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Zimmerman Not Guilty??????
Posted: 18 July 2013 06:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
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Cloak - 15 July 2013 01:42 PM

Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon has basically summed up my sentiments on the case. It’s innocent until proven guilty. Unless some of you here would prefer it to be the other way around….?  If so, then why don’t you pack up and move to those places in the Middle East where someone who has a grudge with you only has to anonymously accuse you of some kind of “blasphemy” against Allah, and have you stoned to death before you even make it out of your neighborhood.

Don’t you think there might be something in between those extremes?

Lois

[ Edited: 18 July 2013 10:19 PM by Lois ]
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Posted: 18 July 2013 09:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
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Cloak - 18 July 2013 01:08 AM

First of all, the law doesn’t just allow people to “go get a gun and shoot someone” without the law coming down on you. If you fail to demonstrate that it was self-defense, then you go to jail.

You’ve got to be kidding.  smile

How could he fail to demonstrate it was self- defense? After all he did shoot dead the key witness for the prosecution.

And it’s not reasonable to be able to shoot to kill unless it’s absolutely necessary. We need some concept of reasonable force.

And the last problem is you need something that stops a person being able to provoke another into getting angry and violent and then being able to shoot them dead in ‘self-defense’.

Stephen

[ Edited: 18 July 2013 09:32 AM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 18 July 2013 09:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
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macgyver - 18 July 2013 06:01 AM
Cloak - 18 July 2013 01:08 AM

And statistics show that states with the lowest gun restrictions tend to have far less violence-related crimes than states that have high gun restrictions.

Cloak, I have seen this statistic quoted many times even here and I think as a rational forum we should shine a little light on the silliness of this particular statistic. Its a simple case of confusing correlation with causation or misidentifying cause and effect. Its like saying the states with the most air conditioners also have the hottest weather so we should not use air conditioners because they cause hot weather.

States with the greatest restrictions on guns probably have such restrictions because they have high rates of violence. It is highly unlikely that the restrictions on guns are causing the violence. There is certainly no evidence to back up that contention which at least on the surface is highly counter-intuitive but is frequently quoted by gun rights advocates to support their point of view.

I agree that violence is the most important issue, because as I’ve said before, it is the extreme levels of inequality in certain areas that has proved to be one of the primary causes, if not the chief cause, of most of our violence. Gun restrictions is a secondary issue, to me. Look at virtually every location in the world where you’ve got a combination of high inequality and high gun restrictions. For those areas that have little access to guns, it’s open season on non-criminals. Perhaps you won’t get shot by criminals in those areas, but they sure aren’t afraid to do what they want with you. In most areas of the US, guns are easily accessible. If you take guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens, they will be the ones who are affected the most, not the criminals. The fact is, the criminals will get their guns. You will just effectively disarm the victim.

The reasons that gun ownership exists is because people like this exist (click here). In this case, the guy invaded the New Jersey home of this family (while the husband was gone), and proceeded to beat this woman mercilessly for literally 10-15 minutes before taking her and throwing her down the stairs into her own attic and robbing her. All of this happened right in front of the mother’s child, who could only sit their paralyzed with fear and watch. I’ve seen the actual recording. The sounds of the punches were so loud that they made me cringe. I neglected to post the link to the actual recording here, because it’s pretty gruesome.

What about the mother in Georgia (click here), who protected herself and her two children by shooting the man that invaded their home? This guy was not content with just burglarizing the home. He was actively looking for them. Luckily, the woman had been carefully trained to protect the family while he was gone, and it paid off.

I, myself, have been in a situation, where someone was literally trying to kick open my back door in the middle of the night while me, my wife, and my two little girls slept. I came downstairs with my Beretta, yelled out to the person that I have a gun and that if whoever was behind that door didn’t leave in 5 seconds, I was going to start firing. Guess what? It stopped, and whoever was there before never came back.  My heart nearly came out of my chest, but I was still calm enough to do whatever was necessary to protect my family.

Sure guns take lives, but they can also, in the process save lives as well. They still do scare me. Heck, it makes me a bit nervous to hold my own gun, but I still stay very well trained, and the potential of someone coming in here and doing whatever they want to my wife and two little girls scares me MUCH more. Unless there is an officer in the area, it usually takes the police 30 minutes to arrive. Most people can’t afford to wait that long because, by then, most of what was going to be done has already taken place. All of this talk by politicians about “gun control”, in my opinion, is nothing more than an ivory tower debate. Go ask the citizens in Chicago how they feel about their gun restrictions and why they are aggressively pushing for less gun legislation.

Until economic conditions are dealt with sufficiently, I will keep “packin”.

[ Edited: 18 July 2013 09:55 AM by Cloak ]
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Posted: 18 July 2013 09:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
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Lois - 18 July 2013 06:51 AM
Cloak - 15 July 2013 01:42 PM

Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon has basically summed up my sentiments on the case. It’s innocent until proven guilty. Unless some of you here would prefer it to be the other way around….?  If so, then why don’t you pack up and move to those places in the Middle East where someone who has a grudge with you only has to anonymously accuse you of some kind of “blasphemy” against Allah, and have you stoned to death before you even make it out of your neighborhood.

Don’t you think there might be spmething in between those extremes?

Lois

I’m happy to discuss alternatives, but I’m simply trying to calm people who are convinced that the current system somehow failed. It didn’t. It worked exactly the way it was designed to. There was not enough evidence available to draw a strong enough conclusion, much less convict. As I keep saying, under this system, you can’t just bury a person on speculation.

Either way, what are your suggestions?

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Posted: 18 July 2013 10:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
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“Any type of jury - professional or not, is a bad idea, IMO. But it’s in the constitution, so there is very little chance of doing away with it.”

Ah! I believe that you’ve hit the nail on the head there! Regardless of one’s opinion on the efficacy or accuracy of a jury trial, they are a constitutionally entrenched part of due process. I think people often forget that the juries provided by our constitution are a carry-over of the venerable English common law that our own system was based upon and, as such, convention once excluded pretty much any potential jurors but wealthy—-and, presumably, well-educated—-land owners. Similar to the changes we’ve seen in our electoral system, as social and political change has increased access for many who were once excluded from the process, the demographic composition of these juries of one’s “peers” has evolved accordingly—-be that for better or worse.

What I find wildly intriguing is the fact that so many take issue with the composition of the jury, even as they decry discrimination and claim to support the spirit of equality. If I were one to choose to take offense at such things, as a middle-aged white woman similar to some of those on the jury, I could take great offense at the implications that because of my race and gender, I am somehow less qualified to weigh the evidence presented and render a fair verdict than someone who’s race and gender more closely matched those of the victim and the accused. Of course, I recognize this as merely one of the many idiosyncrasies of human nature and, accordingly, I choose not to waste my time being offended by it. But, damn, I sure enjoy the intellectual exercise of debating the merits of this seemingly hypocritical attitude with those who express it! When presented as a soft sell to a semi-open mind, it’s encouraging to witness that ‘aha!’ moment as someone realizes that their claim of bias in the jury selection and composition actually reveals their own discriminatory viewpoint, however unintended that may be. Though, to be fair, some folks really DON’T like having that pointed out!

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Posted: 18 July 2013 10:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
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StephenLawrence - 18 July 2013 09:20 AM
Cloak - 18 July 2013 01:08 AM

First of all, the law doesn’t just allow people to “go get a gun and shoot someone” without the law coming down on you. If you fail to demonstrate that it was self-defense, then you go to jail.

You’ve got to be kidding.  smile

How could he fail to demonstrate it was self- defense? After all he did shoot dead the key witness for the prosecution.

Stephen

No, I’m not kidding. People fail to demonstrate self-defense all the time, even after killing the key witness. This is where the availability of evidence comes into play.

And it’s not reasonable to be able to shoot to kill unless it’s absolutely necessary. We need some concept of reasonable force.

That’s what courts are meant to determine, on a case by case basis. How “necessary” or “reasonable” a person’s actions are when they are defending their lives/property or the lives and/or property of another individual is relative to the circumstances of that particular situation. The complexities of these cases can be so varied, that it is highly difficult to issue a “one-size fits all” legislation that doesn’t end up causing further problems. Self-defense is a simple concept, but can play out in many different ways depending on the situation. I’m sure that you understand that. The issue is that it is the right of the community to decide what they want the terms of gun ownership to be. Most people in Florida are perfectly fine with the current gun laws, and couldn’t care less how people on the outside feel. If a person doesn’t like those terms, they should find another community to live in where they feel much safer. The people in Florida feel safer with the freedom to defend themselves.

And the last problem is you need something that stops a person being able to provoke another into getting angry and violent and then being able to shoot them dead in ‘self-defense’.

Look, we can try to think of all manner of ways to prevent all kinds of things, but the bottom line is that freedom is never completely safe. There is a give or take, sure. In order to get some degree of safety, and live in a society with other people, you do have to fork over some amounts of freedom. It’s just like the surveillance issue, some people are more comfortable the risk of freedom, while others prefer to sacrifice even more of it in order to secure more relative protection. But what everyone must understand, is that it’s possible to go too far in “preventing” everything. I mean, we could petition the government to use our tax payer money to put chastity belts on all men or women who have reached sexual maturity, in order to keep women from getting raped. While that’s an extreme example, it illustrates the absurdity in focusing too much on “preventing” everything. I say that the most important factor to focus on when it comes to preventing such situations like the one currently being discussed, is education and economic conditions. This is what is causing most of our violence, not the ability of someone to walk up to you and shoot you. Fix our educational systems and economic conditions, and you will see the culture improve. You won’t even have to screw with people’s rights to defend themselves. It’s the socioeconomic issues that need to be focused on.

In places like Switzerland, basically everyone owns a gun. In fact, many of them own assault rifles. I’m talking government issued rifles, basically given away or sold to the public. Every adult male is militia trained, perfectly capable of defending themselves. Yet crime rates are low there. You know why I think that is: because nobody is stupid enough to try to invade the home of someone who could potentially own an M4. That’s reality. Secondly, I believe it’s because the economic conditions are better, and people don’t feel the need to go rob their neighbor.

[ Edited: 18 July 2013 10:38 AM by Cloak ]
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Posted: 18 July 2013 04:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
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Cloak - 18 July 2013 09:53 AM
Lois - 18 July 2013 06:51 AM
Cloak - 15 July 2013 01:42 PM

Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon has basically summed up my sentiments on the case. It’s innocent until proven guilty. Unless some of you here would prefer it to be the other way around….?  If so, then why don’t you pack up and move to those places in the Middle East where someone who has a grudge with you only has to anonymously accuse you of some kind of “blasphemy” against Allah, and have you stoned to death before you even make it out of your neighborhood.

Don’t you think there might be spmething in between those extremes?

Lois

I’m happy to discuss alternatives, but I’m simply trying to calm people who are convinced that the current system somehow failed. It didn’t. It worked exactly the way it was designed to. There was not enough evidence available to draw a strong enough conclusion, much less convict. As I keep saying, under this system, you can’t just bury a person on speculation.

Either way, what are your suggestions?

I’ll have to think it through, buy I’d get rid of all “stand your ground” laws.  They are too easily abused.  In fact, most self-defense laws should be examined.  It’s too easy to claim self-defense, especially when there are no witnesses—and most murders have no witnesses. How can a jury be expected to know what a person’s state of mind was? Yet that’s what needs to be known in any self-defense claim.

Not to beat a dead horse, but I wonder how many self-defense cases are successful when the accused is black—especially when the victim is white.  I’d like to see some comparative statistics on that.

Lois

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Posted: 18 July 2013 04:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
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Cloak - 18 July 2013 10:22 AM
StephenLawrence - 18 July 2013 09:20 AM
Cloak - 18 July 2013 01:08 AM

First of all, the law doesn’t just allow people to “go get a gun and shoot someone” without the law coming down on you. If you fail to demonstrate that it was self-defense, then you go to jail.

You’ve got to be kidding.  smile

How could he fail to demonstrate it was self- defense? After all he did shoot dead the key witness for the prosecution.

Stephen

No, I’m not kidding. People fail to demonstrate self-defense all the time, even after killing the key witness. This is where the availability of evidence comes into play.

And it’s not reasonable to be able to shoot to kill unless it’s absolutely necessary. We need some concept of reasonable force.

That’s what courts are meant to determine, on a case by case basis. How “necessary” or “reasonable” a person’s actions are when they are defending their lives/property or the lives and/or property of another individual is relative to the circumstances of that particular situation. The complexities of these cases can be so varied, that it is highly difficult to issue a “one-size fits all” legislation that doesn’t end up causing further problems. Self-defense is a simple concept, but can play out in many different ways depending on the situation. I’m sure that you understand that. The issue is that it is the right of the community to decide what they want the terms of gun ownership to be. Most people in Florida are perfectly fine with the current gun laws, and couldn’t care less how people on the outside feel. If a person doesn’t like those terms, they should find another community to live in where they feel much safer. The people in Florida feel safer with the freedom to defend themselves.

And the last problem is you need something that stops a person being able to provoke another into getting angry and violent and then being able to shoot them dead in ‘self-defense’.

Look, we can try to think of all manner of ways to prevent all kinds of things, but the bottom line is that freedom is never completely safe. There is a give or take, sure. In order to get some degree of safety, and live in a society with other people, you do have to fork over some amounts of freedom. It’s just like the surveillance issue, some people are more comfortable the risk of freedom, while others prefer to sacrifice even more of it in order to secure more relative protection. But what everyone must understand, is that it’s possible to go too far in “preventing” everything. I mean, we could petition the government to use our tax payer money to put chastity belts on all men or women who have reached sexual maturity, in order to keep women from getting raped. While that’s an extreme example, it illustrates the absurdity in focusing too much on “preventing” everything. I say that the most important factor to focus on when it comes to preventing such situations like the one currently being discussed, is education and economic conditions. This is what is causing most of our violence, not the ability of someone to walk up to you and shoot you. Fix our educational systems and economic conditions, and you will see the culture improve. You won’t even have to screw with people’s rights to defend themselves. It’s the socioeconomic issues that need to be focused on.

In places like Switzerland, basically everyone owns a gun. In fact, many of them own assault rifles. I’m talking government issued rifles, basically given away or sold to the public. Every adult male is militia trained, perfectly capable of defending themselves. Yet crime rates are low there. You know why I think that is: because nobody is stupid enough to try to invade the home of someone who could potentially own an M4. That’s reality. Secondly, I believe it’s because the economic conditions are better, and people don’t feel the need to go rob their neighbor.


Switzerland is a bad comparison.  Guns are strictly controlled there, despite the ability to own guns.  People are not buying, owning and stockpiling weapons without the knowledge of the government.  There is no comparison with the US, where gun ownership is a free-for-all and nobody has to prove he even knows the first thing about using one.  If the US were to even suggest putting into place the controls that Switzerland has on gun ownership the NRA and the US gun nuts would have apoplexy.  If you want a good rxample of strict government gun control, look no further than Switzerland.  For one thing, all guns and gun owners are registered with the government.

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Posted: 18 July 2013 06:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
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Lois - 18 July 2013 04:25 PM

I’ll have to think it through, buy I’d get rid of all “stand your ground” laws.  They are too easily abused.  In fact, most self-defense laws should be examined.  It’s too easy to claim self-defense, especially when there are no witnesses—and most murders have no witnesses. How can a jury be expected to know what a person’s state of mind was? Yet that’s what needs to be known in any self-defense claim.

Okay, I think it was pretty obvious that you would get rid of the stand your ground law. And it’s also obvious that you would like to “examine” self-defense laws too. But again, what exactly would you examine, and what would you suggest?

Also, are you saying that if you can’t tell what “state of mind” the person was in at the time of the altercation, that the person should automatically be ruled as guilty? Perhaps I misunderstood?

Not to beat a dead horse, but I wonder how many self-defense cases are successful when the accused is black—especially when the victim is white.  I’d like to see some comparative statistics on that.

Let me know what you find, but if I remember correctly, the last time I looked into it, it appeared that blacks in Florida have a higher acquittal rate in “stand your ground” cases than whites. If that’s truly the case, then that completely throws out the idea that the system is disproportionately biased against blacks, and would support my sentiments that this case has been completely sensationalized beyond the actual facts.

[ Edited: 18 July 2013 06:25 PM by Cloak ]
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Posted: 18 July 2013 06:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
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Lois - 18 July 2013 04:35 PM

Switzerland is a bad comparison.  Guns are strictly controlled there, despite the ability to own guns.  People are not buying, owning and stockpiling weapons without the knowledge of the government.  There is no comparison with the US, where gun ownership is a free-for-all and nobody has to prove he even knows the first thing about using one.  If the US were to even suggest putting into place the controls that Switzerland has on gun ownership the NRA and the US gun nuts would have apoplexy.  If you want a good rxample of strict government gun control, look no further than Switzerland.  For one thing, all guns and gun owners are registered with the government.

That’s a good point, but my main point still stands: Gun ownership is still highly common among regular citizens in Switzerland. This serves as a strong natural deterrent against crime.

Most criminals do NOT want a gunfight. They just want an easy job. The knowledge that the potential victim could be packing high firepower will easily make one think twice. I know that from personal experience too.

[ Edited: 18 July 2013 06:22 PM by Cloak ]
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Posted: 18 July 2013 06:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
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It’s also important to note that the Zimmerman legal team did NOT use “Stand your ground” as their defense during the trial. Why is the media so focused on this law in regards to this case if it wasn’t even used?

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Posted: 18 July 2013 10:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
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Cloak - 18 July 2013 06:15 PM
Lois - 18 July 2013 04:25 PM

I’ll have to think it through, buy I’d get rid of all “stand your ground” laws.  They are too easily abused.  In fact, most self-defense laws should be examined.  It’s too easy to claim self-defense, especially when there are no witnesses—and most murders have no witnesses. How can a jury be expected to know what a person’s state of mind was? Yet that’s what needs to be known in any self-defense claim.

Okay, I think it was pretty obvious that you would get rid of the stand your ground law. And it’s also obvious that you would like to “examine” self-defense laws too. But again, what exactly would you examine, and what would you suggest?

Also, are you saying that if you can’t tell what “state of mind” the person was in at the time of the altercation, that the person should automatically be ruled as guilty? Perhaps I misunderstood?

Not to beat a dead horse, but I wonder how many self-defense cases are successful when the accused is black—especially when the victim is white.  I’d like to see some comparative statistics on that.

Let me know what you find, but if I remember correctly, the last time I looked into it, it appeared that blacks in Florida have a higher acquittal rate in “stand your ground” cases than whites. If that’s truly the case, then that completely throws out the idea that the system is disproportionately biased against blacks, and would support my sentiments that this case has been completely sensationalized beyond the actual facts.

No, I disn’t aay anything should be automatic.  I said the cases amd the law should be reviewed for indications of abuse or outright travesties of justice. 

I’d like to see the statistics that show that blacks in Florida have a higher acquittal rate than whites in stand your ground cases.  It seems highly unlikely to me.  Blacks have a higher conviction rate in every type of crime in most states.

[ Edited: 18 July 2013 10:20 PM by Lois ]
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Posted: 18 July 2013 11:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
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Lois - 18 July 2013 10:10 PM

No, I didn’t say anything should be automatic.  I said the cases and the law should be reviewed for indications of abuse or outright travesties of justice.

Of course. Who says they don’t already do that now, though? That’s part of the prosecution’s job as well as criminal investigators.

I’d like to see the statistics that show that blacks in Florida have a higher acquittal rate than whites in stand your ground cases.  It seems highly unlikely to me.  Blacks have a higher conviction rate in every type of crime in most states.

I think this (click here) article talks about it.. It’s about two pages long, but here’s a highlight:

“One hundred thirty three people in the state of Florida have used a “Stand Your Ground” defense. Of these claims, 73 were considered “justified” (55 percent), while 39 resulted in criminal convictions and 21 cases are still pending.

Forty four African Americans in the state of Florida have claimed a “Stand Your Ground” defense. Of these claims, 24 were considered “justified” (55 percent), while 11 resulted in convictions and nine cases are still pending.

Of the 76 white people who have used the defense, 40 were considered “justified” (less than 53 percent), while 25 were convicted and 11 cases are still pending.”

If these figures are accurate, then they do not support the picture that the media is trying to paint about Florida…..

[ Edited: 19 July 2013 12:52 AM by Cloak ]
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Posted: 19 July 2013 12:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]
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Lois, do you realize that during the period of time between Trayvon being shot and George being acquitted that over 11,000 black men have been shot by black men…..where is the racism ?

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Posted: 19 July 2013 05:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]
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Come on, S.D.  That’s a silly argument.  One could just as well ask how many Caucasians have been shot by Caucasians, or how many African-Americans have been shot by Caucasians?  And, what would the answers prove?

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