Killing shows flaws of NRA-backed law

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-18-2000
Killing shows flaws of NRA-backed law
17
Thu, 03-22-2012 - 12:21pm

We discussed this "law" when it was passed it was, & still is, my opinion that something such as this young man's death would occur. Tragic.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/22/opinion/weaver-florida-law/index.html?hpt=hp_bn6

Miami (CNN) -- The death of Trayvon Martin is an undeniable tragedy. People are outraged, and rightly so, because a young, unarmed teenager lost his life. The incident has brought Florida's "stand your ground" law into sharp focus in the center of a media and legal firestorm.

The shooting of Martin was not something that the Florida Legislature anticipated would happen when it enacted the law in 2005.

When the law was pushed through the legislature, its supporters, including the National Rifle Association, proclaimed it as necessary to give law-abiding citizens the ability to protect themselves.

The law expanded an individual's legal right to use force, including deadly force, in self-defense. And it allows it in any place, not just in one's home, without fear of civil or criminal consequences when the individual has a "reasonable" fear of death or great bodily harm.

The National Rifle Association lobbied hard for the law in Florida, which passed the House and Senate with almost no opposition. Based on its resounding success in Florida, the NRA lobbied for similar legislation in many other states. The vast majority of these acts also passed.

One cannot entirely fault the NRA for supporting the bill. Simply put, it's good for business. As people are encouraged to purchase and use firearms to protect themselves, presumably more guns are purchased and more individuals join the association.

However, it's becoming increasingly clear that the ramifications of the law are murky. (Me:

 


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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-23-2012
Thu, 03-22-2012 - 12:52pm

I still don't understand how he can claim self defense when he admitted to following the young man, against the directions of the police.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-30-2002
Thu, 03-22-2012 - 3:15pm

My dd is only 7, but tall for her age. I think about what I have taught her hat to do if she is approached by a stranger and/or cornered and feels threatened. I have told her to hit, kick, yell, scream, bite, fight back with all of your might, do everything in your power to get away. If there is some mistake, that can all be resolved later. To think, that she could be gunned down for doing what her mother taught her to do to keep herself safe. What a sickening thought.



iVillage Member
Registered: 02-05-2011
Thu, 03-22-2012 - 4:08pm
I'm not convinced the law itself is the problem here. It's sounding more and more that the problem was Zimmerman. Dozens of 911 calls in a little over a year ..... reporting such things as a neighbor's garage door being open and children "habitually" playing in the street at dusk and running in front of cars. Lots of calls about suspicious persons .......

I've lived in one place for over 20 years, and have called 911 4 times.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2002
Thu, 03-22-2012 - 11:46pm
I've been reading about this. I don't see how he can claim protection from that law. IMHO, the law is ill-advised. We'll see how ill-advised in how this is handled.

 nwtreehugger  

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-18-2000
Fri, 03-23-2012 - 9:00am
Florida police chief steps down

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-17480703

Video at above link.

 


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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-18-2000
Fri, 03-23-2012 - 9:02am

"It's sounding more and more that the problem was Zimmerman."

Definitely but the law in question is the reason he isn't, as yet, arrested.

(As an aside I have never had the need to call 911.)

 


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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-18-2000
Fri, 03-23-2012 - 9:38am
Killer of unarmed black teenager called police 46 times in a year

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/killer-of-unarmed-black-teenager-called-police-46-times-in-a-year-7580620.html

The vigilante who shot Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager whose killing has sparked outrage, had called police to the gated community where he lives 46 times in the previous year, it emerged yesterday.

George Zimmerman, a neighbourhood watch leader and gun enthusiast with a chequered past, repeatedly called emergency services when he spotted people he thought "suspicious" at The Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford, Florida. He was particularly worried about African-American youths wandering in the grounds. Recordings of six of Mr Zimmerman's most recent calls were released by the sheriff's office; in four of them, the "suspect" was a black male.

On 26 February, Mr Zimmerman, 28, approached Trayvon, 17, who was wearing a hoodie as he walked to the Twin Lakes home of his father's girlfriend, having visited a 7-Eleven store. After a brief confrontation, the teenager was shot. He was found dead, unarmed, with a bag of Skittles and an iced tea. Police did not arrest Mr Zimmerman, apparently accepting his claim that he acted in self-defence. The US Justice Department has asked the FBI and civil rights department to review the case. A grand jury is also investigating.

More than a million people have signed a petition calling for Mr Zimmerman to be charged with murder. Trayvon's parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, were expected to attend a rally in his memory – called the Million Hoodie March – in Union Square, New York City, last night.

Civil rights activists have already held demonstrations across Florida, noting that Trayvon's death followed two other incidents in which Sanford police were accused of failing properly to investigate attacks on black men by white suspects.

Public pressure intensified as more became known about the background of Mr Zimmerman, who is in hiding with his family after death threats. Unlike Trayvon, who had no criminal record, Mr Zimmerman has had several run-ins with the law. In 2005, he was arrested for allegedly assaulting a police officer at a bar. Later that year, he was accused of domestic violence.

 


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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-18-2000
Fri, 03-23-2012 - 10:59am
Obama: "If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon"

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57403200-503544/obama-if-i-had-a-son-hed-look-like-trayvon/

President Obama spoke out for the first time on Friday about the fatal shooting of an unarmed 17-year-old African-American boy named Trayvon Martin, calling it a "tragedy."

"I can only imagine what these parents are going through," Mr. Obama said from the White House Rose Garden, "and when I think about this boy, I think about my own kids, and I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this and that everybody pulls together, federal, state and local, to figure out how this tragedy happened."

Mr. Obama added, "If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon."

Martin was shot in Sanford, Florida nearly a month ago after a confrontation in a gated community with a self-appointed neighborhood watch captain, George Zimmerman.

Zimmerman maintains he shot Martin in self-defense, and a Florida self-defense law has so far let Zimmerman remain free. But Martin's girlfriend, who was on the phone with him when it happened, says Zimmerman was the aggressor. Before he shot Martin, Zimmerman called 911 and told an operator an unfamiliar African American was in the neighborhood. The 911 operator told Zimmerman to stop following him.

The U.S. Justice Department has opened a civil rights investigation in the case and the local Florida prosecutor has convened a grand jury to consider criminal charges, but outrage over the incident continues to grow.

 


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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 03-23-2012 - 12:43pm

Since I don't live in the US I tend to see many of the things that take place in the US from a different perspective. I live in a country where

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-18-2000
Fri, 03-23-2012 - 1:49pm
I've lived in the US for 46+ years & never felt the need to own a weapon but then I've always lived in safe areas. In England, where I'm originally from, I too felt safe even in the centre of London at any time of day or night.
The problem in the US is too many people already have weapons both legal & illegal. I think it's too late change the gun culture. I understand the need to own a weapon for hunting or someone living miles from anywhere. Fact is many of the cities are dangerous places but I fortunately have never had the need to live or work in such an area.

 


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