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quote of the day – @chriszump

Aside from my previous post dealing more with people’s reactions to the event rather than the event itself, I have largely avoided discussing the killing of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, and I plan on keeping up that topical silence in the near future. Why? Well, to begin with, we do not know all of the facts, and we may not ever know all of the facts, and drawing literally life-or-death conclusions based off horridly incomplete data is something I largely try to avoid. Even "better" – for certain definitions of "better" – this has predictably turned into the typical race-baiting scenario we all knew it was eventually going to end up as, given that Martin was black and Zimmerman is white… and Hispanic, though no one really sees fit to mention that particular detail. "Race" > "ethnicity" to those folks who depend on the race card to silence anyone who would disagree with them.

Anywise, I have been idly keeping tabs on Twitter as my own personal method of staying abreast of the public’s reaction to certain news (such as this particular shooter) as well as an easy way to generate new blogfodder*, and this is what i have found so far…

First up, we have the folks who are quite honest in their desires to violently harm George Zimmerman, up to and including killing him in rather disturbing and specific fashions:

image@modrtmike: O.k. Zimmerman, you r fucking toast. Let’s see how you like prison…asshole

image@akaymusic1: #GeorgeZimmerman should be pimp slapped body’d and then thrown in a body bag from a body bag to a body bag then put in palates class big girl body splash take out a gun shot the bag then use @ARSONALDAREBEL dreands to tied the bag @X_Factor

image@koogmo: That’ll teach that fat fuck a thing or two about race "relations." #dropthesoapbitch #georgezimmerman

image@RomeyRome6: If I was possible to send a bomb through mail, I think #GeorgeZimmerman would be pink mist right now

image@pinkbunny70: George Zimmerman is a child murderer, walking around free. I can’t stop thinking about it & really want to punch him #JusticeForTrayvon

image@Focusd_ambition: #GeorgeZimmerman deserve to get tortured til he die….racist mf

Speaking of racism, I have to wonder how many of those people’s reactions were racially motivated; I do not, however, have to wonder how they would react to such a suggestion…

But, moving on, we have those folks who seem to think it would be a great idea to "crowd-source" justice:

image@amanda_nan: Sign the petition to tell FL to prosecute George Zimmerman for killing Trayvon Martin. #NCGV #guncontrol http://www.change.org/petitions/prosecute-the-killer-of-17-year-old-trayvon-martin

Yeah, because if you do not like how the legal system is working, the obvious answer is a mob dictating who should be prosecuted and for what crime! *headdesk* For clarification, the NCGV is the North Carolinians against Gun Violence Ownership, an organization that could not find its… head… with a map, GPS, and a guide. Unsurprisingly, "amanda_nan" is a board member.

However, even that mob-rule loon is arguably better than those self-righteous autocrats who have already tried Zimmerman and found him guilty:

image@ShooterDylan13: Trayvon was murdered by an armed vigilante. Period. #guncontrol #EdShow

image@BodhiDoodle: when they tried to cover it up. #trayvonmartin deserves justice. He was an innocent CHILD murdered by an evil MAN. And #guncontrol, please.

"Murder" is "the unlawful killing, with malice aforethought, of another human being"; thus far, we are fairly certain that Zimmerman killed Martin, but without an actual trial, with all of the aspects and elements thereof, we have effectively no means of authoritatively determining if the killing was unlawful, or what Zimmerman’s state of mind was. People have their suspicions, of course, but suspicions do not a conviction make.

But even better than them are those benighted halfwits (I might be being generous) who think that someone potentially misusing a law / firearm is sufficient reason to unjustly confiscate private property from tens of millions of American citizens:

image@pinkbunny70: We need to BAN all HANDGUNS. Rifles & shotguns should be for hunting ANIMALS if you absolutely must. NOT HUNTING HUMANS! #GunControl

image@Liberals4Peace: If It Were Up To Me, I’d Take Away the Guns http://bit.ly/GA6T16 #guncontrol #banguns #cherylwheeler

It is worth observing that @pinkbunny70 was also featured previously in this post under the "violent" category, indicating that her desires to disarm law-abiding citizens stems out of either self-preservation (in that she does not want to be shot when attacking someone) or projection (in that she does not trust herself with firearms, so she does not trust anyone else either).

Anyone with more than two brain cells to rub together knows that effectively stealing the property of millions of American citizens simply because one person allegedly misused his property is about the stupidest argument ever, but, in today’s quote of the day, Christine concisely encapsulated the full depth of that stupidity:

imageLet’s ban cars because of the jerks who drink & drive & kill the innocent. No? that’s silly, huh?

Can you imagine the uproar that would result if drunk driving was used as an excuse to summarily round up all of the privately-owned automobiles in the country and compact them into anchors? But this one incidence of a person allegedly misusing another inanimate, expensive, machined metal tool is sufficient to make folks lose their minds and start demanding comprehensive, unconstitutional bans. I swear I will never understand the mentality of your average anti-rights cultist.

In the end, if Zimmerman walks (and I am not saying he should or will), it will not be because of Florida’s "Stand Your Ground" law because Zimmerman was not covered by that law and the law does not protect aggressors nor does it protect actual murderers. Of course, those small details of facts make no difference to the warped and twisted minds determined to dance in Martin’s blood and exploit this incident to their own authoritarian desires.

But, hey, me, I hope those small-minded, intolerant, violent, vindictive, autocratic, vicious, criminal-enabling bigots continue to post their dreams of unconstitutional travesties on Twitter – that is about the strongest concentration of their idiocy I can stand any more, it gives me something to write about, and folks like Christine make it all worthwhile.

(* – Apparently I am an "evil yet resourceful individual" for doing that. As I said on Twitter, I can live with that.)

14 comments to quote of the day – @chriszump

  • Braden Lynch

    This whole topic is tiresome since it is being whipped up without complete information.

    You know, they have just as much information as I have, since I was not an eye witness. Thus, I reserve judgment. Their rants are blood-thirsty. This is why we have a criminal justice system and do not just resort to lynch mobs.

    Oh yeah, I don’t commit crimes as a law-abiding citizen, so if they try to forcibly take my weapons, they will regret it.

  • I just boggle at people vociferously demanding the incarceration / torture / death of a person who has yet to be convicted of a single crime. Do they not understand where that particular road goes? Do they not care? Do they think they are “better”?

    History is really damned clear about how poorly mob justice works (hell, on our soil alone, no less), and yet these witch hunters want to go diving right back into it.

    I just do not get it.

  • It’s self interest. The folks behind this honestly think they can ride this tiger that the “mob justice” won’t get out of hand (IE it won’t hurt them). And they’re those among the antis that *want* this level of violence because then their authoritarian bans will become more palatable.

    This reminds me of the Jorge Saavedra / Dylan Nuno ruling earlier this year. Where the media jumped up and down about Stand Your Ground.

    http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2012/jan/03/collier-judge-upholds-stand-your-ground-defense-ca/
    Even though Saavedra retreated once, was followed, and tried to retreat a second time but was unable to. So even in a duty to retreat situation Saaverda was covered, but that didn’t fit the narrative.

    Though there was no gun in that incident and no race angle. So I guess it wasn’t as juicy.

  • This reminds of a kerfuffle that happened on Facebook a couple weeks back. We’ve all seen the racist “Don’t Re-nig” bumper stickers, right? A few people on FB had adopted the position that because this person was being unconscionably rude, they were justified in keying his car, slashing his tires, etc.

    I weighed in with “Let me get this straight. This person is exercising his Constitutionally protected 1st Amendment right — which, while tasteless, is not a crime — and because you are offended, you want to vandalize or otherwise destroy his property, which IS a crime. Is that what you’re saying?”

    That’s what they were saying. And they couldn’t understand why I and others were defending the bigot’s right to speech or property. They further couldn’t understand the justification behind “escalation of force”: that if the racist caught them destroying his property, he would have every right to draw his weapon and demand they leave or he would shoot.

    I swear, it’s like these people believe that as long as it feels morally right, then it’s legally right.

  • “If it feels good, do it.”

    There’s also the corollary where of people that feel if it’s morally wrong then it must be legally wrong. The “There outta be a law!” crowd.

    This is all a depressingly compact example of how utopian dreamings require authoritarian and totalitarian enforcement.

  • I saw a Canadian on twitter claim today that they “believe in free speech, but don’t believe in hate speech.”

    Speech is speech.

    We’ve gone from “I disagree with what you say but I’ll defend your right to say it” to “I disagree with what you say, and so your property should be confiscated and you should be thrown in jail, just to teach you a lesson.”

  • @ The Jack:
    Well, yes. I guess I was just flabbergasted to see someone so impervious to common sense.

    “So… property destruction is a reasonable response to not liking someone’s opinion, but force is not a reasonable response to property destruction. So basically, you’re saying I can burn down your house if I don’t like what you say, but if you try to drive me away then you’re in the wrong.”

    These people…

  • I gotta say the more hard evidence I see the more it looks like George Zimmerman is guilty of nothing more than being an over-zealous Mall Ninja. All the data I’ve seen about the actual fight and shooting sounds like Zimmerman even used restraint in calling for home owners in the area to help him restrain Martin when Martin was on top of him and pounding his face in, when nobody came he shot.

    Unless there is a big something I missed, or the Home Owner who’s lawn Mr. Martin died on changes his story (that Zimmerman was under Martin and crying for help, and that he heard the gunshot AFTER he left Zimmerman’s sight to call 911) Zimmerman ISN’T guilty of any crimes.

    Now look at this race-fueled hatred and wishes for violence. This is looking more and more like Rodney king

  • MAJ Mike

    My understanding that this occurred in a “gated community”. Was Martin visiting family in that gated community? If not, what was he doing? How did he bypass the security gate, if indeed this is a gated community? Some sources claim that robery rings send out “scouts” to check possible targets. Was it normal to be walking around a strange neighborhood at that time of the night?

    Yeah, Zimmerman is in a world of $hit. In every CHL class I’ve taken, the instructors have counseled us that, despite Texas’ Castle Law, the best action is to get away from the situation. We are to avoid weapon use until there is no other option. We don’t know all of the facts, but there are no winners here.

  • Rob Crawford

    “Speaking of racism, I have to wonder how many of those people’s reactions were racially motivated; I do not, however, have to wonder how they would react to such a suggestion…”

    I do wonder how much of it comes from him having a Jewish-sounding name.

  • @ The Jack: That is exactly the part that gets me – history has shown, time and time again, that “mob justice” invariably circles around and bites its progenitors on their asses. Hell, how many first-generation French Revolutionaries ended up on guillotines before the Reign of Terror had finally fun its course? And now these halfwits want to field petitions to prosecute people? How long until one of them is on that list?

    I seem to recall the “gun control” extremists attempting to exploit that situation as well, but once it came to light that the kid really was acting in self-defense, they pretty much gave up. And, as you say, no race-baiting possible.

    @ Erin Palette: Yup, pretty much exactly the same mentality on display here. These whackjobs are demonizing and castigating Zimmerman for what they perceive to be “vigilante” justice, and yet they want to enact their own personal vigilante justice on him. But it is better. Because they are the ones doing it.

    *headdesk*

    And, in fairness, using – or threatening (the law rarely makes a distinction between the two) – deadly force in the preservation of private property is very much a state-dependent kind of thing. Here in Tennessee, we now have trial precedent indicating that it is acceptable, but the only other states I can think of where it is are Alaska and Texas. You might want to look into Florida’s details.

    @ wfgodbold: As the saying goes, anything before a “but” is generally meaningless.

    @ Weer’d Beard: The problem is that, as I understand it (and I admit to not keeping abreast of the newest informatoin), Zimmerman pursued Martin, first in his vehicle and then on foot. In my world, that makes him the aggressor, which makes his case of ‘self-defense’ very hard to argue.

    But I do not know the full story, and I am not in on the trial.

    In any case, yes, this situation is being exploited by bigots looking to foment racial hatred, as such things often are.

    @ MAJ Mike: My understanding (and, again, I could be wrong) is that Martin was visiting his father’s girlfriend’s house that night, which is in the gated community. Still, simply being in a gated community if you do not live there is not an actionable offense.

    But, yeah, nothing good will come of this incident, and “getting clear and calling the cops” is almost always the better solution.

    @ Rob Crawford: I guarandamntee you that most of these folks initial reactions to the news reports were fueled by that name… Hell, I will admit I was a bit surprised at the “breaking the mold”, but now that everyone knows he is hispanic, the continued race-baiting is just… sad.

  • MAJ Mike

    Well, as the circumstaces become better known, there’s no telling how this will work out. This incident should be a reminder of the awesome responsibility all CHL holders have chosen to bear. A license to carry is not a license to kill.

    I can see the Zimmerman/Martin affair as being a major training point in future CHL classes.

    Justified or not, Zimmerman is in a real deep tub of $hit.

  • Oakenheart

    “Zimmerman pursued Martin, first in his vehicle and then on foot. In my world, that makes him the aggressor, which makes his case of ‘self-defense’ very hard to argue.”
    Did he actually “persue” or was he following to keep the guy in sight so as to tell police where he was? I doubt any of us know. The question turns on who made it physical. Listening to the 911 calls, it sounds like Zimmerman had lost sight of Treyvon. We have no idea how they ended up in a physical altercation, if the young man was waiting around a corner, or was told the cops were coming and popped Zimmerman first or not. The police did not arrest Zimmerman. The physical evidence supports that Zimmerman was attacked. Beyond that, Zimmerman and Treyvon are the only ones who know, and one of them is dead.

    The annoying thing to me is hearing people bitch about crime and then calling the guy who cared enough to call the cops a wannabe cop and busybody. The guy called the cops once every 3 months or so, sounds like a good citizen to me.

  • @ MAJ Mike: The problem, of course, is that I do not think the situation can be “better known”. There was all of one party who survived the encounter and participated it, and there was all of one eye witness. Whatever information the police have rihgt now is probably all they will ever have, and their conclusions are going to have to naturally stem from it.

    Of course, we do not necessarily know all of that information yet, but that hardly seems to matter to the Court of Public Opinion.

    But, regardless, yeah, I can see instructors using this as a learning situation for quite some time to come.

    @ Oakenheart: Unfortunately, no matter how you cut it, Zimmerman really had no reason to be following Martin. I mean, sure, there is no law saying you cannot happen to be going in the same direction as someone else, but there comes a fine line between that and “pursuing” / “stalking” / etc. “Suspicious” is all good and well, but Zimmerman is not / was not a cop, and, eventually, his following Martin put the two in arms’ reach of each other, which seems like a hell of a lot like “pursuing”.

    In the end, you are right – we are not likely to ever really know the absolute truth, and there is something to be said for someone that engaged in their community. But it certainly worked out poorly this time around.