Los Angeles times - Trayvon Martin case: Sanford police chief temporarily steps aside
Christian Science Monitor - Will Trayvon Martin case spur rethinking of Stand Your Ground laws?
By now you have no doubt heard about Trayvon Martin, the 17 year old boy shot and killed by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman, variously described as nice guy, one man neighborhood watch, vigilante or wannabe police officer claims the shooting was self defense under Florida’s “stand your ground law”.
I’m not buying it. 911 tapes reveal a dispatcher telling Zimmerman to stop following Trayvon. Minutes later 911 tapes of neighbors reporting a voice pleading for mercy clearly record a gunshot, apparently the shot that ended this young man’s life.
My family owns and uses firearms. My wife and I have held concealed handgun permits for the past 11 years and I have extensive military training and experience with firearms dating back to the late ‘70s. We live in and our permits were issued by the Commonwealth of Virginia, one of the 24 so called “stand your ground” states. The following excerpt from Virginia Common Law covering the use of deadly force by non-law enforcement personnel was included in an e-mail reminder to members from the Virginia Citizen’s Defense League.
“Self-defense in Virginia’s common law goes back over 400 YEARS. If attacked, Common law allows an innocent citizen to be able to defend himself wherever he may be. Deadly force can be used in such a case if the victim REASONABLY feels that he is in IMMEDIATE danger of death or GRIEVOUS bodily injury. If you REASONABLY believe that a person who is attacking you is armed, then you can use deadly force even if, in the end, he was unarmed. Or, if you REASONABLY feel that an unarmed person, who is more powerful than you, is going to kill you with his bare hands and/or feet, you can use deadly force to stop that attack.
The key in Virginia’s Stand-Your-Ground common law is that you are not somehow an instigator of the violence so as to use that violence as an excuse to kill the other person. If, for example, you are closely following a suspect, or are confronting a suspect in some way, (both of which Zimmerman *appears* to have done) you may suddenly find yourself on very thin legal ice if attacked. This is where the extraordinary powers we give police come in handy for them. You and I lack many of those legal protections.
If you do find that you goofed up and are "part of the problem, " then you need to retreat as far as you can, indicate you have given up the fight, and only if cornered and the person persists in what you REASONABLY believe is a deadly attack, may you then use deadly force to protect yourself. You will certainly have a lot of explaining to do to the authorities if you find yourself in this kind of situation.”
In the United States a person is considered innocent until proven guilty. I readily admit that I do not have all the facts in this matter but from what I’ve read, heard and seen in the media when Zimmerman started following Mr. Martin he was no longer standing his ground. When he continued following Mr. Martin after being told to stop by the 911 dispatcher he was no longer standing his ground. By continuing to do so he became an instigator and, at least under our definition of Stand-Your-Ground, committed at the least manslaughter if not premeditated murder when he pulled the trigger.
Zimmerman’s continuing to follow Mr. Martin, in my opinion, constituted legal justification for Mr. Martin to defend himself, not the other way around. I for one think Zimmermen should be charged and made to answer for his actions in a court of law.
The police report for this incident, heavily redacted, has already been posted online and can be read by clicking the this link.
Today started out fine with beautiful weather and low pain levels. Then the madness struck THE BOSS and me simultaneously. We spent the day working on flower beds.
Now we’re both hobbling around moaning and groaning. My back is so bad I can barely walk WITH a cane! THE BOSS even had to help me get dressed when I got out of the shower which was an adventure in itself. We both have a nice dose of sunburn to add to the misery…….but it’s a good kind of pain, well earned and something nice to show for our efforts…..besides my ever growing collection of cuts, scrapes and bruises.
I should call Band-Aid and see if they need a spokesman…..or a crash test dummy. I easily qualify, either way.
Pictures of the project to follow…..when I can shoot again.
Yeah, it’s that bad.
…..to bring you the following public service announcement.
I hereby declare winter to be officially over.
Yep, sunny and 75!
If a broke down old geezer like me can get out and mow the lawn….
Hold on a sec…….I need to wet my whistle…….
Now where was I? Oh yes……if a beat up old fat boy like me can get out and do yard w….w….w…. mow the lawn you healthy folks ain’t got no excuse. Now turn off the computer, get outside and enjoy the nice weather. If the weather’s not nice where you are what better excuse for a road trip than to enjoy springtime in Virginia?
P.S. I haven’t been online much the past few days because I’ve been as messed up as a soup sammich. My back has been giving me fits!
P.P.S. I probably won’t be online at least the rest of the day because the engine vibration from riding the Dandelion Destroyer around the yard triggered my back and THE BOSS just gave me a dose of pain meds. The cartoons in my head should begin any minute now.
P.P.P.S. The preceding is all THE BOSS’s fault. She knows I can’t be left at home without adult supervision. At least she got some good pictures of the crotchety old bear she’s been putting up with for the past 25 years! (That would be me.)
I wonder what’s taking the rescue squad so long. THE BOSS said she called them to come haul me off to the emergency room. Sure hope they get here soon. After dark the critters come out and the last thing I need is to get dragged off into the woods by a gang of raccoons………again!
THIS POST CONTAINS ADULT BIRD CONTENT.
PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK!
If there is one thing I don’t need it’s to get kicked off Word Press for posting burd porn!
Spring is in the air and the critters is actin’ like wild animals!
This pair of Mourning Doves (Zenaida macroura ) landed in the maple just above me and the small horses this afternoon.
“You burds need to get a room!”
“You heard Buddy, get a room! He’s so embarrassed he’s blushing from head to tail!”
* Actually, Molly had a cat treed in this shot and that’s what she was staring at but the expression on her face seemed to fit the situation so…………….
I don’t speak Burd but I could swear this guy was saying “WOO-HOO!”
According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology web page for Mourning Doves it looks like we’ll probably have a few new additions to the flock in the near future………..and that’s all I have to say about that!
BTW: As most of you know I have been known to get into trouble when left without adult supervision. With that in mind I showed this to THE BOSS before publishing it and asked if I should publish it. She said “Yes, most assuredly!” ……so any complaints should be directed to her. I will be more than happy to provide her e-mail address and/or cell phone number upon request.
I actually shot this last year but y’all know what I mean. Even though we’ve had an amazingly mild winter I am more than ready for warm breezes and spring colors!
Some of you know that I grew up in Virginia Beach which is bounded on the north by the Chesapeake Bay and the east by the Atlantic Ocean. The laid back community known as Chesapeake Beach, or Chic’s Beach ….. with no K damn it!….. to locals, is the stretch of sand I literally grew up on and is forever imprinted in my soul as home, no matter where I roam.
I, as well as many of my fellow beach rats, spent hours and hours sitting on these boulders staring across the bay while pondering life’s mysteries.
THE BOSS on The Rocks
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel spanning the 20 mile mouth of the bay.
Mom and THE BOSS with the CBBT behind them
……..and The Reward at the End.
Our weather forecast is calling for scattered snow showers Sunday and Monday. I’m hoping the weather guessers are operating at their usual efficiency because I usually don’t notice these guys until after I’ve mowed the lawn and they flock in to hunt for insects. Here’s to signs of good things to come!
I got some nice shots of a pair of Mourning Doves, as well. Those will be on my Virginia Through My Lens page as soon as I can get them posted.
The weather was nice today so Daddy got his cameras and wandered out the door. Molly and I went with him, of course. Mama says it’s our job to keep an eye on him because he does stupid things when he’s not supervised.
I don’t know why Mama gets all bent out of shape when Daddy stands on the picnic table. You can see all sorts of stuff from up here!
Those cows have got to be at least a mile away!
All I see is that herd of cats on the neighbor’s porch. As soon as I figure out how to get off my lead they’re in for a surprise!!
Molly has cats on the brain. She just loves chasing them. I bet she even dreams about chasing cats.
This is the first time I noticed the face on our tree. That is spooky!
Maybe Daddy should give the pruning saw a rest.
I don’t think the tree likes getting his branches chopped off! I can understand that. Mama and Daddy took me to the vet last winter and you wouldn’t believe what she chopped off!
Part of my job is guarding Daddy’s bird watching chair when he’s not using it. I tried sitting in it once but it flipped over backwards and that was the last time I fooled with that thing! I also learned that using Daddy’s water bottle for a chew toy makes him say all kinds of bad words! He’ll give you a drink if you ask but whatever you do, DO NOT EAT THE BOTTLE WHEN HE’S NOT LOOKING!
This is another part of keeping an eye on Daddy. I don’t think it’s physically possible to do what Mama says she’ll do to Daddy if he spends her Bingo money on camera gear, ammo or another gun but I do know that I don’t want to watch her try!