Monday, April 2, 2012

Never back down

I own guns.  I believe that the second amendment to the US Constitution provides me that right in the same way that I am provided the right to vote via various amendments to the US Constitution.  I grew up using and respecting firearms.  I lived part of my life on a farm and I enjoy hunting.

I understand that a gun is a tool with great power to do a lot of things, including to provide food, to protect, and to test skill.  But a gun was made for one reason, and it should never be forgotten--to kill.

The news related to recent gun legislation has been utterly ridiculous for many reasons.

Media is creating the news

First of all, news outlets are creating the news, not reporting it.  We see pictures of a young, innocent-looking Trayvon Martin all over the news.  A kid that doesn't look more than 12-years-old.  Well, it turns out the appearances are probably accurate because the photo is several years old.

Does this mean that we should judge him as an intimidating, hoodie-wearing thug?  No.  He probably wasn't a thug at all.  But, what the media has chosen to portray him as is intentionally leading.  He probably wasn't a thug, but he also wasn't a fresh-faced 12-year-old.

The pictures we see of George Zimmerman are no less leading.  We see a man in a photo that appears to have mug-shot quality--poor color, a sullen frown.  Even the red shirt he's wearing appears to be prison-jumpsuit-orange.

Based on the photos alone, why wouldn't you presume that Zimmerman shot poor Trayvon in cold blood?

The real news

Of course, it's possible he did kill Trayvon in cold blood.  And it may have been perfectly legal.  Although various articles referring to the shooting of Trayvon Martin often refer to Florida's recently implemented gun law, which broadened the scope of the "castle doctrine" and reduced the risk of prosecution if you shoot someone in "self defense," very little has been provided in the way of details on this law.  The law, itself, can be found here:

Specifically, it states that
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.
In other words, if you are out and about and in a place that you shouldn't be, you have the right to stand there and shoot someone if you reasonably believe that if you don't, you or someone else will suffer great bodily harm or death.

Ok.  I could buy that.  If you have a gun and you can't expect to outrun someone looking to kill you, you should shoot first, right? should make every reasonable effort to escape, and this law doesn't require you to.

Still, one has to question why Zimmerman wasn't arrested.  There was evidence that he wasn't just not backing down, but actively pursuing Martin.  That evidence should have been available at the time he was taken in for questioning.

Quite frankly, if you're stalking something dangerous, you deserve to get what's coming when it turns around.
Just ask this guy:  Timothy Treadwell 

In other words, it was pretty clear from the phone call that Zimmerman made to the police that he shouldn't have followed Martin, PARTICULARLY if he perceived him to be dangerous.  If all he got for tagging along on this kid was a bloody nose, then he got off easy.

But Martin ended up dead.

And no one was going to say anything.  Of course, now they have and Zimmerman has been all but publicly tried and convicted.  Maybe he was justified for shooting the unarmed teen.  Still, it should have been more thoroughly investigated before it blew up in the media.

Of course

There are those assholes who have put up pictures of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom, a couple that was kidnapped, tortured, raped, and then murdered, claiming that this is about the media playing the race card.  The difference is that four black men were CONVICTED of this crime, while no one was even arrested for killing Trayvon Martin.  If you can't tell the difference, you're either being intellectually dishonest or you've got some mental deficiency going on.

No comments:

Post a Comment