Blame the NRA for George Zimmerman

NEW SLAUGHTERIt’s not difficult at all, and I believe pretty valuable to draw a direct line from the killing of Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of George Zimmerman to the work of the National Rifle Association.

Since last Saturday night’s verdict there have been demonstrations, hand-wringing over our racially distorted (i.e. racist) justice system, punditry excoriating Zimmerman, jurors, the defense, the prosecution, and even Martin himself, the dead kid … for looking too much like the sort of menacing guys insulated, law-abiding white folks have every damn good reason to be afraid of. (It’ll be a long while before the Washington Post lives down the racial/classist reek of columnists Richard Cohen and Kathleen Parker. Lord I hope their limo never breaks down in Anacostia.)

But no one to date that I’m aware of has made a point of fingering the NRA for being the heavy it is, from the roots up, in this tortured drama. My guess is that since we are now seven months past the Newtown slaughter and the NRA has prevailed in Congress again, the four million member fire-arms lover/super patriot organization is old news … again.

Same old same old. Boooring. Must have fresh villains.

Never mind that it was the NRA in Florida pushing, excuse me “extorting”, votes to pass the state’s Stand Your Ground law, as it was after  that when Florida adopted Conceal Carry.

Lacking either, young Mr. Martin would still be alive, although given his record for domestic abuse and other outbursts of violence Mr. Zimmerman might likely be incarcerated somewhere. (In fairness, the deceased was a known pot smoker.) Under standard NRA lobbying, a record of violence is not a disqualifier for purchasing a gun, hell several guns, and gobs of ammunition, over the Internet. With over half its funding coming from the country’s gun manufacturers, the NRA is and has been for a generation the marketing arm for the likes of Smith & Wesson and rent-a-mercenary companies like Xe, formerly Blackwater. With that in mind you’re going to say and do everything possible to get a gun in the hand of every one who can still pull a trigger, and they do.

I always pity the poor dumb cracker, sitting down the bar from me at my favorite northern Wisconsin watering hole, proudly telling everyone in earshot, (but mainly the two low-lidded gals sucking down Marlboros and playing penny video poker) how he wrote the NRA a check for $100.

“And why”, I ask? “Well … ” and then the story starts to spin-off into the time two black guys in Superior — 25 miles through the woods and down the hill — looked at him funny while he was picking up a prescription at Walgreens, and how “with that crowd that’s in there now” the NRA’s the only people stopping the Feds from breaking down his trailer door, grabbing his guns and leaving him defenseless … most likely against blind drunk white guys careening down the dusty back roads blasting away at Deer Crossing signs.

The fear a yob like that feels is also an effect of NRA marketing. Every politician who votes against Conceal Carry, Stand Your Ground/Castle Doctrine, registration, whatever == assault rifles for psychopaths — has to have a salable reason,  and the talking points the NRA has used since it dropped that silly Boy Scout shit about firearm safety and realized that the real dough was in regular checks from the manufacturers, is the pitch they use. “it’s damned terrifying out there and as an exceptional American who loves John Wayne, Dirty Harry and the Constitution you owe it to your family to pack heat. That is if your family left a forwarding address.

So it is when your average terrified-of-the-next-nut-in-the-next-primary Congressman/state legislator gets back in the district in front of “outdoors” activists . Out rolls all the paranoid NRA verbiage about the vulnerability, threats and carnage of modern American life, usually in code language with the unmistakable inference that they’re referring to black guys, young black guys in particular. (The flab and paunchiness of the paranoid crowd contrasts pretty vividly with the young buck-ness of the black guys that scare them the most.)

There’s zero chance the Justice Department is going to launch a racial case against George Zimmerman, and not because it’d fry the tin foil antennae of the black helicopter crowd. Proving racist intent would be all but entirely impossible. More likely is that Trayvon Martin’s family will file a civil suit against Zimmerman, who, like most sweaty-palmed pistol-packers, is not anyone’s idea of a genius with money. So good luck with a pay-day.

Maybe Mike Bloomberg will take this opportunity to hire David Boies and make the NRA a co-defendant in a suit against Zimmerman.

56 thoughts on “Blame the NRA for George Zimmerman

  1. PM says:

    I noticed that some school systems that wanted to arm teachers backed off because their insurance companies threatened to deny them coverage (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/08/us/schools-seeking-to-arm-employees-hit-hurdle-on-insurance.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0).

    Seems to me that this is the way to get some sanity back in the gun debate. I know that the NRA fought to get liability immunity for gun manufacturers, but couldn’t localities require liability insurance for gun owners?

    1. Immunity for gun manufacturers, which the NRA lobbied in, will of course defended to the death by House membership. Nothing says “Constitution” more than a loaded gun. But I don’t believe the NRA itself is immune. Or, if you’re looking for the pot o gold in the funding process … the ALEC. It’d take very deep pockets to go after either one, but if Bloomberg wants to feel off 1% of his fortune for a very high profile fight … .

  2. J Redding says:

    Cohen and Parker should hope their limos don’t stall in Anacostia because….they’d get beat down for their bigotry? And then their bigotry would be affirmed? Huh?

  3. bertram jr. says:

    Written like the veteran of the mean streets of Edina that you are…a classist, racially insulated, and a’feared o’ guns elitist.

    What is it about tha Second Amendment that you hate?

  4. Ellen Mrja says:

    Hi, Brian. I believe Martin’s parents have already received $1,000,000 in a settlement in April from the Homeowners’ Association. From the Orlando Sentinel:

    http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2013-04-05/news/os-trayvon-martin-settlement-20130405_1_trayvon-martin-benjamin-crump-george-zimmerman

    Further, Martin’s family could face financial liability themselves if they were to file a civil action against Zimmerman and lose; they might have to pay Zimmerman, in other words:

    http://www.dailyfinance.com/on/trayvon-martin-family-civil-case-zimmerman-risks/

      1. Ellen Mrja says:

        I really would like to open up a discussion on how horrid the evening cable TV programs were at whipping up racist feelings on many sides. I’m talking about Jane Valez-Mitchell, Nancy Grace and Dr. Drew (who has absolutely no credibility). But – come to think of it – HLN was horrid during the daytime coverage I saw, as well. Objectivity? Nah.

        Instead, as a cable star on the scene, you predict, “People aren’t going to like it if Zimmerman walks. There might be protests or even riots.” Then, you train your cameras on your most hysterical-sounding reporters outside of the courthouse where 2 other people are standing and you say, “People are beginning to assemble down here…” Soon people who must not have jobs and are free to do so come down to the courthouse. And you ask the very question you premised your entire segment with: “What do you think will happen if Zimmerman gets away with killing this young man?” Soon you have really whipped up a crowd – with, gosh! – signs and everything!

        And, you’re right, Brian – the “sponsors” were not helping anything, either. If only this nation had leaders and not media hogs.

  5. “It’s not difficult at all, and I believe pretty valuable to draw a direct line from the killing of Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of George Zimmerman to the work of the National Rifle Association.”

    George Zimmerman was rightfully acquitted because there was reasonable doubt that he committed a crime in acting in self defense. Per Rasmussen today a significant majority of Americans agree with the verdict.

    “I always pity the poor dumb cracker, …”

    Yes, we get the idea that you are so far above that poor cracker. But the truth is how people talk about others is most often a true reflection, like looking in the mirror. Cheaps shot, cheap people.

    lwk
    free2beinamerica2.wordpress.com

    1. I use “poor dumb cracker” because then the majority of readers understands who/what I’m talking about. If I were in the gentler trade of PR, like some of my friends here, I’d find a more socially appropriate way to phrase it. But basically, you’re right. I really have to show more respect for terrified fools. After all, think how much they add to all our lives.

      1. lwk2431 says:

        The word itself is retrograde, and probably strikes me as more dissonant than it should. The larger absurdity though is when spoken by an effete white pussy trying to be the world’s hippest honky.

        You haven’t tried this act on actual black people, have you? Do they laugh their ass off?

        1. Pal, you don’t dare to reveal your own name … on your own blog. We’re to believe that you live somewhere in Texas, so I doubt we’ve crossed paths.

          A word of advice if credibility matters to you: Don’t hide behind anonymity. It suggests you’re ashamed of what you’re saying. Be brave enough to tell the world who you are.

        2. Jim Leinfelder says:

          Ah, another anonymous poster, talking tough but afraid to sign his work. I’d like to think Lambert was making a subtle reference to Martin’s friend’s testimony regarding Martin’s remarks to her via cell phone as Zimmerman stalked him. Perhaps not. But, that aside, that people focused on the noun “cracker,” which, yes, is a racial epithet minus the majority culture power behind it, rather than the much more telling “creepy,” was a failure to readily ascertain Martin’s state-of-mind as Zimmerman pursued him without cause. The lost, or conveniently ignored, thrust of her testimony is that Martin felt pursued by someone with less than wholesome intentions.

          creep·y
          /ˈkrēpē/
          Adjective
          Causing fear or unease: “creepy feelings in a strange house”.
          Synonyms
          gruesome – reptile – creeping

          http://www.newrepublic.com/article/113731/trayvon-martin-cracker-controversy-it-bad-n-word#

          1. I wish I could give myself credit for having a subtle enough touch to link that bit from the trial to what I see every day. But Zimmerman obviously qualifies as “cracker”, which despite what the conservative base is trying to sell right now, isn’t anything at all like dropping “the n-word” on someone you fear simply because of their race. To me, and I think I was bright enough to work this in, “cracker” conveys a sense of pity for the individual because of the obvious burden they carry by being poorly informed, usually of a lower economic class and riddled with phobias.

  6. bertram jr. says:

    Now we’re talkin’!

    Bertram draws a direct line from Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society (which destroyed the black family) to the disaster that was Trayvon Martin.

    Along the way, Bertram notes the Jackson / Sharpton race baiters and liberals who “keep” blacks as a ‘protected’ class, and the horrific thug culture that is the end result thereof, which also ended Martin’s life.

    To blame the NRA, an organization dedicated to shooting safety and protecting the 2nd Amendment (see: Constitution, The U.S.) rights of law abiding citizens, is about as intelligent a “position” as blaming Aheuser Busch for drunken driving deaths.

    1. Care to elaborate on “direct line from Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society (which destroyed the black family) to the disaster that was Trayvon Martin.”

      Logic path? Evidence?

      Califano:

      “From 1963 when Lyndon Johnson took office until 1970 as the impact of his Great Society programs were felt, the portion of Americans living below the poverty line dropped from 22.2 percent to 12.6 percent, the most dramatic decline over such a brief period in this century. Since then, the poverty rate has hovered at about the 13 percent level and sits at 13.3 percent today, still a disgraceful level in the context of the greatest economic boom in our history. But if the Great Society had not achieved that dramatic reduction in poverty, and the nation had not maintained it, 24 million more Americans would today be living below the poverty level.”

      Conservatives charge the Great Society with responsibility for the disastrous aspects of the welfare program for mothers and children. But that program was enacted in the ’30s and conservatives (and liberals) in Congress rejected Great Society efforts to revamp it. LBJ called the welfare system in America “outmoded and in need of a major change” and pressed Congress to stop conditioning welfare benefits on the man leaving the house and to create “a work incentive program, incentives for earning, day care for children, child and maternal health, and family planning services.” In the generation it has taken the nation to heed that warning, millions of children’s lives have been savaged.

      In the entire treasury of Great Society measures, the jewel Lyndon Johnson believed would have the greatest value was the Voting Rights Act of 1965. That law opened the way for black Americans to strengthen their voice at every level of government. In 1964 there were 79 black elected officials in the South and 300 in the entire nation. By 1998, there were some 9,000 elected black officials across the nation, including 6,000 in the South. In 1965 there were five black members of the House; today there are 39.

      Great Society contributions to racial equality were not only civic and political. In 1960, black life expectancy was 63.6 years, not even long enough to benefit from the Social Security taxes that black citizens paid during their working lives. By 1997, black life expectancy was 71.2 years, thanks almost entirely to Medicaid, community health centers, job training, food stamps, and other Great Society programs. In 1960, the infant mortality rate for blacks was 44.3 for each 1,000 live births; in 1997, that rate had plummeted by two-thirds, to 14.7. In 1960, only 20 percent of blacks completed high school and only 3 percent finished college; in 1997, 75 percent completed high school and more than 13 percent earned college degrees.

      1. PM says:

        In anyone is interested in why our welfare policies operate as they do, i would suggest this book:Protecting Soldiers and Mothers, by Theda Skocpol (http://www.amazon.com/Protecting-Soldiers-Mothers-Political-Origins/dp/067471766X)

        to summarize terribly, she points out that the biggest concern about providing aid to the poor in the US has always been trying to determine who “deserves” that aid and who does not. Mothers of children without a father present clearly “deserve” aid, so that is why the laws were written that way–because if there was a father who could work, (not disabled), then he should be working (otherwise lazy) and did not deserve aid.

        The irony of this is that the focus on the question of who is deserving of aid and who is not has come from the conservative end of the political spectrum–so it is conservatives who are responsible for the breakup of poor families because intact poor families have not been considered “deserving” of public assistance–they are simply lazy, and giving them money would only encourage them to be lazy and dependent…..

    1. Joe Loveland says:

      If you have alternative data showing that poverty didn’t decrease during this time, I’d be interested to see it. You cutting and pasting alternative data is fine with me. Pasted research is much more enlightening than fact-free Rush-speak.

      1. J Redding says:

        The argument goes … [to the individual posting as “jredding” joadred” lwk2431″ etc. — the policy is that until you reveal your true identity to me, with a working e-mail address, your comments will not be considered for approval … try on a little courage for size.]

  7. bertram jr. says:

    I think my point still stands.

    And even Mrja recognizes the role of the ‘media’ in fanning the flames here, if not their role in completely misrepresenting the facts (NBC, MSNBC).

  8. Just a question for you Brian on the connection you attempt to make between the NRA and the death of the young black man…namely Trayvon Martin. Is the NRA also responsible for the epidemic of black on black violence in places such as the south side of Chicago? Would you foresee a reduction in the homicide rate of young black men if the NRA weren’t so influential? In addition, do you have any stats on the increase of violence in Florida attributable to the Stand Your Ground law or is this just a theory?

    1. Last year, two Georgia State University economics researchers concluded that the laws are “associated with a significant increase in the number of homicides among whites, especially white males.” In a 55-page paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, authors Chandler B. McClellan and Erdal Tekin estimated that “between 28 and 33 additional white males are killed each month” as a result of these laws.

      “These laws are also associated with a significant increase in emergency room visits and hospital discharges related to firearm-inflicted injuries,” the Georgia State economists said.

      Increased firearm ownership in states with stand-your-ground laws and the presence of bystanders-turned-victims in public places might account for the increased dangers, they suggested.

      Texas A&M researchers Mark Hoekstra and Cheng Cheng reached similar conclusions last year in a 43-page study that found a “statistically significant 8 percent net increase in the number of reported murders and non-negligent manslaughters” in states with the enhanced self-defense laws.

      Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/07/17/196940/no-firm-ground-on-whether-stand.html#.Ue1s1VNifKg#storylink=cpy

      Private citizens committed 196 justifiable homicides nationwide in 2005, the year states began crafting stand-your-ground laws, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting system. The FBI defines justifiable homicide as “the killing of a felon, during the commission of a felony.”

      By 2011, the number of reported justifiable homicides had jumped to 260. In Florida, that number has nearly tripled since the years immediately prior to passage of the self-defense law.

      And … http://themonkeycage.org/2013/07/17/did-floridas-stand-your-ground-law-increase-firearm-homicides/

      At least two empirical papers have found that Stand Your Ground (SYG) laws like the one in Florida are associated with an average increase rather than a decrease in firearm homicides. This plausibly occurs because the deterrent effects of such laws are outweighed by the increase in the range of legal defenses for the use of lethal violence that become available to attackers. While SYG laws are meant to protect defenders, the absence of impartial witnesses makes it difficult in many cases to determine who ought to have had a “reasonable fear” of whom.

      Anton Strezhnev (a former student and current co-author of mine) provides some interesting additional evidence for the Florida case. You should read his full post to comprehend the methodology used (based on the synthetic control method) but here is his description of the graph above:

      The figure above plots the gap in firearm homicide rates between the actual time series and the estimated synthetic control for Florida and for each of the control states. Relative to the distribution of relevant placebos, the Florida effect stands out post-2006. Florida’s is the most unusual line in the set and from 2007-2010 shows a positive deviation from the control greater than any of the placebo tests. Although the pool of control states is somewhat small, limiting the number of possible placebo tests, the trajectory of Florida’s homicide rate is certainly unusual and difficult to attribute to pure chance.

      So, compared to a group of states that had similar homicide rates prior to 2005, Florida’s homicide rate shot up unusually after 2005 (and in a way that cannot easily be accounted for by observed variables). One can never definitively proof a causal effect with aggregate data of this type but the data appear consistent with the claim that this law has not served the purpose of reducing homicides.”

      So yeah … a theory. Kind of like evolution.

      And I dare say the NRA’s marketing help for gun manufacturers, guaranteeing such a surplus of firearms that cost is never a consideration for anyone regardless of income level has something to do with the sci fi levels of gun slaughter we have here compared to Western Europe or Japan.

      As for the “Chicago, Chicago, Chicago” meme — this summer’s right-wing replacement for “Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi” — I don’t suppose your sources for this talk much about the “war on drugs” and the consequences of guaranteeing Prohibition-like pricing of dope in the face of the cartels?

      But in the context of demagogued misinformation … http://theweek.com/article/index/245447/chicagos-murder-rate-isnt-nearly-as-bad-as-you-think

  9. bertram jr. says:

    Equivocative!

    Keep squirming, the birth certificate problem ain’t going away, either

  10. bertram jr. says:

    I see you trotted out the term “justifiable homicide”. Bertram wants to be certain, that in liberal parlance, that means “black on black”, or “black on white”, only.

    1. Tell me honestly, you fall asleep at night thinking about opportunities for “justifiable homicide”, right? A lot of violent invasion action out there in horse country?

    1. I thought you — as required by Rush Limbaugh et al for all such conversations about racially motivated killings — brought up Chicago?

      Have there been a lot of black perps claiming SYG as a defense? It seems to serve “cracker” interests more than gang-bangers.

      Or, maybe I should ask, What is it exactly you’re talking about?

      1. I’m talking about the fact that the discredited civil rights movement in this country ignore the fact that most black men are killed by other black men in many urban cities….read the article.

        The behavior of Sharpton and most of the present day civil rights nitwits do nothing to solve blacks’ tragic murder rate, which is substantially higher proportionately, than whites. Instead, they attempt to turn it into a racial issue and a gun control issue. That’s what I’m talking about.

        Kudos to you for throwing out the theory that the drug laws are also to blame. That’s one that hasn’t gotten near the traction except perhaps among the leftover hippie crowd.

        Maybe you could do a piece on this for Rolling Stone.

        1. By “discredited” and “nitwits” I assume you’re talking about Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson. I don’t recall hearing many complaints about the old dogs, like John Lewis, etc. And while the column you link to is correct in the appalling murder rate among blacks, I’m not buying the notion that it is being “ignored”. Obviously the Tribune writer would like to see a larger police and economic focus on the causes of it … and to that I say, “good luck”.

          For me the irony, in another moment where fear of black criminality by the non-black community is in heated debate, is that this peril you point to has very little to do with the kind of fear/peril that had George Zimmerman, a guy with a rap sheet as long as many gang-bangers, out playing cop and looking for trouble. Your comrade-in-arms bertram here is a good example of someone living in 24/7 apprehension of black criminality against him. As I often say … check out the stats on that, and ask yourself where that kind of reality distortion comes from, and why.

  11. Also, Brian, true or false: The Zimmerman jury was never asked to consider his actions in light of Stand Your Ground laws? True or false: Zimmerman formally invoked the law as a defense? True or false: Zimmerman waived his right to pretrial immunity hearing under Stand Your Ground?

    True

    False

    True

    So what’s this all got to do with your point. More TO the point, what does Stand Your Ground really have to do with this case when in fact most states have laws that allow you to protect yourself, by deadly force, necessary. I have a conceal and carry permit. My first obligation is to retreat. However, if I can’t I’m justified in defending myself. If this had been a white person assaulting Mr. Zimmerman, this case never gets the publicity it did.

    1. Mike: I gather what you’re trying to say is that Florida’s gun laws had no effect on … Trayvon Martin’s attack on George Zimmerman, and that no one on the jury, much less Zimmerman, was aware of the legal immunity Stand Your Ground provides someone who is singled-out, pursued and attacked as Zimmerman was (you say).

      Other than the part of the jury instructions that said …

      “JUSTIFIABLE USE OF DEADLY FORCE An issue in this case is whether George Zimmerman acted in self-defense. It is a defense to the crime of Second Degree Murder, and the lesser included offense of Manslaughter, if the death of Trayvon Martin resulted from the justifiable use of deadly force.

      “Deadly force” means force likely to cause death or great bodily harm.
      A person is justified in using deadly force if he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself.In deciding whether George Zimmerman was justified in the use of deadly force, you must judge him by the circumstances by which he was surrounded at the time the force was used. The danger facing George Zimmerman need not have been actual; however, to justify the use of deadly force, the appearance of danger must have been so real that a reasonably cautious and prudent person under the same circumstances would have believed that the danger could be avoided only through the use of that force. Based upon appearances, George Zimmerman must have actually believed that the danger was real.If George Zimmerman was not engaged in an unlawful activity and was attacked in anyplace where he had a right to be, he had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he reasonably believed that it was necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony … ”

      … you’re right on the beam … of the alternate moonbeam reality being sold by the conservative perpetual white grievance machine. Namely that it was the unarmed, but violently ATTIRED Martin who attacked a law-abiding citizen simply going about his business.

      The version of this that hasn’t been turned into a legalistic Mobius strip by the NRA and the ALEC and the patriot patrol on talk radio is that it was Zimmerman who went out looking for trouble, found it, and when as a consequence of his actions found himself in danger of getting a beat down for harassing someone for no good reason killed the guy … as is his right under Florida law as it has been written by the NRA/ALEC.

      i know, it’s a crazy concept. But reality is a pisser.

      And no, I’m not surprised you have a conceal carry permit.

      1. Brian, I understand that it is the liberal way to blame most everything that’s wrong in the world on the rich (rich Republicans, in particular), the NRA and banks and financial firms….if only those three demons didn’t exist….we’d have Shangri La. However, then there is reality.

        http://jonathanturley.org/2013/07/20/the-stand-your-ground-law-and-the-zimmerman-trial/

        The verdict was the verdict, obviously subject to second guessing by everyone who wasn’t there and is free to fit assumptions that conform to his/her own world view.

        The alternate liberal view being sold to the average low information voter who views every racial problem as being caused by the “white cracker” is that Martin was an innocent kid just going to buy Skittles. Beware of throwing the first punch, when you’re outgunned but too macho to know it.

        As I stated earlier, if only today’s civil rights “leaders” had the balls to really confront the problems of black on black violence as readily as they jumped on the “persecute Zimmerman…..racist, racist racist” blather, they would be actually making progress.

        By the way, I had no choice but to get the conceal carry permit, It’s the only way I could even transport my gun short of keeping it unloaded and in the trunk, even when I wanted to take it to the shooting range.

        I don’t carry it, open or concealed.

        1. Mike: I’m aware of the legal parsing that went on and that Prof. Turley explains.

          And let me reiterate that the common sense factor sustaining the debate lies in your picture of Trayvon Martin as the perp and Zimmerman as the victim.

          By now it is cliche rhetoric to ask by what imaginable standard Zimmerman had a right to get out of his car and confront someone walking home in the rain? There was no confrontation until Zimmerman took it upon himself to get in Martin’s face … against police instruction.

          Based on your thoughts here, have to assume that if you were Martin you would have meekly and subserviently answered every question from this oddball (and likely hostile) stranger coming out of the dark. Sorry, but me and others would likely have said, “Who the fuck are you?” and “Get out of my face.”

          But your argument — the argument of the conservative base seeking legal standing for armed confrontation where no confrontation is warranted — is that Zimmerman had every right to do as he did and Martin had no rights to respond as he did, including punching the wannabe vigilante when he wouldn’t fuck off.

          You are free to quote chapter and verse on Florida law, but THAT is the essence of the debate.

          Also, I realize you haven’t fallen so completely off the cliff, but your partners in this alternative logic, like my guy bertram, are still selling the — all talk radio, all nut job website-fed — argument that Martin was a tattooed, menacing buck of a thug, standing 6’1″ (interestingly, the unarmed part never comes up).

          This was smacked down quite a while ago.

          http://www.snopes.com/photos/politics/martin.asp

          Point being: The crowd that you’re in effect partnering with and supporting in this pretty appalling display of excuse-building are not the sort of people I’d like to call allies … if I were you.

          And aren’t you glad I’m not?

          1. Brian: My point has been both sides have been over the top. The liberal/civil rights line is that Martin was a totally innocent kid. And the far right line is that Zimmerman had every right to confront Martin. The truth, I think, lies somewhere in between. Martin had the right to tell Zimmerman to fuck off….not to beat him while he had him on the ground. Zimmerman should have heeded the advice to stay in the car from the police. However, he didn’t deserve to get beat to the point he thought he might get killed. Both engaged each other in the confrontation. One had the great equalizer. The other didn’t.

            Unlike it has been portrayed in the media, this had nothing to do with racism or anything of the kind. It was a couple of people escalating a conflict to the point that someone died. Based on the law, I figured from the start Zimmerman would walk, and I’ve never had a ounce of legal training. Take away the SYG law, and Zimmerman still walks.

            1. At the risk of sounding like Ronald Reagan, some things really are as simple as they seem.

              1: George Zimmerman had no standing whatsoever to get out of his car and start a confrontation with Martin. None.

              2: Do you seriously think he would have left his vehicle and started the confrontation if he weren’t packing a gun? Of course not.

              And, I might add …

              3: Martin had every right to stand his ground against some dipshit playing po-po on a residential street. Or does Stand Your Ground not count if you’re just using your fists?

            2. Ummmmm…..no. I’m pretty sure that getting hassled by someone doesn’t entitle you to punch them out. Martin threw the first punch and continued on when a guy was down. That’s called assault. You have a right to self defense not to administer a “beat down.”

            3. Mike … the “first punch” was being accosted walking down a sidewalk. Tell me again what gave Zimmerman that right, especially after being told not to by the cops? Also, who was the witness to Martin being the aggressor? The same as bertram’s?

            4. Well Brian, your premise is flat out in left field. By your logic anyone who “accosts” me on the street deserves to have me cave his head in… from the homeless guy swearing at me and attempting to threaten and follow me to the guy who is verbally giving me shit for being on his block….both have happened. I guess I had license to thrash them within an inch of their life. Uh, not according to the law. I would become the aggressor and they would have a right to defend themselves. I think the law is totally clear….and correct. But I’m glad to see see the passive, turn the other cheek thinks there are times violence is useful…. You are just wrong on the circumstances but you are on the right track.

            5. Right. Zimmerman was minding his own business, until Martin forced him into a confrontation. And your proof that he didn’t get abusive or physical with Martin first? Same “proof” as bertram’s eyewitnesses, I’m guessing. And Mike, really, “cave his head in”, “thrash him within an inch of his life”? Is this your description of Zimmerman’s physical condition? Care to show us the photos of him at the police station or in the ICU? As I recall the cops weren’t even certain he was in a fight. Although they were pretty damned sure Martin was. Somehow you know with certainty that Zimmerman didn’t get physical first. Was that Martin’s testimony? Zimmerman’s testimony? The woman who looked out after the incident had begun? Or is it as I suspect just what you prefer to believe?

              Zimmerman’s your guy. You make his case for him, you own him.

            6. I’m not making a case for either of them. What I’m saying is that this is hardly a case of racism or a case that proves SYG is an awful law because he would have walked one way or the other. There was a total lack of evidence to convict him.

            7. Well look, Mike, I don’t know how anyone proves either of the things you say, that it was NOT about racism, i.e. that the fact Martin was black did not spark something unique in Zimmerman, or that Florida’s gun-related laws DIDN’T give him an extra boost of confidence to get out of his vehicle and instigate a confrontation on the sidewalk. Personally, I find it highly unlikely he would have attempted anything of the sort if he weren’t packing a gun. Whether in the heat of the moment he continued to calculate his chances of being convicted for shooting Martin is a whole other leap.

              And I’m not disagreeing that under Florida law … as it is written and as it is interpreted … the jury acted logically. (Manslaughter was always the most viable charge.) My basic point is that the case badly fails the common sense test. An unauthorized person who arms himself and sets out looking for trouble … and then starts that trouble … SHOULD NOT be granted the immunity of self-defense. More to my point … how did we get to the point where that is both encouraged and allowed?

  12. bertram jr. says:

    Bertram is shocked, Shocked that Lambert calls for lower ‘dope’ prices…..how’s that playin’ up in the ‘video?

  13. bertram jr. says:

    “…taking a beatdown”.

    It just gets better and better. A 6’2″ dope smoking truant thug beating your head on the concrete. Because your neighborhood was being repeatedly burgled by same.

    So, in Lambertville, you just take your “beatdown”…..

  14. bertram jr. says:

    “bertram here is a good example of someone living in 24/7 apprehension of black criminality against him.”

    That’s bold talk for a one eyed fat man.

    Bertram lives a pretty carefree life since he headed to the rolling countryside, and out of the over taxed unicorn poop laden streets of of Minneapolis.

  15. Very interesting test done by Harvard to test your hidden preferences and prejudices: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/

    It’s intended to gauge your implicit association with words, phrases, and images. I took a number of them to gauge my prejudices. The tools attempt to judge your levels of sexism, racism, ageism, and more.

    If everyone took some of these tests, could it help explain the prism through which we see the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman outcome?

    Try them and see.

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