Trayvon Martin: Guilty of being 17 and black

When George Zimmerman saw 17-year-old Trayvon Martin walking in his central Florida neighborhood, he saw a young black male who in his mind must be up to no good. He called 911 to report Martin, as he had done repeatedly when he had seen young black males in the neighborhood. In all, he had called 911 46 times since January 2011.

Then, despite instructions from authorities to the contrary, Zimmerman tracked Martin in his vehicle and finally confronted the young man.

Trayvon Martin in an undated family photo

Trayvon Martin in an undated family photo

We don’t know for sure what happened next. Maybe Zimmerman, a civilian with no arrest powers, got out of his truck and tried to restrain Martin — a few minutes earlier he had expressed frustration to the 911 operator that “they always get away.” Maybe Martin grew argumentative, challenging Zimmerman’s right to follow and harass him.

We do know that in the physical struggle that ensued, someone began screaming for help, and the much larger Zimmerman pulled his pistol and shot Martin.

We also know that when police arrived at the scene, they too treated Martin, now lying dead in the grass, as a young black male who had probably been up to good. They didn’t see Trayvon, the good student with a clean record who just a few minutes earlier had been talking with his girlfriend on his cellphone while he walked, telling her he was worried because some guy seemed to be following him.

So when Zimmerman claimed he had been acting in self defense, they believed him. The officers were also aware that Florida’s controversial “stand your ground” law gives gun owners considerable leeway in such situations. So even though an innocent young man lay dead at their feet of a gunshot wound, they did not arrest the man who killed him.

The story has so many tragic elements. Trayvon, who was walking back to his father’s home in the neighborhood after buying Skittles from the local 7-Eleven, had been guilty of being black and 17, “profiled” first by Zimmerman and again, while dead, by the police.

Zimmerman, his courage probably bolstered by the weapon he carried, took actions that he had no moral or legal right to undertake, and he ended up killing someone as a result. (Recordings of previous 911 calls by Zimmerman and recordings of the calls that he and others made to 911 the night of the shootings are available here.)

Two authors of the Florida “stand your ground” bill argue that Zimmerman forfeited protection under that law when he chose to get out of his vehicle to confront Martin, ignoring the request of a 911 operator.

As the Miami Herald reports:

“They got the goods on him. They need to prosecute whoever shot the kid,” said (former state Sen. Durell) Peaden, a Crestview Republican who sponsored the deadly force law in 2005. “He has no protection under my law.”

Peaden and (state Rep. Dennis) Baxley, R-Ocala, say their law is a self-defense act. It says law-abiding people have no duty to retreat from an attacker and can meet “force with force.” Nowhere does it say that a person has a right to confront another.

The 911 tapes strongly suggest Zimmerman overstepped his bounds, they say, when the Sanford neighborhood crime-watch captain said he was following Trayvon and appeared to ignore a police request to stay away.

“The guy lost his defense right then,” said Peaden. “When he said ‘I’m following him,’ he lost his defense.”

Maybe so. But it is also true that their law encourages and endorses such armed confrontation and makes the case much less clear-cut than it probably ought to be. That law states:

(3) A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

Georgia has a similar law, passed a year after Florida. That’s a common pattern in gun laws in this state; Florida passes it first, and Georgia then follows. But because Georgia law has safeguards that Florida does not, Zimmerman would be easier to prosecute.

Georgia law states:

“(b) A person is not justified in using force under the circumstances specified in subsection (a) of this Code section if he:

(1) Initially provokes the use of force against himself with the intent to use such force as an excuse to inflict bodily harm upon the assailant….

(3) Was the aggressor or was engaged in a combat by agreement unless he withdraws from the encounter and effectively communicates to such other person his intent to do so and the other, notwithstanding, continues or threatens to continue the use of unlawful force.

Trayvon Martin, the most innocent person in this tragedy, has paid the highest price. He is dead. Zimmerman may yet face prosecution; a grand jury has been belatedly called to hear the evidence in the case. Federal authorities are looking into it as well. And while we have no idea whether Zimmerman was encouraged to act as he did by the existence of the “stand your ground” law passed by the Florida Legislature, there is no question it has made the pursuit of justice in this case more difficult.

There is also no question that Zimmerman’s actions and the stand-your-ground law share a common foundation in the belief that armed citizens not only have the right to take the law into their own hands, but should be encouraged to do so, even though they lack the training, judgment, professionalism and most of all accountability required of law enforcement.

– Jay Bookman

690 comments Add your comment

Matti's disgust

March 21st, 2012
5:52 pm

The kid was not in his house, near his house, or coming toward him. He was chasing the kid in defiance of specific police instructions. How is it self defense if the shooter is chasing somebody who’s not bothering him? He should have already been arrested. (Hey, it’s Florida! Sadly, his chances of getting off in a trial are still really good.)

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

March 21st, 2012
5:54 pm

Two authors of the Florida “stand your ground” bill argue that Zimmerman forfeited protection under that law when he chose to get out of his vehicle to confront Martin, ignoring the request of a 911 operator.

Glad to see that they are defining their intent.

josef

March 21st, 2012
6:01 pm

I know that hindsight is 20/20, but shouldn’t a red flag of some kind have gone up on Zimmerman and all those 911 calls and the pattern they seem to establish?

Midori

March 21st, 2012
6:03 pm

my brother and I discussed this at length last night. He lives in Texas, which has similar laws.

Every time I see that poor kid I think of my brothers, nephews and grandson.

God Speed, Trayvon. You were our future.

Bernie

March 21st, 2012
6:07 pm

Thank-you JAY, You guys are only a month behind the story, but better late than never. This case is as about as contraversial as the Emmitt Till Case years ago. Just as that case was the intial spark of the Civil Rights movement, The silence of Bigotory and hate was its fuel. The same silence is occurring here and its brewing ever so slowly. Tayvon’s only crime was being Black in the mind of Zimmerman.
That was enough of a reason to shoot and kill a Black child without fear of retribution. Up until the past week, he was correct!

Logical Dude - slut and ho

March 21st, 2012
6:07 pm

I’ve been in neighborhood watch talks with police. They say to call 911 if you see anything suspicious and let the cops handle it.
This guy did NOT let the cops handle it. He is a vigilante, and a stupid vigilante at that since he killed an innocent young man.
Good vigilantes at least kill “bad guys”. ;)

[...] a young black man wearing a hooded sweatshirt. Jay Bookman from The Atlanta-Journal Constitution observed: The story has so many tragic elements. Trayvon, who was walking back to his father’s home in the [...]

Midori

March 21st, 2012
6:09 pm

Children holding signs at the “Million Hoodies March” in New York’s Union Square on Wednesday. This photo was taken by one of The Last Word producers covering the event in honor of Travyon Martin.

http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/560046_317341838320669_114945745226947_809603_2110837_n.jpg

barking frog

March 21st, 2012
6:09 pm

This might be a good
time to check the
neighborhood watch
policy of your county
Sheriff.

Peadawg

March 21st, 2012
6:11 pm

I haven’t of of this case, Jay. I did see this one today though:

http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/21/justice/mississippi-hate-crime/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

Just as sick. Both cases are sad.

getalife

March 21st, 2012
6:12 pm

george will have a hard time in prison.

Joe

March 21st, 2012
6:12 pm

So what you are saying, Bookman, is that if you are doing something completely legal and for the benefit of the community and someone attacks you and starts smashing your head into the pavement and you scream for help but none comes, that you should not be able to use lethal force to defend yourself? Or is it only wrong of the person beating you is black?

James

March 21st, 2012
6:14 pm

The initiater of the confrontation has no defense under this law. That said, Sanford Florida is far from the best of areas to live in and neither is its neighbors to the South that are outskirts of Orlando that suffers a very high crime rate with the majority being that of minority wars for turf.

Joe

March 21st, 2012
6:16 pm

Why do people claim that Trayvon is innocent? He was the one on top of Zimmerman, beating Zimmerman while Zimmerman yelled for help. Do people not realize that beating someone is a crime? Or is there some law that blacks can beat non-blacks with impunity?

getalife

March 21st, 2012
6:16 pm

Joe,

Perhaps he should not have followed him like ordered and there would be no fight.

josef

March 21st, 2012
6:17 pm

Peadawg

The difference is that the Mississippi authorities acted swiftly in bringing the culprint to justice. I’m not saying that in my usual knee-jerk defense of Mississippi, but to make the point that while we still have a long way to go in getting these hate crimes and vigilantism as a thing of the past,progress has been made in prosecution, Florida appears to be moving backward in that.

And, as with midori, my thoughts are on the family and what we lost for our future. RIP, Treyvon…

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

March 21st, 2012
6:18 pm

So what you are saying, Bookman, is that…

Dude, seriously….

Peadawg

March 21st, 2012
6:20 pm

“The difference is that the Mississippi authorities acted swiftly in bringing the culprint to justice.”

The town that the victim lived in, yes. The town across the river where the white boys lived don’t give a rats ars.

getalife

March 21st, 2012
6:20 pm

If you go out looking for trouble, you will find it.

That kid in Miss. was caught on video.

Another wasted life.

josef

March 21st, 2012
6:20 pm

Joe

I don’t know about you, but when somebody has been following me and then becomes confrontational for no cause, what do you expect me to do? I’d say the boy was acting rationally.

josef

March 21st, 2012
6:22 pm

Peadawg…
How many people do you know from both sides of the river?

pogo

March 21st, 2012
6:22 pm

Jay I was with you until that last paragraph In which you became just another run of the mill anti-gun liberal. I assume you don’t have guns in your house. I hope that you never experience what my wife and I did with an armed intruder a couple of years ago. If I had not been armed we may have very well been gone. I suppose you probably live in a high- end neighborhood and you probably think that that makes you immune to our societies ills. We also live in a high-end neighborhood. But that didn’t matter to this guy. He would have came in if I had not prevented him. And the police? We called them immediately when the alarm system went off and when did they respond? 20 minutes after my confrontation with the guy. Thankfully, I did not have to shoot him. But I would have if he had continued.

hewhoasks

March 21st, 2012
6:23 pm

The Florida law only protects someone who is being subject to illegal violence and only authorizes use of deadly force under restricted conditions, none of which appear to apply to this case. If there is anyone who was protected by that law it was Martin, who was being stalked by a threatening person while he himself was engaged in lawful activity. Pretty clearly Florida law enforcement people need to be educated on what the law covers and what it does not cover. If there was a conflict situation (as clearly there was) that conflict situation arose form the improper actions of Zimmerman. Even if Martin slugged him Martin’s actions were legal violence – and the law affords protection only to those acting in the face of illegal violence. Check the law itself.

Jay

March 21st, 2012
6:23 pm

Joe, Trayvon was a 17-year-old kid, reportedly all of 140 pounds. Zimmerman, 28, outweighed him by 100 pounds or so. So I’m having trouble buying your little scenario, however conveniently it might fit into your own persecution theory.

Retired Vet

March 21st, 2012
6:24 pm

@Joe

March 21st, 2012
6:12 pm

Joe, were you there, or your reading skills that lacking. Maybe the words black and teen unhinged you?

saywhat?

March 21st, 2012
6:24 pm

So Joe, if you are out walking in my neigborhood one night, an i happen to start following you in my car, call 911 on you (and get told by the dispatcher NOT to follow you), then get out of my car with a gun and confront you perhaps accusing you of criminality, its o.k for me to shoot you if you attempt to defend yourself against a guy with a gun?

Peadawg

March 21st, 2012
6:25 pm

“How many people do you know from both sides of the river?”

None. But did you watch the video in the CNN link? Did you see the interviews?

Jay

March 21st, 2012
6:26 pm

Pogo, the paragraph you cite says absolutely nothing about the use of firearms in the home to protect the inhabitants and property. There is a vast difference between the scenario you describe and someone who acquires a weapon and goes into the world looking for a chance to use that weapon.

Joe

March 21st, 2012
6:26 pm

Getalife,

What “order” are you talking about? What the dispatcher said in reference to Zimmerman following Trayvon was, “We don’t need you to do that”. That is not an “order”. That is not even a request. Furthermore, while a person must follow a lawful order of a police officer, what was said to Zimmerman was neither an order nor was it given by a police officer.

In retrospect following him was a bad idea because it led to an altercation that ended in a death. Trayvon is dead and Zimmerman’s life is ruined. But Zimmerman most likely followed him so that when police got there he could give the police a specific location of the suspicious person he had called in about, not to injure or kill someone as so many people are implying or saying.

getalife

March 21st, 2012
6:26 pm

pogo,

I have tough time believing story.

This is where that credibility thingie come into play.

Paul

March 21st, 2012
6:30 pm

What a tragedy. Glad the Justice Dept finally prodded the local authorities. (Except for the fact we’ll now be treated to “the feds are always telling locals how to do their business”).

Just remember. Guns don’t kill. Bigots with guns kill.

Kamchak

Gotta say, excellent response to Joe. Let’s hope he doesn’t have a carry permit.

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

March 21st, 2012
6:30 pm

An armed intruder tried to break in line in front of me at Whole Foods.

I had to beat him about the head with a can of peaches, in heavy syrup.

ty webb

March 21st, 2012
6:31 pm

if the race of the victim is important, the race of the shooter is also…neither is important regarding this story, but if you’re going to include one…

Stonethrower

March 21st, 2012
6:31 pm

Let it go. It’s the law and this subject will soon get out of control and will be split along party and racial lines. There is a family that will soon have to bury a child and nothing will be done about it. As Bruce Hornsby’s (sp) song said, ” that’s just the way it is, somethings will never change.”

Jay

March 21st, 2012
6:31 pm

Zimmerman most likely followed him so that when police got there he could give the police a specific location of the suspicious person he had called in about, not to injure or kill someone as so many people are implying or saying.

Really Joe? So if that’s the story, why did Zimmerman get out of his SUV? Doesn’t seem to square with your nice tidy little tale.

Logical Dude - slut and ho

March 21st, 2012
6:32 pm

Hi Joe,
Can you provide a cite to how you heard about the details of the scuffle and who was on top and/or who was beating up who? I didn’t see that in the articles I read.

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

March 21st, 2012
6:32 pm

Well, not so fast. I might could be on that Zimmerman guy’s side. I mean, wasn’t he Liscenced to Carry? Here you had one of Those People walking around in a White neighborhood. And he was wearing a Hoodie. Everybody knows all thugs wear Hoodies.

Anyhow, I know somebody on this blog is going to accuse me of Prejudice. Well, my good buddy Jim Earl says Prejudice is hating somebody without a good reason. Well, I got a good reason to hate Those People. After all, they’re Those People. That ain’t Prejudice.

Anyhow, I say to all Those People: walk in your own neighborhood and stay out of ours. And wear White peoples clothes just to be safe. And you can bet that sheriff is a shoo-in for getting reelected.

Have a good night everybody. Just stand your ground and in a few years we’ll be back to the 1950s, when times was good.

Contrarian

March 21st, 2012
6:33 pm

Yup, totally. Imagine, for a second, identical facts, except that the shooter is black and the shootee was white. No way in hell that black shooter would be walking around a free man at present. You know also that Rush would be calling for his head.

getalife

March 21st, 2012
6:33 pm

Joe,

The government official said “You do not need to do that” about following him.

The author of the bill said george broke the law.

End of story Joe.

josef

March 21st, 2012
6:33 pm

Peadawg

You have fallen victim to the subtle sewing of prejudice in that you read the line “largely white Rankin County.” Rankin County is roughly 40% black. The writer could just as easily have said with about the same importance Rankin County, site of the state Mental Hospital…

The reason I make this point is that I have many friends in Rankin County of all races, and they were to a one outraged and deeply saddened. I didn’t just today hear about it. It’s been topic of conversation for quite a while on my lines…

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

March 21st, 2012
6:33 pm

Paul

Any reason to believe that I don’t have a CCW permit?

Joe

March 21st, 2012
6:34 pm

Jay,

So, what is the weight differential formula before one is allowed to defend themselves. you are only allowed to defend yourself if someone someone weighs less than 100 lbs, 50 lbs, or 20lbs less than the person who is getting beaten?

Bernie

March 21st, 2012
6:34 pm

Joe appears to have a simliar mindset of Zimmmerman. There are many around the country that share the same sentiment. The problem is that mindset is not always anchored in reality and sound reason. The grand jury will help decide if his actions were justified or not. I just hope that I do encounter JOE during any of my travels around Atlanta. Fearing the the terrorists of the Atlanta Police is enough concern as it is.

ty webb

March 21st, 2012
6:36 pm

Contrarian,
for your reverse hypothetical to be accurate the shooter would be black and the kid would have to be hispanic, and geraldo rivera would be calling for the shooter’s head.

William

March 21st, 2012
6:36 pm

“Then, despite instructions from authorities to the contrary, Zimmerman tracked Martin in his vehicle and finally confronted the young man.”

Well, there you have it, Jay: this clearly is not an instance of someone standing his ground. It should be a slam dunk prosecution for murder. But, please, don’t use such a tragic and senseless event like this as a ploy to criticize the law. I guess next you are going to argue people shouldn’t drive because someone got drunk and wound up killing a family.

If this is true, then it’s a no-brainer: homocide. I cannot see how chasing a young man down in a pickup truck

Real Scootter

March 21st, 2012
6:36 pm

There is also no question that Zimmerman’s actions and the stand-your-ground law share a common foundation in the belief that armed citizens not only have the right to take the law into their own hands, but should be encouraged to do so, even though they lack the training, judgment, professionalism and most of all accountability required of law enforcement

I will have to call BS on this one Jay.You are way off base.

josef

March 21st, 2012
6:37 pm

Peadawg

Yes. And if I wanted to, I could make the same point using just this blog and taking only the hateful ones for presentation…it’s biased reporting and the media is full of it…it’s just like when our ever so liberal AJC feels obligated to make mention of the perpetrators of vicious crimes living in trailer parks, and yes, Jay, y’all do…

kayaker 71

March 21st, 2012
6:37 pm

What we are forgetting is what made these laws necessary in 21 states. Zimmerman was no doubt a person impressed by his own ability to carry a gun and to “levy justice” on a person who was not armed. Does that make the law bad? No. If a conservative person does not want to own a gun, he just doesn’t buy one. If a liberal does not want to buy a gun, he wants all guns banned. There are obviously instances where those with concealed weapons think that they have some sort of “right” to be some kind of vigilante. That would be wrong, dead wrong. But these people get all of the press, especially when a black youth is involved. That brings in Sharpton, Je$$ie or some other race pimp to be “enraged” and “demand justice”. Zimmerman was indeed wrong to do what he did, plain and simple. But don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater.

Paul

March 21st, 2012
6:38 pm

Kamchak

Nope.

But from what I’ve heard, you don’t keep it concealed, you tend to expose it?

:-)

Bosch isn’t here. Neither’s USinUK. I just read Joe’s 6:34. Want some popcorn?

Joe

March 21st, 2012
6:38 pm

Getalife,

Legally it doesn’t matter what the sponsor of the bill says. It does however matter what the prosecutor says. And the prosecutor says the evidence doesn’t support criminal charges.

Maybe in your deranged understanding of the world legislators convict people, but that’s not how it works in the real world.

getalife

March 21st, 2012
6:38 pm

Joe,

You never took a whoopin?

You get over it and live to fight another day.

Guns are for people that hide under their beds scared of aq.

Paul

March 21st, 2012
6:38 pm

Hi Midori!!!!!

Contrarian

March 21st, 2012
6:39 pm

ty webb – Fair point. However, with a black shooter, as long as the shootee wasn’t black, it wouldn’t matter what skin color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, etc. of the shootee were. All that would matter is that a black male shot another person dead.

Midori

March 21st, 2012
6:40 pm

hat brings in Sharpton, Je$$ie or some other race pimp to be “enraged” and “demand justice”.

and race hookers like you give them plenty of business.

getalife

March 21st, 2012
6:41 pm

Joe,

Would you be this visibly upset if the shooter was the kid?

Midori

March 21st, 2012
6:41 pm

William

March 21st, 2012
6:41 pm

“If a conservative person does not want to own a gun, he just doesn’t buy one. If a liberal does not want to buy a gun, he wants all guns banned.”

Funny how with things like pornography, the argument goes the other way: “if you don’t want to see it, change the channel”. How about some logical consistency, huh?

Jay

March 21st, 2012
6:41 pm

If a liberal does not want to buy a gun, he wants all guns banned.

So kayaker, I’m curious: Which liberals want all guns banned? Has anybody submitted such legislation in Congress? Proposed it in an op-ed?

Paul

March 21st, 2012
6:42 pm

kayaker 71

“What we are forgetting is what made these laws necessary in 21 states”

Wayne LaPierre wanting to keep the contributions coming in so he can keep getting a million dollars a year?

Silver Fang

March 21st, 2012
6:43 pm

Execute the racist Zimmerman!

getalife

March 21st, 2012
6:44 pm

kay,

Nobody wants your guns unless you are selling them.

I sold most of mine.

Peadawg

March 21st, 2012
6:45 pm

Media biased! Media biased!!!

:roll:

That’s my cue to leave. I’ll see y’all in the morning.

Jm

March 21st, 2012
6:45 pm

A. Zimmerman belongs in jail

B. I don’t carry a gun

C. I can understand the instincts some to protect your neighborhood, tho not for racist motivations

D. I have followed, while talking to the police, a hit and run offender, a breaking and entering offender, a drunk idiot, and probably a few others that I now forget

It is our responsibility as citizens to help catch the bad people in the world. It is not our responsibility to racially profile and harass people for the worst of reasons.

independent thinker

March 21st, 2012
6:46 pm

THANK YOU JAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now explain how our legislature like Florida’s is controlled by NRA thugs. Any 18 year old who feels threatened by other high school students can stand his ground and shoot to kill with immunity in this state thanks to the NRA.due to the NRA stooges in our legislature.
” A well regulated militia being necessary for the security of a free state” is the preamble to the second amendment that Anntonin Scalia, a strict constructionist and his conservative buds said is nonsensical gibberish. How is giving some racist psycho immunity to kill a black teenager over a bag of skittles , a soda can and cell phone which the gun holder claims threatened him ( in his vehicle), promoting the security of a free state?????????????????????????? And tell me all you NRA stooges how does Mr. Zimmerman meets the qualification of a well regulated militia.
This was a legal lynching courtesy of the NRA the Supreme Court , the Florida legislature and local bigots who claim to be police officers.

F. Sinkwich

March 21st, 2012
6:47 pm

“So kayaker, I’m curious: Which liberals want all guns banned? Has anybody submitted such legislation in Congress? Proposed it in an op-ed?”

Jay, check out DC. Or NYC. Maybe Chicago. Lib ilk bastions all.

getalife

March 21st, 2012
6:47 pm

will,

Huh?

What are you talking about?

josef

March 21st, 2012
6:47 pm

Peadawg

Which is why you will remain ignorant until the day you die. You don’t even know the meaning of the word bias…much less how the term relates to you…

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

March 21st, 2012
6:48 pm

Funny how with things like pornography, the argument goes the other way: “if you don’t want to see it, change the channel”. How about some logical consistency, huh?

Funny how we’ve already done a poll on this blog, and not a liberal here wanted to ban all guns.

Jm

March 21st, 2012
6:48 pm

Besides, when the cops racially profile so much, who thinks citizens need to do it? :)

josef

March 21st, 2012
6:49 pm

Kayaker

Some liberals own guns and are pretty darned good shots! Be careful… :-)

TM

March 21st, 2012
6:49 pm

I am sure Jay interviewed all witnesses, did not rely on third party accounts before he decided that he was the judge and jury and convicted the man to a life sentence.(no death penalty by Jay). Granted the reported story so far raises a lot of questions but I remember when this paper jump on the band wagon to report who was responsible for the Olympic bombings before all the facts were known.

William

March 21st, 2012
6:50 pm

“So kayaker, I’m curious: Which liberals want all guns banned? Has anybody submitted such legislation in Congress? Proposed it in an op-ed?”

I’ll step up to the plate on this one. And Jay, please do your own homework from now on. I found this in 10 seconds:

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/ken-shepherd/2011/11/14/msnbcs-alex-wagner-get-rid-second-amendment

saywhat?

March 21st, 2012
6:50 pm

Zimmerman is a clear and present danger to any stranger with a “threatening appearance” in his neighborhood. This could of course have been my own 17 year old son, who is 5′10″, and has long hair- ooooooohhhhhh scaaaaarrrry. Why Zimmerman hasn’t been arrested makes no sense at all.

It seems to me that “stand your ground” really means “whoever shoots first wins”. Great law folks. Life under Republican rule, ain’t it grand?

kayaker 71

March 21st, 2012
6:50 pm

Bookman, 6:41,

Take a good hard look at your Attorney General. the Fast and Furious debacle was done as a first step to discourage gun ownership. There is no doubt that if Holder believes that the 2nd Amendment does not apply to private citizens and he has said so. It doesn’t get much higher in the chain than that.

josef

March 21st, 2012
6:50 pm

K’chak
@ 6:48

Yep,

ty webb

March 21st, 2012
6:51 pm

Jay,
are you privy to inside information regarding this case and investigation…you seem to be assuming a lot. Why not wait until investigation is complete before throwing out opinions. I’m not saying you’re wrong in your opinion, but you admittedly don’t have all the facts…if you do blog again in the future about this case, please be sure to include the race of all involved.

JamVet

March 21st, 2012
6:51 pm

That 17 year old had NO police record. He was NOT a problem to the community or anyone else.

This Zimmerman is a certifiable nutjob. He had called the police on 47 different occasions before he killed this boy. FORTY SEVEN TIMES!

He was a self-styled vigilante who deserves justice.

And here is to hoping that karma catches up with him AND the cowards in the city of Sanford and the state of Florida, who are going to apparently let him skate.

And that Joe and others like him, wherever they are, are even remotely trying to defend that Zimmerman POS is despicable, but sadly predictable…

Paul

March 21st, 2012
6:52 pm

6:45

Who are you and what have you done with Jm?

josef

March 21st, 2012
6:53 pm

TM
“…but I remember when this paper jump on the band wagon to report who was responsible for the Olympic bombings before all the facts were known.”

Yep. I remember that, too, but, well, he DID fit a deeply cherished “profile” and that was good enough…

Logical Dude - slut and ho

March 21st, 2012
6:53 pm

To be fair to Zimmerman, I think he would probably have to the same thing to a similarly dressed white boy or hispanic boy.
He was on a power trip and wanted to show who was “boss”. He ignored 911.

That’s just my opinion, and hope that we never have to find out.

Jm

March 21st, 2012
6:53 pm

Saywhat?

Forget about criticizing the law

Zimmerman is the problem, not the law

William

March 21st, 2012
6:54 pm

“Funny how we’ve already done a poll on this blog, and not a liberal here wanted to ban all guns.”

What, this blog represents the world at large? Come on. There are some liberals who want to repeal or modify the 2nd amendment (which would effectively ban guns).

Jay

March 21st, 2012
6:54 pm

Ty, explain to me: Why does Zimmerman’s race matter? Why is it so important to you?

getalife

March 21st, 2012
6:56 pm

kay,

“Out of my cold dead hand” Thomas Jefferson.

Jm

March 21st, 2012
6:56 pm

Paul 6:52

Temporary out of body experience :)

I’m fiscally conservative and socially liberal knucklehead

Joe

March 21st, 2012
6:56 pm

josef

You asked, “I don’t know about you, but when somebody has been following me and then becomes confrontational for no cause, what do you expect me to do? I’d say the boy was acting rationally.”

That’s actually a very good question. The right thing to do if someone if following you is to turn around, look directly at them and in a loud and authoritative voice ask, “May I help you?”. If they try to come any closer, loudly say, “Don’t come any closer!” or simply “Stop”

But that is probably not what Trayvon did. Whatever happened it ended up with Trayvon on top of Zimmerman, beating Zimmerman, with Zimmerman yelling for help. Whatever threat Trayvon may have thought that Zimmerman posed to him, the threat would be over once Trayson was on top beating a man yelling for help. At that point Trayvon should have gotten off Zimmerman, gone home, and called police. Instead he made the choice to continue beating Zimmerman and Zimmerman used lethal force to defend himself.

JamVet

March 21st, 2012
6:56 pm

Some liberals own guns and are pretty darned good shots!

josef, I guarandamntee you that I could shoot his tin foil hat off from several hundred feet and do nothing more than part his hair!

TM

March 21st, 2012
6:57 pm

“Ty, explain to me: Why does Zimmerman’s race matter? Why is it so important to you?” For the same reasons the Martin.s race makes your headline. If this was black on black would we even be reading about it?

getalife

March 21st, 2012
6:57 pm

will,

Some cons want to go back to the thirties.

getalife

March 21st, 2012
6:58 pm

tm,

He would be locked up.

kayaker 71

March 21st, 2012
6:58 pm

If you drive south on Interstate 75 across the Florida line, it isn’t too far south that you will see a large billboard on the right side of the highway, stating that Florida is a state which allows it’s citizens to protect themselves if they feel it necessary. 21 states, mostly those who do not vote for liberals, have a similar law. Every time I pass that sign, I have a warm fuzzy feeling run up my leg.

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

March 21st, 2012
6:58 pm

What, this blog represents the world at large?

I didn’t make that assertion, sport.

There are some liberals who want to repeal or modify the 2nd amendment (which would effectively ban guns)

I never said there weren’t.

ty webb

March 21st, 2012
6:59 pm

Jay,
it matters just as much as the victims…why does the victim’s matter so much to you that you mention it several times. Neither matters to me. Only one matters to you. Just asking for a little consistency.

Jay

March 21st, 2012
6:59 pm

Honest question, Joseph: What is your source for this claim:

“Whatever happened it ended up with Trayvon on top of Zimmerman, beating Zimmerman, with Zimmerman yelling for help.”

It really doesn’t matter much. Who was “winning” the fight makes no difference; what matters is who initiated and provoked it. I’m just curious about where you’re getting that info.

William

March 21st, 2012
7:00 pm

“For the same reasons the Martin.s race makes your headline. If this was black on black would we even be reading about it?”

I suspect that is true. Jay wouldn’t bother then. But his agenda is to demean a gun law he doesn’t like, and he will use race to do it.

JamVet

March 21st, 2012
7:00 pm

Zimmerman had a previous charge in 2005 of battery of a police officer while interfering with the arrest of a friend. He later entered a plea that removed the charge from his record. Zimmerman also had previously been accused of domestic violence by an ex-girlfriend, who had filed for a restraining order against him.

I would not want to be in that thug’s shoes right now. Certainly nowhere in the state of Florida…

getalife

March 21st, 2012
7:00 pm

Joe,

Are you saying he got beat up?

What are the wounds?

F. Sinkwich

March 21st, 2012
7:01 pm

“josef, I guarandamntee you that I could shoot his tin foil hat off from several hundred feet and do nothing more than part his hair!”

Hey JayVet, Long Dong Silver wept at his inadequacy when he saw mine.

Al Gore’s invention is so much fun.

FrankLeeDarling

March 21st, 2012
7:01 pm

Joe you seem to be sure of some facts that know one else has.

Georgia on my mind...

March 21st, 2012
7:02 pm

Jay says,
Georgia law states:

“(b) A person is not justified in using force under the circumstances specified in subsection (a) of this Code section if he:

(1) Initially provokes the use of force against himself with the intent to use such force as an excuse to inflict bodily harm upon the assailant….

(3) Was the aggressor or was engaged in a combat by agreement unless he withdraws from the encounter and effectively communicates to such other person his intent to do so and the other, notwithstanding, continues or threatens to continue the use of unlawful force.

Thanks for the info pertaining to GA law.