Archive for Sunday, May 27, 2012

National group seeks repeal of ‘Stand Your Ground’ law in Kansas

May 27, 2012

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— A national coalition will push for repeal of a Kansas law that is similar to one at the center of controversy in the slaying of a Florida teen.

The Second Chance on Shoot First campaign seeks to repeal or reform so-called “Stand Your Ground” laws that give people the authority to defend themselves using lethal force if they have a reasonable fear of death or serious harm.

The law has come under scrutiny after the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. Martin was shot and killed during a confrontation with George Zimmerman. Zimmerman has claimed self-defense. He has been charged with second-degree murder.

Twenty-six states, including Kansas, have such laws.

“Trayvon Martin’s killing in Florida has focused public attention on the consequences of these reckless laws,” said Ginny Simmons, director of the Second Chance on Shoot First campaign.

“People carrying guns now feel emboldened to resolve conflicts with firearms even if they could safely walk away, and police and prosecutors are uncertain about which shootings may be instances of legitimate self-defense and which are murders,” Simmons said.

Simmons said that in Florida, the number of “justifiable homicides” have tripled since enactment of the law.

Second Chance on Shoot First campaign has sent letters to all Kansas legislators, urging them to repeal or reform the law.

The Second Chance on Shoot First campaign partners include the NAACP, National Urban League, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, ColorOfChange, National Action Network, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil and Human Rights and VoteVets.

Comments

optimist 3 years, 1 month ago

Justified shootings have tripled in Florida... This is evidence that this is bad law? How many of those people would have been victimized by crime if not for their defending themselves without fear of prosecution? Dhow us all of the stats! The Treyvon Martin case seems to look more and more like the authorities got it right in the first place. Politics, not the facts are now going after the victim who appears ad though he was defending himself. This has become a modern day racist lynching. The one aspect that I agree with is that Zimmerman should not have put himself in a position to confront Martin directly. That being said there is no indication that Zimmerman did anything to threaten Martin consequently it appears Martin violently attached Zimmerman. Would Zimmerman be the one in the ground had he not defended himself? If we can't answer that how do we expect Zimmerman, a man being beating brutily by an attacker to doubt his life was at stake?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 1 month ago

"The Treyvon Martin case seems to look more and more like the authorities got it right in the first place."

Only to people who think that Zimmerman's stalking of an innocent kid isn't what instigated the confrontation.

Liberty275 3 years, 1 month ago

When I was 17, it would have been physically impossible for a fat 40 year old to stalk me.

Also, it's looking more and more like Martin instigated the assault on an American citizen who had every right to be out walking on the street. Do you think Treyvon Martin is the only person that has the right to walk on a street at night?

funkdog1 3 years, 1 month ago

When I was 17, it would have been physically impossible for a fat 40 year old to stalk me.

Okay, first off, I don't know what that means. Secondly, George Zimmerman was not "walking on the street" at night. He was cruising the neighborhood in a car. I don't know why so many people seem to forget this. He had a gun and access to a vehicle which the kid did not. All he had to do was get in his car and drive away. He clearly chose to do something else.

Liberty275 3 years, 1 month ago

"Okay, first off, I don't know what that means. "

Have you been 17 and 40? At 17 I could run 6 minute miles. At 40, I couldn't even think about moving that fast.

"Secondly, George Zimmerman was not "walking on the street" at night."

Then how do you explain the witnesses that saw the teenager beating him? Were they both in the car? Were the windows down and the was the radio on?

"He was cruising the neighborhood in a car."

He was? OMG, what is the world coming to when people cruise their own neighborhoods in their own cars? The nerve of some people, thinking they can drive at night.

"I don't know why so many people seem to forget this."

Nobody forgets it, they just don't think people should be prevented from leaving their homes at night.

"He had a gun and access to a vehicle which the kid did not."

I have access to both as well. Does that mean I can't drive around my neighborhood at night?

"ll he had to do was get in his car and drive away."

He was walking to his car when the teenager confronted him. Had the young man not confronted him, the old fat guy would have gotten in his car and drove away.

"He clearly chose to do something else."

Martin made the decision when he confronted Zimmerman. As teenagers are prone to do, he made the wrong one.

Liberty275 3 years, 1 month ago

Ok, even 30 and 180. At 17 I could have smoked him.

If you assume the younger man was more athletic, and did not leave, the best you can hope for is that two individuals lawfully utilized the Florida law making both innocent in the eyes of the law and, unfortunately, the less prepared one dead.

Given that, it is a tragedy that a young man is dead, but the law isn't judging Martin, it is judging Zimmerman. Both were innocent before, and both remain innocent now. Is that not logical?

Now you may argue it is a bad law, but this is a bad representation of how the law is used being exploited for ideology. I won't say whether that is right of wrong, people can say what they want, but you should take it into account when you read about it in the news.

In the end you have to trust the case to the legal process, but even I slip up now and take a side. I'm getting better at not picking sides.

funkdog1 3 years, 1 month ago

"Then how do you explain the witnesses that saw the teenager beating him? Were they both in the car? Were the windows down and the was the radio on?"

I explain that with the facts: Zimmerman saw someone whom he thought was a "bad guy" and instead of staying in his car on the phone with the police--as the dispatcher asked him to do--he chose to get out of his car and confront the person he perceived as "bad". The only rational person who goes toward danger, real or perceived, is a cop or a soldier, unless it's someone who's trying to help another person in distress, and in this case, no one was in immedate danger.

"I have access to both as well. Does that mean I can't drive around my neighborhood at night?"

Yeah, so do I, but I don't go crusing around my neighborhood terrorizing teenagers.

Yes, Zimmerman is innocent until proven guilty. But only one party has documented run-ins with the police and a dad who used to be a judge, and seeing as how he's the only one left alive in this scenario, I find it hard to place all of the blame on the dead kid.

KSWingman 3 years, 1 month ago

"I explain that with the facts: Zimmerman saw someone whom he thought was a "bad guy" and instead of staying in his car on the phone with the police--as the dispatcher asked him to do--he chose to get out of his car and confront the person he perceived as "bad". "

You got your "facts" wrong. Go back, review what is known from unbiased sources, and try again.

Steve Jacob 3 years, 1 month ago

The "innocent kid" became a bit of a grey area when he had pot in his system. You say it does not matter, but believe me, it's a big deal in court.

MasterWildfire 3 years, 1 month ago

bozo there's a few points the Race Pimps looking for a pay-day off the Martin family's grief, and the media looking to sell ad space want to gloss over.

How was Zimmerman, who was out of breath talking to 911 after hurrying a distance I could have back-peddled, able to overtake the athletic, football and basketball playing Martin, who also had a good head start and had gotten out of Zimmerman's sight and with only 300 FEET from Brandy Green's apartment where he was staying . . . without Martin's "help"? (Read: "ambush")

People who are interested in seeing justice served, and not simply wanting to see a "White man" lynched, for the crime of saving his own life from a Black assailant's violent attack, have taken the time to see if Zimmerman stalked Martin.

FLORIDA Section 784.048. STALKING; DEFINITIONS; PENALTIES. 1)(a) "Harass" means to engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that causes substantial emotional distress in such person and serves no legitimate purpose. (Emphasis mine)

I believe most would consider keeping a visual on a suspicious person while waiting for the police to eventually showed up, in an area that had experienced a number of recent break-ins: a "legitimate purpose". I know I do.

And before you go off on a rant about "Zimmerman is a RACIST!" Zimmerman may be a racist, Zimmerman may be a cop-wanna-be, Zimmerman may be a dirtbag, Zimmerman may be a "Glory Hound" . . . that is all IRRELEVANT, all that matters is if Zimmerman acted in accordance with the LAW that night. All that matters: Was Zimmerman engaged in an unlawful activity? No. Was Zimmerman attacked in a place he had a right to be? Yes. When Zimmerman was on his back, being punched in the face as he screamed for help-with no help apparently coming; did he reasonably believes he was at risk of death or great bodily harm to himself? YES!

Read the law: 776.013 (3) A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

If Martin had so overwhelmed YOU that he had knocked YOU down, YOU were on YOUR back and were reduced to screaming for help, while being punched in the face by Trayvon, and EACH BLOW rendering you less and less able to defend yourself: Would YOU have let Trayvon beat YOU to death? Or would YOU have shot Trayvon too? What if Trayvon had been WHITE, THEN would YOU have shot him?

I do find it ironic, a month before his death, Martin would probably have kicked your a$$, for "dissin'" him, by calling him a "kid".

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

Once he was told by the dispatcher that they didn't need him to continue following Martin, it loses the "legitimate purpose", in my mind, when he continues doing so.

The rest of your comment is really almost entirely speculation - we don't know what actually happened, and may never know, which is unfortunate.

Your biases are showing as much as those who assume Martin did nothing wrong at all.

Liberty275 3 years, 1 month ago

"Once he was told by the dispatcher that they didn't need him to continue following Martin"

Is it against the law to ignore a 911 dispatcher? I don't know for sure, but I'm under the impression they have the same authority as the plump woman in line behind you at Walmart. IOW, none.

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

Not as far as I know.

But, if the police say they don't need him to do it, that's enough for me to conclude that it wasn't necessary or legitimate for him to continue.

Private citizens aren't really supposed to act like the police, even if it's not illegal, are they?

That's why we have police - that's their job.

MasterWildfire 3 years, 1 month ago

You state: "Once he was told by the dispatcher that they didn't need him to continue following Martin, it loses the "legitimate purpose", in my mind, when he continues doing so."

It doesn't to me. Most don't realize that the dispatcher HAS NO LEGAL AUTHORITY, and because by the time the police eventually showed up 20-30 minutes later to this very low priority call; IF Martin was the one doing the break-ins, he could have done the break-in and left, long before the police even arrived.

You state: "The rest of your comment is really almost entirely speculation - we don't know what actually happened, and may never know, which is unfortunate."

Posting State law, and how the KNOWN FACTS fit the law, is hardly "speculation". What you refuse to understand, is that your own statement SUPPORTS my post: "we don't know what actually happened, and may never know, which is unfortunate." Actually means: "Zimmerman is innocent." (To convict Zimmerman, the prosecutor must PROVE Zimmerman violated the law. "We don't know . . . " means Not Guilty.)

You state: "Your biases are showing as much as those who assume Martin did nothing wrong at all."

Your ignorance does not a fact make. By the LAW, "we don't know" means "We can't PROVE an illegal act". Can't PROVE and illegal act, means "No Guilty". Not guilty means INNOCENT. No, I'm not showing bias. I'm just not showing abjectly stupid.

You didn't answer: If Martin had so overwhelmed YOU that he had knocked YOU down, YOU were on YOUR back and were reduced to screaming for help, while being punched in the face by Trayvon, and each blow rendering you less and less able to defend yourself: Would YOU have let Trayvon beat YOU to death? Or would YOU have shot Trayvon too? What if Trayvon had been white, then would YOU have shot him?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 1 month ago

You can go on as breathlessly and at length as you like, but the kid wasn't doing anything wrong, Zimmerman was most definitely stalking him, which incited the altercation, and Zimmerman put himself in a position in which he felt he needed kill the kid to save his own life.

Does that mean that Martin didn't do anything to escalate the situation? No. But Zimmerman instigated it, pure and simple, and he should be prosecuted accordingly-- probably somewhere between involuntary manslaughter and second-degree murder. But that's just a guess by someone who won't be weighing the evidence presented at trial.

MasterWildfire 3 years, 1 month ago

You state: "You can go on as breathlessly and at length as you like, but the kid wasn't doing anything wrong,"

You are wrong. In every state in the union (There is only FIFTY), punching someone in the face for no just cause is a crime. Exiting one's vehicle nor "Same direction of travel" is a crime in Florida.

You state: "Zimmerman was most definitely stalking him,"

I've posted the law. You are wrong.

You state: "which incited the altercation, and Zimmerman put himself in a position in which he felt he needed kill the kid to save his own life."

Zimmerman violated no law, thus he WAS UNDER NO LEGAL OBLIGATION to allow Martin to beat him to death.

You state: "But Zimmerman instigated it, pure and simple, and he should be prosecuted accordingly-- probably somewhere between involuntary manslaughter and second-degree murder. But that's just a guess by someone who won't be weighing the evidence presented at trial."

Do you even realize, that you have not given a single example of ANY LAW Zimmerman violated? If Zimmerman violated no law: It was self-defense.

You didn't answer: If Martin had so overwhelmed YOU that he had knocked YOU down, YOU were on YOUR back and were reduced to screaming for help, while being punched in the face by Trayvon, and each blow rendering you less and less able to defend yourself: Would YOU have let Trayvon beat YOU to death? Or would YOU have shot Trayvon too? What if Trayvon had been white, then would YOU have shot him?

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

Lawyers involved in the case disagree with you, and find that the question of who instigated the confrontation is an important legal question regarding the self-defense claim.

And, again, the only way any of us would find ourselves in this situation is if we were following "suspicious" people around, armed, even after being told it was unnecessary by the police.

Here's an idea - don't do that, if you don't want to wind up in this sort of situation.

MasterWildfire 3 years, 1 month ago

Are those lawyers comment in a court, other than the court of public opinion? No? Then they can say anything they please, Can't they?

You state: "And, again, the only way any of us would find ourselves in this situation is if we were following "suspicious" people around, armed, even after being told it was unnecessary by the police."

The person who told Zimmerman that following wasn't necessary, had the same legal authority as a baglady. But if Zimmerman had NOT been armed, he would have most likely been dead today.

I understand your point. So if I see one of your loved one under violent attack . . . look the other way and mind my own business. Got it!

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

Of course not.

Martin wasn't attacking anybody, though, he was just walking down the street, minding his own business.

What an odd thing to say about violent attacks, since nothing of the sort was happening.

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

Also, I consider their opinions about legal issues to carry a little bit more weight than yours, since they're lawyers.

So, when they say that it's important, from a legal standpoint, whether or not Zimmerman instigated the confrontation, and you say it isn't important, I'm going with them on that.

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

Not knowing doesn't support your view at all - you think you know what happened, and that Martin was in the wrong, and that Zimmerman was justified.

I don't know who initiated the confrontation, and how it played out - I only know there was one, and Martin is dead.

Your use of personal insults undermines your arguments, and makes you somebody I'm not inclined to discuss things with - it's also a violation of the TOS on this site.

I would never be in the situation Zimmerman was in, because I would never follow somebody after a police dispatcher told me they didn't need me to do so.

I would also probably never be in the situation Martin was in, since I'm white, and unlikely to look suspicious to the vast majority of people in this country.

MasterWildfire 3 years, 1 month ago

There was no "personal insults" that I'm aware of. Yes, "not knowing" indeed supports my post.

Let's put it in another setting: I report my car stolen and jafs said he was going to steal it after he drove it the week before. If the police found that . . . you'd never even HEARD of me, and most importantly, they were unable to prove that you violated any LAW. Even if you indeed STOLE my car; but they couldn't PROVE that you did: Not KNOWING would find you INNOCENT.

There may be more to prevent you being in Martin's shoes as well than just being White. Hmmm, how many times in the last year were you suspended from school for having: illegal drugs? Burglary tools? Unaccounted for women's jewelry? What? NEVER? Hmmm, there may be more differences than just color after all.

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

You're mixing up two things here - whether or not Zimmerman acted correctly, and whether or not he will be convicted in a trial.

In trials, there is a burden of proof on the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt - if they can't meet that burden, they will lose the case.

That doesn't mean, of course, that the person is innocent, as you even mention in your post.

So, let's say that Zimmerman is acquitted, due to the prosecution's inability to prove their case, but in fact was in the wrong - is that some sort of triumph of our system?

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

I'd very much like to see your source for those claims about Martin - the only thing I've read from a credible source is that he was suspended for having an empty baggie of the sort often used for marijuana.

And, he had THC in his system when he was killed.

Is marijuana use now one of the things you find punishable by death, without a trial?

It's interesting that you strongly defend Zimmerman's right to a trial, at which the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he's guilty, but have concluded without anything of the sort that Martin was guilty - seems like a bit of a double standard to me.

And, of course, Zimmerman didn't know anything about any of that when he followed Martin - all he knew was that he was a black kid with a hoodie walking down the street.

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

Also, I don't carry a gun around, so I'm not going to shoot anybody.

MasterWildfire 3 years, 1 month ago

GOOD FOR YOU! If Zimmerman had followed your lead, he would not be facing charges today! . . . he would have been just another unsolved murder in a mixed race neighborhood.

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

Are you really not understanding my posts, or just not taking the time/energy to try?

If Zimmerman had followed "my lead", he wouldn't have been following Martin in the first place - he would have called the police and let them handle it.

They would have arrived, checked out the situation, most likely concluded that Martin was doing nothing wrong or illegal, and left.

Martin would be alive, Zimmerman wouldn't be on trial, and everything would be fine.

gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 1 month ago

Groups like these never care for intellectually honest statistical work. It is much easier to throw out emotional rhetoric.

RL 3 years, 1 month ago

....Took the words right out of my mouth

Fossick 3 years, 1 month ago

Great time for a push - now that the legislature is out of session. Is any more evidence needed that this 'coalition' was assembled for the benefit of the press rather than for actual lobbying?

Stand Your Ground is good law - there is absolutely no doubt that any man or woman has a right to defend himself, even if that takes lethal force. Whether and to what extent it even applies in that loud, unimportant Florida case is unknown and therefore immaterial.

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

I disagree.

People have the right to defend themselves, of course, and that right already exists and is protected by the law, without SYG laws.

What these do is to lower the threshold for deadly force, so that even if you can simply run away, you're justified in killing somebody. That seems like a bad idea to me.

I'd rather that deadly force be used only when truly necessary.

Since the defendant in the Florida case is using the SYG law as a defense, it's clearly relevant to that case.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 1 month ago

"even if you can simply run away" - running away, as I see it for me anyway involves two problems.
First, running away means I'm turning my back to the other person. I'd rather be looking at what's happening so I might better protect myself.
Second, at my age, I'd be running at half the speed I used to run and for a quarter of the distance.
Bottom line, running away involves some risk and is a strategy designed for someone who is young and in good shape. What would you suggest as an alternate strategy for someone like me?

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

I just used that as an example.

Current self-defense laws build in the possibility of getting out of the dangerous situation, while the SYG laws remove those. So, even if somebody could relatively easily get out of the danger, the SYG laws allow them to kill somebody.

Do you think that's a good idea?

Calling 911, using pepper spray, going into a business, kicking somebody in the b***s, etc. are all other options that don't require deadly force.

And, I'm sure there are others - don't you think it's a good idea to reserve killing for when it's really necessary to defend oneself?

jhawkinsf 3 years, 1 month ago

Some of those suggestions are good. A couple are very bad. But it just goes to show that in the heat of the moment, good and bad decisions are quite possible. I studied martial arts many years ago. Kicking a guy in the b***s is rarely a good idea. It's a small target and a miss is much more likely than a disabling hit. Even a glancing blow, though painful, is not disabling. What it does do is begin the physical confrontation, and you with one leg up in the air. I wouldn't suggest it. Pepper spray is not legal in some places and requires it to be very handy. So does the use of a phone. If a business is open and available, or any other place of public, that would be great, but like I said earlier, it might require turning your back on the other person.
Each situation probably needs to be evaluated independently. I doubt any one strategy would be best in all situations.

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

I notice you didn't answer any of my questions.

Studying martial arts is also a good option.

All of which are better than indiscriminate killing that isn't necessary, in my opinion.

Which these SYG laws will increase.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 1 month ago

I don't know, Jafs. You say deaths will increase but without having any first hand info., I see Fossick's claim that in the 5 years Kansas has had the law, there has been no increase. And I see the stats. above from Did I Say That that indicate large increases in deaths by both police and the public, indicating to me that something else might be in play. I'm not a big fan of these stand your ground laws. But I also realize that we're living in a very violent society where all too frequently, the criminals have more firepower than the police, much less by the public. The stand your ground laws may be described as a leveling of the playing field between criminal and victim when the playing field should favor the non-criminal all the time.

Fossick 3 years, 1 month ago

"Do you think that's a good idea?"

Do I think it's a good idea that they can use force in self-defense with no legal obligation to retreat? Yes, I happen to believe that self-defense (or defense of others) is nearly the only legitimate use of force. I'm weasel-wording that on purpose, as there are conceivably other moral uses of force, though none come to mind. I, and most people, would probably retreat first. But I do not believe they have a legal obligation to do so.

"don't you think it's a good idea to reserve killing for when it's really necessary to defend oneself?"

Absolutely, but I also believe it's up to the person being attacked to decide when it's really necessary to defend themselves and to what extent. I don't see a lot of people walking around with concealed carry permits hoping that someone will threaten them and give them a chance to kill.

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

The context of my question was, when there are relatively easy ways to get out of danger without killing somebody, making laws that make it acceptable to kill instead.

People are terribly bad at judging danger clearly, especially when they're threatened. Leaving the judgement to individuals without any sort of legal guidelines seems like a mistake to me.

See Liberty's post on the subject.

Fossick 3 years, 1 month ago

"The context of my question was, when there are relatively easy ways to get out of danger without killing somebody, making laws that make it acceptable to kill instead."

I understand that, but the question in the dark parking lot is, "who is going to make the 'relatively easy' determination?" If it's the 4' 11" 90-year-old woman being attacked, then SYG laws are solid. But if she has a legal obligation to perform certain acts - e.g. retreat or call 911 - before exercising what you have already noted is a legitimate right, then it's a different story altogether.

Most people will choose to get out of danger. I would choose to get out of danger first. But I do not believe that victims have a legal obligation to do so.

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

Actually, most self defense laws impose exactly that sort of obligation - people are allowed, legally, to use force when it's "necessary" to defend themselves, and, they're allowed to use as much force as is necessary, but not more than that.

The SYG laws, by removing that obligation, make it much more likely that we'll see more killing, whether it's necessary or not.

I think that's unfortunate, and not a good thing, especially when there are many frustrated, angry people out there, as is currently the case.

Fossick 3 years, 1 month ago

"they're allowed to use as much force as is necessary, but not more than that."

Who should be the final determiner of how much force is necessary, the courts, the legislature, the cops, or the victim?

It has to be one, and our laws should flow from our answer.

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

That's a good, and difficult question.

But victims, who are often in the midst of "fight or flight" responses, may not be the best answer.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 1 month ago

Let me ask you a question, Jafs. Suppose you are confronted with a life and death situation. In one scenario, you have 10 minutes to decide what to do about it. In another scenario, you have less than 1 second to decide. In which scenario will you most likely be making a better decision? Of course, most probably, it's the former rather than the latter.
However, if someone forces you into the latter scenario, someone else forces you into making that split second decision, wouldn't you say that the person who put you in that bad circumstance deserves some of the responsibility should a bad decision be the result. Maybe that person deserves most of the responsibility of you making the bad decision. In this case, I think that's your argument, in a nutshell. Even if Martin had attacked Zimmerman, it was because Zimmerman's actions forced Martin into a split second decision, and even if it was a bad decision, it was Zimmerman who forced the issue. And I would agree "if" that's the way it played out. However, "if" Zimmerman had broken off the following activity as directed by the police and was walking away from any potential confrontation, and "if" it was Martin who then turned to confront Zimmerman, then it was Martin who forced Zimmerman into the split second decision. That is the story Zimmerman is now telling and it is the story a jury should evaluate. But the bottom line, in my opinion is that if a victim/potential victim is placed in a very difficult position, that the person placing them in that position bears some/most/maybe all of the responsibility for the bad decision.

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

The problem, of course, is that it's hard to make those judgements well, and accurately, when one feels threatened.

If somebody asks you for a handout, and you feel threatened, should you be able to shoot and kill them, claiming self defense?

And, then put the responsibility/blame on them, for forcing you to do that?

Again, the jury doesn't have Martin's story, because he's dead.

So, how can we accurately evaluate what really happened, with only one side of the story?

MasterWildfire 3 years, 1 month ago

You state: "So, how can we accurately evaluate what really happened, with only one side of the story?"

With reason, logic and the physical evidence. What law did Zimmerman violate with his actions?

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

Since we don't know what actually happened, I can't answer your question.

But, you also can't answer with any certainty that Martin broke any laws.

What we now know is that Zimmerman continued to follow Martin, after being told by a police dispatcher that he didn't need to do so, some sort of confrontation occurred, and Zimmerman shot and killed Martin.

MasterWildfire 3 years, 1 month ago

I believe if you actually read the actual law, you'd find that you are wrong on most of your negative points.

DeckDoctors 3 years, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

MasterWildfire 3 years, 1 month ago

I feel that every violent criminal that dies in the commission of their crime; makes society just a little bit safer and just a little bit BETTER.

So no, I do NOT feel that killing an attacker is a bad thing. I'd consider it a community service.

Criminals don't want to get shot? OBEY THE LAW!

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

Thanks for your honesty.

So much for "reasonable self defense" then.

If somebody pushes you, just shoot and kill them - great !

Your attitude, and it's shared by many, apparently, is exactly why I don't support changing our self defense laws to make it easier for people to kill others, even if it's not necessary.

MasterWildfire 3 years, 1 month ago

I'm afraid that the statistics don't support your emotion based concerns.

Do you have ANYTHING factual that supports your claims? Anything at all?

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

What claims?

You're the one who said you think it's fine to kill people, even if they're not posing a threat to your life.

I find that problematic, and would like for our laws not to support that sort of activity.

Liberty275 3 years, 1 month ago

Running from people that intend on attacking you empowers criminals. Lots of Americans are fed up with living in fear and running away.

Don't poke the bear.

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

So, anytime anybody threatens you in any way, you'll just shoot and kill them instead?

Not the kind of society I'd like to live in, personally.

Fossick 3 years, 1 month ago

But what kind of society do you live in? We've had SYG in Kansas for more than 5 years. Why haven't all these horrible predictions come to pass?

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

Well, we'll see what happens if Zimmerman wins his case.

By the way, CC holders are permitted to use deadly force, but only if there are no other viable options.

Perhaps that's why we haven't seen more of this sort of tragedy involving them.

Fossick 3 years, 1 month ago

"By the way, CC holders are permitted to use deadly force, but only if there are no other viable options."

Yeah, I know, I am one. Which is why the comments like Woodscolt's "Every time you get into a disagreement with someone your concealed weapon is what your going to solve the matter with" make me laugh so hard. CC holders, especially in public, are among the least likely to need the law's protection, IMO. But if one finds guns scary, there is no limit to the nightmares one can conjure up.

Liberty275 3 years, 1 month ago

Generally, people don't threaten me. If they did and I thought they had the intention and means to injure me, I'd do whatever I could to stop them.

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

And, therein lies the problem.

"If...I thought..."

And, "whatever I could"

Self defense laws generally allow for responses that are necessary and reasonable, given the level of the threat.

SYG laws allow more than that, apparently, and don't take into account whether or not the fear was a reasonable one.

Liberty275 3 years, 1 month ago

"If...I thought..."

If due process finds I acted wrongly, I will go to prison. I know that and that constrains my actions. I don't want to hurt any animal, but I won't (can't because of a bad knee) run away.

If I'm found guilty, I'll accept the punishment..

MasterWildfire 3 years, 1 month ago

Hmmm, sounds like a society where the people are polite.

"An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life." -by Robert A. Heinlein

optimist 3 years, 1 month ago

Before Stand Your Ground people feared defending themselves out of fear of legal consequence and justifiably so. Often those people were burdened with defending their actions to a prosecutor. If after the fact it was determined that the person could have retreated they could be charged and convicted. There was no guarantee that their state of mind in the moment would be taken into consideration and they weren't necessarily given the benefit of the doubt. This law does just that. If you don't want to be shot don't put another person in fear. That should be easy.

woodscolt 3 years, 1 month ago

".....Is any more evidence needed that this 'coalition' was assembled for the benefit of the press...."fssk

While we would undoubtably be better of if this legislature never reconvened, it may be that the "coalition" anticipates that they will.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 1 month ago

Sometimes roles reverse themselves and sometimes the do so very quickly. If someone did break in to your house, you would certainly be justified in shooting that person. But if they had left your house, say they were in your front yard running away, you would not be justified in shooting. How about if they were still in the house, but just stepping out the door, could you shoot still? The problem with those that criticize Zimmerman is that we don't know for certain whether he did or did not follow police instructions and break off his following behavior. If he did in fact do that, and Martin turned to confront Zimmerman, perhaps even assaulting him, then the stalker had become the prey. It seems that these issues should be decided by a jury who will hear both sides and make a reasoned verdict. Hopefully.

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

No, if they're leaving the house and thus you're in no danger, you're not legally allowed to kill them in self-defense, which makes sense.

It would be possible to hear "both sides" if and only if Martin was still alive, which isn't the case, of course.

Part of the problem with the SYG laws are exactly this - once the other person is dead, they can't tell what happened from their point of view.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 1 month ago

Certainly you're not suggesting that because Martin is dead, that a trial shouldn't happen. Whatever the problems with a trial, it's still the best option, yes?

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

Of course not.

I'm suggesting that we won't get to "hear both sides" as you commented, because one of the people involved is dead.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 1 month ago

We have that problem with every trial where one or more people are unable to testify. Yet the trials go on and we have a certain confidence that the correct verdict will be the result.
BTW - With this case in particular, with all the pre-trial publicity and with the passions involved anytime race is an issue, it could be equally argued that Zimmerman may well not be able to get a fair trial. But a trial he will get. And as he is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, it's his rights we should be most concerned with, correct? Where is the outrage that Zimmerman may well be the victim in this prosecution? (Not that I really believe that, I'm playing a bit of devil's advocate. But that concern should not be forgotten, along with the concern that Martin's voice will not be heard. They are both concerns for society as the trial moves forward).

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

However, these laws will increase the number of dead people who don't get to tell "their side" of the story.

Funny devil's advocate move - I'm more concerned with keeping people alive in the first place, of course.

But, I know you have a different view when crime is concerned - you're a "law and order" guy.

Zimmerman's alive, Martin's dead - if the killing isn't really justified, it can't be remedied now no matter what we do.

That's a bigger problem than not being able to get a fair trial, isn't it? Although I agree that's also a concern, of course.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 1 month ago

"And as he is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, "

Yes and no. He's admitted to both stalking the kid, and then killing him.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 1 month ago

He could admit that he's the king of France for all the good that does. If, when brought before a judge, he pleads not guilty, which he has done, then it's the state's burden to prove he did the things which he is accused of doing, beyond a reasonable doubt.
BTW - How you or I might define stalking and/or killing might not be how he understands the word and the legal system might have still a different understanding. In fact, the legal system might have several meanings (first degree, second degree, manslaughter, justifiable homicide, etc.). What he admitted to is up to the legal system to decide.

Liberty275 3 years, 1 month ago

We will hear both sides. We will hear The State of Florida vs Zimmerman. Those are the only two sides in the criminal trial. While we may not hear evidence from Martin, we will certainly hear evidence by witnesses that is more accurate than any story the victim or the the defendant could tell. Zimmerman will plead the 5th if he's innocent, so his side will not be relevant and the jury will have to decide the case on physical evidence and witness testimony.

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

That's not what jhf meant, I believe.

And, whether witness testimony will be accurate is questionable, given that several witnesses have now changed their stories from the time they were originally interviewed.

Why would he plead the 5th if innocent? Most people who do that do so because they're afraid their testimony will hurt them.

And, I know that juries are instructed not to think of it that way, but I bet that most will - it's hard not to.

Liberty275 3 years, 1 month ago

"And, whether witness testimony will be accurate is questionable"

That's for the jury to decide.

"Why would he plead the 5th if innocent?"

Anything you say can and will be held against you in court. Anything. Prosecutors will twist every word just as would expect a good defense attorney.

Words you don't say can't be twisted.

"Most people who do that do so because they're afraid their testimony will hurt them."

At trial, it is NEVER the defendant's burden to prove his innocence, therefore he should never have anything to say a word. If the prosecutor wants to prove something, the defendant does not have to help him, ever.

OTOH, every unaccused witness can be compelled to testify under oath, and both sides will have adequate opportunity to ensure said is examined thoroughly.

"Most people who do that do so because they're afraid their testimony will hurt them."

Most don't because they listen to their attorney. I know of one person that won't because he has the right not to. No other reason is required.

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

Of course it's up to the jury, but I've been following the case, and when witnesses change their stories, it makes it difficult to know what really happened, don't you think?

I understand and agree that anybody has the right to say nothing.

But, the wording of the 5th amendment claim involves "because I may incriminate myself" - people who haven't done anything wrong aren't generally afraid of incriminating themselves.

That's why, even though instructed not to draw any conclusions from somebody taking the 5th, it's hard for juries not to draw some.

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

Also, I'm not sure, but I would think that a claim of self defense would carry some obligation to show that you were actually in fear for your life, reasonably, at the time you killed the other guy.

I don't think you can just say it, and then challenge the prosecution to prove it wasn't true.

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

And, of course, if Zimmerman says nothing, and Martin is dead, that takes us even further from the "hear both sides" that jhf mentioned.

John Hamm 3 years, 1 month ago

Uber-Liberals always seem to be able to put their own "special" twist to a circumstance. Why not write this reply as the situation actually happened - then we'll see how effective your "argument" actually is........

optimist 3 years, 1 month ago

Zimmerman got out of his vehicle against the advice of a 911 operator (not a police officer) who is obliged to make such a statement to protect the city from liability. The 911 operator didn't stop asking Zimmerman questions about what he was observing after getting out of his vehicle now did she? The evidence seems to support Zimmerman's account of what happened including the fact that he did not confront Martin. He followed and observed Martin because Zimmerman found Martin's behavior out of the ordinary. While I don't think Zimmerman acted wisely in getting out of his vehicle he was well within his right to walk the public streets as much as Martin. By all accounts Martin was the aggressor here because he became aware of Zimmerman following him. There is also reason to believe that Martin attacked Zimmerman as he walked back to his vehicle. I believe this comes from Zimmerman's statement but given that everything else he has said seems to check out it is not unreasonable to think this is true. There is shaping up to be little doubt that Zimmerman was being assaulted at the time and that Martin was atop of him assaulting him when Zimmerman shot him. While Zimmerman's judgment may have been questionable there no indication that it was criminal or he intended to shoot Martin. There is little doubt that Martin meant harm to Zimmerman

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

And yet, assuming everything in your post is accurate (which may not be the case), SYG laws allow Martin if he feels threatened, to use force against Zimmerman.

Geiiga 3 years, 1 month ago

Personally, I impress bandits by being big and scary. Figure if someone pulls a gun on me and I'm unarmed, I might get shot. If someone pulls a gun on me and I have a gun, I will get shot. Then they'll walk because they'll claim I attacked them.

Liberty275 3 years, 1 month ago

Dear Second Chance on Shoot First campaign partners,

Buzz off.

Flap Doodle 3 years, 1 month ago

Criminals want a safer environment in which to practice their chosen profession. Which side are you on?

woodscolt 3 years, 1 month ago

Your "holier than thou" right wing chest beating is exactly why the law should be repealed. You are not going to be rational and use good judgement because by god its your god given right to shoot someone. Just bring em on. Your shoot first ask questions later leaves a dead person on the ground where as in a more civil society their may have been another solution. Every time you get into a disagreement with someone your concealed weapon is what your going to solve the matter with. Not every incident requires deadly force. A bunch of hot headed people with guns. Your attitude is a preconceived notion that causes you to "just be looking for any reason" to blast away instead of considering their may be non deadly course you could have taken. Zimmerman was just looking for a reason to do just that. He could have left or stop pursuing Martin(as the police told him to do) but his god given right to carry a gun and blast away mentality with the support of these laws left a dead person on the ground. Bad attitudes and hatred don't breed good results. There already exists laws that allow deadly force in self defense but these "stand your ground laws" makes it easier to get away with killing someone for those with self righteous mentalities like yours.

Fossick 3 years, 1 month ago

"Every time you get into a disagreement with someone your concealed weapon is what your going to solve the matter with."

SYG has been the law in Kansas since at least 2006. And since 2006, 40,000 Kansans have been issued concealed carry permits (from a source).

So where are the piles of bodies? If this law makes it so easy for Kansans to strew the fruited plains with bloody corpses, where are they?

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

CC permits specify "if there are no other viable options" when using deadly force.

That means if you can just run away, you can't shoot and kill somebody.

So, I guess the folks that will use SYG to kill, even if it's not necessary, would be those without a CC permit.

woodscolt 3 years, 1 month ago

CC permits specify "if there are no other viable options" when using deadly force.

When we are left with a shooter and a corpse that can't talk I guess we just whip this clause out and everything is just business as usual.

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

I think not.

The point there is that it's not ok for CC holders to just shoot people and kill them if they don't have to do so.

So, I imagine that they'd have to justify their killing to somebody in order to keep their permits.

At the very least.

woodscolt 3 years, 1 month ago

"So, I imagine that they'd have to justify their killing to somebody in order to keep their permits."

Oh yeah, there is a corpse laying on the street but, of course, the real issue is whether they can keep their cc permit. brilliant, but true.

woodscolt 3 years, 1 month ago

Simmons said that in Florida, the number of “justifiable homicides” have tripled since enactment of the law.

gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 1 month ago

Yeah... There have been so many shoot outs involving CCH people since the CCH legislation passed. What happened to the Wild West that all the irrational people feared?

DeckDoctors 3 years, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Armstrong 3 years, 1 month ago

Make sure the criminals are aware of their actions - Problem solved

tomatogrower 3 years, 1 month ago

So the woman who was beaten by her ex, in her own home, then she fired a warning shot and got a long sentence should have been acquitted on stand your ground? Do you agree? Why doesn't stand your ground apply to her? Because she's black and a woman? If it's not applied equitably then it needs to go.

Fossick 3 years, 1 month ago

"then she fired a warning shot and got a long sentence should have been acquitted on stand your ground?"

She would have been within her rights to shoot him dead, wound, cripple, fire a warning shot, hit him with a pick axe, or sing show tunes at him, any action she believed she had to take to protect herself from imminent physical harm.

Fossick 3 years, 1 month ago

Aah, found the article. Yes, double yes. She's in her own home, and he approaches saying "I'll kill you." If I'm on the jury, she walks.

That said, there is often more to the story than makes it on a blog post written by supporters of the defendant, so I'll have to reserve judgment, like I do in the Zimmerman case, until the real evidence is in.

However, assuming that the facts are absolutely as the blog states, and let's say she gets legitimately screwed by the judge, jury, and prosecutor. She is denied her rights under SYG. How does this make SYG the problem?

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

So, if you invite somebody into your house, you can't defend yourself if they attack you?

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

Who cares about the restraining order?

If he attacks her, then she has the right to defend herself, doesn't she?

And, trials and the justice system can either be fair or unfair, there's no such thing as "more fair" or "less fair".

Do you have a source for the case? I'd like to read about it, and see what the details are.

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

Thanks for the links.

In the first one, the facts of the case suggest that she didn't in fact need to go get a gun, come back into the house, and shoot in order to defend herself.

I think that the determination that it wasn't necessary to defend herself may be quite reasonable.

The sentencing is problematic, because of mandatory sentencing laws.

You seem much happier for people to be pulling out guns all of the time, whether it's necessary or not, than I am.

MasterWildfire 3 years, 1 month ago

Let me help you understand: If your ex ever came to your home, kicked in the front door, slapped you upside the head, punched you in the mouth, , and you slipped away as he ate that turkey leg you were saving out of the fridge . . . you went to the corner gun shop, picked out a gun, did the paperwork and returned and shot him while the drumstick was still in his mouth. If you were White or Black it wouldn't matter: SYG would NOT protect you.

When the woman in your story LEFT the menace to her safety (that she had begged the judge to LIFT the protection order she had against him, so he could stay with her), armed herself, then returned; this made HER the "dangerous threat".

Had Martin knocked Zimmerman on his A$$, and told him "get out of here! quit watching me!" And Zimmerman had gotten up, went to his car, got his gun and shot Martin: Zimmerman would NOT have been acting in self defense either.

MasterWildfire 3 years, 1 month ago

Let me help you understand: If your ex ever came to your home, kicked in the front door, slapped you upside the head, punched you in the mouth, , and you slipped away as he ate that turkey leg you were saving out of the fridge . . . you went to the corner gun shop, picked out a gun, did the paperwork and returned and shot him while the drumstick was still in his mouth. If you were White or Black it wouldn't matter: SYG would NOT protect you.

When the woman in your story LEFT the menace to her safety (that she had begged the judge to LIFT the protection order she had against him, so he could STAY WITH HER), ARMED HERSELF, then RETURNED; this made HER the "DANGEROUS THREAT".

Had Martin knocked Zimmerman on his A$$, and told him "GET OUT OF HERE! QUIT WATCHING ME!" And Zimmerman had gotten up, went to his car, got his gun and shot Martin: Zimmerman would NOT have been acting in self defense either.

Leslie Swearingen 3 years, 1 month ago

Too often the decision to shoot is an emotional response based on fear which may or may not be justified, but in the moment when the adrenaline is pumping seems very real and very right. I can't see killing to protect property, life yes, but not the tv.

Armored_One 3 years, 1 month ago

It's not a question of Second Amendment rights, but instead a question of law enforcement.

If you have a firearm, why is the first instinct to use it to kill, instead of using it to either incapacitate or back the 'attacker' down, allowing law enforcement to do their job by arresting them, and the court system to decide guilt and/or innocence?

Liberty275 3 years, 1 month ago

"If you have a firearm, why is the first instinct to use it to kill, instead of using it to either incapacitate or back the 'attacker' down"

Never pull a pistol unless you are going to use it and always aim for the center of mass. You should never play chicken with a weapon or assume you can hit anything but the largest target.

Armored_One 3 years, 1 month ago

Aim for center mass and squeeze the trigger until it goes click?

A wonderful philosophy, right up until the person that pulled the trigger takes another breath. Then, you get to deal with the aftermath of taking a life.

There is never a winner in a fight, but at least if you don't aim center mass, both people involved generally get to continue breathing. There are always options, even when the only choice available is violence. Death is entirely too permanent and allows for no change in the attacker.

I'm a big fan of self defense. I'm a bigger fan of not giving the coroner more work.

MasterWildfire 3 years, 1 month ago

You ask: "Aim for center mass and squeeze the trigger until it goes click?"

Goes "click" . . . or the deadly threat backs off or is no longer a threat. I have loved ones, whose lives are worth protecting.

You state: "A wonderful philosophy, right up until the person that pulled the trigger takes another breath. Then, you get to deal with the aftermath of taking a life."

To be honest, it's always proved easier to live killing an aggressor, than dealing with the thought that I did nothing when innocents were assaulted.

You state: "There is never a winner in a fight, but at least if you don't aim center mass, both people involved generally get to continue breathing."

While I can't speak for your experience; but that's not been my experience. And while he apparently held many of your views at one time, I don't believe Dr. William Petit would agree with you TODAY either. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20016551-504083.html

It's called "Priorities". Someone begging money . . . that has a better phone than I DO, they get NOTHING from me. It's not that they don't have money, they chose to use their money unwisely. Someone break into your home, with the intent to do . . . who knows what; feel free to reason with them and "just give 'em what they want", like the Pettits did. Me? Controlled Pair, Center mass: Repeat if necessary.

You state: "There are always options, even when the only choice available is violence."

Sure there is! You are RIGHT! Dr. Petit believed as you suggest; now, he gets to think about his wife and daughters' screams every time he closes his eyes . . . instead of holding them. I could live very easy with having killed those two POS had I been Dr. Petit; Dr. Petit may actually feel relief that the two have the chance to "change".

You state: "Death is entirely too permanent and allows for no change in the attacker."

The assailant has had a whole lifetime to make a "change" in their life, and chose not to. However, every time I've seen a criminal with a long violent history sent "Late to Breakfast in HELL", their friends and family always note: "He was just turnin' his life around!" The criminal going room temperature is a change, I prefer that, to what Dr. Petit's experience.

You state: "I'm a big fan of self defense. I'm a bigger fan of not giving the coroner more work."

I respect your opinion, and I?'d NEVER want a law requiring everyone to be armed. But, I'm a bigger fan of keeping my loved ones safe. And I feel that every criminal sent to HELL during the commission of their crime, make society just a little bit better, and just a little bit SAFER.

"I have a dream! A dream where instead of reading about a cute college coed left dead and naked out in a vacant lot or bloated and floating in a river, the story reads, “dead jack ass found double-tapped and dead on the curb as his soul wings its way to hell, all because he messed with the wrong mama.” -Doug Giles

JackMcKee 3 years, 1 month ago

I'm a well armed moderate. I'm also a lot bigger than most people so few people are willing to mess with me. Which is a good thing. For everyone. Smaller people and women shouldn't have to worry about their safety, though. I support conceal carry and stand your ground laws.

tomatogrower 3 years, 1 month ago

Jack, years ago I saw this little guy messing with 3 big guys, who were really laid back mellow people. But they could only take so much stupidity and threw the guy out of the bar. It was quite comical to watch. Some stupid people think big guys are supposed to be challenged. I'm glad you don't hang around too many stupid people. :>)

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 1 month ago

The biggest problem with such a law is that it actually encourages an instigator of an altercation to escalate it to deadly levels-- dead people tell no tales.

Say someone attacks you, and you pull a gun in order to defend yourself. If your attacker can kill you first, they can claim self defense, because you won't be around to testify otherwise. And this law provides all the cover they need.

MasterWildfire 3 years, 1 month ago

Since the SYG law has been in effect for several years and in several states, and with "justified shootings have been climbing every year" . . . you should be able to give us at least 5 or 10 examples pretty easily. Right?

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 1 month ago

"Stand Your Ground" laws. Where your TV is worth someone else's life.

Armstrong 3 years, 1 month ago

If you're dumb enough to be a thief you should be ready to accept the concequences

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

Seems to me you'd be happier in a different country, one in which they cut off people's hands for stealing.

Or, better yet, execute them.

So much for the "punishment that fits the crime", I guess.

Armstrong 3 years, 1 month ago

Yes those poor misguided criminals,they need someone who will just understand them. That someone can be you

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

No, of course you must be right.

We should just kill them all, regardless of the severity of their crimes.

And, do so without any sort of trial as well.

It would save a lot of money, I think.

MasterWildfire 3 years, 1 month ago

It's really easy: Don't want shot? Don't break-in homes, don't do home invasions, don't try to "jack" cars, don't take "stuff" that's not yours. . . Is that really so hard to understand?

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

Apparently you have a rather brutal world view, in which killing somebody is the right punishment for any crime, violent or otherwise.

It's fortunate that our system isn't set up to support that view, at least not yet.

Given that you seem to be armed, and willing to use that force in a variety of situations, I fear that you will wind up killing somebody, if you haven't already, whether it's really warranted or not.

Then, you can go on trial, and argue your case - that somebody who was stealing your tv deserved to die - I can only hope that there are enough people on that jury who don't think as you do.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 1 month ago

Cait, why do you assume that once a person breaks into your home, the TV is all he is after? I'd be more comfortable making the assumption that the intruder is going to harm the occupant. In fact, given the fact that we don't know and can't know what's going through the mind of the intruder, I'm comfortable allowing the home owner great leeway in making just about any assumption they choose to make. it's their home. It's their family. It's their life in the balance. It seems that reducing their safety to a matter of the value of a TV is a cavalier attitude to have.

Liberty275 3 years, 1 month ago

"Stand Your Ground" laws. Where your TV is worth someone else's life."

I always have assumed your are a female. If a person has broken into your home and you are there, the last thing on your mind should be whether he is going to steal the television.

My apologies if I mistook your gender... it's kind of hard to see you through the screen.

JackMcKee 3 years, 1 month ago

There's an equal chance that Sharia Law will be adopted in Kansas.

Leslie Swearingen 3 years, 1 month ago

In which case you need to fix your tranny. They do go bad from time to time and then if you can't fix it you have to take it into the shop which takes forever. Of course you can decide just to go backwards everywhere but that makes parallel parking a ...

Leslie Swearingen 3 years, 1 month ago

tange, irreversible made me think of reverse, which made me think of a cars transmission which made me think of Roe's comment about the tranny which made me think of when our car went bad and we could only go backwards and we couldn't park but maybe that was because we were laughing so hard. I think the other thing you are referring to is my reference to Kafka's Metamorphasis, I can't spell it. Are the // supposed to make us think of William Gibson or perhaps the book Slant?

Mike Ford 3 years, 1 month ago

seventeen years ago I delivered food in central Topeka. I had one attempted and one successful robbery of me in almost five years of delivering food. I never carried a gun. I realized to work in said environment I accepted risks and acted with calm caution as I worked. I talked a sixteen year old gang pledge out of robbing me at 1243 Western Avenue in the summer of 1993. The gang pledge had a 25 cal. Raven and fired it upward to get my attention before I convinced him I had no money and I left unharmed. I even had a cast on my dominant hand from a basketball accident at the time. No gun needed. I own hunting weapons and I am the son of a gun collector and both of us are Democrats who see through the veiled racism of the NRA and how they play dumb Kansans to vote against their own interests by tying everything to guns, god, and abortion all the while making Kansas seem as dumb as Mississippi and all the other godlican racist states. My first weapon was a stevens 20 gauge shotgun to hunt with at eight years of age and I passed hunters safety at eleven and I don't fall for the armed billy bob nra nonsense. dumb america....don't think...shoot first and let the fox network sort it out.

MasterWildfire 3 years, 1 month ago

I support your Right to hold your racist and homophobic view! (Gun control laws were written to make it safer for the Ku Klux Klan when they raided Black homes and families; harder to lynch someone that is able to shoot back. Ever heard of a gay-bashing . . . where he victim was ARMED? No, bashers like their victims unarmed.)

Were you aware that THE POLICE HAVE NO DUTY TO PROTECT INDIVIDUALS? “Law enforcement agencies and personnel have no duty to protect individuals from the criminal acts of others.” -Lynch vs North Carolina Department of Justice 1989

Leslie Swearingen 3 years, 1 month ago

tuschkahouma smart man and so true what you write. Its like a magic show, divert the people with your right hand which is juggling fear and the idea that sure you may be poor but you got that white skin going for you, and they won't notice what you're doing with your left hand. It's the old divide and conquer.
Seriously can anyone name one bill that went though the Kansas Legislature lately that had nothing to do with guns, god or abortion?

yourworstnightmare 3 years, 1 month ago

Nothing wrong with "Stand Your Ground".

It's "Be Paranoid, Chase Down, Harrass, and Murder Innocent People" that I have a problem with.

Mike Ford 3 years, 1 month ago

really.....let an innocent person be shot and a rentacop wannabe go without being questioned by the person he killed.....

50YearResident 3 years, 1 month ago

So, tuschkahouma, you appointed your self as the Judge, jury, and executioner for Zimmerman's defense. It is written in all of your posts. Tell me why your assesment of the facts is far superior to evryone elses. You have found him guilty........How would you like the same type of trial for yourself? I bet you would very loudly claim prejudice aginst you and your people and shout for a trial to prove your innocents. Yet for Zimmerman there is no need for a trial.

Fossick 3 years, 1 month ago

Jafs: "Perhaps that's why we haven't seen more of this sort of tragedy involving them."

We haven't seen this sort of tragedy involving anyone:

"A spike in justifiable homicides by citizens could be an indicator that stand-your-ground laws were creating a problem, although justifiable homicides wouldn’t necessarily be related to a stand-your-ground incident. Nationally, the recent rate of justifiable homicides by citizens has been fairly steady, climbing about 4 percent annually from 2006 to 2010, according to the FBI. There were 278 such homicides in 2010.

"Only three justifiable homicides by citizens have been worked by Wichita police since the Kansas law took effect in 2006, Stolz said. (from a source) http://www.kansas.com/2012/03/31/2278573/reasonableness-the-key-to-kansas.html

For reference, the number is justifiable homicides nationwide less than the number of black murder victims in Missouri (287, 2008) alone: http://blogs.kansascity.com/crime_scene/homicides_kansas_city/

So which number should the NAACP be concerned about, if they were truly concerned about killing?

As is noted in the article, SYG does not give the right to use excessive force, but reasonable force. It does not give the right to go shooting anyone you want and then claiming self defense. It has not produced any of the calamitous results that opponents prophesied, especially when it passed at the same time as concealed carry. Kansas was supposed to be awash in a sea of blood. Yet here we are, same as it ever was. The law only

"“...cleared up any misconception about whether you did or didn’t need to retreat,” Wichita criminal defense attorney Richard Ney said. “The question was always, ‘Well, what could have they done to retreat?’ Now, if you’re defending yourself, you do not have to retreat.”

But there are still limitations, some of which are misunderstood by the law’s critics, legal experts say.

“The confusion is that people are thinking this allows you to use excessive force,” said Charles O’Hara, a criminal defense lawyer in Wichita. “They’re acting like the law lets you go hunt someone down and shoot them, and that’s not true.” (from the same source)

I would opine that, given the low actual numbers of justifiable homicide/SYG killings in Kansas, the only people thinking this allows you to use excessive force are those who oppose the law for other reasons.

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

So, I'm curious.

With CC regulations stating the need to exhaust "all other viable options", and the SYG laws removing the obligation to retreat if you can, what happens?

Will somebody with a CC permit lose their permit but win their trial if they kill somebody when they could have run away?

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

Nope.

I just prefer to reduce unnecessary violence and killing.

Apparently you prefer to increase those.

And, what makes those laws unconstitutional exactly?

Are CC regulations also unconstitutional, since they specify the obligation to exhaust all other viable options before killing somebody?

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

What victim are you talking about?

If you mean Zimmerman, then he provoked a response by following somebody, even though he's not a policeman, and was armed with a gun.

I asked what makes them unconstitutional - just because something isn't specified in the constitution, that doesn't mean that it's unconstitutional to require it.

What specific constitutional right(s) do those laws violate, in your view?

I never implied any such thing - I asked if you thought that CC regulations were also unconstitutional, since they require permit holders to exhaust other options before killing.

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

I'm sorry, but you're just not answering the question at all.

The 5th amendment provides a constitutional right against self-incrimination, so laws requiring people to incriminate themselves would clearly be unconstitutional.

That obviously doesn't mean that felons can just own guns illegally and not face consequences for that if they're caught doing so.

I'm not going to get into a long discussion about CC holders, but you're wrong if you interpret my comments as being hostile to them, as you seem to do.

I ask again, are the CC regulations unconstitutional, when they require CC holders to exhaust all other options before killing somebody?

pace 3 years, 1 month ago

Calling them justified is a change in language. I would not would prefer to shoot someone if I could avoid it. Stand your ground points to another choice. Florida has also reduced their death of children's count by changing the words. Just as many children are dead, but Florida doesn't have to admit it. http://now.msn.com/now/0527-child-neglect-Florida.aspx

yourworstnightmare 3 years, 1 month ago

Stand you ground laws are basically ideological hat tips to the tea party right wing of the GOP. They are based more in ideology than in need. There was clearly no need for them, as detailed by Fossick, and they were passed just to make tea party right wingers feel good.

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

Well, that's an interesting case.

The easiest way to have avoided this problem would have been not to race the other guy in the first place, which was a stupid thing to do.

And, it's a little disturbing to me that the proposed legislation makes it ok to use force based on a perception, even if that turns out later not to be true.

So, all I have to do is say that I perceived a threat, even if there was actually no threat - hmm.

He could have driven away, instead of confronting them with a gun, couldn't he? Why wouldn't that have been a better thing to do?

And, what's so wrong about taking the case to a jury, who can decide if he was justified or not? In this case, they acquitted him, in fact.

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

That's not my reading of the case, and I didn't say I agreed that he should have lost all of their money, or their house, job, etc. The people who came at him were unarmed by my reading, and he took out his gun and shot them - there's a reasonable question of whether or not that was necessary to defend himself.

And, nope.

Did you even read the facts of the law that's being proposed - it allows people to use force based on a perception, even if that perception is wrong? That means that "facts" are less likely to be important, not more likely.

And, if the idiot hadn't gotten into the race in the first place, the whole thing never would have happened - he provoked a "road rage" incident. Especially if he's the one who crashed into the other guy - that wasn't clear from the article either way.

I find this a peculiar example, since the "victim" in this case engaged in a number of provocative actions, without which the whole thing wouldn't have happened.

There are much better examples, where people are actually victimized without creating the situation - those would be more interesting to discuss.

Flap Doodle 3 years, 1 month ago

Criminals prefer compliant victims who lack effective means of self defense. Look at the target-rich environment criminals find in Chicago..... ( ... from .... a .... source ... )

Dan Eyler 3 years, 1 month ago

I just finished my concealed and carry course. The instructor was an ex prosecutor in the DA's office for Douglas County. I assure you that the majority of the focus was on the things that can go wrong and send you to prison. The law only gives you the right to carry a pistol and not much more. All actions you take with that law are subject to civil and criminal prosecution if things go wrong. Nothing to take lightly as some of you seem to think. However I am certain of one thing. With or without my CC permit, if you enter someones home to steal a TV or a microwave, shoot first and ask questions later.... if he or she is lucky enough to be alive. I don't know the motives of the person breaking into a home, but the thief will quickly realize the motives of the home owner or apartment dweller. However, the worst thing a CC permit holder can do is look for trouble. Awareness is how you avoid trouble and retreat is your best defense, but if all else fails shoot.

woodscolt 3 years, 1 month ago

That has always been the case without the need for cc or stand your ground.

Mike Ford 3 years, 1 month ago

I just went to Oklahoma this weekend where that state is in competition with Kansas for the race to dumb. Even the columnists down there ask..."Is Dodge City or Tombstone really necessary?" I guess the dumblicans can avoid all real world economic and political decisions by pandering to dumb whether dumb be rural, religious, racist, or addicted to AM radio. When there are fifty former GOP politicians railing against many of these policies one has to wonder how long the proponents of dumb can play dumb in the tower as their misguided plans bring them and everyone subjected to their stupidity down with them?

Liberty275 3 years, 1 month ago

You win 6 free internets for that one.

skinny 3 years, 1 month ago

Glad I am an NRA member. This law will stand in Kansas, I guarantee it!

Shelley Bock 3 years, 1 month ago

Which "well regulated Militia" unit are you a member of? When, where do you train and drill?

jhawkinsf 3 years, 1 month ago

I heard a report many years ago that suggested that at the time of the writing of the Constitution, a "well regulated militia" was understood to mean any able bodied man who might take up arms in defense of the country, should it become necessary. If that report is true, then perhaps they were referring to an individual who could become part of something akin to a National Guard unit, not necessarily the National Guard unit itself.

optimist 3 years, 1 month ago

Come on. Parsing out a small portion of the amendment and manipulating it's meaning out of context? The entire amendment reads "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed". The word regulated has many meanings. What however is unequivocal is that it clearly states "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed". It cannot be any clearer than that whatever the purpose of the right. It was clear that their objective was to ensure the civilian population had the means to protect itself from threats whether it is from a British Redcoat or their own Government. The purpose was to ensure the freedom of the individual. If you don't feel it necessary any longer then I encourage you to work to repeal the amendment. There is a process for it as outlined in the Constitution. It won't be the first time the Constitution has been amended and probably won't be the last.

Shelley Bock 3 years, 1 month ago

I would disagree with you on your interpretation. At the time of the Constitutional convention, there was no real federal army and the individual states had to deal with the potential for insurrection, conflict with the English in Canada or with Native Americans. The clause, if read as a whole, gives powers to the States to create their own mechanism for raising troops, the militia, for their individual protection.

Over time, especially as the nation has become more urbanized, the necessity for weapons for self-protection from wild animals, the neighbors or to gather food, has lessened. The individual National Guard units provide the state's security.

I'm astounded that you accuse me of "parsing out" a portion of the amendment while various advocates never, ever, mention the part of the amendment which provides justification for the entire clause. It is not unequivocal because the purpose is to maintain the militia. The right to bears arms is contingent on maintenance of the militia. Thus, what unit does the bearer of arms belong to and train with to satisfy this requirement?

I have no problem with those weapons used for sports hunting or as a collector. Possession of a weapon for security suggests a degree of paranoia and fear which I do not share. And, I've fired weapons from as small as a .22 to 5" naval gun and everything in between. I never will own any type of weapon.

No need to amend the amendment, just follow the regulated militia requirement.

Shelley Bock 3 years, 1 month ago

Man City fan, so I can watch repeats of City's come-from-behind win in extra time against QPR minus Barton?

MasterWildfire 3 years, 1 month ago

I must have misread the Second Amendment; does it really say "a well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the militia to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."?

No, it clearly says the right of the PEOPLE. Besides, a militia has no RIGHTS at all, only POWERS.

“Law enforcement agencies and personnel have no duty to protect individuals from the criminal acts of others.” -Lynch vs North Carolina Department of Justice 1989

This means that if you want protection from violent crime, for you and your loved ones; it’s up to YOU and YOU ALONE to provide it.

Ask yourself this question, in your heart of hearts: Why should a cop risk his life to save something so insignificant (your life or the lives of your loved ones), that even the owner is unwilling to protect it? But I support your CHOICE to be defenseless 100%

MasterWildfire 3 years, 1 month ago

I must have misread the Second Amendment; does it REALLY SAY "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the militia to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."?

No, it's the right of the PEOPLE.

Shelley Bock 3 years, 1 month ago

The question remains, if you are a citizen who exercises the right to bear arms, then which militia unit are you a member of and when do you drill? You haven't misread the Amendment, you have just failed the mandate. Bear arms and you should participate in a "well regulated Militia".

LeBo 3 years, 1 month ago

Proud vet! This is the right of any citizen to protect themselves. Wake up the police dept will only make a report after you are dead from a crime.

Jean1183 3 years, 1 month ago

Solution: big dog trained in shutzhund with CC as "backup"....or for when I don't have the dog with me.

Yep, I'll stand my ground.

Jean1183 3 years, 1 month ago

Ooops! Typed too fast. For those "spelling police".....sChutzhund.

Centerville 3 years, 1 month ago

'Stand Your Ground' has nothing to do with the charges against Zimmerman. This group is just using this in their pathetic fundraising campaign.

Mike Ford 3 years, 1 month ago

naw.....I was sent as an observer to compare two species of simpletons... Kansas and Oklahoma.....turns out it's a tie when dimwits vote for sharia law.....only difference when they act out or say racist things in Oklahoma they're repugnant enough to say stuff publically and own it....here it's just cowards with code words.... oh and the churches are bigger and all the praying doesn't spare them from those gigantic tornados, blast furnace heat and ice storms that no one applies sand to roads for..... oh and they have US Senator He!! NO otherwise known as James Imhofe. I was a preacher's kid for two decades so when I talk smack on the church I'm talking smack on what I physically witnessed from the 1970's to the 1990's. Oh and I witnessed the beginning of that wonderful political evangelical movement that believes in men riding dinosaurs and the other nonsense that people like Sam Brownback and Art Laffer (brothers??) subscribe to. It's such a religious thing to be vengeful and to inject racism and homophobia when Jesus helped the homeless and ran around with Mary Magdalene......shhh....don't tell the churchlicans....wouldn't want to bust their bubble....they're too busy saying God is behind arming yourself and wrapping oneself in a flag....not idoltry...no...

Flap Doodle 3 years, 1 month ago

Why are you doing that odd formatting, tuschie? BTW, it's getting to where it won't be safe for a young thug to committ felony assault anymore.

KSWingman 3 years, 1 month ago

It's the shape of the state of Minnesota. Clearly a subliminal message of some sort.

What does it mean, tuschie?

Fossick 3 years, 1 month ago

And it has the word "heat" where Duluth would be. I was in Duluth over the weekend - "heat" was the furthest thing from that city.

Mind=blown.

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

And, did you notice that in snap's case, the "victim" opened his door, and then the guy ran into the house?

Why the heck would you do that?

Call the police, and keep the door closed and locked - then nobody is in danger and you don't have to shoot anybody.

God, what happened to common sense?

It's not really "breaking into" the house if the homeowner opens the door, is it?

Flap Doodle 3 years, 1 month ago

jafs, did you notice that the miscreant ran through the victim's screen door? I'll agree that it was a mistake to open the solid door.

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

Your link just said he ran into the house, it didn't say he ran through the screen door.

Flap Doodle 3 years, 1 month ago

It seems that whenever the tush is stuck for a new word, he takes a noun describing something that irks him and add "licans". Whatever will he think of next?

booyalab 3 years, 1 month ago

I apologized if someone already pointed this out, but Detroit has a smaller population than Florida, no stand your ground law, but their 35 justifiable homicides from last year made up 10% of the nation's total.

So a state with no stand your ground law has a higher rate of justifiable homicides than a state with the law. HMMMM

MasterWildfire 3 years, 1 month ago

And what percentage of the national UN-Justified homicides did Detroit account for as well? Hmmmm?

booyalab 3 years, 1 month ago

Wow! Do you suppose their laws have something to do with their high murder rate?

Flap Doodle 3 years, 1 month ago

Getting back to the original case, evidence now strongly suggests that Zimmerman was actually being assaulted at the time he fired the shot that ended the encounter. How many times are you supposed to let someone hit you in the face before you are entitled to defend yourself?

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

It's legally ok to defend yourself, with force that's necessary and reasonable, given the level of the attack.

We have some evidence, via eyewitnesses, that there was in fact a physical altercation (although a number of witnesses have changed their story from when they were originally interviewed, which makes things bit murky).

We don't know who started it, which appears to be an important legal question.

What if Zimmerman started the altercation? Doesn't Martin then have the right to defend himself? If Martin had killed Zimmerman, instead of the other way around, would that have been justified, if Zimmerman initiated the fight?

Whoever kills the other guy can claim self defense, and the dead person can't tell their version of the story.

The easy, and obvious way not to get into this situation is not to follow people around, armed with a gun, if you're not the police, and the police tell you it's not necessary.

acg 3 years, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

Maybe.

If, on the other hand, he was reasonably in fear for his life, then he has the legal right to use deadly force in self defense.

The jury will have the dubious honor of trying to figure out whether or not that was true.

I agree, of course, that Zimmerman acted like an idiot, and that acting the way he did is extremely likely to result in unpleasant confrontations, which is why I wouldn't do it.

MasterWildfire 3 years, 1 month ago

If it were made a crime to commit stupidity, how much of Florida as well as Kansas' population would be locked up?

But to date, simply doing stupid things is NOT an illegal act.

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

Of course it's not illegal to be stupid, or do stupid things.

But, it's not a great idea either, and results in bad situations.

I bet even Zimmerman now wishes he'd stayed in his car, and waited for the police.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 3 years, 1 month ago

Think I will just buy a drone and kill thugs with it. If Obama can do it why can't we?

Flap Doodle 3 years, 1 month ago

Little dude (or dudette) was getting all inflamed. Hope he/she/it gets a popsicle and calms down. There's nothing like a cool and fruity treat on a Spring evening.

jafs 3 years, 1 month ago

A quick google search provides a couple of interesting tidbits:

An Illinois SYG law has been in effect since 1961 - there's a chart showing the result on violent crime - it increased substantially until the 1990's or so, and then decreased, but it's still higher than it was in '61.

Strangely enough, the person writing an article pointed to the chart as evidence that SYG laws decrease violent crime - huh? It's in fact no such evidence, and evidence of the contrary.

In FL, it looks as though there may have been a decrease in violent crime, but also an increase in "justifiable homicides", including ones that don't look at all necessary for self defense, like shooting somebody in the back of the head. There's also been a sharp decrease in the number of people brought to trial for such shootings.

This is all from somebody who supports these laws.

Something seems off to me about this situation - while self defense is valid, it looks as though there are many shootings that aren't really necessary for self defense, and many people aren't being brought to trial who should be - it should still be necessary to show that your actions were necessary, in my view.

Flap Doodle 3 years, 1 month ago

The People's Republic of Illinois does not allow its subjects to legally carry firearms. The Second Amendment has been more or less suspended in Chicago for decades. Illinois is rather non-typical compared to the rest of America when it comes to firearms. Your google-fu is weak.

Flap Doodle 3 years, 1 month ago

You are implying that you were unaware that Illinois didn't have legal concealed carry or that handguns were banned in Chicago for decades? Any decent search engine could have told you that. See: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-04-06/news/ct-met-illinois-supreme-court-assault-weapons-ban--20120406_1_assault-weapons-county-ban-handgun-ban http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2010/06/28/court-rules-for-gun-rights-strikes-down-chicago-handgun-ban More general: http://www.handgunlaw.us/ "enlighten the populace" (from a source)

tbaker 3 years, 1 month ago

People facing mortal danger from another person have a unalienable right to defend themselves and respond in kind whether there is a law on the books or not.

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