of my life.

I do strongly reccommend that if one does choose to buy a gun for protection… Get the proper training.

All guns are loaded, keep away from children, never point a gun at some one you do not want to destroy, and keep your finger on the trigger guard unitl you have to use the gun.

Yes. this is morbid, I wish that everybody loved one another, but until then, I’ll protect my family… but if you choose not too, you have every right in the world not to protect yourself and your family.

There used to be a sign on every post office in the country door. “If you commit a crime with a gun, it is automatically 20 years…” if this rule was applied to all robbers and people of violence, it would be a much safer society.

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By DonSchneider, April 16, 2012 at 6:08 am Link to this comment

When in Rome….....

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By Concerned Canuck, April 16, 2012 at 5:42 am Link to this comment

Canadians have, per capita, similar levels of firearms ownership to the US, with a fraction
of the violence. I don’t say this to gloat, merely that there must be some other factor at
work.  As a firearms enthusiast myself, I have occasionally envied the strength of the US
gun lobby, but it’s gone off the deep end into the realm of what can be best described as
cannibal politics. The NRA’s political stance and the laws they have enacted are insane,
as is Stand Your Ground. It’s a recipe for a society to consume itself. While corporations
distort your constitution to serve their ends the citizenry can keep themselves occupied
legally assassinating each other in the service of freedom. Madness.

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By SoTexGuy, April 16, 2012 at 5:11 am Link to this comment

Politics aside.. I wonder at the legality of these statutes? There used to be something called permissible use of force or equivalent response. In other words somebody punches you, you punch him back.. you don’t knife him or shoot him. How does this work in the case of ‘stand your ground’ rules?

Now these laws seem to allow that you shoot an unarmed person that you think is going to punch you, or take your watch or snatch a purse? How is that in anyway a reasonable application of deadly force?

And it’s not just the armed citizenry crossing the line.. People are shot and killed regularly by the authorities for all sorts of minor transgressions.. ‘fleeing custody’ ‘assaulting an officer’.. ‘putting their hand in their jacket for a cell-phone or whatever.. whatever you may think of those instances the crime in question is not a capital offense.. and beat cops aren’t any replacement for due
process and a court of law.

It’s a tough situation that won’t get any better until people get a little empathy for others.

Adios!

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By rbe4free, April 16, 2012 at 5:01 am Link to this comment

I believe that the true cause of the problem is the fact that we are so divided, as a people, by religon, race, nationality, culture and even sexual preference. 

This is being done as a deliberate measure to keep us fighting amongst ourselves, so that we cannot come together to challenge the status quo of our current financial elite ruling class.

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By Diane Gee, April 16, 2012 at 4:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I wondered how long it would take for this tragic case to make the handwringers use it to disarm the US citizens; playing right into the 1%ers hands; making us even more powerless against them.

The “arm 10 yo’s” part was so hyperbolic as to be laughable - its as bad as the right-wing claim that we on the left want to force abortions on all 10 yo’s while encouraging them to have sex.

What we really need in this country is more education to fight racism, more unity among the working class and absolute intolerance for profiling.

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By Bill Desmond, April 16, 2012 at 4:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What a curious tribe you all are.  Individually
pleasant people, friendly, generous, polite, often
professing some sort of Christian beliefs, though
usually more of Revelations than of St. Mathew.

But, collectively, the picture is rather more dark. 
Violent, racist, homophobic, misogynist,  laughably
ego-centric, and selfish- no Sermon on the Mount
there.  Trapped by an amendment written in the 18th
century, when the weapon of choice was a muzzle
loading un-rifled six foot long “Brown Bess”
requiring half a minute to re-load and accurate to
about one hundred and fifty yards.  And that only
originally guaranteed for a “well ordered militia”.

Increasingly dumbed down by what passes for
entertainment, failing public schools, mired in
poverty and debt caused by your endless insane wars
based on lies and hegemony,  and by the refusal for
all, according to means, to contribute to the common
good.  A breathtakingly corrupt political and
judicial system, in the hands of the Lobbyists like
the NRA, the big corporations,and big military -all
wrapped up in a flag, with the marching bands
playing-even as more of your young are led, 
cheering, into the slaughter.  And the slaughtering.
  You are increasingly seen by the rest of the world
as a dangerous rogue state, not that you care much
apparently.  Or are even aware as to why it should
be.

And as a Canadian, with family there, it breaks my
heart to see what chaos you are fast sliding into. 
And yes, we have more than enough shortcomings of our
own which you are welcome to point out- they’re all
well known to us, believe me.

You all deserve better than what you’re getting, from
your politicians and your governments.  But I think
we all know you’re not going to get it- the hard-
wiring and the true believing is just too ingrained
for you to see any other way.  Sad, really.  Tragic.

And so please build that fence, as soon as possible-
on your northern border.  One that we can lock from
this side.  And good luck with it all.
-Bill in Canada

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By Marian Griffith, April 16, 2012 at 2:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why limit yourself to guns. I say every american has a right to carry nuclear weapons!
That shall teach those would be muggers and outlaws to mess with them! (for about 0.000000001 seconds)

It is not as if the 2nd amendment places any limitation on the type of arms, does it?

(of course the saner interpretation of the 2nd amendment would be that it enshrines the right of the people to form an organised militia with a command structure that can be held accountable, and that those militia can store a weapons cache for their members should the need arise to defend themselves).

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By louiss123, April 15, 2012 at 9:45 pm Link to this comment

What a hyperbolic(stupid)article.

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By mrfreeze, April 15, 2012 at 8:33 pm Link to this comment

We Americans have an incredibly high tolerance for carnage and death. It’s in our historical and cultural DNA. It’s something that’s not going to change. The 2nd Amendment has pretty much been upheld by the SCOTUS so that the carnage and death can continue. This is why raging against the NRA only fuels their paranoia and, yes, greed (because the gun industry is big business). They LOVE it when the Brady folks say anything about gun control…it sends huge amounts of money into its Coffers.

What to do? Duck and cover…...........or pretend you’re Clint Eastwood and get yourself a gun. YeeeeeeeHaaaaaaaa….

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