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Author Topic: Florida Shooting Echos Trayvon Martin Case, but this time a conviction?  (Read 2794 times)

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Offline chaoslord29Topic starter

Re: Florida Shooting Echos Trayvon Martin Case, but this time a conviction?
« Reply #25 on: February 04, 2014, 01:55:49 PM »
I abhor knee jerk reactions. This case is not indicative of every single case of murder by the use of a gun and it should not be used as such.

And again, one of the nice things about living in this country is the Second Amendment - I think you need to read it. If you are going to say "oh sure, you have the right to self defense" but then remove the ability to defend one's self with a gun then you've rendered self defense moot. Oh, and you know how you think it is the cops' job to come to your house and defend you? Wrong. They are not on the job to defend you. They are on the job to make sure the laws of the city, county, state are upheld.  And honestly, I'd not trust a cop to get to my house in time to defend me.  When it can take forty five minutes to an hour and a half for a cop to show up, I think it better that I be in charge of my own self defense.

Now, I am guessing that you've never actually bothered to do any research and you are basing your opinions off what you think is the case or what you've heard other people say. If that's the case, let me shed a little light.

If you kill someone in self defense, you have to prove that it was self defense. In the state I live in, if someone is trying to break into my house, I cannot shoot them until they come INTO my house. If I get trigger happy and shoot them before they cross the threshold, I am, at the very least, liable.

There is no state that allows you to just willy nilly kill someone and say "oh, it was self defense" without giving some proof that it was. You can be indited and put before the Grand Jury if the DA thinks you did not satisfy the 'self defense' claim.

BTW, find yourself in a situation where you have to defend yourself and talk to me again about this topic. It's amazing how much opinions change when people experience the opposite side of the argument.

Inquitous, I really do not appreciate the blatant attacks on my character or my credibility.

As it happens, I have exhaustively researched this topic for a number of different projects in both academic and professional settings, and conducted recursive analysis comparing gun violence across counties, states, and countries beyond the United States. I don't see the need to resort to citing overly complicated academic articles and studies in this particular forum, especially when you've provided anecdotal examples from news clippings.

For the record, I am a gun owner. I have had to brandish my gun in self-defense. I have never killed anyone, and I do not relish the opportunity to do so.

I am not accusing you of anything, I am referring specifically to the exercise of Florida's "Stand Your Ground" policy and suggesting that it is beneficial to remember that murder in self defense is still murder from a moral stand point. We are not on opposite sides of this debate, you simply seem to insist on making your own case out to be the victimized one, and to what end I cannot understand.

I do the government's business day to day. It outs butter on my biscuit and beer on the table to quote a song. And I feel what I do is important otherwise I would not do it, but the implementation and management there of is screwed up daily. I feel there are indeed certain things the government needs to do, but they micro manage into infinity and tend to really screw it up.

Take a look at the whole health care thing. There are real issues aside from the computer glitches and I use that as yet another example as to how our political process takes a good idea and screws it up. Hell, look at how prohibition failed and gave rise to crime back in the 20s. So there are certain rights one really does not want our incompotent leadership touching.

So the problem isn't with the principle of regulation, but rather with the implementation thereof. That means to me that rather than start repealing or deregulating, we need to take more active steps to hold leadership accountable and that starts with a more progressive stance on educating and informing the constituency.

How is it self-evident?  Are you referring to mass shootings in recent years?  Understand the statistics before making these sweeping assumptions.  The US murder rate has not altered that much since the availability of automatic weapons.  In fact, our overall murder rates are at their lowest levels since the 1960s.  Source

Are you also advocating gun control for semi-automatics, another leading cause of crime and murder?

If yes to the above question, then how does this agree with this statement regarding our second amendment rights?  I think most reasonable wouldn't start advocating bans on semi-automatics - I would hope.

I am not in fact referring to the rise in mass shooting, or else I would have specifically cited it.

I am referring instead, explicitly to the self-evident fact that increased ownership and usership of guns will result in more gun violence and gun deaths, accidental, intentional, self-inflicted, or otherwise. I mean, the best statistic to cite in this debate is that 98% of people who are shot and receive immediate medical attention in the US survive.

If you start factoring in gun-suicides, and attempted murder, there's a whole heck of a lot of gun violence in general. But that's not the point I'm trying to make.

I'm not advocating for any kind of ban on guns (of any kind), just that the use of those guns in any circumstances must carry the strictest sense of culpability. If you're right to own a gun is going to be absolutely maintained, then your exercise of that gun must be held to an equally absolute standard. If we're flexible in our application of gun regulation, then more overall leniency can be allowed in the use of those firearms.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2014, 02:02:06 PM by chaoslord29 »

Offline Retribution

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Re: Florida Shooting Echos Trayvon Martin Case, but this time a conviction?
« Reply #26 on: February 04, 2014, 02:06:07 PM »
Let me offer an very relevant example of why we should not depend too much on our government and our laws. The case of Trevon Martin and George Zimmerman. As we all know Zimmerman was acquitted. That was because when he pulled the trigger he was legally golden. He was in a hard spot, his person was threatened and he was getting his ass kicked. But that ignores the fact meat head should have never placed himself in that position. At the very least he should be guilty of man slaughter because he did not obey the instructions of the 911 dispatcher and back off. But when the seer on that trigger broke he was in the legal right to defend himself.

In my opinion he should be in jail. But our legal system and our government tends to focus on the forest and miss the trees. It becomes too fixated on covering every conceivable situation so it spends ages beating square pegs into round holes. In my case professionally the SOP is set up to utterly remove my discretion and ability to think. If X happens then I must do Y with no discretion on my part.  So I am very slow to trust them with my fundamental rights and things that are intricate to my life style.

And since you posted Chaos while I was typing this yes, holding our leaders more accountable would be great. I just wish I knew how because in recent years I have utterly lost faith in the process.

Offline chaoslord29Topic starter

Re: Florida Shooting Echos Trayvon Martin Case, but this time a conviction?
« Reply #27 on: February 04, 2014, 02:18:50 PM »
Let me offer an very relevant example of why we should not depend too much on our government and our laws. The case of Trevon Martin and George Zimmerman. As we all know Zimmerman was acquitted. That was because when he pulled the trigger he was legally golden. He was in a hard spot, his person was threatened and he was getting his ass kicked. But that ignores the fact meat head should have never placed himself in that position. At the very least he should be guilty of man slaughter because he did not obey the instructions of the 911 dispatcher and back off. But when the seer on that trigger broke he was in the legal right to defend himself.

In my opinion he should be in jail. But our legal system and our government tends to focus on the forest and miss the trees. It becomes too fixated on covering every conceivable situation so it spends ages beating square pegs into round holes. In my case professionally the SOP is set up to utterly remove my discretion and ability to think. If X happens then I must do Y with no discretion on my part.  So I am very slow to trust them with my fundamental rights and things that are intricate to my life style.

And since you posted Chaos while I was typing this yes, holding our leaders more accountable would be great. I just wish I knew how because in recent years I have utterly lost faith in the process.

I'm as skeptical and cynical as you are Retribution, especially in regards to the Trayvon Martin case (it's one of the reasons I posted about this similar case, because the 'Stand-your-Ground' policy may come up again). The problem that the application of this law in the Trayvon case is apparent to anyone, and I agree Zimmerman should be in jail.

However, in terms of 'missing the trees' the way I see it, government, especially the Federal Government, has to focus on the forest, because the application of justice over a society necessitates cases where there will be misapplication of the law and fall through the cracks. I'm not saying that the good of the many outweighs any single individual case, but rather that the opposite is wholly impractical. Are you familiar with Aeschylus perhaps? The Tragedies of Agamemnon and his family? One of the themes is that so long as two sides of an issue continue to exact vengeance, the violence continues, and that justice doesn't exist simply between two wronged parties, but only in the application of moral rectitude across a society as a whole.

Bit of a tangent I know, but let me say that I share your loss of faith in the present system. The difference is that I maintain my faith in what the system is capable of and has the potential to do. Furthermore, as a true skeptic I can tell you that you losing faith in the system is exactly what the politicians who abuse the system want (even inadvertently). The more ignorant, and partisan and divided the citizens of this country are, the easier it is for both parties to stay in power, and continue to abuse the system.

Offline Retribution

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Re: Florida Shooting Echos Trayvon Martin Case, but this time a conviction?
« Reply #28 on: February 04, 2014, 02:26:31 PM »
I cannot say I disagree with you on any of the above Chaos, but we probably would not see eye to eye on how to get there. In short, I feel that professionals with a bit of skill, like well myself, have a brain. We are in government employ so please let us use that brain because every situation cannot be legislated and at some point, someplace, someone has got to think. Sadly protocol and SOP deprive us of that ability to think and use our brain and use our judgement.

People not in government employ run into the same sort of things in life. I guess it is the way our society has evolved and it is a crying shame.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Florida Shooting Echos Trayvon Martin Case, but this time a conviction?
« Reply #29 on: February 04, 2014, 02:27:31 PM »
Chaoslord29, I am very surprised with some of your views, considering you are also a gun owner.  For someone who says they have used a weapon in self-defense, it is surprising that you want to attach a corresponding criminal charge - had you needed to kill the individual.

I still don't understand how it is self-evident that increased gun ownership will yield more gun deaths.  As Retribution indicated, the last agency I would trust to control firearms is the United States government.  Case in point: Operation Fast and Furious.

Realize that the scope of permissible behavior within the legal system has always been larger than the scope of behavior permissible through our moral values - and many would argue that this is the societal ideal.  No one likes to see anyone get murdered, but your personal view on self-defense murders going against your moral values has no obligation to be mirrored in the legal system.  Many posters here, including myself, feel that many cases of self-defense murders are justified.

Offline Shjade

Re: Florida Shooting Echos Trayvon Martin Case, but this time a conviction?
« Reply #30 on: February 04, 2014, 03:25:11 PM »
I still don't understand how it is self-evident that increased gun ownership will yield more gun deaths.

Simple statistics?

Increased car ownership leads to more vehicular fatalities not because people necessarily drive more erratically or try to hurt each other, but because there are simply more cars on the road. Having more guns around and available to become involved in violent situations is hardly likely to decrease gun deaths.

Even if the ratio stayed the same (X guns:Y gun deaths), increasing the number of guns would increase the linked number of gun-related incidents.

Offline chaoslord29Topic starter

Re: Florida Shooting Echos Trayvon Martin Case, but this time a conviction?
« Reply #31 on: February 04, 2014, 03:26:13 PM »
I cannot say I disagree with you on any of the above Chaos, but we probably would not see eye to eye on how to get there. In short, I feel that professionals with a bit of skill, like well myself, have a brain. We are in government employ so please let us use that brain because every situation cannot be legislated and at some point, someplace, someone has got to think. Sadly protocol and SOP deprive us of that ability to think and use our brain and use our judgement.

People not in government employ run into the same sort of things in life. I guess it is the way our society has evolved and it is a crying shame.

See, as a rule, I don't trust any given individual to exercise their judgement to even their own best interest because I feel that our society no longer values what is necessary for us to be expected to do exactly that. There's to much emphasis on material gain, and even downright anti-illectual sentiment. But I don't think it's anything particularly new and different in our generation or time or whatever, it's just the particular expression of all the usual human vices given the evolution our institutions and society has undergone.

So, what's the solution? Why hope for a better future? The Socrates complex. So long as their is someone (like me) willing to martyr themselves to poke holes in the system and hasn't given up hope, there is room for progress and change. I'm not saying I'm the next Socrates, haha, not by a long shot, but the point is that there are people like you and me out there who see the problems, and so long as we don't become apathetic and resigned to living with them, we can spark change.

Chaoslord29, I am very surprised with some of your views, considering you are also a gun owner.  For someone who says they have used a weapon in self-defense, it is surprising that you want to attach a corresponding criminal charge - had you needed to kill the individual.

I still don't understand how it is self-evident that increased gun ownership will yield more gun deaths.  As Retribution indicated, the last agency I would trust to control firearms is the United States government.  Case in point: Operation Fast and Furious.

Realize that the scope of permissible behavior within the legal system has always been larger than the scope of behavior permissible through our moral values - and many would argue that this is the societal ideal.  No one likes to see anyone get murdered, but your personal view on self-defense murders going against your moral values has no obligation to be mirrored in the legal system.  Many posters here, including myself, feel that many cases of self-defense murders are justified.

I carry a small caliber weapon and only on rare occasion do I actually keep it on hand. In dealing with my own personal case, I was able to resolve the situation peacefully because my would-be assailant was armed only with a knife. If he had had a gun of his own, I doubt I would have brandished mine at all.

If I had shot him, and killed him, in all likelihood I would have plead guilty to murder and expected due leniency from the DA. In our previous debate regarding the woman on life support, I expressed my own ethical stance on murder, and while I would likely have been absolved of the crime, I feel that would in no way absolve my moral culpability for ending someone else's life.

It is self-evident in the same way that more access to drugs results in more drug use, or more people driving cars results in more accidents. In short, accidents happen, and increasing the potential for accidents does not proportionately but exponentially increases the amount of accidents which will occur. I'm not just referring here to accidental gun-deaths, but that the complexity of human behavior will invariably result in circumstances where violent impulses, criminal activity, and suicidal or fanatical tendencies will occur; and the more access to firearms there is in a society, the better the odds that the variety of factors which result in gun violence and gun-deaths will coincide.

Every mass shooting is different. Every armed robbery is different. Every gun-suicide is different. They are all of them infinitely complex circumstances unique to the experiences, perceptions, and even physiology of the person and persons involved. The only factor unique to all of them, and the only one which can actually be controlled for consistently is the presence and usage of a gun, which not only makes the violence possible, but amplifies the lethality of said circumstance in a way incomparable to any other implement of violence (weapon).

The government may not be an ideal institution for dealing with the regulation of firearms, but no less so than it is an ideal situation for dealing with say, mail. Or infrastructure. Or economic stimulation and regulation. The point is that deregulation solves nothing.

Offline Chris Brady

Re: Florida Shooting Echos Trayvon Martin Case, but this time a conviction?
« Reply #32 on: February 04, 2014, 03:37:40 PM »
To paraphrase Chris Rock, "Guns help."

As do fists, feet, rocks, bricks, sticks, knives, cooking implements, cars and anything that moves and can be controlled by a human hand.  It's funny and pithy, but it's also disingenuous to assume that the tool used is in anyway even so much as part of the cause.

This guy wanted to kill someone.  He would have no matter what he had on hand.  The gun just made it more successful than going and beating these kids with a stick or something.

Part of the issue with 'Self-Defense' is this perceived notion of 'right or wrong'.  When your life is on the line, any sense of morality goes out the window.  It's you or them.  Pick one, you have NO other choice.  You or Them.  Go.

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Re: Florida Shooting Echos Trayvon Martin Case, but this time a conviction?
« Reply #33 on: February 04, 2014, 03:40:56 PM »
It is self-evident in the same way that more access to drugs results in more drug use, or more people driving cars results in more accidents. In short, accidents happen, and increasing the potential for accidents does not proportionately but exponentially increases the amount of accidents which will occur.

I am shocked that you claim to have conducted research on this topic in academic and professional settings, and yet you are assuming this as "self-evident."  There are many law-abiding citizens who have never used a firearm before, and are intimidated with even handling a gun.  Do you really feel that training these individuals to use a handgun (and thus increasing gun ownership) is going to have an adverse effect on pre-meditated murder?  You can certainly make the case that there will be a rise in empirical net rates of murder, such as in self-defense - however, you are then placing your personal morals into this discussion.

Realize that self-defense murders are acceptable to many to many of us, even if they are not to you.  If someone is walking down the street and an assailant points a gun to his head, you better believe I will have no issues with him defending himself with lethal intent.  Continuing to insert your personal moral views on self-defense into the conversation detracts from the case you are making on increasing gun control legislation.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Florida Shooting Echos Trayvon Martin Case, but this time a conviction?
« Reply #34 on: February 04, 2014, 03:50:25 PM »
 
Quote
If I had shot him, and killed him, in all likelihood I would have plead guilty to murder and expected due leniency from the DA. In our previous debate regarding the woman on life support, I expressed my own ethical stance on murder, and while I would likely have been absolved of the crime, I feel that would in no way absolve my moral culpability for ending someone else's life.

 If someone invades my home to steal stuff or threaten my family, if I can, that person is dead. I will kill them without any hesitation because they will have threatened MY family and home. I might have a few nightmares about it, but I'm not going to regret it and I certainly would not plead guilty to murder. I'd acknowledge what I did and the circumstances and that's about it.  Any guilt? Hell no. That person lost the right to breath when he threatened me and mine. Is that hard? Yes, but I put the safety of my family before that of any threatening stranger, thief or murderer. If they are dead they aren't a threat anymore, whether it's from gunshot wounds or three feet of sword steel* through their chest, the rule is, in my house, on my land and threatening me, they are dead meat.

 * and yes, I do have swords, including a longsword and shortsword  right beside my desk as I speak. I'm making it and you can bet I'd use them on an assailant.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2014, 03:52:37 PM by Zakharra »

Offline chaoslord29Topic starter

Re: Florida Shooting Echos Trayvon Martin Case, but this time a conviction?
« Reply #35 on: February 04, 2014, 03:59:33 PM »
As do fists, feet, rocks, bricks, sticks, knives, cooking implements, cars and anything that moves and can be controlled by a human hand.  It's funny and pithy, but it's also disingenuous to assume that the tool used is in anyway even so much as part of the cause.

This guy wanted to kill someone.  He would have no matter what he had on hand.  The gun just made it more successful than going and beating these kids with a stick or something.

Part of the issue with 'Self-Defense' is this perceived notion of 'right or wrong'.  When your life is on the line, any sense of morality goes out the window.  It's you or them.  Pick one, you have NO other choice.  You or Them.  Go.

The difference being that a gun is a tool specifically designed and crafted and refined over hundreds of years for the purpose of ending life (in many cases, human life). It's simplistic to assume that a human being can accomplish any task purely through intent when what makes us special as animals is our use of complex and specialized tools.

The whole point is that the gun made murder in this case a matter of convenient opportunity rather than requiring any concerted effort on the part of the killer, or an opportunity for the victim to defend themselves. In other words, guns make murder possible, practical, and easy in more circumstances and more cases than it otherwise would be. You don't see that as a problem?

All the more reason that after the fact moral culpability be factored into it. Anyone in the heat of the moment is as likely to pick themselves. All I'm asking is that they then take responsibility for their actions as is consistent with civilized society founded on moral rectitude rather than be instantly exonerated based on some sort of basic fight or flight response.

I don't know if you read above, but I have been in this circumstance and I was able to exercise considerably more judgement in dealing with an armed attack than Mr. Dunn did under his own tenuous circumstances.

Furthermore, I think at this point the contradiction in your claims should be apparent:

1) First you assert that this man was intent on killing someone and would have found a way to do so no matter what. That implies that his desire to kill someone was determined and methodical to the point where he would have made creative use of whatever tools he had available on hand to accomplish his goal.

2) Then, you claim that murder in self-defense is based on the kind of snap-judgement, instinctual reaction which does not allow for the time for discernment or use of reason. This is in conflict with the idea that anyone who wants to kill is capable of the concerted reasoning necessary to use anything more complicated than a gun to kill someone.


 If someone invades my home to steal stuff or threaten my family, if I can, that person is dead. I will kill them without any hesitation because they will have threatened MY family and home. I might have a few nightmares about it, but I'm not going to regret it and I certainly would not plead guilty to murder. I'd acknowledge what I did and the circumstances and that's about it.  Any guilt? Hell no. That person lost the right to breath when he threatened me and mine. Is that hard? Yes, but I put the safety of my family before that of any threatening stranger, thief or murderer. If they are dead they aren't a threat anymore, whether it's from gunshot wounds or three feet of sword steel* through their chest, the rule is, in my house, on my land and threatening me, they are dead meat.

 * and yes, I do have swords, including a longsword and shortsword  right beside my desk as I speak. I'm making it and you can bet I'd use them on an assailant.

Rather than saying you have the right to your opinion, I'm going to ask you to morally justify your actions in such a case.

Specifically, on what basis do you assert the right to exercise absolute moral authority in the execution of another human beings life even if they are not actually threatening your own (but only your "stuff").

Offline Retribution

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Re: Florida Shooting Echos Trayvon Martin Case, but this time a conviction?
« Reply #36 on: February 04, 2014, 04:19:04 PM »
Chaos with all due respect you are trying to insert your morality into legality. That is akin to inserting religion into government.  It simply does not work and one cannot legislate morality every time it has been tried it has exploded for example prohibition, the war on drugs, so on.

In this thorny topic I Googled trying to find some non biased statistics. Honestly they are all biased pro or con gun control. And well as I have pointed out I am biased, but one thing comes to light as I look at all of those stats. Most gun deaths are due to crime, murder, by definition one is already committing a crime therefore legality and the affect of more laws kind of goes out the window in my mind. The second cause of death is generally suicide a tragedy more complex than well just guns. And then their is accidental deaths the pro control crowds point out more guns = more deaths. The con gun control crowds point out that per capita there are fewer accidental gun deaths than lightning strikes. Sin it as you like.

At the end of the day the issue gets much more complex than "guns are bad"

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Re: Florida Shooting Echos Trayvon Martin Case, but this time a conviction?
« Reply #37 on: February 04, 2014, 04:31:07 PM »
Chaos with all due respect you are trying to insert your morality into legality. That is akin to inserting religion into government.  It simply does not work...

So, errrrm, what do you think laws should be based on then?  If "I think this is wrong and people shouldn't do it" is insufficient then I'm at a loss to know what else it could be.

Offline Retribution

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Re: Florida Shooting Echos Trayvon Martin Case, but this time a conviction?
« Reply #38 on: February 04, 2014, 04:40:55 PM »
There will likely be an element of morality in any law. But just like say I do not agree that one should not allow same sex marriage because church X says it is immoral. I do not believe that one should inject the morality of murder is wrong so to speak even if one is in a kill or be killed situation because in this case Chaos says it is morally wrong no matter the circumstances.

What I believe to be the best approach is to reach a common ground when it comes to laws that the majority of the populace thinks is the right thing to do in a given situation. While there is an element of morality in this one is not inflicting their own religious views, moral compunctions, what have you on the populace as a whole. Look at prohibition there was a segment that pushed through the whole drinking is evil agenda and in the end made conditions much worse than the conditions of alcoholism and the like that they had been trying to fix.

Offline chaoslord29Topic starter

Re: Florida Shooting Echos Trayvon Martin Case, but this time a conviction?
« Reply #39 on: February 04, 2014, 04:41:20 PM »
Chaos with all due respect you are trying to insert your morality into legality. That is akin to inserting religion into government.  It simply does not work and one cannot legislate morality every time it has been tried it has exploded for example prohibition, the war on drugs, so on.

In this thorny topic I Googled trying to find some non biased statistics. Honestly they are all biased pro or con gun control. And well as I have pointed out I am biased, but one thing comes to light as I look at all of those stats. Most gun deaths are due to crime, murder, by definition one is already committing a crime therefore legality and the affect of more laws kind of goes out the window in my mind. The second cause of death is generally suicide a tragedy more complex than well just guns. And then their is accidental deaths the pro control crowds point out more guns = more deaths. The con gun control crowds point out that per capita there are fewer accidental gun deaths than lightning strikes. Sin it as you like.

At the end of the day the issue gets much more complex than "guns are bad"

So we should legislate purely based on legal expediency? Morality has to factor into it somewhere Retribution, or else we wouldn't have laws to begin with (or else we'd have an exceptionally cut-throat libertarian legal code). The law is meant to translate ethical ideals into practical civil standards of justice. In this case, I feel that a certain ethical standard on which we would all agree (given sufficient time and discussion) is being left by the wayside in favor of an emotional and romanticized notion of gun ownership and usage which is elemental in our culture.

For the record, I don't think guns are bad. I think guns are cool. It's why I'm a gun owner: I like target shooting, enjoy discussion about guns and shooting with my friends, and have a certain aesthetic appreciation for the weapons I own as well. I do however, recognize the moral responsibility in the ownership and use of that firearm, and I wouldn't ask anyone to hold themselves to a standard I did not believe reasonably maintainable by myself or anyone else.

I agree that non-biased statistics are hard to come by, it's one of the frustrations I've had in this field personally and professionally. Overall though, the conclusion is very much something along the lines of 'guns are bad'. But that doesn't mean I think they should be illegal. After all, alcohol and cigarettes or bad, and while I don't smoke, I love drinking more than I love shooting my gun . . . that sounds really bad taken together haha.

It's interesting that you bring up suicide though, because statistics support exactly the opposite of what you describe (and to a certain degree, gun violence in general). See, the harder you make suicide, the less people have opportunities to commit suicide quickly, easily, and perceptibly painlessly, the less people commit suicide. The hallmark study involved the old fashioned gas ovens which people would stick their heads in to suffocate. Their invention cause suicide rates to sky-rocket across nations, particularly in England, but as soon as they  were phased out, suicide rates dropped back down. Same holds with putting gates and barriers on bridges to prevent people jumping off them, even if the gate is left unlocked. The biggest kicker? I'm sure you're familiar with the "gun-lock", the little safety mechanism that locks in place over a gun's trigger and must be opened with a key in order to pull the trigger? Studies have shown that people who have such devices on their guns are 10 times less likely to commit suicide using the gun, even when they are the person who holds the key.

To the best of our knowledge, suicide is the result of a fairly specific kind of downward spiral, which when broken up, does not, in fact, readily repeat. That's why suicide hotlines are so effective.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Florida Shooting Echos Trayvon Martin Case, but this time a conviction?
« Reply #40 on: February 04, 2014, 04:48:30 PM »
Okay, I'm stepping into this mess right off knowing that I am doing something I know is going to be bad.

First off. We don't need more gun control laws. We got enough already. Way too many in some states/cities/locations. Contradictory laws depending on some places. Laws that are not enforced or conflict with other laws. It had been pointed out, repeatedly, that gun control that bans guns only benefits those who don't obey them. Enforcement of some of the laws on the books that aren't enforced properly could have avoided SEVERAL tragedies in the past.

You have literally dozens of events that never make the media because of the proper use of firearms and training of those firearms. A 'death by cop' where the perp was kept from entering a school or the fact that a location WASN'T chosen because it wasn't 'gun free'.

Right off the bat? My take is this. You need to implement continuing education on firearms, not a 'one and done' for firearm permits. You have to re-certify/re-license so many things. Vehicles. Industry practices such as networking systems, quality assurance, professional qualifications. Why not require retesting over time for the right to bear arms?

The whole intent behind the 2nd amendment was to have a volunteer militia who could provide their own arms. Minute men. Literally reach in the gun cabinet and step out the door to fight. That means you need to do some level of training in the use of said weapon and how to fight as a soldier.

We need to enforce the laws on the books, weed out the contradictory ones, see about fixing the gaps in the current national/state policy. Problem is neither side of the issue wants to fix issues, and reform the system. It's either 'ban them all' and 'remove all laws' right now.

Neither outlook works. Neither protects us. Moderation, cooperation and reform to fix the system does, but like so many damn things we have right now.. neither side wants to blink.

As for the terrible 'stand your ground' law here in Florida. I think its' terribly flawed and needs to be reworked at a minimum. We got a mother who is in jail because she DIDN'T shoot a man while another person uses the law to justify shooting up a car full of kids in a gas station. It needs to be clarified and fixed.

Mostly though? I think a better attitude towards what a firearm requires you to do/understand is needed. There is too little respect and responsibility towards firearms these days.

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Re: Florida Shooting Echos Trayvon Martin Case, but this time a conviction?
« Reply #41 on: February 04, 2014, 04:49:23 PM »
What I believe to be the best approach is to reach a common ground when it comes to laws that the majority of the populace thinks is the right thing to do in a given situation.

So how do you propose that common ground is reached without people "inserting their morality into the discussion"?

Offline Zakharra

Re: Florida Shooting Echos Trayvon Martin Case, but this time a conviction?
« Reply #42 on: February 04, 2014, 05:05:51 PM »
]
Specifically, on what basis do you assert the right to exercise absolute moral authority in the execution of another human beings life even if they are not actually threatening your own (but only your "stuff").

 Easy. They broke into my home/land to steal and/or threatened my family, taking what we have by the threat of violence. Honestly, even if they were just stealing, I'd -still- try to take them out. They are illegally on my property and engaging theft. If I have to wound them to get them to stop, damned straight I would do that. If they died, I'm not going to cry much about it either because of they didn't want to be hurt or killed, they should not have been stealing or threatening my family. Anyone that does that -loses- certain rights.

 That being said, I would be more inclined to try and run off or capture someone if they do not threaten violence, but I will show a weapon to do that (guns, sword, knife, pitchfork, axe, bow and arrow, whatever..). If they are dumb enough to attack me, I will do my absolute best to kill them. I have the right to protect and defend my family and property from invaders and thieves. If they push it so it is lethal, so be it. It's their grave being dug, not mine (hopefully).


 
Quote
It's interesting that you bring up suicide though, because statistics support exactly the opposite of what you describe (and to a certain degree, gun violence in general). See, the harder you make suicide, the less people have opportunities to commit suicide quickly, easily, and perceptibly painlessly, the less people commit suicide. The hallmark study involved the old fashioned gas ovens which people would stick their heads in to suffocate. Their invention cause suicide rates to sky-rocket across nations, particularly in England, but as soon as they  were phased out, suicide rates dropped back down. Same holds with putting gates and barriers on bridges to prevent people jumping off them, even if the gate is left unlocked. The biggest kicker? I'm sure you're familiar with the "gun-lock", the little safety mechanism that locks in place over a gun's trigger and must be opened with a key in order to pull the trigger? Studies have shown that people who have such devices on their guns are 10 times less likely to commit suicide using the gun, even when they are the person who holds the key.

 I know this wasn't addressed to  me, but you seem to be implying that certain things should be done because some people might and do use them to try to kill themselves. Kind of like the; if you take away all of the guns, they can't be used to kill people,  type of argument. You seem to be trying to use an approach that affects a lot more people that it would help. Guns, like anything else are just tools. Yes guns are made to kill, but so are swords and axes, spears and bows. Anything can be used to kill, all a gun allows is to do it a little faster. Plenty of people died to swords and axes and bows and spears over the millennium. Hell cars kill and maim a hell of a lot of people per year, far more than guns do, yet we still allow the automobile to exist.

 
Okay, I'm stepping into this mess right off knowing that I am doing something I know is going to be bad.

First off. We don't need more gun control laws. We got enough already. Way too many in some states/cities/locations. Contradictory laws depending on some places. Laws that are not enforced or conflict with other laws. It had been pointed out, repeatedly, that gun control that bans guns only benefits those who don't obey them. Enforcement of some of the laws on the books that aren't enforced properly could have avoided SEVERAL tragedies in the past.

You have literally dozens of events that never make the media because of the proper use of firearms and training of those firearms. A 'death by cop' where the perp was kept from entering a school or the fact that a location WASN'T chosen because it wasn't 'gun free'.

Right off the bat? My take is this. You need to implement continuing education on firearms, not a 'one and done' for firearm permits. You have to re-certify/re-license so many things. Vehicles. Industry practices such as networking systems, quality assurance, professional qualifications. Why not require retesting over time for the right to bear arms?

The whole intent behind the 2nd amendment was to have a volunteer militia who could provide their own arms. Minute men. Literally reach in the gun cabinet and step out the door to fight. That means you need to do some level of training in the use of said weapon and how to fight as a soldier.

We need to enforce the laws on the books, weed out the contradictory ones, see about fixing the gaps in the current national/state policy. Problem is neither side of the issue wants to fix issues, and reform the system. It's either 'ban them all' and 'remove all laws' right now.

Neither outlook works. Neither protects us. Moderation, cooperation and reform to fix the system does, but like so many damn things we have right now.. neither side wants to blink.

As for the terrible 'stand your ground' law here in Florida. I think its' terribly flawed and needs to be reworked at a minimum. We got a mother who is in jail because she DIDN'T shoot a man while another person uses the law to justify shooting up a car full of kids in a gas station. It needs to be clarified and fixed.

Mostly though? I think a better attitude towards what a firearm requires you to do/understand is needed. There is too little respect and responsibility towards firearms these days.

 I can agree with much of what she said.



 Side note; I have never gotten a good explanation to why the gun control laws are almost always aimed at affecting the criminal, but affect the legal gun owners far far harder. Criminals are not going to obey the law anyways.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2014, 05:08:38 PM by Zakharra »

Offline chaoslord29Topic starter

Re: Florida Shooting Echos Trayvon Martin Case, but this time a conviction?
« Reply #43 on: February 04, 2014, 05:27:58 PM »
]
 Easy. They broke into my home/land to steal and/or threatened my family, taking what we have by the threat of violence. Honestly, even if they were just stealing, I'd -still- try to take them out. They are illegally on my property and engaging theft. If I have to wound them to get them to stop, damned straight I would do that. If they died, I'm not going to cry much about it either because of they didn't want to be hurt or killed, they should not have been stealing or threatening my family. Anyone that does that -loses- certain rights.

 That being said, I would be more inclined to try and run off or capture someone if they do not threaten violence, but I will show a weapon to do that (guns, sword, knife, pitchfork, axe, bow and arrow, whatever..). If they are dumb enough to attack me, I will do my absolute best to kill them. I have the right to protect and defend my family and property from invaders and thieves. If they push it so it is lethal, so be it. It's their grave being dug, not mine (hopefully).

See, but that's not a moral justification. Or at least, you're not appealing to any particular moral standard. You're just asserting you're right to defend your property in line with what a 19th century homesteader might when faced with outlaws or highwaymen.

Why don't you describe for me, the ideal circumstances you think a person would be justified in taking someone else's life, and why?

I know this wasn't addressed to  me, but you seem to be implying that certain things should be done because some people might and do use them to try to kill themselves. Kind of like the; if you take away all of the guns, they can't be used to kill people,  type of argument. You seem to be trying to use an approach that affects a lot more people that it would help. Guns, like anything else are just tools. Yes guns are made to kill, but so are swords and axes, spears and bows. Anything can be used to kill, all a gun allows is to do it a little faster. Plenty of people died to swords and axes and bows and spears over the millennium. Hell cars kill and maim a hell of a lot of people per year, far more than guns do, yet we still allow the automobile to exist.

The difference is that archaic weapons are just that: archaic. They are not in common usage, production, and back when they were, it was commonplace for cities to enforce bans on wearing of weapons by all except the city-guard. Hell, the crossbow was so deadly and effective in it's day and age, there was a Pope who excommunicated anyone caught using it! More pertinent to our day and age, the point remains that vehicles are much more closely regulated and licensed than guns, and moreover their is no method of firearm continuing education.

I agree that their are plenty of misguided and ineffectual firearms laws out there, but that does not preclude the effective regulation of firearms. Just look at Japan, who at one point made effective use of flintlock firearms to the degree that you had trench warfare resembling what would not occur in Europe until the Napoleonic wars. The Japanese nobility were so afraid of the prospect of a firearm armed peasantry and what it meant to their continued power that they effectively disarmed the entire country to the point that when americans arrived a century or two later, everyone was walking around with swords again.

The reason we legislate legal gun ownership is a tighter system of legal precepts is harder for criminals to abuse. It's easier to track how they get their guns, and thus who is committing the crimes and then preventing them getting back into the hands of criminals.

Offline Mathim

Re: Florida Shooting Echos Trayvon Martin Case, but this time a conviction?
« Reply #44 on: February 04, 2014, 06:13:45 PM »
You can probably find articles for it just about anywhere but Reuters is one of my favorite (and largely non-partisan) news outlets: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/03/us-usa-florida-shooting-dunn-idUSBREA121AU20140203

The highlights are:

So, this looks to me like a pretty open and shut case of belligerent abuse of a firearm that resulted in the death of an unarmed teenager (all racial tensions aside). Honestly I felt certain conflict over the Trayvon Martin shooting, but if the same application of the 'stand your ground' policy is applied here it would seem to me to be a blatant disregard for justice.

Now I'm not opposed to gun ownership, I just have a healthy respect for the fact that as long as people own and have access to guns, there will be wrongful gun-deaths. That's as true for police and military personnel (who receive rigorous training in the use of their weapons) as it is for civilians (who are in many cases not required to have the same). So, I feel that laws should put responsibility on the gun-owner not to let the use of their weapon cause someone else's death, in self-defense or not. Murder in self-defense to my mind is every bit as morally culpable as cold-blooded murder, even if we must necessarily distinguish it for legal purposes.

Anyway, just wanted to see what dissent, discussion my fellow writers of Elliquiy might offer on this case.

I can't help but feel that that is a hopelessly naive ideal. I don't know about anyone else here but I've been on the business end of both blades and gun barrels and if the situations hadn't dissolved peacefully (mostly because of there being too many witnesses that presented problems if they actually did the deed and they decided to flee instead), I'd be dead. Is the decision of my life over theirs even in the realm of a moral choice? I simply can't comprehend such a thing in those terms, when I remember those events and think of what it would have been like had I been in a position to turn the tables in the nick of time. A completely innocent bystander in the wrong place at the wrong time deserves to be punished because of some fanciful idea that nobody should have to die, is what I'm kind of hearing; please correct me if I'm wrong but I don't see how that could be when the circumstances are so clearly defined. Nobody thinks clearly in those situations but when they're thrust upon you and you have no choice and there is absolutely no ambiguity about the danger of the situation, this stuff just boils away and all we're left with is hindsight. Forgive me for wanting to be alive to participate in the retrospective.

In the case of this latest victim...people acting like assholes and refusing to follow basic human decency standards is a given, we can do very little about it and the guy was totally unjustified in what he did, not to mention excessive (eight shots? Really?). He THOUGHT he saw a gun, he says? Gee, I wonder why that might be, what with the adrenaline pumping through him knowing he had a gun to fall back on if he felt like his dick was suddenly shrinking just a little too much, what could possibly have caused his eyes to see an imaginary threat? Surely not racial stereotyping, either, heaven forbid. Anyway, leaving things like that to the proper authorities rarely works exactly how we want it to but I'd still rather put my faith in that than get personally involved and let things spiral out of control (I never underestimate human stupidity). What the hell would posses someone to go looking for trouble like that? If someone is breaking the law, they know goddamn well they're doing it and they don't fucking care until they see the red and blue lights, don't people understand this?

In any case, I'd be unlikely to ever carry a firearm around with me in public (not just for the obvious reasons listed above; even I don't trust myself enough with that kind of responsibility), I'd be more likely to keep it at home where I feel most in control and where there are absolutely no moral or legal gray areas in terms of me firing upon an intruder in the dark should the situation arise. I mean, it really boils down to, "are you really going to wait and ask them what the fuck they're doing in your house and, in your moment of unguarded mercy, give them a chance to either shoot you or otherwise bring harm to you or your family?" If that's your prerogative and it helps you sleep better at night to tell yourself that, be my guest; I'll be the responsible parent and not take any chances with an unwelcome potential serial killer, thanks, and I'll sleep just fine). I don't have a high enough opinion of humanity to value life in that sacred of a way and there's just plain too damn many of us as it is, so I don't lose sleep over this sort of thing unless it's someone close to me. And I've had my share of friends and family falling victim to violent crimes so the part of me that might be able to sympathize with the benefit of the doubt crowd has also died.

The very idea of civilians carrying around guns is horrifying enough, but the stuff that it leads to psychologically (sense of superiority or power, paranoia, delusional hallucinations of threats where there are none, etc.) alone should warrant it be restricted, never mind the harm wrought by the physical tool itself. By all means, carry with you a butterfly knife or whatever you have handy to deal with general threats but once you start pulling out a pistol, it's going to escalate what the other guys are bringing to the table. Enough to scare off a stalker or similarly armed mugger is more than enough, if someone's going to come at you with a handgun (or more), there's no winning in that situation even if you are armed. There's no guarantee you'll get the drop on them or at least come out with fewer holes than them. Those ugly situations I have regrettably found myself in (oh that I could only afford to move out of my shitty neighborhood) may not have been resolved by me having the means to aggressive defend myself but I sure as hell wouldn't have said no if I'd known what was about to go down and could do things differently. Would I prefer the situation not occur at all? Obviously, but as I've said, we don't live in an ideal world. Turning the other cheek just leads to someone cutting your face off and wearing it like Hannibal Lecter.

I hear many students at the college I work at talking about cases like this and that of Trayvon Martin and the sentiment is that they should therefore also be carrying weapons in case of situations like that where they want to be able to get the drop on whomever might be in a position to do the same to them. I know that's hardly self-defense what they're talking about, but rather revenge though I'd never have the nerve to point that out to them. It's just depressing that not only are there these unnecessary tragedies, but the backlash rippling through society just sets up even more consequences in the future to look forward to. An ugly world is only going to get uglier and I can't help but resent the media for blowing things like this out of proportion and creating a furor to spur the dumb and impressionable into angry and vengeful mode where they see enemies everywhere. They turn these things from actions of individuals into fuel for race wars that some of my peers seem too eager to participate in.

Offline ofDelusions

Re: Florida Shooting Echos Trayvon Martin Case, but this time a conviction?
« Reply #45 on: February 04, 2014, 06:17:47 PM »
So we should legislate purely based on legal expediency? Morality has to factor into it somewhere Retribution, or else we wouldn't have laws to begin with (or else we'd have an exceptionally cut-throat libertarian legal code). The law is meant to translate ethical ideals into practical civil standards of justice. In this case, I feel that a certain ethical standard on which we would all agree (given sufficient time and discussion) is being left by the wayside in favor of an emotional and romanticized notion of gun ownership and usage which is elemental in our culture.

For the record, I don't think guns are bad. I think guns are cool. It's why I'm a gun owner: I like target shooting, enjoy discussion about guns and shooting with my friends, and have a certain aesthetic appreciation for the weapons I own as well. I do however, recognize the moral responsibility in the ownership and use of that firearm, and I wouldn't ask anyone to hold themselves to a standard I did not believe reasonably maintainable by myself or anyone else.

I agree that non-biased statistics are hard to come by, it's one of the frustrations I've had in this field personally and professionally. Overall though, the conclusion is very much something along the lines of 'guns are bad'. But that doesn't mean I think they should be illegal. After all, alcohol and cigarettes or bad, and while I don't smoke, I love drinking more than I love shooting my gun . . . that sounds really bad taken together haha.

It's interesting that you bring up suicide though, because statistics support exactly the opposite of what you describe (and to a certain degree, gun violence in general). See, the harder you make suicide, the less people have opportunities to commit suicide quickly, easily, and perceptibly painlessly, the less people commit suicide. The hallmark study involved the old fashioned gas ovens which people would stick their heads in to suffocate. Their invention cause suicide rates to sky-rocket across nations, particularly in England, but as soon as they  were phased out, suicide rates dropped back down. Same holds with putting gates and barriers on bridges to prevent people jumping off them, even if the gate is left unlocked. The biggest kicker? I'm sure you're familiar with the "gun-lock", the little safety mechanism that locks in place over a gun's trigger and must be opened with a key in order to pull the trigger? Studies have shown that people who have such devices on their guns are 10 times less likely to commit suicide using the gun, even when they are the person who holds the key.

To the best of our knowledge, suicide is the result of a fairly specific kind of downward spiral, which when broken up, does not, in fact, readily repeat. That's why suicide hotlines are so effective.

I don't usually speak in these gun threads but I can quess this is where I offer my two sents.

As someone who has been depressed enough to be suicidal, the fact that I didn't have easy, reliable and relatively painless method to kill myself is one of the things that kept me from ever actually following through with my suicidal thoughts. Had I had a gun a three years ago or again about a year ago, I am not sure I would be here writing this.

The scariest night in my life was when I had such an opportunity and that wasn't even during the worst depressive phase I have had. It took every bit of my will power and will to live to just sleep normally and not let the carbon monoxide into the room I was sleeping alone in.

Offline chaoslord29Topic starter

Re: Florida Shooting Echos Trayvon Martin Case, but this time a conviction?
« Reply #46 on: February 04, 2014, 06:32:37 PM »
I don't usually speak in these gun threads but I can quess this is where I offer my two sents.

As someone who has been depressed enough to be suicidal, the fact that I didn't have easy, reliable and relatively painless method to kill myself is one of the things that kept me from ever actually following through with my suicidal thoughts. Had I had a gun a three years ago or again about a year ago, I am not sure I would be here writing this.

The scariest night in my life was when I had such an opportunity and that wasn't even during the worst depressive phase I have had. It took every bit of my will power and will to live to just sleep normally and not let the carbon monoxide into the room I was sleeping alone in.

As someone lucky enough not to have experienced suicidal thoughts in my life, I can only sympathize and thank you for your contribution ofDelusions. One of my greatest fears is that my own guns might be used to despite by precautions and best intentions to the plight of another, and those are the reasons I employ a very thorough gun-safe and do not regularly exercise my right to carry.

On a more objective and somewhat cynical note, I'm usually the first person to discount anecdotal evidence, but I do think in this case that the feelings of someone who did not in fact go through with suicide (but very well could have) would help to make the point. Suicide is not the only case this proves true for either, as murder-suicides and other "crimes-of-passion" while less common, have been demonstrated to be the result of similarly preventable thought processes and emotional states which are only acted upon when given a certain level of opportunity and "ease".

This is not meant to belittle the horrible emotional struggle that is often the result of these terrible crimes and incidents, and the neuro-psychological data is hardly conclusive, but given that the best success in preventing them has been restricting access to guns by even as slight a degree as an extra lock-and-key, I feel like it's one of those circumstances where the risk his hardly justifiable.

For that matter, why doesn't everyone who owns a gun for defensive purposes just own body armor? I mean, it's a question I haven't really asked myself, so I put it to you all. I don't generally carry my gun (it's a .22 caliber hold-out I keep in a sleeve pocket) for defensive purposes, but to those that do, would kevlar represent an equally feasible solution without endangering the lives of others?

Offline Retribution

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Re: Florida Shooting Echos Trayvon Martin Case, but this time a conviction?
« Reply #47 on: February 04, 2014, 06:51:11 PM »
I will stick with answering just this one as we wade into the deep end of the pool. I think it is pretty clear I am pro gun ownership. As I said the link I gave earlier about sums up my feelings on things and I think those who have read me before realize I could, can, and do live with some restrictions if one could count on the powers that be to make sound choices. I just do not think we can trust them and I pretty much discount arguments that go along the lines of "well in country X" because we had a little discussion in 1776 about how things should be in the US.

So how do you propose that common ground is reached without people "inserting their morality into the discussion"?

As I said there will always been an element of morality. But I think there are some broad things that most agree on. In the case in point it is that yes the fellow at the gas station is an asshole, if someone is threatening you or your family you are within your rights to send them to meet the deity of their choosing. Where I get eh iffy is when too much religion, moral code what have you enters the fray.

One can and should dictate do not drink and drive because aside from yourself you might kill someone innocent. I think that is a pretty common ground stance that most points of view can get on board with. When I get off the reservation is when we have something along the lines of "we should not have gay marriage because the bible says so." A clear insertion of religion in my opinion. The same could be said in say the Middle East in instances where women have been punished for seeking and education because in some interpretations it violates the Koran. Or on a personal level for me, I have a real ethical problem with abortion. But having said that, that is my own moral compass and I get that others do not agree with it and bluntly I would be being an asshole to try and shove that view down their throat.

Sort of like the moral majority or what have you would say it is wrong to drink, smoke, and screw. So does that mean we should make laws against it? I think that is dipping into an area where one is trying to legislate morality as I put it before. I do not think that is a place government or laws has a place. But I think there are certain standards that the majority would generally agree are parts of a functional society. Not wishing to insert too much religion into it but for descriptive purposes say when it comes to violating two of the ten commandments.

I hope I am explaining myself here because I am struggling for the right words to do so.

Offline chaoslord29Topic starter

Re: Florida Shooting Echos Trayvon Martin Case, but this time a conviction?
« Reply #48 on: February 04, 2014, 07:00:50 PM »
It's a difficult subject to nail down but you're doing a fine job of explaining your position. I think you just need to tie it back to gun control and how the fact that guns relate directly to incidents of gun-violence is not a matter for legislation especially when there's a strong and nearly universal moral principle that we can all we appeal to: "It is wrong to kill people."

My argument is that we make allowances for that principle based on the necessity of national security, times of war, law enforcement, etc. but that those same allowances cannot be made for cases of civilians defending their homes and their persons. At least, not in all cases.

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Re: Florida Shooting Echos Trayvon Martin Case, but this time a conviction?
« Reply #49 on: February 04, 2014, 07:10:04 PM »

 but that those same allowances cannot be made for cases of civilians defending their homes and their persons. At least, not in all cases.


How I tie that in is I think if you read the majority opinion in this forum, which is by no means at all scientific, the general impression I get is that if someone is threatening you and yours you are certainly within your rights to kill them. I do not think anyone is saying "hey killing someone is fun" but that if I have to kill someone in legitimate defense of myself, my family, and my property then I do so with a clean conscious. It is not murder is the gist.

But unless I am missing your point you are saying it is murder regardless. It may be a justified murder, but it is still murder.  From what I am seeing that is a moral stance you take that is not generally in line with the majority of the population. That in turn in my opinion is inserting morality into the legislative process where I feel it has no place.