Stand Your Ground….unless you’re one of these folks

stand your ground law, zimmerman case, trayvon martin, murder, marissa alexander, cece mcdonald, the girl, sc rhyne, double standard, black women, white men, social justice

Even if you agree with the “Stand Your Ground” laws, doesn’t anyone have something to say about why it’s only being applied to certain cases? Shouldn’t it be applied evenly….

stand your ground law, zimmerman case, trayvon martin, murder, marissa alexander, cece mcdonald, the girl, sc rhyne, double standard, black women, white men, social justice
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40 thoughts on “Stand Your Ground….unless you’re one of these folks

  1. stand your ground is a law without honor… since when did losing a fist fit mean you could pull a gun… in the good old days you got the crap kicked out of you you picked yourself up and dusted yourself off… now you shoot the guy…

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    1. Well stated. That’s the most frustrating thing about so much of this case. Zimmerman created the situation. The other guy is dead and he walks free.

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  2. There are good arguments on both sides. I believe that both sides were wrong. However, the defense did not use Stand Your Ground as a defense. http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/07/21/3513024/marc-caputo-even-without-stand.html The case rested largely on GZ claiming self defense. The political partisan spin would have you believe that SYG is a “shoot first, think later” law but it is far from that. SYG has very limited applications, mostly dealing with home intrusion and deadly situations. If someone attacks me and I shoot them, I could claim either self defense or SYG. If I chase someone and shoot them, I cannot claim either SYG or self defense. Read the court cases (they are publicly available unlike the GZ/TM case) and you will understand why the court decided that SYG did not apply. We may never know quite what transpired between the GZ and TM to start the confrontation. TM was significantly larger than GZ. GZ must have feared for his life which is why he pulled his gun and fired. Until we are in GZ’s shoes, we cannot truly say what we would do in a situation like this. I was an MP in Baghdad for over a year, twice. I have been in several situations where I had to decide whether or not to use my weapon. Those choices I made, whether right or wrong, will haunt me the rest of my life. For those of us that carry a concealed weapon, second guessing yourself is a common and fatal mistake. Mistakes were made on both sides of the TM-GZ case. There is a difference between morally wrong and illegal. It may be immoral to cheat on your spouse, but it is not illegal. Was it illegal for GZ to shoot TM? Not according to the jury. Was shooting TM morally wrong? That I leave for you to decide.

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    1. I know SYG is mostly used for home invasions and such, but you will see that trigger happy people are using it for very broad situations. I equated Self Defense and SYG, because they fall on the same principle–scared for your life, use force. But Zimmerman, used deadly force. Why did he get out of the car in the first place? I may not be able to walk in GZ’s shoes, but as nightwatchman, you want to prevent situations from escalating, not think just because you’re “packing heat” you’ll be ok. If he saw some “Big muscular dude” walking by that was so scary to him, then why not stay in the car like the 911 operator told you to and not go out and confront him? Trayvon didn’t run up to him in the car and make him get out, leaving him with the last resort to fire his weapon.

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      1. I agree with you that Zimmerman should not have left his car. However, there is no _legal_ requirement that you have to obey a police dispatcher. So was Zimmerman wrong in getting out of his car? Perhaps. Was it illegal for him to get out of his car? No. As for firing a warning shot, that is not how people who carry are usually taught. If you pull your weapon you are prepared to use it. A concealed weapon is not something to wave around to make the “bad man” go away. Firing a warning shot also has legality issues because of ordinances prohibiting weapons discharge, despite the VP’s asinine suggestions. When I teach concealed weapons class, as a retired US Army MP and a current county sheriff reserve member, we do not teach warning shots. You pull your weapon, you better be prepared to use it. You never point your weapon at someone unless you are willing to kill them. Carrying a concealed weapon comes with many responsibilities, the first of which is being responsible for yourself. Zimmerman may not be off scott free yet. I am betting that he is at risk of a civil suit or a wrongful death suit at least. I wish things between the two young men had happened differently and that TM was still alive.

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      2. Interesting point you made, there are some small towns where you are “required” to carry. And I wonder of all the people that own guns in the U.S, how many are really trained to carry a weapon and how to handle tough situations? Is it a 24 hour class and you get your license?

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  3. For what it’s worth, Stand Your Ground was not used at part of Zimmerman’s defense.

    Nonetheless, that the justice system of the same state can let Zimmerman go and put Alexander away for 20 years pretty much says it all when it comes to how black are treated under criminal justice system of the US: embarrassingly awful.

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    1. Cary, I suggest you read the Alexander case and you will see why she is facing 20 years in jail.
      http://www.hlntv.com/article/2013/07/19/marissa-alexander-florida-10-20-life-laws
      Alexander left the scene and then came back with her gun which is when she fired her warning shot. It might have been different for Alexander had she had the weapon on her and fired her warning shot. Alexander has a few appeals left, so we will see how the justice system reacts and if there is going to be any political pressure put upon the case as there was in the GZ-TM case. I am not saying that Alexander does not have a valid case, but our society for all of its evils, rests on the premise that you get a trial of your peers. We may not always agree or like those judgements, but that is how the system works.

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      1. Her peers. That’s the key. I don’t know who’s on her jury, but are they her peers?

        Why didn’t Zimmerman fire a warning shot? Instead aiming for…

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  4. Have you read up on the Alexander? She deserves prison. She left the house and then went back and fired the weapon, so stand your ground did not apply. She shot directly at the guy, with the weapon fired directly at the room with two kids in it (which is why she has multiple counts against her, the 12 year old even testified in court ‘I was fixin to die’). http://www.hlntv.com/article/2013/07/19/marissa-alexander-florida-10-20-life-laws

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      1. You know what they say about opinions…. When I went by the meme, it sure looked like she didn’t deserve prison, but reading up on the actual case, looking at the facts, what you posted and reality were not the same.

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      2. Its still not a fair shake on Zimmerman’s case, because it’s not he said she said. Just he said. We will never hear Trayvon’s side of it to tip the balance.

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      3. Because the victim is still alive to tell his side of the story. Had she shot him (instead of a warning shot) then she could have said anything…..Trayvon is not alive to tell his side….how scared he was…etc…

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  5. All this verdict did was make it open season for more Zimmerman’s to go out and shoot first, lie and hide behind a useless law. With more and more of our rights being stripped away, what can be done? Our internet, calls are monitored, media outlets controlled and protesting in peace will get one arrested, beaten or shipped off to Guantanamo. Not even our food is safe, so you tell me…..

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    1. You’re right our food isn’t safe which is why I garden. But on a whole, it does seem that our morals have more than slipped, its free-falling down the mountains.

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  6. Zimmerman was scared. The boy wasn’t 12 years old, he was 17 and a bulky muscular youth, or so I have been told. Somebody sent me a photo of the victim and he looked scary. Tats, gangsta, drug user. Check my blog. If the post is incorrect, please advise!
    The 20 year sentence is obscene. 20 years? Beyond imagination. And very sad. And very cruel.

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    1. Martin wasn’t very big, actually. Maybe tall, but he was definitely more on the lean side. I feel like our court system isn’t very fair with verdicts… I mean, come on. Pregnant Alexander harmed no one at all, yet she’s got 20 years. Zimmerman kills a guy (Which, you know, murder is supposedly frowned upon.) and he get’s to be prom queen for the night while Martin slips out the back entrance unnoticed…

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  7. I think the other two cases are ridiculous. The one lady just fired a warning shot. That’s a bunch of crap that she got 20 for that. But sorry, you’re incorrect on Zimmerman. The cops asked Zimmerman to tell them where Martin was. He only got out of his car to give them an address, that’s when Martin jumped him. Now I don’t think he should have got out of his car at all, but fact is Martin started the fight. Sorry, but you can’t break someone’s nose for following you. And if some dude was on top of me punching me in the face and smashing my head against concrete, I’d fear for my life too. If Zimmerman was so murderous, why let the kid punch him in the face and beat his head against the concrete AND call for help before pulling out his gun. Seems an awful risk to take if he’s really so murderous.

    Don’t forget, the picture they’ve shown on TV is of Martin when he was 12. Google the 7-11 footage to get an idea of how much Martin had grown in 5 years. It’s still tragic that it happened, but calling Zimmerman a murderer is simply incorrect.

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    1. But you see that’s the issue. We only have one side of the story because the other guy is dead. I wasn’t there…were you there? If Zimmerman was really afraid, he wouldn’t have gotten out of the vehicle, but he did and Martin, a 17 year boy thought he was being followed so he defended him. See if Martin were alive to tell his story how it changes perspective:

      I was walking to my dad’s house. And this older man was watching me. When I turned around I saw that he was out of the vehicle and heading towards me so I defended myself.

      The fact that Trayvon was tall and Black isn’t an adequate explanation to why Zimmerman shot him. Had it been a teenage girl, that was “defending herself from a strange man that got out of car to follow her.” I think the national conversation would be different.

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      1. I won’t argue with you on the Zimmerman should have stayed in his car/Martin should have called the police vs. confronting, because I think you’re absolutely correct on that front. I think even Zimmerman would agree with you he should never have gotten out of that truck. But unfortunately we can only go forward in time, not back.

        But calling him a murderer is simply not rooted in fact. Murder is defined as having killed someone intentionally, not in self-defense. They teach us in self-defense classes, if someone attacks you, you have to assume they mean the worst. Hesitation can get you killed. I think if Zimmerman had murderous intentions he would have pulled his gun out before getting punched in the nose or having his head beaten against the pavement. And he’d have pulled his gun out well before crying out for help (which we have witnesses and audio for). Just because it was self-defense doesn’t make the event any less tragic.

        Nobody ‘won’ in this. A young man lost his life, and Zimmerman has to live with the guilt of having taken a life as well as look over his shoulder the rest of his life (via the death threats). Just because Zimmerman didn’t go to jail doesn’t mean he isn’t suffering a punishment of sorts. Decent people who get caught in a terrible situation like thatBut Zimmerman certainly didn’t shoot Martin because he was black. (Zimmerman does a mentoring program with two black kids and the FBI couldn’t find a shred of evidence that indicated he’d ever had racist tendencies in his life). Plus everyone is blaming this on the “white man” when Zimmerman is as latino as Obama is black shows the race baiters are using this for an agenda.

        But I know we can go back and forth on this all day, and we’ll have to agree to disagree at some point. I just hope people realize nobody won in this. And perhaps this will lead to discussions about racial tensions and we can have conversations we should have been having years ago.

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      2. Look, just because Zimmerman did some mentoring program, doesn’t mean he’s completely free of bias and prejudice. That’s how indirect bias work, “Oh I have a Black friends” but you still clutch your purse when you see a Black male walking towards you. We are all affected by stereotypes no matter how hard we like to pretend we’re not. And the 911 audiotape shows his prejudice, in terms of how he referenced Trayvon.

        But my main point is that Trayvon is that dead and we only have one side of the story. You say that on the tape it was Zimmerman crying for help…but during the trial Ms. Fulton identified it as Trayvon’s voice. So I don’t think there’s conclusive evidence to show that it was definitely Zimmerman. Again, we only have one person alive telling his story, with the other guy dead we can only speculate what he did or didn’t do. And how a 17 year old child must have felt being stalked by an armed man. I would have been scared.

        Zimmerman is the only “White Man” that I hear people blaming this on. Although, the Florida police did let this fall through cracks big time before the media picked up on this.

        We need to not only have conversations about racial tension, but gun violence on a whole? Isn’t that what we were doing when Sandy Hook happened?

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      3. It is against the law to assault someone because they are following you, and a person has a right to defend themselves if being assaulted. Could things have turned out better if both of them had let logic rather than emotion rule? Certainly. George should have identified himself as the neighborhood watch immediately. Trayvon should have called the police or went into a neighbor’s house rather than confronting him. But we can only deal with the tragedy as it happened.

        Again, I stress that no one came out a winner in this case. We have a lost life and a ruined life and ruin for all those friends and families of both. I very much doubt in any case of self-defense all sides will ever feel it was justified. All we can do moving forward is educate each other on how to handle any similar situations with more logic and less emotion.

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  8. The “stand your ground” law seems really unfair. I don’t know much about politics and such, so this is strictly my opinion, but if it were up to me I think Zimmerman should not be let go free of charges

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    1. Its not the law (the way its written) as unfair, but the way its being applied. Zimmerman apparently did not use “Stand Your Ground” defense he just said self-defense, but stand your ground is a form of self-defense…but these other folks apparently had no right to defend themselves?

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  9. Well, Stand Your Ground operates the same as any law, in a decrimanatory way that targets African Americans and other minorities. That is why is was so important for Obama to make Teyvon-could-have been me statement. White America has no clue what is like to be black male in America. Imagine how different this case would have been reported had the victim been white and the shooter black. A whole knew media narrative would developed. http://mediapoliticsinperspective.wordpress.com/

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      1. Exactly, I totally understand Stand Your Ground..No Child Left Behind. I’m sure no one intended these laws to be ineffective at best or totally backfire at worst. But our lawmakers are writing policies for the people to loophole or completely take advantage of…..

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  10. Actually, in my opinion the investigation was failed in the Treyvon Martin case. In actuality Treyvon Martin was exercising his “SYG” defense when he turned back to Zimmerman. The fact that he lost should not of made a difference, The review of the case should have recognized this and a subsequent SYG review by the Judge should have supported it. As for the others:

    The gal that fired the shot into the wall after retrieving the gun from the garage was “railroaded” by the Court. The SYG law is meant to defend people like her. The Court failed and the law failed.

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