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Forum Post: Self-Defense Under Attack

Posted 2 years ago on April 26, 2012, 7:54 a.m. EST by darrenlobo (204)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Even if the Trayvon Martin case does not really illustrate the shortcomings of Florida's law, it is possible that eliminating the duty to retreat in public places, combined with reinforcing the "castle doctrine" (which applies to home invasions) and extending it to vehicles, has encouraged avoidable escalations of violence. The law's opponents note that the annual number of justifiable homicides in Florida (excluding police shootings) nearly tripled after the law was passed in 2005, from an average of 12 between 2000 and 2004 to an average of 35 between 2006 and 2010.

Still, you would expect to see an increase in homicides deemed to be justified even if the law were working exactly as intended. The crucial question in assessing the law's impact, which the task force appointed last week by Gov. Rick Scott presumably will ask, is whether these homicides should be deemed justified.

In the meantime, it is worth noting that Florida's violent crime rate, which fell by 12 percent in the five years before the "stand your ground" law was enacted, fell by 23 percent in the five years afterward. Since 1987, when Florida adopted a nondiscretionary carry permit law that the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence blames for "year after year of carnage," the state's violent crime rate has been cut nearly in half.

http://reason.com/archives/2012/04/25/self-defense-under-attack

17 Comments

17 Comments


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[-] 3 points by tallscott (11) 2 years ago

I fully support the right to self-defense. The issue is that whether or not a person is perceived as having the right to self-defense is based on his relative power in the situation and not the facts of the case. So a homeowner in a gated community is perceived by police as having acted in self-defense even though he needlessly initiated the confrontation. Why did they make that assumption? Because Trayvon Martin, in their eyes, had no right to even be there. I know of a case where a transgendered person defended herself from a gay-bashing attack, killed one of her attackers- and is now on trial for murder. This type of law is not applied evenly. "Self defense" is taken to mean "the right of the privileged to defend themselves from the powerless." The powerless are never seen as having a right to defend themselves from the privileged.

[-] 1 points by darrenlobo (204) 2 years ago

Your point is well taken. My concern is that the right to self defense will be destroyed because it is not evenly respected. The answer is to make sure everyone, including the transgendered, have the right to it.

[-] -1 points by bobgnote (-55) 2 years ago

The case of the TG was reviewed on this morning's Democracy Now! The dead attacker had a history of harassment, and he sported a swastika tatoo. Trayvon Martin's slayer fabricated a series of straight, edge-caused cuts, on the back of his head and then claimed his head was smashed on the sidewalk. He wasn't arrested until an information was issued, 43 days late. Did he get to keep his gun? Talk about uneven enforcement, you are doing it. Targets need not apply, for protection under the law, given distortion and the corrupt, who are able to distort, at their whim.

[-] 2 points by TheMisfit (48) 2 years ago

"eliminating the duty to retreat in public places"

So it is one's duty to run away? This is the victim mentality that allows criminals to thrive.

[-] 2 points by JadedGem (895) 2 years ago

Usually, I disagree with you. On this one I don't disagree with you. YUCK! But there it is. The stand your ground law gives criminals pause. It should be more broadly applied and should be helping even more victims not be incarcerated for self-defense. If I read it correctly the statistics are saying fewer people are dieing every year from violent crimes after stand your ground laws were established. Also, I'm not sure what part of Florida Zimmerman would be called white in? He's as white as Obama. There was an elderly man that the police broke down his door and shot. His medic alert button was pushed and it resulted in his death by cops. I don't care if people want to scream but I wish they'd scream about that.

[-] 2 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 2 years ago

The difference is that deadly force should only be used if you believe whole heatedly that you yourself are going to die. Where was the other weapon? Where are the bruises to show the viciousness of the attack that made you believe that your life was threatened?

[-] 1 points by JadedGem (895) 2 years ago

I'm not saying that what happened to Trayvon Martin is not tragic and I understand why Zimmerman was charged. I don't understand why the TG person is on the hook for murder. Self-defense gets used when people would simply rather shoot someone rather than face getting their can kicked in a good old fashioned manner. This happened in our town when an unarmed man, the ex of an employee showed up at a work place ready to beat up her boss. The man ended up being shot dead and the business owner got off. This is not right. (Note that both parties were white.) Not arguing that point at all. There is a lot of unfairness in the legal system. But no, people who attack people should expect people to worry about their life and defend themselves to the best of their ability. Being attacked is scarey and painful. Now how wounded does a person need to be to think there is a danger to their life? Once I was in a heated argument with a girl who decided she wanted to lay claim to a sidewalk for some unknown reason. She was telling me how she had friends and they would knife me. Imagine my surprise when someone came up behind me, stuck their head between my legs and grabbed my legs. I smashed him on the back of the neck as hard as I could and started to choke him with my legs. Turns out he was trying to diffuse the tension by carrying me off so me and the girl would not come to blows. I could have killed him because I assumed after what she had said that he was trying to kill me. I wasn't wounded but my life had been just been threatened and I was grabbed by an unknown person. Words alone can scare people bad.

[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 2 years ago

Good reply. Words alone can indeed scare people, but just because you are scared is your life really in danger? In your situation the answer was no, no matter how scared you were. Deadly force is a last resort option. I believe we agree on this.

[-] 1 points by JadedGem (895) 2 years ago

Yeah, once I was in control of the situation, I talked to him to find out what was going on. It was silly. We were all teens. I thought the girl was a prostitute and that is why she was laying claim to a public sidewalk and telling me I could not walk or stand on it. I thought the boy who grabbed me must be her pimp. It turned out the girl was a local girl in a beach town. She was annoyed by the local boys going off with "tourists" so she labeled me a tourist and decided to show out. My grandparents owned a house there and I knew several of the kids in the crowd of on-lookers. The boy said that when the girls got into it, they'd carry one off until they cooled down. He was trying to protect me from her. The whole crowd of on-lookers thought the girl got lucky in that I had got hold of him instead of her. Thing is, I went to a rough school and kids ganged up on me after school, I had to learn to fight so I'm not as defenseless as I look. No one knew until I got grabbed like that that I was anything but a sweet little girl. If I had of seriously hurt the boy, it would have been terrible. But for that moment when I grabbed from behind, I wasn't thinking, I was just reacting. There are a lot of damaged people walking around and tragic things can happen. I am annoyed that things don't get attention if its two white people, or two black people, or two Latino people. The statistics say if you are black the odds of you getting shot go up, I'm not denying that. I think with Zimmerman's case, what really happened, what really caused it is not something people care to find out. They think they know everything already.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

Are you saying that all self defenses cases are exactly the same? And because of the situation that occurred to you, there should be no doubts about Zimmerman's claim of self defense. Are you saying that if anyone in the world anywhere at any time says they feel threatened and kills another person, a self defense claim should be beyond reproach. I appreciate your sentiments about not jumping to conclusions, but are you not guilty yourself of bringing your own bias to the situation and saying the facts in your case somehow should be held up as a mirror or perhaps even trump the facts in this other case, based on your perspective alone.

Step back. This is not the same situation that happened to you. Most noticeably, in the case at hand. SOMEONE IS DEAD. Do you understand? DEAD. Step back and check your own bias before you make outlandish claims about other people thinking they know everything. I assume that the 'they' you refer to means those who think Zimmerman was in the wrong to profile, initiate confrontation, and kill an unarmed teen.

Let's all be clear, self defense is not on trial here. Which PERSON acted in self defense is on trial. Just exactly who felt threatened here and just exactly who had a justifiable right to defend themselves. Zimmerman or Martin. I am not a lawyer, but my own personal feelings about the stand your ground law lean toward a person not being able to be the aggressor and then make claims of self defense. It seems counterintuitive to common sense.

Now if facts come out clearly showing Zimmerman was not the aggressor, I would wholeheartedly support his claim to defend himself. However, if the facts bear out that he was the aggressor and he initiated the violence, then I will hope he gets a just sentence. Whatever the judicial process decides, I will live with, because I believe the facts will determine the outcome, not someone's personal view based on their own encounter with a sticky situation.

[-] 1 points by JadedGem (895) 2 years ago

I don't claim to know what Zimmerman was thinking. I don't claim to know he is a racist. I don't claim to know why Trayvon Martin was in that community. I don't have a clue what actually happened. Neither do you. You weren't there. Trayvon and Zimmerman may be the only people ever to know what happened. I don't have a bias. I am saying this case is no longer a case but a cause. You obviously are convinced you have God like powers of discernment and many other people feel the same way. I don't think you do. I feel in most cases if you are the one with gun, usually you don't need to actually fire it. I don't know why he fired the gun. Its sad that Trayvon is dead. I know Trayvon is dead, he didn't have a gun, I know Zimmerman shot him and that's about it. I know when I see bias and its all over the place in this case. People think they know Zimmerman is a racist. People think Trayvon is just some innocent kid who was gunned down because of what he was wearing and because he was black. People think all kinds of things. I'm just saying you probably won't learn the truth in this life. Zimmerman is alive to tell his side and Trayvon Martin is not so we may never know the actual whole truth this side of Heaven. That's not fair, but that is the way it is. That does not mean we should pretend we know things we have no way of knowing though. It doesn't mean we should assume things. And it doesn't mean I trust Zimmerman to be honest about what happened either. I don't. There is a dead unarmed boy, that is a fact, and only Zimmerman knows why and I don't trust him to tell me or anyone else the whole truth about it. That's not a bias, that's the sad reality of the situation.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

No, you made no claim at omniscience, other than to summarily pass judgment on this mysterious other group of people who you named 'they', who you summarily declared to be a bunch of know it alls who have already made their minds up. I took offense to that because it is nothing more than a bunch of bullshit. Can you really consider that a fair assessment on your part? Can you really claim to know their minds? Especially in the light of your enlightening words to me that no one can know Zimmerman's mind.

Please. I know it can be difficult to accept another's view of you, but please try to see the contradictions in your words. Do you really not see the bias in your own view? We are all hypocrites to one degree or another. I have had it pointed out to me many times when I have contradicted myself. Again, I understand the sentiments you feel. But there is simply no way you can know - who has or who has not - made up their minds about this. Really, there was no justification for you to superimpose your situation onto this one and from your life experience think it gives you the right to unfairly demagogue anyone who questions Zimmerman's self defense claim and paint them as a bunch of know it alls, as if you somehow know their minds.

To quote you, "That does not mean we should pretend we know things we have no way of knowing".

Now as for your claims that I am convinced that I have god like powers. No. That is just your ruffled feathers on display. I do not know your mind at all. I am only responding to the words you type and the meaning I discern from them and throwing the contradictory meanings I find back in your face so you may see your true self through another's eyes. I mean no harm. I am only being truthful.

As for the case itself, like I said, whatever the evidence bears out, I will feel the evidence got the scrutiny it deserves and be satisfied whatever the outcome.

As for the issue of self defense, my message is this - self defense should never be some holy grail of defense that is beyond refute - no matter whether it be stand your ground or castle doctrine. The stakes of lives at play can not allow it to be viewed in this shallow light.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

Nice to see that you're back around these parts and for you, inspired by your very last word above : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlZ9g7O8_Sg ~{:-) & see you around the threads dude !!

fiat lux ...

[-] 2 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

You always have a video for every occasion. Thanks for the welcome back. For some reason, I want to say Kotter right now. Be seein' ya.

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[-] 1 points by Shule (2030) 2 years ago

Florida did away with the helmet law too. Not incidentally two wheel motor vehicle deaths skyrocketed. Looks like the Florida legislator is overrun with stupid rednecks. Hopefully, they all ride motorcycles to work. Maybe they'll get shot by other motorists thinking they're biker thugs before they have the opportunity to smash their heads into the ground.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

Unreason magazine would be a better name for the link.

There's a whole lot more to this poorly written ALEC law than they are willing to admit.

http://www.thegrio.com/news/marissa-alexander-angela-coreys-other-stand-your-ground-case.php

She's facing 20 years for her failure to shoot to kill.

[-] 1 points by Neuwurldodr (744) 2 years ago

No law on earth can "encourage(d) avoidable escalations of violence.". Mankind has been violent since he first stepped foot on this planet...so please...GET REAL!!

Individuals want to create another haven for themselves in order to have the ability to annihilate under the auspices of the law..that's all!

Stand your ground means nothing when Florida law also states that Penalties and Sentences for Florida state laws establish manslaughter as a second degree felony, which may result in a term of imprisonment for up to fifteen years, a fine of an amount up to $10,000, or both. If the defendant committed aggravated manslaughter, such as manslaughter of a child or elderly person by culpable negligence, the state treats the offense as a first degree felony, which increases the potential term of imprisonment to a maximum of thirty years. Florida laws also require the state to consider the defendant's criminal history and determine whether the defendant is a career criminal or habitual violent offender; if so, the state may be able to increase the defendant's punishment. Florida Involuntary Manslaughter Statute

Florida Statutes Sections 782.02-782.36

Please understand the law that was posted also on the police report for the Zimmerman mishandling of his position and firearm. He was initially charged with manslaughter and that has not been taken off the record. If you dumb asses are going to be in favor of laws, be sure you understand the laws first!!!

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