Thursday, July 18, 2013

Have Gun. Will Travel.


At the risk of inviting the ire of some readers: two more comments related to the Zimmerman trial.

1

“No justice, no peace” is once again making the rounds as people unhappy with the not guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman case take to the streets and the airways. The phrase itself, however, is ambivalent. Is it an assessment or a threat? Does it mean, “If there is no justice, then true organic peace is impossible,” (think of a peaceful totalitarian state—secular or religious—totally lacking in justice) or does it mean, “If you don’t give me justice as I define justice, then I will act violently”?

We have a justice system. It is flawed. It is biased. It can and should be continually evaluated and improved. But the way we do that isn’t by violence. As far as I know, violent reaction to the verdict has been minimal, but even nonviolent protesters chanting “no justice, no peace” leave me uneasy unless I know what they mean.

2

The Stand Your Ground law wasn’t part of this case, but the trial aside, the law is troubling. I live in a Stand Your Ground state. As I understand it, if I’m in fear of losing my life or sustaining serious bodily injury I can kill the person who is frightening me. Does this mean that had Trayvon killed George, and has invoked Stand Your Ground as his defense, he would have been acquitted? 

When living in Florida a guy in a pick-up truck who thought I said “F-you” rather than “Thank you” when he honked at me to slow down in a school zone chased me for many blocks until I finally pulled over and confronted him. When I told him what I actually said, he told me about his daughter being hit by a driver speeding through a school zone. We calmed down, chatted, and parted amicably. Had the Florida Stand Your Ground law had been in place, would I have been justified in killing this dad before we talked? I was pretty sure he was armed. Or, when I stopped and confronted him, would he have been justified in killing me, since he could see I was angry and could fear I was armed? 

Don’t misunderstand me: I am not anti-gun. I'm just trying to figure out whether nor not to buy a gun. It seems to me that the only logical response to living in a state with a Stand Your Ground law is to buy a gun, get a concealed weapon permit for it, and carry it with you at all times. Not that anyone in particular scares you, but you might scare someone else, and, since they may be carrying a gun, any altercation with that person would legitimately cause you to fear for your life. Shooting first and fatally is the only way to protect yourself from both bodily harm, real or perceived, and a law suit if the person you fear and shoot lives. Is my logic flawed here?

14 comments:

thesycamoretree said...

We have a rapidly expanding gun culture in America, with no sane laws to contain it. Perhaps ahimsa needs to be taught in schools these days, along with reading, writing and arithmetic.

Erick Reynolds said...

Since we are working our way back to the 19th century, the old saying on being prepared holds true: "Don't bring a knife (or Skittles) to a gun fight."

Erick Reynolds said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mordechai Ben Nathan said...

The STAND YOUR GROUND LAW is an abomination

Mordechai Ben Nathan said...

@thesycamore tree

Yes i agree with teaching AHIMSA. Meditating on it too would be advisable.

Mordechai Ben Nathan said...

Rami:

you are wrong once again. a stand your ground jury instruction was considered by the jury in deliberation. this jury instruction had the key elements of Stand Your Ground law including the phraseology about not having to duty to retreat.

the defense did not do a pre-trial stand your ground motion however. such a motion if granted by the judge would render Zimmerman immune to prosecution.

as a matter of strategy they probably figured that the judge would never grant that motion so it would be foolish to do it. if they did such a stand your ground pre trial motion then they would have to show their cards to the prosecution. the prosecution with then be able to anticipate what the nature of the defense would be in specific detail. hence it was a strategy decision.

This is what has confused many people.

people have heard that there was no stand your ground the pretrial motions so they assumed that is played no part in the trial. it did play a part in the jury instructions and in the jury deliberation.

thank you for giving me the opportunity to correct you once again

Karen said...

Gee, I think Mordechai Ben Nathan loves to have the opportunity to tell you you are wrong, Rabbi Rami!

Anyway, a not-well-formed thought that I have had with regards to Stand Your Ground laws as well as the Zimmerman trial... It bothers me that a person could have a concealed gun permit and carry a concealed gun (I know.... we have a constitutional right, blah, blah, blah). But had Trayvon known ahead of time that George Zimmerman was carrying a gun, he might have responded differently. When a person is approached by a police officer, it's a given that the officer has a gun. Therefore, that person will act a specific way to a police officer (generally, anyway), not only because of the authority a police officer exudes but also because we know he/she's carrying a gun. For a regular person to have a concealed carry permit and carry a gun without others knowing is rather scary. How can a defend myself accordingly, save my own life against someone else's concealed gun, if I feel threatened? There is no self-defense against a gun unless you are carrying a gun as well. And I don't choose to live in a constant state of fear where I need to carry a weapon of destruction at all times (and that's what a gun is, has been, and always will be -- a weapon of destruction).

I find it horrific and sad that George Zimmerman's only defense against fists was a gun. As a woman, I've learned how to gouge eyes, knee a person in the groin, etc. There's so much more I can say here, but it's not going to come out as clearly as I'd like, so I'll just end it before I get ahead of myself.

Dennis Attarian said...

I agree with you Karen that the loss of life was too much. I recently moved from Florida and remember the positive reaction that Stand Your Ground got. It needs to be remembered that Florida is fairly unique in that there is a preponderance of elderly that live there and living there one needs to be very vigilant of scams, con-artists not to mention the drug situation. So when a crack house springs up next door as it did in my case, there isn't a damned thing that can be done. It took over two years to end the all nighters, women screaming help, attempted break ins to my house, etc. The weak (elderly) cannot knee to the groin to prevent an attack. Tough situation to be sure...

Erick Reynolds said...

In any controversy each point of view can be supported by unique circumstance where that point of view makes sense. The challenge is sorting out the disproportionate fear of relatively rare occurrences. If one lives in an area where home invasion is highly likely, it may be rational to desire having a gun at home as a sense of security.

However, it may not help to know that there are cases where people were killed in their homes even though there was a gun in the house. More often, people (mostly children)are killed or injured because there is a gun in the house.

The big concern for the stand your ground laws is, as alluded to above about people carrying concealed weapons, that it creates an environment for looking for trouble rather than backing away. If two persons with guns confront each other without backing down; who is the aggressor and who is standing their ground? The Zimmerman case proves the survivor tells the story. So, make sure your opponent is dead.

Dennis Attarian said...

The question of uniqueness and rare occurrence is exactly what the Trevon Martin and George Zimmerman is all about.

The uniqueness is Florida, the first state to adopt the Stand you Ground law.

The rare occurrence is this situation of Zimmerman vs Martin.

I have to believe the law may not be appropriate for all states, one size will not fit all.

andrea perez said...

I live in Florida.
What have Floridians learned from this trial:
1. You can carry a lisc. gun
2. You can kill someone if they are beating you up and you think they will kill you
3. You don't have to back away or meet force with force: you can go for the end kill.
Depending on who you are, this makes you feel safe. Or, think that you do not know how to fight fair.
Either way, no one is addressing the bottom line: People are afraid of each other. And, we do not have a set of common norms in this country which dictates behavior across ethnic and racial boundaries.
So in the end: What we now have in Florida is that common norm which is Law: If you beat me up and I shoot you dead, it's legal. Therefore, if you don't want to be shot dead, Don't hit me.
Sounds like the old West? Yippy:(

LUIGI ROTUNNO. IMOPLANET. PORTO SEGURO. BRASIL. said...

OCCHIO ALL'ASSASSINO, LAVA SOLDI ASSASSINI, GIA' PLURICONDANNATO AL CARCERE: PAOLO BARRAI DI MERCATO LIBERO... COME ANCHE .. PAOLO BARRAI LAVANTE SOLDI ASSASSINI DI COSA NOSTRA, CAMORRA, NDRANGHETA... COME PURE PAOLO BARRAI RICICLANTE SOLDI RUBATI O FRUTTO DI MEGA MAZZETTE DI LL = LEGA LADRONA, PDL = POPOLO DI LADRONI E BERLUSCONI PEDOFILO ( COME ANCHE BERLUSCONI MAFIOSO, DITTATORE NAZIFASCISTA, STRAGISTA, FALSONE, PAGLIACCIO, BANCAROTTIERE DI STATO E MEGA MANDANTE DI OMICIDI... PUR SE I SUOI.. SONO " OMICIDI CON MASCHERINA" DI CUI PRESTO SCRIVEREMO GIORNO E NOTTE.. ALIAS OMICIDI CON MASCHERINA DI FINTO SUICIDIO, FINTO MALORE, FINTO INCIDENTE)!!!!!

LEGGETE, PLEASE, QUESTO SCIOCCANTE COMMENTO SU TRUFFATORE, MEGA LAVA SOLDI MAFIOSI, CAMORRISTI, NDRANGHETISTI, RUBATI E/O FRUTTO DI ENORMI MAZZETTE DI LL = LEGA LADRONA E PDL = POPOLO DI LADRONI, COME PURE, VI ASSICURO, MANDANTE DI OMICIDI: PAOLO BARRAI (VARIE VOLTE IN CARCERE E NON SU WIKIPEDIA). LEGGETE, PLS, E POI, IO, PIERO BARAGETTI DI VIA HAUSSMAN 11/A PRESSO LODI, PURE TRUFFATISSIMO DA CRIMINALE EFFERATO PAOLO BARRAI, MI SCATENERO'. SI, MI SCATENERO´!!!

CIAO DI NUOVO, SONO PIERO BARAGETTI DI VIA HAUSSMAN 11/A IN LODI, E SONO STATO RAGGIRATO, MI HAN FATTO PERDERE PURE LE MUTANDE, VIA LADRATE, INCOMPETENZE E PRESE IN GIRO, PRESSO MALAVITOSA, MEGA LAVA SOLDI MAFIOSI, LADRONA, CRIMINALISSIMA BSI ITALIA SRL DI VIA SOCRATE 26 MILANO. IN MANO A TOPO DI FOGNA MALAVITOSO VINCENZO BARRAI, ABITANTE IN VIA PADOVA 282 A MILANO E NATO A MILANO IL 3.5.1938. ED ANCOR PIU', IN MANO A SUO BASTARDO FIGLIO AVANZO DI GALERA, GIA' 3 VOLTE IN CARCERE, PARREBBE, ANZI, DI CERTO, PURE PEDOFILO PAOLO BARRAI!

LUIGI ROTUNNO. IMOPLANET. PORTO SEGURO. BRASIL. said...

Gruppo di risparmiatori truffati da criminale Paolo Barrai. Da incapace, delinquente, ladro e vigliacchissimo Paolo Barrai di Mercato Libero (malavitoso spietato, nato a Milano il 28.6.1965 e, prima di ora, scappare come un ratto vile, in Svizzera, facente sue mega delinquenze in cravatta, da Via Ippodromo 105 Milano).

Ciao, sono Antonella di Milano, e faccio parte di un foltissimo gruppo di clienti truffati dall'assolutamente criminale Paolo Barrai di Mercato Libero. Costui è davvero uno spietato delinquente. A tutti noi, uniti ora in una associazione ” risparmiatori truffati dal criminalissimo Paolo Barrai di Mercato Libero ” e siamo gia’ in cinquanta, dico, cinquanta", di tutta Italia e Svizzera, ci fece andare corti ( al ribasso) sul mercato azionario italiano a inizio marzo 2009. Abbiam perso quasi tutti tra il 50 e il 90 per cento dei nostri investimenti. E quando lo telefonavamo per chiedere semplicemente che fare, mentre il mercato saliva rapidissimamente, egli, come un vile ratto, scappava, si faceva sempre negare al telefono. Mandavamo e mails, nessuna risposta. Citofanavamo agli uffici di ultra truffatrice, ultra malavitosa, ultra ladrona Bsi Italia Srl di Via Socrate 26 a Milano di suo padre Vincenzo Barrai, ci vedeva dalla telecamera e nemmeno ci rispondeva.Nemmeno ci apriva il cancello di entrata. Io non sto offendendo, sto dicendo la mera verità. E fra poco la faremo sapere a fior fior di Tribunali di mezza Italia. Che i delinquenti ti debbano fare fessa, e pure non permettano replica, no eeeee. Il neofascismo e la mafia del criminale, del delinquente, del ladro, del truffatore, del professionalmente incapacissimo Paolo Barrai di Mercato Libero alias Mer-d-ato Libero, a noi non fa nessuna paura. Una truffata dal malavitoso falso e vigliacco Paolo Barrai di Mercato Libero. Antonella di Milano. PS Mi ha bruciato 700.000 euro. Tutto quello che avevo. Ma a tanti altri ha bruciato 1,2, 3,10 milioni di euro. Facendo comprare il gas naturale a 5$ e passa, che in poche settimane crollava a 2$. Senza che lui prendesse telefonate, rispondesse ad emails. Senza dare indicazione alcuna a noi clienti terrorizzati! Come uno struzzo, che dalla paura e coscienza di essere incapacissimo a livello di fiuto per investimenti, mette la testa sotto la sabbia. Paolo Barrai, oltre ad essere il peggiore consulente per investimenti borsistici o di qualsiasi altro tipo, ove inesorabilmente sbaglia sempre, ove mai, mai e ri mai ne azzecca mezza, è un irresponsabile, codardo, ladro, truffatore, criminale, falsissimo. E mi dicono che ha pregressi, pure varie condanne al carcere. Aaa, ad averlo saputo prima e non essermi fidata della Lega Nord, di cui ero parte, e che mi ha messo in contatto con sto brucia tutti i risparmi e super truffatore. Ora mi son sfogata qui. Presto lo ri faró in fronte a polizia, carabinieri, magistrati, giudici! E con me, almeno altre 50 persone! Oooo!! Non cascateci, ne scrivo proprio per questo, via dal criminale, delinquente, ladro, truffatore, professionalmente incapacissimo Paolo Barrai di Mercato Libero!!!!! BASTA ANCHE CON STA LEGA LADRONA CAPACE SOLO DI ACCUMULARE MAZZETTE DI FINMECCANICA E GHEDDAFI, PER CENTINAIA DI MILIONI DI EURO! CAPACE SOLO DI FREGARE TONNELLATE DI SOLDI VIA QUOTE LATTE E RIMBORSI ELETTORALI! E POI METTERE TUTTO ALL'ESTERO, PRESSO CRIMINALISSIMA FINTER BANK LUGANO DI MALAVITOSI IN CRAVATTA FILIPPO CRIPPA E GIOVANNI DEI CAS (MA DI CERTO NON SOLO), PROPRIO ATTRAVERSO QUESTO COLLETTO VERMINOSO, DA RINCHIUDERE IN GALERA E SUBITO, DI PAOLO BARRAI ( CHE OLTRE A RICICLARE SOLDI DI LL, LEGA LADRONA E PDL, POPOLO DI LADRONI, PRESSO FINTER BANK LUGANO, CI RICICLA ANCHE CASH ASSASSINISSIMO DI MAFIA, CAMORRA E NDRANGHETA)! FRA L'ATRO, PURE NOTO PEDERASTA PAOLO BARRAI DI MERCATO LIBERO: CHE SODOMIZZA I FIGLI COSTANZA BARRAI E RICCARDO BARRAI DA QUANDO NATI, COME BEN SANNO TUTTI, IN VIA IPPODROMO 105 A MILANO, OVE VIVONO!!!

Fraser said...

I think the problem lies in living in a country where life has been established on the brutal annihilation or suppression of an existing people. If you develop your society on the basis of horrifying injustice and murder and guns then don't be surprised if these traits are constant in your life experience. We have the same history in many ways here in New Zealand where Maori were systematically beaten down by military and unjust political means. Therefore we have a violent and fearful society. We are not allowed to carry weapons except for hunting under permit. If we were able to we would be in deep crap!
It seems folks are apologetic about suggesting banning the carrying of weapons? Never forget who the NRA are.... the mumu is just hidden a little deeper in the trunk.