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

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posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 03:00 PM
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My right to carry a firearm for my defense, my nourishment through hunting or my pure entertainment through sport is bestowed upon me by my creator, not my Government and not the laws that govern it. The ultimate set of laws which define them all says that in Amendment #2 following the preamble atop the document.

Nothing about a Police Officer (and sometimes lately, especially a Police Officer) gives him better judgement than me or another average citizen. So the question isn't well founded to start, IMHO.

Aside from that, it has been established in court and in more than one case that Police have ZERO obligation to protect you or me and have ZERO liability for failing to protect either of us, even if there or close by at the time. Both of those elements, not just one, have been established as legal precedent. The two together being critical because liability is a legal term for lawsuits while obligation is watching while you die if it's safer for them personally to do so. (Legally speaking, that's what it comes down to....whether most cops would is another matter).



Although to the above point and a full color example that is somewhat timely are the Los Angeles King riots. The LAPD at first tried to do something at the intersection it began in, but quickly pulled back and then ALL the way out. Unfortunately, they didn't barricade the streets or show any friggin concern whatsoever for the traffic still driving INTO the mess they were RUNNING from.

That actually happened. I watched it on local live coverage when it did. It was a sobering thing to see as a kid in his late teens and it instilled the need for self reliance with defense. Without question.

It's disturbing that others would trust their fate to the 'mercies' of a predatory criminal, should the worst happen.




posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 03:01 PM
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reply to post by Astrocyte
 


Lived in Dallas TX vicinity back in late eighties and Black Panthers patrolled poor high crime neighborhoods with shouldered shotguns which substantially lessened street crime, gang activity and drug sales which was their stated goal - I was all for it - this was original BP that believed in improving their communities not the current version that blames instead of fixing.

I post because citizens (armed) do make a difference that is positive and it has not a thing to do with race.



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 03:05 PM
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reply to post by RalagaNarHallas
 


What neighbourhood do you live in? How about I send a man to 'randomly' follow you and see how comfortable you are with that?

I'm in the UK not the US. In this case I am certain that UK law would have determined that excessive force was used by Zimmerman - even if he was attacked first (but does anyone actually know that for a fact?) - and he would have been charged, tried and sentenced for manslaughter.

Just look at the per capita homicide figures.



I think the most shocking thing is to compare ourselves to the other developed countries. People think we have a violence problem in the United States, but we really don’t. We’re an average country in terms of all the violence measures you can think of, in terms of crime. But where we’re very different is guns. We have lots more guns than anybody else, particularly handguns. A lot of countries have hunting rifles, but we have these handguns, and then we have these assault weapons. Secondly, we have by far the most permissive gun control laws, the weakest gun policies of any country. It’s not even close. Not surprisingly, we have more gun crime and more gun homicide.

We compared the United States to the other First World countries. We looked at both genders and all ages, but here are the statistics for 5- to 14-year-olds. A child in the United States compared to a child in Finland or France or New Zealand is not 20 percent more likely to be killed in a gun homicide, or 50 percent more likely, or twice as likely, or five times as likely. It’s 13 times higher.


Harvard Gazette


In 2011, a total of 478,400 fatal and nonfatal violent crimes were committed with a firearm. Homicides made up about 2% of all firearm-related crimes.


Dept. of Justice Statistics Report

The US has a problem. It is ironic that so many fear terrorist attack when, in actual fact, so many more habitually die or are injured at the hands of your own citizens.



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 03:08 PM
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reply to post by Astrocyte
 



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.
What makes you think GZ had any intention of confronting TM? A lot of people think GZ was acting like a cop but in reality (based on the evidence) he did nothing of the sort. He wasn’t being a vigilante. He was being a neighborhood WATCHMAN (key word WATCH).

I see where you’re coming from but it simply doesn't apply to this case. GZ’s only intention was to keep an eye on him until police arrived. He didn’t confront TM…TM confronted him. There is no point in digging deeper into this scenario (as your title suggests) when you are lacking a basic understanding of what happen. Zimmerman broke no law!



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 03:15 PM
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reply to post by Astrocyte
 

This is how rights die. Someone claims they support a right, but... and the "but" always leads to the extinction of the right. The anti-freedom activist will conflate a perfectly legal activity with a crime, then attack the right that would have been abused in the commission of that crime, pretending they are only interested in preventing crime. So George Zimmerman wandering around his neighborhood trying to get a description and location requested by a police operator is conflated with "stalking." Because stalking is a crime, we shouldn't allow people to wander around their neighborhoods with guns. Never mind that Zimmerman was not stalking Martin, according to the legal definition, nor was he even following him immediately before the confrontation began. Ignore the fact that Martin closed with and attacked Zimmerman, not the other way around. All that's important is to support the stalking narrative, so we can get those nasty guns away from the civilians and keep them in the hands of the police, where they belong.



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 03:15 PM
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reply to post by Phoenix
 


Interesting example.

I know as a legal question this isn't very easy to work out. Why should black panthers be allowed to carry weapons but George Zimmerman and other neighborhood watchman shouldn't? I don't have an answer for that.

All I can say is, there is a provocative quality to following people who are likely dangerous and then killing them in self defense when they attack you.

As a thought experiment, how would you personally adjudge such a situation? Shouldn't reasonable expectation govern our relationships with other people? I mentioned my relationship with my brother. In another sense, we can apply this concept to basic conversations. If I'm a neuroscience graduate, am I going to talk to someone who has no knowledge of neuroscience with the scientific lingo and detail that I would with another scientist? Would it be reasonable for me to expect that they would understand what I'm talking about? No, of course not. Similarly, certain kids with behavioral problems are treated differently by teachers than other kids. This is necessary because such kids respond differently to social cues than their peers. This doesn't mean we should "tolerate" their anti-social behavior, but it does mean we should be circumspect in how we approach and communicate with them.

If someone with neighborhood watch authority (lets say this is a different scenario) decided on stalking and following a probable gang-banger, all the time aware of his being armed and dangerous, wouldn't this be irresponsible of him? Shouldn't avoiding a possible tragedy i.e. someone getting killed, be his highest priority?



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 03:19 PM
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reply to post by Astrocyte
 

No stalking occurred.



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 03:21 PM
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Originally posted by Astrocyte
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.


Using what I consider twisted logic that demand proof of a negative I can sort of see where your thoughts lie.

Basically it's like saying Z should have put gun in glove compartment so he had parity with a potential violent person before ever following -that way Z knowing TM might possibly sneak up and jump on him and commence to hit his head on the pavement then it would just be man-o-mano and may best win.

Or are you saying Z should have shirked his duty to his neighbors and retreated since he had superior force and left his community to chance that TM actions that night were completely innocent even as he was in side yards between houses in the rain and dark.

Z was doing just what he was supposed to be doing as neighborhood watch, I'd expect same in my neighborhood.



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 03:27 PM
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To all those that replied to me, let me clarify:

There is what is and then there is what is perceived to be. A distinct portion of the population believe, via the media, that Zimmerman was the instigator. What I'm openly pondering is the effect of that belief. On the face of what was initially presented at the time of the incident, which would constitute the public's first "informed opinion" that may stick in those that accept that opinion and nothing more, is that belief that Zimmerman was the instigator. You can see that belief all over the place, regardless of its veracity. I was not present in the trial nor was I on the jury. My curiosity and queries are based on the various popular beliefs held about the case and what the effects of those beliefs may be.



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 03:34 PM
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reply to post by Astrocyte
 


My question to you is this. If Zimmerman did not have a gun but had instead broken Martin's neck to kill him would you be happy with that? Is your problem that Martin died for assaulting Zimmerman or is it merely the gun?

As to the authority you believe projected by the uniform and badge. Sorry it is NOT there. What is there is that it is KNOWN that with the uniform you HAVE the gun and the police WILL kill you. So perhaps what you are suggesting is that neighborhood watches should not conceal carry. They should OPEN carry? So that a criminal who would NORMALLY attack a unarmed man would be able to see the weapon and therefor not attack a armed man and then live to attack and possibly kill someone else who is unarmed?

Or is it your problem that a citizen who committed no crime, broke no laws, who was watching over his neighborhood and neighbors and had to use deadly force to save his life from a man attaching him was not from the government? Would you have had a problem with what happened if Zimmerman HAD been a cop and the same thing happened?

I am curious about your answers.



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 03:35 PM
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Originally posted by christina-66
What neighbourhood do you live in? How about I send a man to 'randomly' follow you and see how comfortable you are with that?

I live in an urban downtown, but I've also lived in an urban neighborhood and a suburb, so I have rounded and relevant experience. For the most part, I'd be okay with that. If I had a problem, I'd call the police, or go to a safe place, or politely introduce myself and ask if we were headed in the same direction. I wouldn't double back and start a fight with them. That would be uncivil behavior, no matter how uncomfortable the other person made me feel. Maybe things are different in the UK. I wouldn't be surprised; it wasn't that long ago that the UK was the most violent country in Europe, and more violent than America.



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 03:36 PM
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reply to post by Astrocyte
 


If a bear charges in the woods should you leave your gun a home? Should you not enter the woods because a bear might charge? In logic this IS what you are asking.

The "bears" in our society have brains and need to know there are limits to their bad behavior, to expect the reasonable people to always walk away is not a prescription to end the bear attacks rather it encourages it.

In your world the "bears" should be deeply offended as you have basic belief that they are to intrinsically stupid to realize the danger they put themselves in by charging regional humans. In my world I think "bears" are smart devious creatures who weigh the odds and usually end up attacking and are surprised when a human fights back - not only surprised but offended be Aussie their faulty logic was called into question with fatal results.



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 03:37 PM
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The confrontation between Zimmerman and Martin became a tragedy that was an inevitable event, not because Zimmerman and Martin had an on-going running feud between them, but because Zimmerman was both ambitious and zealous in wanting to be cop, and indignant at the crime spree reported to have occurred at Twin Lakes housing retreat over the last 12 months or so. Zealous ambition is the reason why Martin was shot and killed during the confrontation between him and Zimmerman that turned violent.

Evidence points to Zimmerman being the initial aggressor, and even though he was told not to follow the suspect by the police dispatcher, he ignored this expert advice and zealously shadowed the suspect. We do not know if Martin was the original suspect, or if Zimmerman happened upon him after temporarily losing sight of the suspect. Either way, there is one of 2 scenarios that took place between them. Either Zimmerman confronted Martin, or Martin confronted Zimmerman for following him?

Seventeen year old Martin (probably) responded to Zimmerman's questions with a teenager's surliness, and Zimmerman responded to the 'back chat' with a pseudo-authoritarian anger initiating a possible scuffle, pushing and shoving, as neither would give ground. It turned into a full-fledged fight with Martin probably getting the best of Zimmerman temporarily, and in anger Zimmerman drew his weapon and shot and killed Martin.

This never was a case for 'racial' profiles, but for 'personality' and 'character' profiles, for therein lies the reason why Martin is dead. Zimmerman in the least should be have been convicted for involuntary manslaughter, but this had to be proved by the prosecution, and instead they went to court basing their case on racial profiling, for which there is no direct evidence. Which is why they failed to convince the all woman jury.



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 03:41 PM
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reply to post by Phoenix
 



Z was doing just what he was supposed to be doing as neighborhood watch, I'd expect same in my neighborhood.


There's no "twisted logic" involved. It's having reasonable expectations of how someone will likely respond.

The logic is simple:

1) Having a gun is something we generally afford to cops.
2) Having a uniform and badge projects power and authority to criminals
3) A civilian "neighborhood watchman" with a concealed gun does not project the same power and authority as police officers
4) Based upon 1), 2) and 3), it is unreasonable to expect criminals to respect neighborhood watch.
5) A Neighborhood watch who carries a weapon can potentially imperil the lives of criminals.

Of course, carrying a gun is one thing, and provoking a violent response from a criminal is another thing. If the neighborhood watch is just there minding their own business, simply watching out for misbehavior and calling the cops when they see it; that's their job. If someone attacks them while they're doing that, then they have every right to make use of that concealed weapon. But if they engage in an action that provokes violence against them, the criminals can hardly be held completely responsible for their predictable response.

Plenty of research on self control has proven that hardened criminals do not possess the same degree of free will and self regulation that normal people exercise. This does not mean that we should simply "let them loose" and commit havoc; but it does mean that we should appreciate that some people are constitutionally unable to respond in socially appropriate ways. This is the sad truth of the matter.



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 03:41 PM
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Originally posted by Astrocyte
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.


Which is NOT against the law! If you want a law making it illegal to follow someone then I suggest you try to get one passed. Good luck with that. I doubt the police would enforce it. How could they tell if you just happened to be heading in the same direction or were actually following someone?



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 03:43 PM
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reply to post by WhiteAlice
 


And nail on head in a way, media and a wayward government has instigated that belief to ends that justify another thread as to why they did so.

The facts do not support any "public" belief period and if it is so then the public should delve deeper into why the facts were withd or manipulated



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 03:47 PM
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Originally posted by Phoenix
reply to post by Astrocyte
 


Lived in Dallas TX vicinity back in late eighties and Black Panthers patrolled poor high crime neighborhoods with shouldered shotguns which substantially lessened street crime, gang activity and drug sales which was their stated goal - I was all for it - this was original BP that believed in improving their communities not the current version that blames instead of fixing.

I post because citizens (armed) do make a difference that is positive and it has not a thing to do with race.



I agree. I was friends with the original BP's in Chicago. It is good that someone remembers the GOOD they were trying to do rather then think about them like they were this new version that is out. That was in the early 70's.



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 03:47 PM
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I'd like to add something to this thread, mainly for the benefit of those not living in the US.

The difference between the US and the rest of the industrialized world, as I see it, is the delegation of authority. While we have police just as other countries do, the police are not there to protect us or to defend us. They are there to enforce the law. Wrabbit covered this very nicely earlier in the thread. The duty to protect ourselves falls on ourselves, not on an authority figure charged to do so.

If I am walking along and someone tries to hit me, it is not a policeman's job to make him stop. That is my job. The policeman's job is essentially janitor... afterward, he cleans up the mess, calls the needed backup, arrests lawbreakers, and writes up his report. He can stop any illegal action he wishes to (and they usually do; makes for easier cleanup and less paperwork) but he is not obligated to.

I wonder sometimes if we are even really aware of that.

A good 90% of the debates on the Zimmerman case are based on a misinterpretation of statements. Stalking for instance. What Zimmerman did that night did not fit the legal definition of stalking. It did fit my definition of stalking, and apparently fit several others' definition of stalking. What does that mean? It means Zimmerman is not legally guilty of stalking, but it also means Zimmerman's actions could have been interpreted as a threat by quite a few people.

That disconnect is where the issue lies, and I think the OP did everyone a great service for starting this thread,

When growing up, my father had a lot of rules that I didn't fully understand at the time. Things like "never go around someone's house to knock on the back door." Why not? These were people I knew very well. But his concern was the appearance I would give if I walked around the house out of sight. If they came back later and the house had burned down or been robbed, I would be the prime suspect.

In a courtroom, the law is King. If it is not specified in the law, it is not a crime. There is no right and wrong morally, only legal and illegal. I'm glad it's that way, as I do not ever want to be judged by someone else's morality.

But outside those doors, it's different. The law is still in effect, but common sense and reason must also prevail. Following someone is not a crime, but following someone in a manner that makes them concerned that they are about to become a victim of a crime is asking for trouble. We, ourselves, need to see that. We need to again learn something that we seem to have forgotten: how to live together peacefully. And we need to learn it quickly, lest we are forced by the laws of human nature to learn it the hard way.

Oh, and before I close... since I have addressed those outside the US... the gun debate is pointless. We consider our right to bear arms as important as our right to breathe. Just as no one is going to stop me from breathing with my consent, no one is going to take away my right to defend myself with my consent. Because, unlike other countries, no one else is necessarily going to defend me.

That's my job.

TheRedneck



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 03:56 PM
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Originally posted by Astrocyte
reply to post by Phoenix
 


Interesting example.

I know as a legal question this isn't very easy to work out. Why should black panthers be allowed to carry weapons but George Zimmerman and other neighborhood watchman shouldn't? I don't have an answer for that.

All I can say is, there is a provocative quality to following people who are likely dangerous and then killing them in self defense when they attack you.

As a thought experiment, how would you personally adjudge such a situation? Shouldn't reasonable expectation govern our relationships with other people? I mentioned my relationship with my brother. In another sense, we can apply this concept to basic conversations. If I'm a neuroscience graduate, am I going to talk to someone who has no knowledge of neuroscience with the scientific lingo and detail that I would with another scientist? Would it be reasonable for me to expect that they would understand what I'm talking about? No, of course not. Similarly, certain kids with behavioral problems are treated differently by teachers than other kids. This is necessary because such kids respond differently to social cues than their peers. This doesn't mean we should "tolerate" their anti-social behavior, but it does mean we should be circumspect in how we approach and communicate with them.

If someone with neighborhood watch authority (lets say this is a different scenario) decided on stalking and following a probable gang-banger, all the time aware of his being armed and dangerous, wouldn't this be irresponsible of him? Shouldn't avoiding a possible tragedy i.e. someone getting killed, be his highest priority?


Ah I get it now! Wow! You think the criminals life is of more value then any citizens. By your example above you are more then willing to allow the criminal to endanger the lives of all unarmed citizens in that neighborhood rather then having that dangerous fellow watched and probably captured by the police. Remember, Zimmerman CALLED the police and was watching Martin FOR the police. Martin had a phone, if he was innocent he could have called the police himself and probably that alone would have defused the situation. You know, have Martin ACT like a citizen rather then a thug?



posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 03:57 PM
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reply to post by Phoenix
 




If a bear charges in the woods should you leave your gun a home? Should you not enter the woods because a bear might charge? In logic this IS what you are asking.


Umm, no it isn't. Bears aren't human beings.



The "bears" in our society have brains and need to know there are limits to their bad behavior, to expect the reasonable people to always walk away is not a prescription to end the bear attacks rather it encourages it.


Your operating on false assumptions about criminals. Would and Should are not the same thing. We all have nervous systems that condition our behaviors. For example, lets say your a shy person. Whenever you enter an environment with a bunch of new faces, no matter how hard you try you can't seem to shake feelings of anxiety and discomfort. Even if you are able, it is extremely difficult and demands a degree of self awareness that criminals simply do not have.

Criminals are people with under-stimulated nervous systems - this is all proven. Their heart rates are slower, their skin conductance is less. This all adds up to make a person who is arrogant, disobedient, and anti-social.
So even though they should respond in a manner that is consistent with societies values, rules and laws, their nervous systems compel them to shirk your attempt to control them. They would not act in accord with your expectations of them. Therefore, in dealing with criminals, its important to understand that they do not possess the same degree of self control that you do.



In your world the "bears" should be deeply offended as you have basic belief that they are to intrinsically stupid to realize the danger they put themselves in by charging regional humans.


I'm sure you've heard the truism "Rome wasn't built in a day". Well, lives, and mind don't change in a day. It takes time to reshape our brains - and thus our feelings about things. I'm positive that most criminals have the capacity to reform themselves, but to believe that they would respond in a manner consistent with social laws - even though everyday they live in opposition to them - at the very instant you relate with them is ridiculously naive. It takes time to change them. It takes education to change them. These are the simple facts of the matter.

Thus, no matter how you slice it, to approach someone or stalk someone who is likely dangerous, while carrying a gun, is to invite disaster.
edit on 14-7-2013 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)





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