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  1. #401
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    But are the two things you're comparing mutually exclusive in anyway? We'd have to determine how often self-defense laws actually stop any of the things you consider more common.
    You're probably going to have a hard time with that as when an altercation is halted with the mere presence of a gun it's probably going to be unreported if a shot isn't fired and nobody is hurt.
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  2. #402
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    But are the two things you're comparing mutually exclusive in anyway? We'd have to determine how often self-defense laws actually stop any of the things you consider more common.
    Depending on what study you find compelling Defensive gun use occurs between 100,000 times a year and several million times a year.

    I think the real number is closer to half a million, but even at 100,000 that vastly outnumbers number of Zimmerman cases we have floating around.

  3. #403
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Part of the issue IMO is that they DON'T feel sufficiently afraid when they should (e.g. when they're about to bluster headlong into a possibly dangerous situation, or one they can make dangerous by frightening someone who wasn't doing anything wrong). What could happen? I've got a gun, I'll be fine. Oops, that 17-year-old kid I scared the fuck out of is trying to get me to leave him alone with his fists, time to use that gun I brought for just such an occasion. Whew, good thing I had that.

    When a gun becomes a substitute for common sense and caution, something's wrong.

    So we should not allow folks to defend themselves from assault and battery?

    Not everyone is capable of defending themselves physically against any criminal that might happen upon them.

  4. #404
    Senior Member Bamboo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquarelle View Post
    Well, I think the issue here is whether people (namely, the jury, but also the general public) believe that Martin did indeed initiate the physical aspect.
    I don't know if he did in fact initiate, but it seems suspect.

    But let's say Zimmerman really did start the conflict. He grabbed or tackled Martin.*

    I feel that based on the available evidence it seems like you can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that Martin was in fact beating Zimmerman down. Martin had no injuries, meanwhile Zimmerman is getting his head knocked down onto pavement. Not just pushing him off, but on top of him, beating his head down. I'd feel pretty confident in saying that while this was happening Zimmerman was screaming "help help help" (I say this based on the audio recording background noise of 911 call where you can hear the screaming and the gunshot, and his own testimony - I feel it's unlikely someone would come up with the lie that the other guy was screaming help). If someone is screaming help, they're probably losing the fight and given the chance would yield to whoever he's getting beat by.

    So going with the assumption Zimmerman started the fight, but then started to lose, once the imminent threat was over you can't legally continue to beat someone. That's not self-defense. That's assault and battery.** I'd say that if you got the guy on the ground and he's screaming for help - the imminent threat is over. If you continue to fight, the other guy can defend themselves.

    *As stated in another post of mine, it seems extremely unlikely that Zimmerman had his weapon out and was waving it around - if he had he would have shot Martin as soon as the conflict began. While I wasn't there, I'm inclined to guess he had his weapon holstered.

    It's possible that Zimmerman was reaching for his gun while Martin was on top of him, thus meeting the requirements that Zimmerman was an imminent threat to Martin (who would be legally allowed to beat Zimmerman unconscious or possibly even to death at risk of manslaughter). But I'm less inclined to believe that someone who is screaming help repeatably, not just once, but continuously, to get other people to help him, is really focused on getting his own weapon. I'd imagine that if you're focused on grabbing your own gun then you're not screaming for help - you're grunting, clawing, scratching, and blocking punches.

    **For instance, if someone puts a knife in your face on the street and says give me your money you can defend yourself because you think your life is in danger. If you drop your wallet, he picks it up and turns, and you shoot him in the back that no longer qualifies as self defense and you will be charged.

    I wasn't there, and I can't say for sure. But that's my read on what happened.



    I haven't seen a lot of people go through the evidence step by step and try and theorize what happened, it seems like people are just saying their conclusions.




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    I also find it amazing that for as long as there was screaming nobody did anything. Nobody went outside.
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  5. #405
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    The fear might still have been genuine, but it sure as fucking hell isn't still reasonable.

    You should understand that.
    It was just as reasonable as Zimmerman's fear, in fact, I would argue that it was even more reasonable. Martin was unarmed and Zimmerman knew it. Dunn believed Davis was armed.

    You certainly don't expect people to have perfect knowledge going into these situations, right? I mean, there's no way Dunn could have known Davis didn't have a gun in his vehicle. And what if a gun had been found underneath a seat, a gun Dunn didn't actually see? Would that have made Dunn's fear reasonable?
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  6. #406
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    So we should not allow folks to defend themselves from assault and battery?

    Not everyone is capable of defending themselves physically against any criminal that might happen upon them.
    We should discourage folks who carry guns from getting themselves into situations they would have the good sense not to get into without the gun. A criminal happening upon you when you're minding your own business is one thing- chasing a guy down that you THINK MIGHT be a criminal is another thing entirely.

  7. #407
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn View Post
    You're probably going to have a hard time with that as when an altercation is halted with the mere presence of a gun it's probably going to be unreported if a shot isn't fired and nobody is hurt.
    On that note, I was thinking about whether or not Zimmerman concealed his gun, and I decided the implications of it go either way. On one hand, concealing the gun (and assuming Zimmerman never mentioned he had a gun) reduces the threat Martin would have perceived, thus making his actions seem less reasonable. On the other hand, why the hell would someone pursue a situation seen as a threat to the neighborhood, while carrying a gun, but never use that gun as a deterrent, instead only bringing it out as of the point that the shit is being kicked out of them? It seems odd.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    So we should not allow folks to defend themselves from assault and battery?

    Not everyone is capable of defending themselves physically against any criminal that might happen upon them.
    The problem is that Zimmerman was allegedly the victim right as of the legally crucial point (or so the court ruled) but was basically the cause of the problem every step of the way up to that point.

    The concern is that a gun can be an abort situation for people with terrible judgment.
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  8. #408
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    It was just as reasonable as Zimmerman's fear, in fact, I would argue that it was even more reasonable. Martin was unarmed and Zimmerman knew it. Dunn believed Davis was armed.
    Dunn believed he was in danger based on nothing but a hunch.

    Zimmerman was straddled and being punched in the face for 40 seconds before firing. It's hard to think of a situation more dissimilar.

  9. #409
    Starcrossed Seafarer Aquarelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    The concern is that a gun can be an abort situation for people with terrible judgment.
    This is a major point.
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  10. #410
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wind-Up Rex View Post
    I know for a fact that the self-defense laws that allowed Zimmerman's acquittal don't speak to what's best about it. I'm not sure what you could say to me that would change my mind about that.
    I guess the two sides of the national debate are at an impasse, because many people are actually proud of the fact that in this country (at least in some places) the laws ensure that a person has the right and, so far as reasonably possible, the practical capacity to defend themselves and their homes without substantial risk of unwarranted state persecution. I would never want to live in a country where that is not the case.

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