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#102 Jul 10 2013 at 4:43 PM Rating: Decent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
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Correct. It makes no sense at all. If we assume that Martin's only objective was to avoid Zimmerman. Drop that assumption and things start making sense.


I'm going to assume his only goal was to escape danger.

If that meant he felt he had to run away, okay.

If he felt that it meant attacking the guy who had been trailing him in his truck, then got out of the truck to trail him on foot, okay.


How does attacking someone help you "escape danger" though? I don't think that's okay at all.
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#103 Jul 10 2013 at 4:45 PM Rating: Decent
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How does attacking someone help you "escape danger" though? I don't think that's okay at all.


Unless you attack the with a gun, obviously. That's a fine way to escape danger.
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#104 Jul 10 2013 at 4:49 PM Rating: Default
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Almalieque wrote:
Gbaji,

If he had a crowbar, some spray paint and other tools, you and everyone on his defense would say "He was about to commit a crime. Why else would he have those tools?" Am I right?


Sure, but that has no relevance to the question of whether Zimmerman was justified to use his weapon in self defense. It also doesn't preclude the possibility that he was about to commit a crime. Assault is a crime, yet does not require a crowbar and other tools. Theft is a crime, yet does not necessarily require those tools either. Your statement is like one huge logical fallacy burrito.

The question is whether Zimmerman acted in self defense when he shot Martin. The only relevant questions therefore are whether he had a reasonable belief that he was in danger of grave injury or loss of life *and* (if he started the fight) whether he had the opportunity and ability to escape (after the fight started) but chose not to. According to the law, those are the only considerations to make. Everything else is really just window dressing, which may or may not influence a jury when they make those determinations.
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#105 Jul 10 2013 at 4:53 PM Rating: Default
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Smasharoo wrote:

How does attacking someone help you "escape danger" though? I don't think that's okay at all.


Unless you attack the with a gun, obviously. That's a fine way to escape danger.


If it's the only way to avoid that danger, sure. But Martin *chose* to confront Zimmerman rather than head home. He *chose* to escalate that confrontation to the point where he had Zimmerman pinned to the ground and was beating him in the face. At that point, he left Zimmerman no choice but to either take that beating and hope to come out of it ok, or to fire his weapon.

All Martin had to do to "escape danger" was walk home. But he quite obviously didn't do that. Even once the fight started, all he had to do to escape danger was to *not* jump on top of the guy he'd just knocked to the ground and start pummeling him. Even after making that decision, all he had to do to escape danger was to get off the other person and leave. He chose to continue attacking well after any reasonable claim of "escaping danger" could be made. And that's why he was shot and killed.

Edited, Jul 10th 2013 3:56pm by gbaji
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#106 Jul 10 2013 at 4:59 PM Rating: Excellent
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Frankly I've heard little evidence of either person making any particularly good decisions throughout this whole incident. Really it doesn't sound like either of them were shining examples of humanity prior to this anyway. Probably why one is dead and the other facing jail time, or at minimum public condemnation and death threats. Criminal or not I suppose we find out, but it's not like either person didn't have ample opportunity to do something different.
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#107 Jul 10 2013 at 4:59 PM Rating: Good
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Everything else is really just window dressing, which may or may not influence a jury when they make those determinations.

Window dressing decides every jury trial. Hence high priced defense attorneys having a much higher acquittal rate than public defenders. The merits don't really matter if a case makes it to trial. There's not enough evidence here to objectively determine what happened. The de jure issues may revolve around Zimmerman's mental state at the time of the shooting, the de facto issues revolve around why he perused Martin. Not what the law states, but it's what will decide his fate. If the prosecution did an effective job of painting him as a wannabe cop, he's going to jail. Possibly for defending himself against being attacked. Cest la vie. Perhaps the next watch guy will bring a collapsible baton instead of a handgun.
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#108 Jul 10 2013 at 5:01 PM Rating: Decent
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If it's the only way to avoid that danger, sure. But Martin *chose* to confront Zimmerman rather than head home. He *chose* to escalate that confrontation to the point where he had Zimmerman pinned to the ground and was beating him in the face

These powers of clairvoyance you have would surely be of great use to law enforcement. There are 1000 plausible scenarios of what occurred. The 1 you've chosen is about the 250th most likely.
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#109 Jul 10 2013 at 5:06 PM Rating: Good
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someproteinguy wrote:
Frankly I've heard little evidence of either person making any particularly good decisions throughout this whole incident. Really it doesn't sound like either of them were shining examples of humanity prior to this anyway. Probably why one is dead and the other facing jail time, or at minimum public condemnation and death threats. Criminal or not I suppose we find out, but it's not like either person didn't have ample opportunity to do something different.



One was ostensibly a grown-up.

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#110 Jul 10 2013 at 5:15 PM Rating: Decent
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Smasharoo wrote:
If it's the only way to avoid that danger, sure. But Martin *chose* to confront Zimmerman rather than head home. He *chose* to escalate that confrontation to the point where he had Zimmerman pinned to the ground and was beating him in the face

These powers of clairvoyance you have would surely be of great use to law enforcement. There are 1000 plausible scenarios of what occurred. The 1 you've chosen is about the 250th most likely.


So someone else forced Martin to jump on top of Zimmerman and punch him in the face repeatedly? Let's recall that this was the position they were in the very last time an eye witness saw them, mere seconds before the shot was fired. That's a choice Martin made, and that's what got him killed. Whatever happened prior to that point, he ceased to in any way be "defending himself" when he chose to do that.

And just in case I wasn't clear enough, that's what I meant by escalating the confrontation. You're only allowed to use force in self defense sufficient to actually defend yourself and when there's no other means available. Hence, Zimmerman isn't allowed to shoot Martin unless he believes it's the only way to protect himself from "grave bodily injury or death". Similarly, Martin is only allowed to use the lesser force of his fists to the extent needed to protect himself. The moment he decided to jump on top of Zimmerman, pin him to the ground, and punch him over and over, he gave up any claim to simply trying to defend himself.

We can say with absolute certainty that when Martin was doing that, he had every opportunity to stop doing so and to withdraw safely from the fight. He chose not to do so. We cannot do more than speculate that Zimmerman might have been able to escape without using his firearm. That's the key difference here.

Edited, Jul 10th 2013 4:22pm by gbaji
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#111 Jul 10 2013 at 5:25 PM Rating: Good
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You realize that the order of events doesn't have to be: Zimmerman does nothing wrong, Martin jumps him, Martin bashes his head into the ground, Zimmerman shoots him.

If it's true that Martin was bashing Zimmerman's head, and that Zimmerman was beneath him when Martin was shot, all that tells us is that... Martin was bashing his head and Zimmerman was beneath him when he was shot.

For all we know, Zimmerman could have pulled the gun on Martin, intent on scaring him. Martin reacts with violence, because his fight or flight reflex is triggered.

Do I have any good reason to believe that happened? No. Do you have any good reason to think that Zimmerman was out for an evening stroll and jumped by a hooligan intent on killing him? No.
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#112 Jul 10 2013 at 5:41 PM Rating: Default
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
You realize that the order of events doesn't have to be: Zimmerman does nothing wrong, Martin jumps him, Martin bashes his head into the ground, Zimmerman shoots him.


Of course. I've said so many times. Even if the order is: Zimmerman does everything wrong, Zimmerman attacks Martin, Martin fights back, Martin knocks Zimmerman to the ground, jumps on him, pins him to the ground and beats him, Zimmerman can't escape and fears he's at risk of grave bodily injury, Zimmerman shoots Martin, Zimmerman has not violated the law. Do you realize that?

Quote:
If it's true that Martin was bashing Zimmerman's head, and that Zimmerman was beneath him when Martin was shot, all that tells us is that... Martin was bashing his head and Zimmerman was beneath him when he was shot.


Yes. Which means that at that moment, Zimmerman had legitimate cause to use his weapon in self defense according to Florida law. Period.

Quote:
For all we know, Zimmerman could have pulled the gun on Martin, intent on scaring him. Martin reacts with violence, because his fight or flight reflex is triggered.


And for all we know, space aliens possessed both of them and played this out for fun. We kinda have to stick to what we know happened.

Quote:
Do I have any good reason to believe that happened? No. Do you have any good reason to think that Zimmerman was out for an evening stroll and jumped by a hooligan intent on killing him? No.


Good thing that my argument doesn't require that then! All my argument requires is that the last witness to see the fight just prior to the shot being fired described a position that is a text book case where self defense with a firearm is justified. Any countering argument requires... what? Space aliens? Wild speculations? Emotional appeals? Well, maybe Zimmerman was a racist! And maybe he stalked Martin. And maybe Martin was just a scared kid. And maybe. And maybe. And maybe.

At some point, you kinda have to look at the facts, and look at the law.
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#113 Jul 10 2013 at 5:45 PM Rating: Excellent
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Gbaji wrote:
We can say with absolute certainty that when Martin was doing that, he had every opportunity to stop doing so and to withdraw safely from the fight. He chose not to do so.


We can't actually say that at all. I, for one, would not choose to half-kick an armed stranger's **** and then leave him conscious.

None of us knows what happened, or in what order, or what either of the participants knew, thought, feared or suspected.
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#114 Jul 10 2013 at 5:46 PM Rating: Good
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The point is that you're wrong. The law makes a specific exception that it fails to apply if you were the aggressor. That's specifically referencing the long-view of the conflict.

You don't get to force a conflict, then get a free pass to shoot someone once they get they upper hand in it. At the end of the day, you're still blameworthy for creating the situation in the first place.

Whether or not that's manslaughter or murder is for a jury to decide. And, in the specific case of Zimmerman, so is deciding whether or not he may be held responsible for creating this situation to a sufficient degree for him to be guilty of murder or manslaughter.
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#115 Jul 10 2013 at 6:23 PM Rating: Decent
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So someone else forced Martin to jump on top of Zimmerman and punch him in the face repeatedly? Let's recall that this was the position they were in the very last time an eye witness saw them


Oh, eyewitness testimony? Why didn't you say so? Well, since some dude 100 yards away vaguely saw the colors of the clothing they were wearing, clearly we can deduce the thoughts of both men and the order of events that lead to the confrontation. Also, we know alien abductions occur regularly, that Southern California is chock a block full of satanic cults kidnapping young girls, Yeti and Sasquatch roam the streets of every rural area, and Elvis is alive and well living in Hitler and Walt Disney's love bunker in Munich.

Eyewitness testimony! The **** standard of evidence. Why didn't you say so earlier?

You know what's odd, though, is that there wasn't another eyewitness who saw the opposite, because it's usually such **** useless evidence that it's..what's that? Oh there is?

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/27/us-usa-florida-shooting-idUSBRE95Q0EE20130627

So far, three former residents have testified for the prosecution that they saw someone who appeared to be Zimmerman on top during the incident, which took place by a walkway between units in the community of townhomes.

Oh wait, three? Ok, well, I'm ready to try on your shoes as **** internet detective now.

So someone else forced Zimmerman to jump on top of Martin and shoot and kill him? Let's recall that this was the position they were in the very last time THREE!!!1elevenZOMG!!! eye witness saw them


How was that, moron? Surely it changed your mind about the case, because heaven knows you aren't blindly defending the gun toting coward who became a cause célèbre for the quivering white moron class everywhere, right? It's all about the evidence.
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#116 Jul 10 2013 at 6:32 PM Rating: Default
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Samira wrote:
Gbaji wrote:
We can say with absolute certainty that when Martin was doing that, he had every opportunity to stop doing so and to withdraw safely from the fight. He chose not to do so.


We can't actually say that at all.


Yes, we can.

Quote:
I, for one, would not choose to half-kick an armed stranger's **** and then leave him conscious.


And if Zimmerman shot and killed Martin after Martin clearly was leaving the fight *then* it would be murder instead of self defense on Zimmerman's part. Legally, Martin is required to stop attacking Zimmerman once he gets the upper hand. And legally, Zimmerman is not allowed to shot Martin if Martin gets off of him and stops attacking.

By choosing not to do that, Martin gave Zimmerman the right to use his weapon in self defense. Any speculation to the contrary assumes that Zimmerman would have committed murder if Martin had given him the opportunity, which is begging the question. If we start out assuming that Zimmerman's goal was to murder Martin, then it makes sense for Martin to continue the attack in order to prevent that. But legally, we can't make that assumption. You're supposed to take actions based on the assumption that the other guy is also going to obey the law.

Quote:
None of us knows what happened, or in what order, or what either of the participants knew, thought, feared or suspected.


Sure. But your argument rests on an assumption that Martin knew Zimmerman was armed, and that Zimmerman would have used his weapon on Martin if Martin had stopped attacking him. Both of those are not only unproven, but also pretty big stretches. Meanwhile, we know that Martin was on top of Zimmerman, pinning him to the ground, and beating him in the face, just seconds before the shot was fired. Unless you can *prove* that Zimmerman would have shot Martin if Martin had retreated, then the law has to assume that Zimmerman would not have. Thus, Martin could have retreated safely, but chose not to. Thus, putting Zimmerman a position which more or less required that he use his weapon in self defense.

Regardless of what we think of the choice though, it's one that Martin and Martin alone made. And by making that choice he effectively took away any other choice that Zimmerman might have taken.
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#117 Jul 10 2013 at 6:51 PM Rating: Default
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
The point is that you're wrong.


No, I'm not.

Quote:
The law makes a specific exception that it fails to apply if you were the aggressor. That's specifically referencing the long-view of the conflict.


Correct in the first sentence. Incorrect in the second. I already posted this (and assumed I won the argument last time because no one refuted it), but apparently you have a short memory, so here goes:

Quote:
776.041 Use of force by aggressor.—The justification described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who:
(1) Is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of, a forcible felony; or
(2) Initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself, unless:
(a) Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or
(b) In good faith, the person withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force.


A person pinned to the ground and being punched in the face meets condition (2)(a) in that paragraph. The fact that one was the initial aggressor does not permanently remove their right to self defense. It limits it to cases where the other person takes control of the situation and choose to become the aggressor himself. Given that Martin was on top of Zimmerman just seconds before the shot was fired, we can conclude that either Martin was the aggressor the whole time, and even if Zimmerman was the aggressor initially, Martin became the aggressor when he pinned Zimmerman down and started beating on him.

The law is incredibly clear on this. Why do people keep insisting that it doesn't say what it very clearly does in fact say?


Quote:
You don't get to force a conflict, then get a free pass to shoot someone once they get they upper hand in it.


Um... Yes, you do. If they get the "upper hand" in the fight and choose to become the aggressor rather than ending the fight, then you gain the right of self defense. The point being that if you are attacked by someone, you're allowed to defend yourself. That's it. Once you've knocked the other person to the ground, you can't jump on top of him, pin him to the ground, and continue to beat him. What's bizarre is how selectively you seem to want self defense laws to be. You want self defense to be so broad for Martin such that he is allowed to go well beyond defending himself in response to a hypothetical initial attack by Zimmerman, but so narrow for Zimmerman that he's not allowed to use a firearm to defend himself in a completely non hypothetical case of being pinned to the ground and getting his face punched repeatedly.

The law applies equally in both directions. Both have a right to self defense. Both lose that right when they go beyond that force necessary to defend themselves.

Quote:
At the end of the day, you're still blameworthy for creating the situation in the first place.


What situation?

Quote:
Whether or not that's manslaughter or murder is for a jury to decide. And, in the specific case of Zimmerman, so is deciding whether or not he may be held responsible for creating this situation to a sufficient degree for him to be guilty of murder or manslaughter.


So attempting to see where a suspicious person ran off to inside your housing complex is "creating a situation" which apparently now requires that you allow that person to beat you senseless rather than use your concealed firearm to defend yourself? Are you seriously arguing that if I go sneaking around my neighborhood, and someone walks up to ask me what I'm doing, that I'm free to beat that person to a pulp and he has no right to do anything about it? That's insane.

We don't know who started the fight. We only know that immediately prior to firing his weapon, the position and conditions that Zimmerman was in meet the legal requirements for use of deadly force in self defense. Now if they also want to charge him with "scaring an overly jumpy minor" or something, that's fine. But that's all the prosecution has come remotely close to proving. And last I heard, following someone isn't a crime.

Edited, Jul 10th 2013 5:51pm by gbaji
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#118 Jul 10 2013 at 6:58 PM Rating: Excellent
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And if Zimmerman shot and killed Martin after Martin clearly was leaving the fight *then* it would be murder instead of self defense on Zimmerman's part. Legally, Martin is required to stop attacking Zimmerman once he gets the upper hand. And legally, Zimmerman is not allowed to shot Martin if Martin gets off of him and stops attacking.


That is not the point you raised, though. The point you raised was that Martin could have gotten up and walked away when he allegedly had Zimmerman down on the ground. My point was that he could not be sure of his own safety if he did so. The other guy being guilty of murder is of no comfort to the victim, I would imagine.

Legally, if Martin felt that he was in danger, or would be in danger if he let Zimmerman up, he had every right to make sure of his own safety.

But, again, we don't know what was in their hearts at that moment. We only know what was in Martin's heart afterward, and that was a bullet.

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#119 Jul 10 2013 at 7:06 PM Rating: Default
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Oh, Smash? The Reuters article is incorrect (shocking, I know). There was only one eye witness who claimed to have seen Zimmerman on top, and she's the one who was the farthest away, and only saw vague colors. I can only assume that they conflated the fact that three "witnesses" claimed that it was Zimmerman on top, and wrote "eye witnesses" instead. The other two are the girlfriend, who heard the start of the fight on her phone, and the woman who heard the screaming outside and testified that it was Martin because it had to be a child's voice. I'm not aware of any eye witnesses other than the one mentioned in the same article you linked that has said they thought it was Zimmerman on top. If you could please list the names of these people, that would really be great.

The one who saw the end of the fight from about 20 feet away was Mr. Good. He actually spoke to the two, told them he was going to call the cops, close his back door, and then the shot rang out before he could make the call. His testimony is by far the most powerful, if for no other reason than it's certain that what he saw was just seconds before the shot, while other witnesses saw part of the fight earlier on. As I've stated repeatedly, what really matters in terms of self defense is whether Zimmerman meets the requirements for use of lethal force in self defense at the moment he fired. What was happening 30 seconds earlier may be interesting, but doesn't necessarily rule out him meeting that requirement at a later time.
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#120 Jul 10 2013 at 7:14 PM Rating: Excellent
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Here's one of the things that bother me about the case: Zimmerman knew the cops were on their way. He had called them, the neighbor went inside to call them. Did he really think this kid was going to beat him to death in five minutes?

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#121 Jul 10 2013 at 7:42 PM Rating: Default
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Samira wrote:
Here's one of the things that bother me about the case: Zimmerman knew the cops were on their way. He had called them, the neighbor went inside to call them. Did he really think this kid was going to beat him to death in five minutes?


To death? Maybe not. To "great bodily injury"? Absolutely. 5 minutes is an eternity when you're in that situation. The better question is whether it's reasonable to expect that someone who's getting beaten like that should reasonably be expected to just take it for 5 minutes when they have a weapon they can use in their defense. I don't think any honest person can say that if they were in Zimmerman's shoes they would have chosen to just take the beating rather than use their gun.
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#122 Jul 10 2013 at 7:58 PM Rating: Excellent
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Well, your world view is different than mine. Of course, I wouldn't have been in Zimmerman's shoes at that point, so the point is moot.

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#123 Jul 10 2013 at 7:58 PM Rating: Default
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Samira wrote:
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And if Zimmerman shot and killed Martin after Martin clearly was leaving the fight *then* it would be murder instead of self defense on Zimmerman's part. Legally, Martin is required to stop attacking Zimmerman once he gets the upper hand. And legally, Zimmerman is not allowed to shot Martin if Martin gets off of him and stops attacking.


That is not the point you raised, though. The point you raised was that Martin could have gotten up and walked away when he allegedly had Zimmerman down on the ground. My point was that he could not be sure of his own safety if he did so. The other guy being guilty of murder is of no comfort to the victim, I would imagine.


Nevertheless, that is the requirement of the law. The point you raise is problematic in that it has no inherent limit. It allows someone to take a violent act, not in defense against direct violence against them, but based on the speculation that someone might do so.

Quote:
Legally, if Martin felt that he was in danger, or would be in danger if he let Zimmerman up, he had every right to make sure of his own safety.


It has to be a fear that a "reasonable person" would have. A reasonable person, when in a fight, if he knocks the other person to the ground, does not assume that if he fails to jump on top of that person and continue beating him (presumably into unconsciousness) the other person will pull out out a gun and shoot him. A reasonable person steps back, and if the other person gets back up and attacks him again, knocks him to the ground again. Alternatively, a reasonable person might flee if they're concerned that the other person might gain the upper hand later.

Also, the assumption just doesn't make any sense. If Martin knew Zimmerman was armed, then he also knew that Zimmerman did not just shoot him immediately. So why assume that the only way to avoid getting shot is to jump on top of Zimmerman and pound his face into the ground? That makes absolutely zero sense. All you're doing is giving the other guy every reason to shoot you (and frankly, little choice but to do so), and actually making it legitimate self defense for him to do so, in a situation where the other person has shown restraint with regard to the use of his weapon by not shooting you already. What makes vastly more sense is that Martin had no clue that Zimmerman was armed, figured he could take Zimmerman, got the upper hand, and then decided to beat the **** out of him.

Quote:
But, again, we don't know what was in their hearts at that moment. We only know what was in Martin's heart afterward, and that was a bullet


A tragedy that could have been avoided easily by simply *not* escalating a fight to the point where the other person feels they must shoot you in order to stop you from beating them senseless.

Edited, Jul 10th 2013 7:09pm by gbaji
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#124 Jul 10 2013 at 8:03 PM Rating: Default
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Samira wrote:
Well, your world view is different than mine. Of course, I wouldn't have been in Zimmerman's shoes at that point, so the point is moot.


But what if you were in his shoes? Ignore whether you believe you'd ever be carrying a concealed weapon, or get into an altercation with someone physically. Imagine that through some series of events, you find yourself on your back, with an assailant on top of you, beating your face in with no end in sight (ok, for 5 more minutes), and you have a pistol on your belt. You know it's loaded, and you are able to grab it and shoot your assailant if you chose to.


What choice do you make? I doubt very many people would say they'd just lay there and take the beatings, and I'd doubt the sincerity of anyone who did.

Edited, Jul 10th 2013 7:06pm by gbaji
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#125 Jul 10 2013 at 10:05 PM Rating: Decent
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The one who saw the end of the fight from about 20 feet away was Mr. Good. He actually spoke to the two, told them he was going to call the cops, close his back door, and then the shot rang out before he could make the call. His testimony is by far the most powerful, if for no other reason than it's certain that what he saw was just seconds before the shot, while other witnesses saw part of the fight earlier on. As I've stated repeatedly, what really matters in terms of self defense is whether Zimmerman meets the requirements for use of lethal force in self defense at the moment he fired.

What you state repeatedly and what actually matters in court are so wildly divergent, I'm not sure why you bother to mention it. Here is what actually matters:

Do the jurors think Martin attacked Zimmerman without provocation. That's all. That's what the case is about. Regardless of what the law says, and you seem not to understand the law (but it doesn't matter), the jury will either decide Zimmerman was behaving in a way they can understand and relate to or not. Either they will think "I would want to know what that kid was doing and follow him" or "My husband/brother/sister/father/whatever would do that" etc, or they will think "No one should be following random strangers around with a gun after the police have asked them not to". None of the other stuff matters.

Problems for Zimmerman:

Ignoring the police directions.
Not being on his own property.
His comments on the police call.
Being physically unattractive and having douchebag mannerisms.
His public persona prior to the trial.
Not testifying.

Problems for the state:

Zimmerman's injuries photos.
Martin having THC in his blood.
Martin's friends and family being poor unpolished witnesses.

They'll probably convict. As a matter of law, they probably shouldn't, but matters of law have little to do with jury trials. Were I a juror, I'd acquit. As a spectator, who cares not an iota for either of these meaningless people I have literally zero connection to or empathy for, I hope they convict. The idea that wandering around your neighborhood with a handgun like a battleship on patrol is perfectly fine should probably be shown to be a less certain proposition in a civil society. At least he'll be treated fairly in Florida's fine and progressive rehabilitation system.
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#126 Jul 10 2013 at 10:08 PM Rating: Decent
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But what if you were in his shoes? Ignore whether you believe you'd ever be carrying a concealed weapon, or get into an altercation with someone physically. Imagine that through some series of events, you find yourself on your back, with an assailant on top of you, beating your face in with no end in sight (ok, for 5 more minutes), and you have a pistol on your belt. You know it's loaded, and you are able to grab it and shoot your assailant if you chose to.


What choice do you make? I doubt very many people would say they'd just lay there and take the beatings, and I'd doubt the sincerity of anyone who did.


Been there. There are multiple options aside from killing someone. Of course, I was trained in those options and wasn't just handed a gun and plastic "watch captain" badge and sent home to watch Rambo videos, so I guess not *technically* in his shoes in the sense you probably mean.
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#127 Jul 11 2013 at 1:37 AM Rating: Default
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gbaji wrote:
Almalieque wrote:
Gbaji,

If he had a crowbar, some spray paint and other tools, you and everyone on his defense would say "He was about to commit a crime. Why else would he have those tools?" Am I right?


Sure, but that has no relevance to the question of whether Zimmerman was justified to use his weapon in self defense. It also doesn't preclude the possibility that he was about to commit a crime. Assault is a crime, yet does not require a crowbar and other tools. Theft is a crime, yet does not necessarily require those tools either. Your statement is like one huge logical fallacy burrito.

The question is whether Zimmerman acted in self defense when he shot Martin. The only relevant questions therefore are whether he had a reasonable belief that he was in danger of grave injury or loss of life *and* (if he started the fight) whether he had the opportunity and ability to escape (after the fight started) but chose not to. According to the law, those are the only considerations to make. Everything else is really just window dressing, which may or may not influence a jury when they make those determinations.


You're assuming that I'm confusing the two together. I've said several times over now that no one knows if the shooting was justified. That wasn't my point. My point was that you have no evidence that Martin was about to commit a crime, yet you label him as someone about to commit a crime. Based on what? That's the dictionary definition of prejudice.

Technically, Martin could have been about to do *anything*, but unless there is some sort of proof, then you can't label him as someone about to commit a crime. If I'm not mistaken, Zimmerman was concerned that Martin might have been responsible for some of the recent crimes that had taken place. There's nothing wrong with Zimmerman thinking that, but there was no evidence on Martin to support that he was about to do those aforesaid crimes.

The point being that you can't say that Martin *was about* to commit a crime with no evidence. The opposite could just as easily argue that Martin *was about* to go donate his kidney to a dying friend in the hospital. Unless there is any proof to support any claim, you can not make any argument.

Edited, Jul 11th 2013 11:40am by Almalieque
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#128 Jul 11 2013 at 1:40 AM Rating: Excellent
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We don't know who started the fight. We only know that immediately prior to firing his weapon, the position and conditions that Zimmerman was in meet the legal requirements for use of deadly force in self defense.

I think the problem we are having is that it seems like total **** that it could be legal for a person who initiates a confrontation to kill somebody and claim self defense. If Zimmerman never left his car, I feel sure that nobody would be dead right now. It reminds me of the cases where somebody breaks into a house, trips down the stairs, and then successfully sues the homeowner. I'm not saying that following Martin was illegal, but the fact that he created the situation and now might be getting off.
#129 Jul 11 2013 at 1:45 AM Rating: Excellent
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Even if the order is: Bijou does everything wrong, Bijou attacks gbaji, gbaji fights back, gbaji knocks Bijou to the ground, jumps on him, pins him to the ground and beats him, Bijou can't escape and fears he's at risk of grave bodily injury, Bijou shoots gbaji, Bijou has not violated the law.
You are ok with that, right?

Even though I followed you with a loaded gun?

Intent on saving the peace of your condo?
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#130 Jul 11 2013 at 4:27 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
What choice do you make? I doubt very many people would say they'd just lay there and take the beatings, and I'd doubt the sincerity of anyone who did.
Irrelevant. What someone would do has no bearing on what they're legally allowed to do.
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#131 Jul 11 2013 at 5:24 AM Rating: Good
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Uglysasquatch wrote:
gbaji wrote:
What choice do you make? I doubt very many people would say they'd just lay there and take the beatings, and I'd doubt the sincerity of anyone who did.
Irrelevant. What someone would do has no bearing on what they're legally allowed to do.

I'd be scratching out some eyeballs.
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#132 Jul 11 2013 at 7:54 AM Rating: Good
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Problems for Zimmerman:

Ignoring the police directions.
I guess in the sense that it's a problem for Zimmerman if the jury is idiotic enough to believe "we don't need you to do that" and "do you want to meet with the officer when they get out there?" to be lawful orders. If how often it's come up here is any indication, he's pretty fucked.
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#133 Jul 11 2013 at 8:00 AM Rating: Excellent
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Gbaji wrote:
But what if you were in his shoes? Ignore whether you believe you'd ever be carrying a concealed weapon, or get into an altercation with someone physically. Imagine that through some series of events, you find yourself on your back, with an assailant on top of you, beating your face in with no end in sight (ok, for 5 more minutes), and you have a pistol on your belt. You know it's loaded, and you are able to grab it and shoot your assailant if you chose to.


What choice do you make? I doubt very many people would say they'd just lay there and take the beatings, and I'd doubt the sincerity of anyone who did.


My imagination doesn't stretch that far, sorry. The person that I am would not be trolling around in the dark with a loaded pistol because a black teenager is in the vicinity. To ask me to ignore who I am and posit how I'd respond if I were in a situation I would never be in, is asking how a different person would respond. I have no idea.

I agree, certainly, that a person who sees himself/herself as the empowered protector of his/her community, who feels entitled to carry a loaded gun in the defense of his/her self-defined territory, who does not loudly and clearly greet (or warn) a suspected intruder in said territory, who is foolish enough to exit his/her vehicle and confront said "intruder" and get his/her **** kicked in the ensuing scuffle, might indeed pull out that gun and fire it. Did, in fact. But that person is not this person, and for that I am grateful.

Seems like wolf **** might be a cheaper and less troublesome way to mark one's territory, assuming one lacks the testosterone to mark it oneself.
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#134 Jul 11 2013 at 9:13 AM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
What choice do you make? I doubt very many people would say they'd just lay there and take the beatings, and I'd doubt the sincerity of anyone who did.
Yeah I'd shoot.

Of course, I'd also have not followed the guy initially, listened to the cops, tried to calm the situation down if confrontation was inevitable, and tried to get away if there was an altercation. If you ignore any of the common sense actions one would normally take in these situations then shooting someone seems really rational.

Of course that doesn't make him a criminal, only a dumbass. Smiley: rolleyes

Edit: More on point: now that manslaughter is on the table, I'm guessing he ends up guilty of that.
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#135 Jul 11 2013 at 9:34 AM Rating: Good
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someproteinguy wrote:
gbaji wrote:
What choice do you make? I doubt very many people would say they'd just lay there and take the beatings, and I'd doubt the sincerity of anyone who did.
Yeah I'd shoot.

Of course, I'd also have not followed the guy initially, listened to the cops, tried to calm the situation down if confrontation was inevitable, and tried to get away if there was an altercation. If you ignore any of the common sense actions one would normally take in these situations then shooting someone seems really rational.

Of course that doesn't make him a criminal, only a dumbass. Smiley: rolleyes

Edit: More on point: now that manslaughter is on the table, I'm guessing he ends up guilty of that.


He's been charged with both Manslaughter and Second Degree Murder.

The chances of him getting off on the manslaughter charge are slim. His defense would have to demonstrate why he wasn't guilty of creating a situation in which Martin could have died. Hard to do that when he followed the kid, holding a gun.

The murder charge could go either way. The prosecution is arguing that he was looking for a fight, and that he profiled Martin. Those are theoretically sufficient to prove Zimmerman was intent on violence (even if he had no intention of killing him). But proving that is a much taller task. Though considering how talented Zimmerman is at throwing himself under the bus...
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#136 Jul 11 2013 at 9:42 AM Rating: Excellent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
The murder charge could go either way.
Now they might add 3rd degree murder?

Like you say, I don't know. I have a hard time seeing the 2nd degree murder charge sticking, but as someone who's not totally in the loop with stuff, I suppose my guess is as good as flipping a coin. I'll also be a bit shocked if he gets off scot-free.

Oh well, either way.

Smiley: popcorn

Edit:

Samira wrote:
One was ostensibly a grown-up.
Martin was 17 though, not 10 or something. It's not like he's going to mature with the flip of the switch on his 18th birthday. While there certainly is good reason we don't punish a 17 year old the same way we do a full fledged adult, he was plenty old enough to realize his actions weren't making the situation any better.

Edited, Jul 11th 2013 8:54am by someproteinguy
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#137 Jul 11 2013 at 9:57 AM Rating: Good
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It'll most likely come down to an argument between voluntary and involuntary manslaughter if it doesn't end in a deadlock.
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#138 Jul 11 2013 at 10:22 AM Rating: Good
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Too bad the dead guy can't talk.
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#139 Jul 11 2013 at 10:24 AM Rating: Good
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Elinda wrote:
Too bad the dead guy can't talk.
No one cares what the living one is saying, so it's a toss up.
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#140 Jul 11 2013 at 11:12 AM Rating: Excellent
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Quote:
Martin was 17 though, not 10 or something. It's not like he's going to mature with the flip of the switch on his 18th birthday. While there certainly is good reason we don't punish a 17 year old the same way we do a full fledged adult, he was plenty old enough to realize his actions weren't making the situation any better.


Nevertheless. With ten years' difference between them, one might reasonably expect the older guy to make better decisions. One would be disappointed in this case.
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#141 Jul 11 2013 at 11:27 AM Rating: Good
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Martin was 17 though, not 10 or something. It's not like he's going to mature with the flip of the switch on his 18th birthday. While there certainly is good reason we don't punish a 17 year old the same way we do a full fledged adult, he was plenty old enough to realize his actions weren't making the situation any better.


Nevertheless. With ten years' difference between them, one might reasonably expect the older guy to make better decisions. One would be disappointed in this case.


I'm personally a advocate that it's unacceptable to bend the age of majority retroactively. If you're going to create an age of majority in law, and then control the rights and movements of minors under it, than you are obligated to uphold that even when its inconvenient for you. I'm fine with something like emancipation voiding it, but I'm not okay with us treating teenagers as adults only when we want to **** them over harder.
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#142 Jul 11 2013 at 1:56 PM Rating: Decent
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Elinda wrote:
Uglysasquatch wrote:
gbaji wrote:
What choice do you make? I doubt very many people would say they'd just lay there and take the beatings, and I'd doubt the sincerity of anyone who did.
Irrelevant. What someone would do has no bearing on what they're legally allowed to do.

I'd be scratching out some eyeballs.

You can do quite a bit of damage with a pistol without pulling the trigger.
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#143 Jul 11 2013 at 3:44 PM Rating: Default
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Martin was 17 though, not 10 or something. It's not like he's going to mature with the flip of the switch on his 18th birthday


Oh, how I've been arguing this point for years now...
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#144 Jul 11 2013 at 5:46 PM Rating: Default
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Friar Bijou wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Even if the order is: Bijou does everything wrong, Bijou attacks gbaji, gbaji fights back, gbaji knocks Bijou to the ground, jumps on him, pins him to the ground and beats him, Bijou can't escape and fears he's at risk of grave bodily injury, Bijou shoots gbaji, Bijou has not violated the law.
You are ok with that, right?

Even though I followed you with a loaded gun?


Yes. Because I would have been the idiot to decided to escalate a conflict with a guy with a gun. Assuming you didn't start out shooting at me (didn't I already make this point?), it shows that you don't intend to just shoot me outright unless I give you cause to do so. Maybe you don't want to shoot me. Maybe you don't want to shoot me in a way that can't be justified as self defense. I don't know. But what I do know is that if after knocking you to the ground I then jump on top of you and continue punching you, I've taken any possibility that you might not shoot me off the table.

So yeah. If you are armed, and I know you are armed, and I do that and fail to disarm you in the process, then I'm the dumbass who just got himself killed. If you are armed, and I *don't* know you are armed, and I do that, then I'm the dumbass who just got himself killed. Either way, it's my **** fault for getting shot.


And let's not forget that this all assumes that Martin knew that Zimmerman was armed, which is incredibly unlikely. As I've stated before, the much more likely possibility is that Martin assumed Zimmerman wasn't armed, and assumed he could beat him up, so he chose to do that. If he'd known Zimmerman was armed, it's almost certain he would not have engaged in a fistfight with him.
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#145 Jul 11 2013 at 5:58 PM Rating: Good
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So moral of the story: Always carry a gun with you. If anyone is stupid enough to start a fight, you're free to shoot them.

What a grand world.
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#146 Jul 11 2013 at 6:02 PM Rating: Default
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Almalieque wrote:
You're assuming that I'm confusing the two together. I've said several times over now that no one knows if the shooting was justified.


Isn't that the point of this whole thing? To discuss whether it was justified? I mean, the jury's going to have to make that exact decision, right? Sidestepping the core issue is kinda pointless, isn't it?

Quote:
That wasn't my point. My point was that you have no evidence that Martin was about to commit a crime, yet you label him as someone about to commit a crime. Based on what? That's the dictionary definition of prejudice.


Um... At the risk of bursting your bubble we know that Martin was committing a crime. Let me remind you: I'm talking about Zimmerman shooting Martin, not Zimmerman following Martin into the complex. Zimmerman isn't on trial for following someone. He's on trial for shooting someone.

At the time that Zimmerman fired his weapon, Martin was committing a crime. Anytime you are on top of someone, pinning them to the ground and punching them, you are committing a crime (ok, outside of a regulated fighting match of course). It's called assault. And as I have repeatedly stated, self defense laws do *not* allow you to do what Martin was doing. Ever.

You keep wanting to obsess over whether Martin's behavior prior to Zimmerman following him could be proven to be criminal, but that's utterly irrelevant to the question at hand. It does not matter. Zimmerman has every right to follow Martin through the complex whether Martin is committing a crime or not. He has every right to approach Martin. He has every right to talk to Martin and ask him what he's doing, if he's a resident, where he lives, etc. Martin is not required to answer, but he's *not* allowed to attack Zimmerman for doing that either.

Quote:
Technically, Martin could have been about to do *anything*, but unless there is some sort of proof, then you can't label him as someone about to commit a crime. If I'm not mistaken, Zimmerman was concerned that Martin might have been responsible for some of the recent crimes that had taken place. There's nothing wrong with Zimmerman thinking that, but there was no evidence on Martin to support that he was about to do those aforesaid crimes.


So what? Zimmerman doesn't have to prove that Martin was going to commit a crime in order to decide that what he's doing is suspicious and to follow him and see what he does and where he goes. He's perfectly within his right to do that, and one can argue that this is precisely what he's supposed to do when he's on watch. You know: Watch. Watching doesn't stop at the edge of the street.

Quote:
The point being that you can't say that Martin *was about* to commit a crime with no evidence. The opposite could just as easily argue that Martin *was about* to go donate his kidney to a dying friend in the hospital. Unless there is any proof to support any claim, you can not make any argument.


No argument I've made in this thread rests on the assumption that Martin was going to commit a crime while walking home that night. So you're proving something no one is arguing. Um... Congratulations!?
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#147 Jul 11 2013 at 6:07 PM Rating: Good
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My favorite part of this discussion is that there's no room in gbaji's mind to believe that Zimmerman wasn't protected by a self defense law...

...and no room in his mind to even accept the chance that Martin was.
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#148 Jul 11 2013 at 6:10 PM Rating: Excellent
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Yes. Because I would have been the idiot to decided to escalate a conflict with a guy with a gun.

Noted Smiley: grin
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#149 Jul 11 2013 at 6:25 PM Rating: Excellent
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And let's not forget that this all assumes that Martin knew that Zimmerman was armed, which is incredibly unlikely. As I've stated before, the much more likely possibility is that Martin assumed Zimmerman wasn't armed, and assumed he could beat him up, so he chose to do that. If he'd known Zimmerman was armed, it's almost certain he would not have engaged in a fistfight with him.


Wasn't Zimmerman's justification for using the gun something about Martin grabbing for it?
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#150 Jul 11 2013 at 6:29 PM Rating: Default
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
So moral of the story: Always carry a gun with you. If anyone is stupid enough to start a fight, you're free to shoot them.


As opposed to the alternative: No one is allowed to carry a gun, so if you're bigger and stronger than them, you can beat them up, rob, them, rape them, or whatever with impunity.

Quote:
What a grand world.


No world is perfect. Pick your poison. What's the old saying: God created man. Sam Colt made them equal.

Point being that being armed with a gun equalizes the playing field. The guy who is bigger and stronger no longer automatically wins. Thus, the little old lady who would otherwise always be a victim may be able to defend herself. More importantly, as long as we allow folks with guns around, it acts as a deterrent, thus protecting tons of other people who are not armed. Unfortunately, Martin wasn't bright enough to realize that the person he decided to bully might be armed, and paid for that mistake with his life. What we can hope is that the next kid who thinks he can knock someone around because he's bigger and stronger will remember what happened to Martin and realize that it might cost him his life, and maybe *not* do what Martin did.

Sadly, there's always someone who'll serve as a cautionary tale to the rest of us. Harsh? Yes. True? Absolutely.
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#151 Jul 11 2013 at 6:32 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:
As opposed to the alternative: No one is allowed to carry a gun, so if you're bigger and stronger than them, you can beat them up, rob, them, rape them, or whatever with impunity.


Ignoring the fact that I'm fine with strict gun controls, you DO realize there's a middle ground, right?

As in, you don't chase after someone with a gun and get off scott-free because they fight back. The scenario you just painted allows any thug to get off of a murder charge by technicality that they fought back. Either you do exactly as you're told, or you give them the right to shoot you by resisting. Brilliant.
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