Wednesday, July 18, 2012

This is why you can't just dismiss things like "stand your ground"

The problem with George Zimmerman was that he was a threat to his community. It seems strange to me to just blame "stand your ground" laws on precisely the people that are a threat to the community.

Anyway, can you imagine if more robberies were greeted with this? You don't think that would change behavior? Be serious.

So what do you do with the Zimmermans of the world? You do exactly what we're doing: you prosecute them. You let the justice system determine if their actions were appropriate. The way I see it, Zimmerman is a violent thug. Do we even know if he knew about "stand your ground"? It's likely he would have carried a gun with him and used it overzealously on neighborhood watch whether that particular law was in place or not. We have at least two tools to protect ourselves from violent thugs: guns and the justice system. Trayvon Martin didn't have the former, so unfortunately in that case we have to resort to the latter. Tragic things like that happen. But they don't validate the argument that because thugs carry guns good people shouldn't.


  1. Zimmerman was just doing what cops do on a regular basis with impunity.

  2. In what sense was George Zimmerman a threat to his community or a violent thug?

    1. He shot an unarmed kid in his community.

    2. The "unarmed kid" (i.e., a young man) was sat on top of him punching him in the face.

  3. I am surprised by Daniel here.

    Normally, we are the loud rhetorical ones, and it's Daniel who chooses the most balanced stance and language.

    So him calling Zimmerman a "violent thug" is rather unexpected.

    Also unfair, because the bloody gash on Zimmerman's head indeed shows that his head was being smashed on the pavement on that day, and he shot his gun at Martin afterwards. Perhaps irrational, but I can't imagine doing rational things when my head is being smashed on a pavement repeatedly.

    1. I've heard a lot of different versions of what happened, and I'm not sure what is true. It may very well be true that Trayvon had a short fuse - too short a fuse - in reacting to what he understandably perceived as a threat from Zimmerman.

      Zimmerman initiated this whole thing by harassing Martin. Martin may or may not have physically responded - perhaps he did. But it seems to me the overreaction of killing an unarmed kid dwarfs the overreaction of hitting someone that's harassing you.

      Zimmerman should not have initiated in the first place. It was a kid walking down the street. What business did he have bothering him?

      But if/when Martin assaulted from him, Zimmerman should have just shoved him off, pinned him on the ground. Or hell, even if he hit Martin that would have been fine. Why the hell did he pull a gun on an unarmed kid?

    2. I've heard that argument a lot: "You don't bring a gun to a fist fight". I wholly disagree. A fist fight (especially one that involves someone smashing your head on the floor) is a serious threat to your life and bodily integrity. Taking a page from Locke, the person who violently attacks you forfeits all their rights until you are restored to a position of security. Stopping someone from appreciably raising my risk of death or grievous bodily harm is well worth killing for.

      I of course have no idea what happened that night and so my comments are not meant to indict or support the position of any of the protagonists.


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