George Zimmerman - Deeper Questions: Civilians, Guns, and Authority

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posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 01:49 PM
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If someone isn't a police officer - and thus doesn't possess the power and authority that a uniform and badge projects - should they be allowed to carry guns and go about stocking people?

This question goes beyond the race question. But it is at the very heart of this issue.

Witness or no witness, in my opinion it is irrelevant to the originating cause. Why should someone who does not possess the requisite authority and power believe he has the right, and even more concernedly, the ability, to question and harass another person? It is this woefully inept belief that led to this tragedy to begin with.

I am all for the right to bear arms, but we also need to be reasonable in our expectations of how people will respond in particular contexts. Most, if not all kids around Treyvons age would submit to the inquiries of a police officer. Why is this? Simply put: the uniform and badge projects authority. Everyone in every society understands the uniform and badge. It is a socially and legally binding projection of power. Now, in the absence of this power, should people nevertheless still be granted the right to approach sketchy individuals, interrogate them, and if the need arise, use the gun they have against them?

When I was a kid, my mom told me not to instigate with my brother - who had ADHD and behavioral problems. Basically, because I KNEW BETTER, I was expected to understand that it would be unreasonable of me to assume that my brother would respond in socially normal ways.

I don't see how this situation is any different. There was every reason to believe that Treyvon Martin wouldn't submit to the authority of a wanna-be cop. Regardless of what you feel about this, just think reasonably: does the notion of "neighborhood watch" project the same power and authority as police officer? No, it doesn't. Maybe you think it should, but the fact is, it doesn't. Given this situation, should a civilian neighborhood watch be allowed to carry a gun into such precarious circumstances? Shouldn't the predictable response of a suspicious black kid prevent you in your pursuit?
edit on 14-7-2013 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)




posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 01:55 PM
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Zimmerman never interrogated Martin?

Their only interaction was Martin pounding Zimmerman's head off the concrete.

Take Scholar off your profile because clearly you are not!

Peace



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 02:12 PM
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edit my bad.. don't wanna derail
edit on 14-7-2013 by introV because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 02:18 PM
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reply to post by BABYBULL24
 


I removed the word "interrogate".

Now reread what I wrote. Make sense? Is it Ok to stock and bother people who are likely to respond violently against you while carrying a gun?



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 02:18 PM
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reply to post by Astrocyte
 


Stalking (not stocking) has specific legal terms, that were not met in this case..
"A person who intentionally and repeatedly follows or harasses another person and who makes a credible threat, either expressed or implied, with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily harm is guilty of the crime of stalking. A person may be charged with aggravated stalking if they commit the crime of stalking while subject to a temporary restraining order, injunction against trespass, or similar order."
Stalking Law & Legal Definition

There is also nothing illegal about questioning so one, response is voluntary. Interrogation takes place after one is detained.

He was the head of the neighborhood watch and did have authority within that community to preform his duties of observing suspicious persons..

edit on 14-7-2013 by ParanoidAmerican because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 02:19 PM
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post removed because the user has no concept of manners

Click here for more information.



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 02:27 PM
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reply to post by Astrocyte
 



If someone isn't a police officer - and thus doesn't possess the power and authority that a uniform and badge projects - should they be allowed to carry guns and go about stocking people?

This question goes beyond the race question. But it is at the very heart of this issue.


We have a 2nd amendment right to keep and bear arms in US and many states allow some form of concealed carry license. A person who meet’s the state’s criteria for concealed carry has every right to carry a gun….even if that makes you uncomfortable.

As far as stalking someone, it is illegal to stalk someone. Zimmerman didn’t stalk TM; he followed him while talking with 911 to report the suspicious activity he was witnessing. He was looking out for his community which is hardly stalking.

I think you’d have a better time coming to terms with this verdict if you got your facts straight.



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 02:29 PM
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reply to post by Astrocyte
 

1 yes any one legaly able to own a gun should be legaly able to carry one with out prejudiced or malice so yeah any one should be able to carry a gun if the law allows.

wait thats quite the assumption i know more then a few people who decided that ignoring police officers requests was a better option then going to jail or being harassed by the police,not every one is as trusting of the police as you are apparently

dont think we need to only have cops be neighborhood watch as they are under no obligation to protect you where as it seems at least the neighborhood wactch tries to look out for their neighborhood(as referenced by mr Zimmerman stopping a potential threat,after being attacked by said individual )

not sure how the adhd thing comes into play in this other they saying you knew better then to harass your brother who suffered from a mental illness(no one in the case evidently had any form of mental illness)

why does this trial have to change something? he was found not guilty thus his actions were legal and by definition imply that nothing needs to be changed(otherwise the jury would have broght it up or convicted him guilty) people have a right to defend themselves from attack in this country and do not always have to respond with the same level of force as their attackers if they fear for their lives

further more why are you trying to profile all African American teen boys as those who would immediately flaunt authority do you have evidence to back this up out side of this one case? why are people still stirring the racial pot a Hispanic guy shot an African American guy in self defense....what does race have to do with it other then some members of the community seem to think it was racial motivated when it was in fact not

only reason the gun came out was because travon martin hit Zimmerman at least once probably more times and thus ended up getting shot for his troubles


Witness or no witness, in my opinion it is irrelevant to the originating cause. Why should someone who does not possess the requisite authority and power believe he has the right, and even more concernedly, the ability, to question and harass another person? It is this woefully inept belief that led to this tragedy to begin with.
and to this quote of yours he has that right as the constitution guarantee a right to carry a fire arm (if you are not prohibited person) and thus you have the right to self defense in this country weather you like i or not

if your so worried about kids getting shot try teaching the children to not hit people for following them or they may in fact get shot in the heart or less wholesome places or better yet if they fear being followed have them call the cops and hope it can diffuse the situation



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 02:29 PM
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reply to post by ParanoidAmerican
 


There is the law and then there is MORALITY.

Didn't you ever hear or use the phrase 'the law's an ass'?

What has occurred here is immoral. The fact that it has made global news and stimulated international debate should be an indication to US citizens of how abhorrent their sense of justice (and actual justice) is to many people around the world.

The US's insulation from the rest of the world has skewed its perceptions.
edit on 14-7-2013 by christina-66 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 02:33 PM
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The thing that baffles me is that Zimmerman instigated the incident knowing full well that he had a gun that he could use to end the confrontation and used it. In a way, the precedent set by this case is that, if someone confronts you in the middle of the night and you feel threatened, then responding in self-defense basically gives someone a license to shoot you. Vigilantism is a dangerous thing.



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 02:36 PM
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reply to post by christina-66
 


I don't disagree that sometimes the law is an "ass". While this incident did end tragically, how was justice not served? What law or injustice occurred? If you want to say it is immoral that is fine lots of things are immoral and not illegal, unfortunate in most cases.



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 02:36 PM
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reply to post by christina-66
 


what exactly was immoral?
Zimmerman was attacked by Travon,he defended him self kids dead what is the moral quandary? if you don't wanna get shot dont go around randomly attacking people who are following you.or hell just dont attack any one in general it will drastically reduce your chances of getting shot and or hurt

even the dalilama has said if some one is trying to kill you and you have a gun it would be reasonable to shoot back,if the head of the Buddhist order (peaceful mostly) thinks its moral to defend your self what kind of logic are you using to label what Zimmerman did as immoral?



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 02:37 PM
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reply to post by christina-66
 



There is the law and then there is MORALITY.

Didn't you ever hear or use the phrase 'the law's an ass'?

What has occurred here is immoral. The fact that it has made global news and stimulated international debate should be an indication to US citizens of how abhorrent their sense of justice (and actual justice) is to many people around the world.
It’s only immoral in your opinion. You seem to forget that a man’s life was in danger and he had every right to defend himself. Do you think he should have just accepted his fate and died? Would that have been more moral? Would a murder conviction have been the moral thing to do to a man who chose to defend his life rather than die? Why does TM’s life have more value than GZ’z life?




The US's insulation from the rest of the world has skewed its perceptions.
It’s not that, we just don’t care what the rest of the world thinks about us. I certainly couldn’t care less.



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 02:38 PM
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reply to post by WhiteAlice
 


"In a way, the precedent set by this case is that, if someone confronts you in the middle of the night and you feel threatened, then responding in self-defense basically gives someone a license to shoot you."

Not exactly it affirms the precedent that if attacked and in fear for ones life (not just threatened) you have the right to defend it.
edit on 14-7-2013 by ParanoidAmerican because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 02:40 PM
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reply to post by introV
 


I'm not debating any of that. Treyvon was clearly a thug.

My question is: should someone who isn't a police officer - and doesn't possess the power and authority a badge and uniform projects - be allowed to parole neighborhoods with a gun?

It's not a particularly difficult question. Guns are lethal weapons. Because police officers are "protected" by the aura of their badge and uniform, it doesn't happen very often where they have to use a gun against thugs. Thugs get the point: they understand the system. They aren't retarded. Badge & Uniform = a temporary submission to authority.

But how can we allow people who don't wield such authority to nevertheless parole neighborhoods?

I'm not necessarily demonizing George Zimmerman. That he was socially conscious enough to even take on the position of neighborhood watch demonstrates where his interests were: he wanted to protect his community. Perhaps the deeper question is, how poor is the policing in his area that individual civilians take up the position of neighborhood watch - and that these civilians feel the need to arm themselves?

This is a very deep question. I'm beginning to wonder whether it is even legitimate for neighborhood watch to carry guns given the lack of power and authority their position is able to project. To clarify: I am NOT in the least bit opposed to the 2nd amendment. For self defense purposes, I am all for it. But this situation is a little more than self defense. George Zimmerman instigated the confrontation for following a 17 year black kid around. And he did this knowing he had a weapon on him - and that the kid he was following was perfectly capable of attacking him. In fact, this may have been the probabilistic response. In effect, George Zimmerman didn't exercise very good judgement when he decided to stalk someone who was innocuously minding his business.

There is a myriad of potential other scenarios where George Zimmerman may have been justified in intervening. But the job of a neighborhood watch is exactly that: to watch. When they see illegal activity, there job is not to confront, but to call the police. By approaching someone under such circumstances I believe he endangered the life of Trayvon Martin.

Also, people really need to cool it with this demonization of the opposition. George Zimmerman was not a monster, he just made a very poor decision by deciding to stalk Trayvon Martin. At the same time, Trayvon was not a monster either. Perhaps being so removed from the world that Trayvon Martin's come from insulates you from the fact that these are human beings subject to social circumstances that most people would respond similarly to. That he was a thug is beyond question. That he needed better guidance, is also beyond question. What's unfortunate, however, is how people here are speaking about him.

How did you act when you were 17? What neighborhood did you grow up in? If you were privileged enough to grow up in a neighborhood where clubbing and partying was the "worse" that you could do, congratulations. Unfortunately, poorer communities, particularly black communities, have become inured to a culture of gangs, guns and drugs. They're born as innocent as you and I; they have the same promise in life that you or I would have. Their only misfortune is being born in an environment where being a thug gains you social status.
edit on 14-7-2013 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 02:41 PM
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reply to post by WhiteAlice
 



The thing that baffles me is that Zimmerman instigated the incident knowing full well that he had a gun that he could use to end the confrontation and used it. In a way, the precedent set by this case is that, if someone confronts you in the middle of the night and you feel threatened, then responding in self-defense basically gives someone a license to shoot you. Vigilantism is a dangerous thing.


What makes you think Zimmerman instigated this confrontation? What evidence do you have? TM hid in wait and then attacked GZ according to the evidence presented at trial. Do you have some other evidence to share that contradicts this?

I’m shocked that after all the publicity this case has received and the hundreds of pages of discussion on ATS there are still people who really don’t even know what happened that night!


Ridiculous!



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 02:43 PM
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reply to post by WhiteAlice
 


but thats not what the case proved,it proved that you can ask some one what they are up to in your neighborhood and ask them what they are up to/doing,now in this case this is when travon managed to attack Zimmerman (rember who hit first is why hes not guilty) does not matter that Zimmerman followed him,does not matter that Zimmerman thought he was suspicious as Zimmerman did nothing wrong,travon started the altercation(at least according to a jury of his peers) that is where the crime was commited when travon assulted Zimmerman and thus it was proven and precedent set that if some one hits you in the face and gets you on your back you are justified in shooting them for attacking you

why does every one keep screaming injustice!! he was found not guilty by an impartial jury of peers that is how it works in this country,innocent until PROVEN guilty.justice WAS served it just may not have been the version every body wanted.like it or not if some one hits you in the face at least in this country you can shoot them for their mistake

hopefully this gets people to be a little less likely to go punch random people in the face.

and to the people who said zimemrman profiled,well what does that say about travon that his first response was to punch some random hispanic guy in the face for just following him,does that not mean that travon "profiled" Zimmerman as a suspcious hispanic guy? would that not make him as guilty as you all say zimmerman is?



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 02:49 PM
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Knowing Z was on phone with PD has question ever been resolved about why police showed after the fact? I ask because I keep hearing in threads like this that authorities should have dealt with this - ok - where were they? Was Z supposed to believe he'd live till their arrival?

The OP stating "if you suspect they are going to react with violence then you should have no right to do anything" is patently ludicrous.

If someone is that volitile then the "authorities" failed in their job long before that night.

TM also had every opportunity to walk away, he chose confrontation instead.

If anyone had me on ground pounding my face with fists I would have no qualms in using maximum available force to stop that just as Z did.

Simple of it is TM no matter what occurred had no right to touch Z, doesn't matter the circumstances even if Z was harassing or whatever, once he chose to go violent Z was within his rights.



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 02:51 PM
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reply to post by Astrocyte
 



My question is: should someone who isn't a police officer - and doesn't possess the power and authority a badge and uniform projects - be allowed to parole neighborhoods with a gun?


YES!

He was licensed to carry! The gun was for his personal protection. Turns out he needed it that night!!

The Constitution protects our right to bear arms! It doesn’t matter if you like it or not. The Constitution also protects free speech even if you don’t like what some people have to say. The Constitution also protects freedom of religion even if you can’t stand it!! The Constitution protects our rights and keeps people from arbitrarily limiting our freedoms simply because they don’t like some aspect of it!


edit on 14-7-2013 by seabag because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 02:59 PM
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reply to post by Phoenix
 





The OP stating "if you suspect they are going to react with violence then you should have no right to do anything" is patently ludicrous.


Why is it ludicrous? I'm talking about the act of stalking i.e prior to his being attacked by Trayvon. Before he decided to follow, a simple question could have been asked: how would he likely respond? If the probability of violence seemed high, then you shouldn't follow. Why? Because his attacking you would compel you to use lethal force i.e. shoot him.

As bad as any physical altercation can potentially be, there is no parity between fists and a gun. Guns kill most of the time, fists only rarely.



If someone is that volitile then the "authorities" failed in their job long before that night.


Did George Zimmerman's act of stalking instigate a confrontation with Trayvon Martin? Yes or No? My whole argument hinges on this point. If he was following Trayvon, then he imperiled Trayvons life - knowing that he was carrying a weapon.

If of course the situation didn't develop that way, If George was merely walking down the same area where Trayvon was walking and Trayvon decided to attack him, this would be completely different. But that doesn't appear to be the case. It seems George was actually following Trayvon.





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