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Source: (consider it) Thread: Fucking Guns
mdijon
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# 8520

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
The only reason this gun can be a trophy to "the right" is because folk on "the left" howled about it so goddamn much. The gun isn't famous because he killed someone with it. the gun is famous because people caused an enormous media storm at the prospect of Zimmerman not being put on trial.

A load of manufactured outrage for the purpose petty political point scoring. Fancy seizing the otherwise unremarkable situation of a man shooting someone with a pretty shaky story about how it happened in the context of a series of stories about killing black people with impunity. Why can't people just quietly wait for due process to take its course without all this fuss?

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Alan Cresswell

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# 31

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OK, that might be one of those differences in jurisdictions. In the UK the police may bail a suspect where:
quote:
  • there is as yet insufficient evidence to charge a suspect and he is released pending further investigation
  • it is no longer necessary to detain a suspect to secure or preserve evidence or obtain it by questioning, yet the police are not in a position to charge
  • the custody officer has authorised the release of the suspect, having determined that there is currently insufficient evidence to charge, he may be released pending the obtaining of further evidence
  • the police consider that there is sufficient evidence to charge, but the matter must be referred to the CPS for a charging decision



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Curiosity killed ...

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In the UK too, murder is one of the charges that does not get bail.

(The Re-writing the Archers thread is discussing some of these issues around a storyline of a very pregnant woman who has been gaslighted, raped (how she became pregnant) and when she tried to leave the partnership, telling him over a civilised meal serving a tuna bake, she had a knife put into her hands and was told to kill herself. Her son walked into the room, she felt he was threatened and stabbed her partner. The partner survived with severe injuries. She is remanded in custody awaiting trial, even after pleading not guilty. There is likely to be a self-defence plea, eventually. This is all in line with UK law.

The whole story line is reflecting a new law on the statute book, coercive control.)

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orfeo

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# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
OK, that might be one of those differences in jurisdictions. In the UK the police may bail a suspect where:
quote:
  • there is as yet insufficient evidence to charge a suspect and he is released pending further investigation
  • it is no longer necessary to detain a suspect to secure or preserve evidence or obtain it by questioning, yet the police are not in a position to charge
  • the custody officer has authorised the release of the suspect, having determined that there is currently insufficient evidence to charge, he may be released pending the obtaining of further evidence
  • the police consider that there is sufficient evidence to charge, but the matter must be referred to the CPS for a charging decision


*Reads legislation*

Whoa. That is just weird. I can't see anything in there that suggests money is involved, which I think is good but also means that it looks even less like "bail" as I know it.

Turns out such things can happen here as well, I just had a look at the NSW law. Even if it is normal, though, it doesn't help your original thoughts one iota. Released without charge on bail and released without charge without bail are both still "released without charge" no matter which way you slice it, and your continued insistence that released without charge equates with "case closed" is just wrong even on that UK legislation.

[ 20. May 2016, 06:02: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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Alan Cresswell

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# 31

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As I understand it, the majority of bail in the UK (whether granted by police or courts) doesn't involve money, though usually will involve conditions such as reporting to a police station on a regular basis to confirm you haven't done a runner. It allows an innocent (until proven guilty) person to carry on with their lives while awaiting trial, and saves the tax payer a small fortune by not locking up people who have yet to be convicted of anything - not to mention the injustice and resulting compensation if they are found not guilty. Of course, for more serious crimes bail is less likely to be given and may involve other guarantees and conditions - but serious crimes are, of course, the minority of offences that come before the courts.

I thought I was making a distinction between "released on bail" (pending potential charges, or after being charged) with "released without charge" (which to me still sounds very much like meaning no potential charges). Of course, I'm reading that from a UK perspective and it's entirely possible that in the US "without charge" is read as simply "without yet being charged". But, that would seem inconsistent with the petitioners who signed up to appeal against his release without charge, presumably considering that he would never be charged - not that those who signed the petition are necessarily any better versed in the legal system of Florida than I am.

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orfeo

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# 13878

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Bugger the petitioners. Do you expect the police to tell everyone the details of their investigations?

As I've said, you can find stuff online that indicates police were doing things in the period before there was any publicity.

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Gee D
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# 13815

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Orfeo, I don't speak of other jurisdictions in Aust, but here in NSW police of a certain rank have powers to grant or dispense with bail at the police station - have a look at the Bail Act 2013 s.43 for the power and when it may or may not be exercised. It very commonly is for minor offences.

Alan Cresswell, it is common for actual cold hard cash to be required in NSW. Sometimes security can be taken. From time to time, bail is forfeited and a person affected may make application for return of money/discharge of forfeiture. The court to which the application was made used be called the Estreats Court, in a fine bit of Middle English carried on. Not sure if it still has that name.

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Twilight

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# 2832

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Here in my town in Ohio, we had a toddler go missing from his home. The whole community came out and searched. After he was found, drowned in a pond close to his parents' house, we all mourned, all the churches prayed, we had special fund raisers, the sheriff thanked the community and asked us to pray for the family, etc.

Six months later the mother was arrested and charged with manslaughter. This in the paper:
quote:
[Sheriff's name] explained his office’s investigative process. “We dealt with this investigation like we do every investigation, we are fact finders,” he said. “We submit the evidence to the prosecutor for review and he then decides if it goes to a grand jury to let a panel of independent citizens decide if any charges should be brought forth. In this case, the grand jury felt that charges against the mother were warranted.”
That's how it should be done. Not a whisper of suspicion ahead of time -- certainly not, "We didn't charge her with anything, but she's a trashy looking piece so we're investigating."
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mdijon
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# 8520

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Bugger the petitioners. Do you expect the police to tell everyone the details of their investigations?

In a racially charged atmosphere of this nature yes. Failure to communicate is to ignore the community aspects of policing and the need for community-level consent of the population. If the police get this wrong then law and order will break down. Your posts are from the point of view of one who trusts authority. I'm often in a similar position myself, but in this case authority had lost the trust of the population, or sections of the population, in a pretty fundamental way.

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jbohn
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# 8753

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
OK, that might be one of those differences in jurisdictions. In the UK the police may bail a suspect where:
quote:
  • there is as yet insufficient evidence to charge a suspect and he is released pending further investigation
  • it is no longer necessary to detain a suspect to secure or preserve evidence or obtain it by questioning, yet the police are not in a position to charge
  • the custody officer has authorised the release of the suspect, having determined that there is currently insufficient evidence to charge, he may be released pending the obtaining of further evidence
  • the police consider that there is sufficient evidence to charge, but the matter must be referred to the CPS for a charging decision


*Reads legislation*

Whoa. That is just weird. I can't see anything in there that suggests money is involved, which I think is good but also means that it looks even less like "bail" as I know it.

Turns out such things can happen here as well, I just had a look at the NSW law. Even if it is normal, though, it doesn't help your original thoughts one iota. Released without charge on bail and released without charge without bail are both still "released without charge" no matter which way you slice it, and your continued insistence that released without charge equates with "case closed" is just wrong even on that UK legislation.

In the US, police don't decide on bail - that's for the courts.

In most jurisdictions here, the police/district attorney have up to 72 hours after an arrest to charge or release a suspect (this varies somewhat among jurisdictions, but there's always a maximum limit.) If, within that timeframe, they don't have enough evidence to charge the suspect, s/he must be released - note that this does not necessarily mean the investigation has ended.

If, on the other hand, the district attorney feels they have enough evidence to bring charges, the suspect will be arraigned and make a plea (guilty, not guilty, etc.) - at this point, the court will decide what amount of bail (if any) is appropriate. The DA can argue for a specific level of bail, or that the suspect be held for trial without bail, but the court ultimately makes that call - not the DA or the police.

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lilBuddha
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# 14333

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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Bugger the petitioners. Do you expect the police to tell everyone the details of their investigations?

In a racially charged atmosphere of this nature yes. Failure to communicate is to ignore the community aspects of policing and the need for community-level consent of the population. If the police get this wrong then law and order will break down. Your posts are from the point of view of one who trusts authority.
orfeo is also referencing it from the perspective of a finished case. Prior to the trial and investigations, all anyone else had was the perspective of history. And history shows that black people will not get the same treatment as white. (Or whitish people)
quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:

I'm often in a similar position myself, but in this case authority had lost the trust of the population, or sections of the population, in a pretty fundamental way.

Authority never possessed that trust from black people in America.

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mdijon
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A slight generalization; I imagine the outgoing president may have a more nuanced view. But I guess your main point is that it was starting from a bad place.

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Hiro's Leap

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# 12470

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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
In the US, the normality of [a shooting] required some (in)action by the police (not seeming to investigate immediately) to catapult it into public consciousness.

It was partly that, but also that everyone thought the idea of Zimmerman needing to defend himself from a boy with Skittles was ludicrous.

If these photos had been released on day one then the press coverage would have gone very differently.

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Doublethink.
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# 1984

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True, though that looks like a fairly superficial wound.

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All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

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Hiro's Leap

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quote:
Originally posted by Doublethink.:
True, though that looks like a fairly superficial wound.

They're not dangerous wounds, but being pinned down and beaten like that would have been a genuinely terrifying experience for a lot of people. The screaming and begging was undoubtedly (IMO) from Zimmerman, not Martin.

More importantly, the photos would have confirmed Zimmerman's story, showed the police had legitimate reason for accepting self-defence, and destroyed the narrative of Martin just being a little kid with candy.

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Twilight

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My husband eats Skittles, Twizzlers, Bulls Eyes, Gummy Worms, Root Beer Barrels, and Jujubes. Crappy candy knows no age limit.
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Doublethink.
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# 1984

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quote:
Originally posted by Hiro's Leap:
quote:
Originally posted by Doublethink.:
True, though that looks like a fairly superficial wound.

They're not dangerous wounds, but being pinned down and beaten like that would have been a genuinely terrifying experience for a lot of people. The screaming and begging was undoubtedly (IMO) from Zimmerman, not Martin.

More importantly, the photos would have confirmed Zimmerman's story, showed the police had legitimate reason for accepting self-defence, and destroyed the narrative of Martin just being a little kid with candy.

It was still a significantly disproportionate reaction. I am regularly trained to protect myself from people trying to hit, kick, grab and strangle me - I am not expected kill them. I was taught ground defence as an 11 year old school girl, it did not involve killing people then either.

I use the term trained losely, nothing we are taught is rocket science. Nothing I was taught as a child was complex either.

My problem is with the attitude that it is OK to kill to protect property or to prevent yourself being physically hurt.

It is defensible to kill to prevent yourself or someone else dying, this is not the same thing as killing someone in case they break your nose.

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All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

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Doublethink.
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# 1984

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For a start, if he had a hand free to use a pistol, he could have used it to block, or to punch the boy the face - or in the bollocks which might have been more effective than the face. Or he could have headbutted him.

There are more options than kill, or lie still and scream.

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All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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Also, Martin was not on top of Zimmerman when the shooting happened. Either Martin had decided that was enough of a beating for the jerk who was following him and was backing away to go home, or Zimmerman had already managed to push him off. At the moment the gun was fired Zimmerman was not actually having his head bashed into the concrete.

You want to know how I know that? Simple, those pictures of Zimmerman in the back of a police car with his nose bleeding. He's wearing an orange fleece jacket that is basically clean. If Martin had been on top of him pummelling his face when that bullet passed through his chest then Zimmerman would have been covered in blood. No blood = significant distance between the two at that point in time.

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Doublethink.
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Anyway, surely if you have someone on top of you and you have a pistol to you say get the fuck off me or I'll shoot you. And then you shoot them in an easily accessible limb.

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All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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Re bail in the US:

NPR's "Fresh Air" recently had a show on "Is America Engaged In A 'Vicious Circle' Of Jailing The Poor?" (Audio, with text excerpts.) It talked about poor people who've been arrested for low-level offenses often get stuck in jail, because they can't pay bail. Their lives can be wrecked: loss of work, housing, spouse, family, custody, etc. Sometimes, they even have to *pay* for a public defender.

Harrowing.

[ 21. May 2016, 00:19: Message edited by: Golden Key ]

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
A slight generalization; I imagine the outgoing president may have a more nuanced view. But I guess your main point is that it was starting from a bad place.

I suspect his view is pretty much the same. And, when he was elected, his wife said that it was the first time she felt proud of her country. She caught a lot of flack for saying that.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
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mdijon
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At some point in one's career rise one becomes part of the establishment that people have or don't have trust in. I would say that the head of state is likely past that point. And I think you are over-interpreting a fragment of a quote from Michelle Obama that was blown out of proportion and out of context by the press at the time.

Some black people are in the police force, some are prosecutors, judges, sheriffs. To say black people as a block don't trust authority is going to far. I think most people would agree that levels of trust are generally lower among black people and there are certain communities in particular areas where levels of trust are rock-bottom.

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orfeo

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# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Doublethink.:
For a start, if he had a hand free to use a pistol, he could have used it to block, or to punch the boy the face - or in the bollocks which might have been more effective than the face. Or he could have headbutted him.

There are more options than kill, or lie still and scream.

What other options there are is irrelevant, under the law of many countries including your own.

The question is whether the option chosen is reasonable. Now, I accept what you said in the post before this one: there are certainly valid arguments that shooting is a disproportionate response. In some cultures it might be seen as more "proportionate" than others.

But a list of other things that Zimmerman might have done is not relevant to the law in the USA or in the UK or in Australia. Because what you can come up with after the fact is hardly any guide to what someone would come up with in the situation. You have all the time in the world to compose your thoughts and point out better options. He didn't.

[ 21. May 2016, 08:24: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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orfeo

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# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
Also, Martin was not on top of Zimmerman when the shooting happened. Either Martin had decided that was enough of a beating for the jerk who was following him and was backing away to go home, or Zimmerman had already managed to push him off. At the moment the gun was fired Zimmerman was not actually having his head bashed into the concrete.

You want to know how I know that? Simple, those pictures of Zimmerman in the back of a police car with his nose bleeding. He's wearing an orange fleece jacket that is basically clean. If Martin had been on top of him pummelling his face when that bullet passed through his chest then Zimmerman would have been covered in blood. No blood = significant distance between the two at that point in time.

Why hire a ballistics expert or a forensics technician trained in blood splatter when you can have Alan's armchair knowledge? [Roll Eyes]

I'm tempted to go see if I can find anything from, oh I don't know, the trial transcripts and reports on this question, but I'm sure no-one even thought about such issues as the relative location of the shooter and victim before Alan. Right?

Seriously, that is one of the stupidest declarations of "knowledge" I have ever seen. Use some fucking Google-fu to discover the actual evidence from the trial. I mean, it's vaguely possible that your assertion is correct, but to claim yourself as the source of your certainty on such a basic question that clearly would have been the subject of trial evidence is an idiotic move.

[ 21. May 2016, 08:30: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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orfeo

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# 13878

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First articles I found, Alan. I haven't even read them beyond the headline.

http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jul/09/nation/la-na-0710-zimmerman-trial-20130710

http://dailycaller.com/2013/07/09/forensic-expert-says-zimmerman-on-bottom-fired-at-close-range/

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Alan Cresswell

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# 31

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I've watched CSI and Dexter. I thought that was enough?

I did look to see if I could find any of the forensics reported. All I could find was that the gun shot was to the chest, that it was fired from close range (a few inches), and that it wasn't immediately fatal and Martin took a minute or so to die as he bled out. There was presumably forensic analysis of Zimmermans clothing, looking for all the fine blood splatter that would have given more information. And, ballistics would give an indication of the relative position of Martin and the gun. But, I couldn't see any media reporting of that.

However, if Martin was above Zimmerman how would you explain the absence of large quantities of blood on Zimmerman? The obvious conclusion, just on pure logic, is that the situation reported by the eye witness of Martin being over Zimmerman and punching him had changed by the time the gun was fired.

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Curiosity killed ...

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# 11770

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Actually I equally googled and found the ballistics reports and initial police reports - both linked to this document. The first police report wanted to charge Zimmerman with manslaughter.

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orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
However, if Martin was above Zimmerman how would you explain the absence of large quantities of blood on Zimmerman?

I wouldn't. I'd ask a fucking forensics expert.

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orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
Your posts are from the point of view of one who trusts authority.

Perhaps, but it's more that my posts are from the point of view of an introvert who works in government and knows how utterly toxic the demand for instant answers can be.

My job is driven by analysis, and while sometimes we have to work quickly it's never preferable and always make me nervous about the quality of the work. And I often feel that part of my job is to check whether other people have thought things through properly.

The answer is frequently no. Very recently I had a situation where something had to be completed in the space of one day, and one of the most frustrating things about it was that a couple of hours of the morning were occupied by getting people to wind back ideas that were flat out erroneous. I'm very glad that I had the whole day, and not less than that, and didn't have people demanding that I just type what they wanted me to type, because what they wanted me to type was wrong.

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orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
Actually I equally googled and found the ballistics reports and initial police reports - both linked to this document. The first police report wanted to charge Zimmerman with manslaughter.

Thanks CK. A couple of times in there it says something about being consistent with a "contact shot".

Which according to Wikipedia
means what I think it means.

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Posts: 18173 | From: Under | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged
Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
However, if Martin was above Zimmerman how would you explain the absence of large quantities of blood on Zimmerman?

I wouldn't. I'd ask a fucking forensics expert.
If it was a court of law, sure. If we were actually trying to work out what happened, of course. But, we're not doing any of that. That's been done, the jury concluded there was insufficient evidence for a murder conviction. We're not going to do any better, and there's no point even trying. That's so obvious I'm not sure it needs to be pointed out.

What we are doing is moaning about a state of affairs where the prevalence of guns, and the casual acceptance of carrying them when going on an errand to the shops, results in innocent people getting shot dead. We're moaning about a state of affairs where it is legally acceptable to use disproportionate force in self defence. About situations where someone can sell a weapon online to who-knows-who, and can profit from shooting someone. And, thrown into that are some complaints about the perception of police procedure when investigating a lethal shooting (in the context of which we get into what was reported and public statements by the police, because no one apart from those directly concerns reads the court transcripts), an apparent casualness about responding to a shooting that in most of the world would be a major investigation.

And, we're moaning about a particular incident, because we can't moan about 30,000 of them. 30,000 people shot is too big a number to be anything other than a horrendous statistic, it's too big to have a human face. Trayvon Martin we can relate to, a kid walking home from the store with a pocket full of candy is someone we recognise. Most of us have been that kid walking from the store with a pocketful of candy. We all recognise that his death was wrong. And, we all recognise that it wouldn't have happened if there were sensible laws about who can own guns, how they are stored, that they are not carried around on a simple errand etc

I'm having a moan because I'm not wanting to work myself up to a rant. Besides which, as was said earlier, we're nit-picking because fundamentally we're agreeing with each other and no one is coming along and saying something outrageously stupid that we can rip into.

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Posts: 32413 | From: East Kilbride (Scotland) or 福島 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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No, what you, specifically, are doing, is making up your own version of the EVIDENCE. This isn't just about a court of law, this is about you fucking well deciding that you can't be arsed with something like the official reports.

Why the fuck does the scientific evidence about a contact shot suddenly change outside a court of law? That's got fucking NOTHING to do with onus of proof. At all.

You've watched too many TV shows where blood spatters everywhere and have decided that a CHEST SHOT ought to produce blood going everywhere just like the head shots too.

It's totally possible to mount an argument that Zimmerman was in the moral wrong when he shot Martin. But how the fuck do you bolster that argument by wilfully ignoring physical evidence to make it look as if Zimmerman behaved more badly? How is that any different to the doctoring of the phone call to make him look more racist?

Fuck me Alan but you're being a total moron right now. And you're proving absolutely everything about why we have courts of law in the first place. So that your "gut feel" that someone is in the wrong based on what you saw on a television screen doesn't twist things like scientific evidence about how close the shot was.

[ 21. May 2016, 09:25: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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You were the one that had said I needed to watch more TV shows to learn about how the law works. Now I've watched too many? Can we have it one way or the other?

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orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
You were the one that had said I needed to watch more TV shows to learn about how the law works. Now I've watched too many? Can we have it one way or the other?

No. Because logically there's no difference between you being wrong because you know nothing and you being wrong because you think you know more than you actually do.

Seriously, I cannot believe that you, a person I consider to have scientific knowledge, are just making shit up about the distance of the shot and then saying "hey, it doesn't matter because we're not in a court room". You simply don't fucking care about finding out what actually happened because you've decided you know what the judgment should be.

It's one thing to argue the morals of the case. It's quite another to just invent random shit about how you "know" Martin wasn't on top of Zimmerman in your desperation to prove you've won the moral argument.

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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Of course we need courts to review the evidence, and juries to make decisions about whether that evidence passes a test of "beyond all reasonable doubt". Who has denied that?

The petition started by the family of Trayvon Martin was nothing to do with the verdict delivered by the court. It was that someone had decided that the courts didn't need to see the evidence at all. Or, at the least that their actions had created that perception. And, of course, it also links into the whole pile of crap that is race relations in the US.

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Posts: 32413 | From: East Kilbride (Scotland) or 福島 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Seriously, I cannot believe that you ... are just making shit up about the distance of the shot

In regard to the distance of the shot, all I've said is that the media reports I'd seen had said that it was very close range, within a few inches of Martins' chest. As far as I'm aware all the more detailed information you've spent your time digging out has said more or less the same thing.

And, as you know in this area I'm as much a layperson as anyone else who isn't a forensics expert. That I have particular knowledge in one field of science doesn't make me an expert where the extent of my studies has been watching a few crime dramas and the occasional TV documentary.

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Posts: 32413 | From: East Kilbride (Scotland) or 福島 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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Oh come off it. That is NOT all you've said. I wouldn't be wasting my evening on this if that was all you tried to convey. You've specifically proposed a scenario where Martin was backing away. You've specifically argued THEY WERE NOT CLOSE TO EACH OTHER.

It seems it's not enough for you for Zimmerman to have been wrong to have followed Martin in the first place and to there have been a confrontation.

No, now you have to bolster the wrong by telling us you're sure that Martin wasn't on top of Zimmerman at the time of the shot.

That's what I find outrageous. Again I ask: how this is any different to the doctoring of the phone call that was done to make Zimmerman look more racist?

If he's guilty (in a moral sense, let's forget the court room), you should be able to argue that from the things we can be confident about. Not make stuff up to bolster your position. If you want to claim the moral high ground, you're choosing a damn funny way to reach it.

[ 21. May 2016, 09:50: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
Trayvon Martin we can relate to, a kid walking home from the store with a pocket full of candy is someone we recognise. Most of us have been that kid walking from the store with a pocketful of candy.

And what did most of us do if we saw a man on the way home?

I am seriously sick of a narrative that equates Trayvon Martin with... some kind of sweet 8-year-old. It's completely fucking disingenuous.

I am sick of the notion that being a "kid" makes him inherently harmless. I am sick of the notion that being unarmed makes him inherently harmless. It's total bullshit. Yes, not having a weapon is relevant, but to equate that to him being some kind of helpless victim? No.

And I am really sick of the repeated idiocy that says that what he bought at a store has the slightest relevance. People can rob banks with candy in their pockets. They can rape women with candy in their pockets. They can siphon off millions of dollars from bank accounts while chewing gum. It is a stupid piece of detail inserted purely for emotive effect. I don't care whether he had candy, cigarettes, condoms, cheese or coriander in his pocket.

[ 21. May 2016, 10:11: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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Hiro's Leap

Shipmate
# 12470

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What I found frustrating about Zimmerman etc is how reluctant people have been to modify their views in the light of new information, and how instead dissenters have been attacked (often as racists). There was almost no acknowledgement that it was a mistake to think of Martin as a helpless child or to dismiss Zimmerman's injuries; and that having been entirely wrong on such key issues maybe we ought to have a bit of soul-searching and be careful about jumping to conclusions in future.

Not only did this not happen, the exact situation repeated itself in Fergusson. As a strong progressive (at the time) I found it unnerving to watch my side show all the same biases that I'd attributed to conservatives.

Part of the problem is that initial impressions make a gigantic difference, as spin doctors know. If we'd seen Zimmerman's bloody face and smashed nose at the start then there'd have been no widespread outcry, but once the idea of him as a monster became fixed it was very hard to dislodge. It's even tougher when political enemies take the opposite position - then you end up with very smart people like Alan making terrible arguments about blood splatter and considering them conclusive. Or countless others who were wrong about Zimmerman's beating but are still 100% sure he's wicked.

(orfeo, in case you have any spare reading time I again recommend Thinking, Fast and Slow. It talks about these issues.)

Posts: 3418 | From: UK, OK | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged
Hiro's Leap

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# 12470

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quote:
Originally posted by Doublethink.:
It was still a significantly disproportionate reaction. [...] It is defensible to kill to prevent yourself or someone else dying, this is not the same thing as killing someone in case they break your nose.

Hi Doublethink,

I agree, but Zimmerman testified that Martin was going for his gun. I'm not entirely convinced - it seems just likely that he panicked and went for it himself. But there's no physical evidence either way, and considering how much of the rest of Zimmerman's story panned out, I'm prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt. YMMV. Either way, it seems likely that Zimmerman was genuinely terrified.

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Oh come off it. That is NOT all you've said. I wouldn't be wasting my evening on this if that was all you tried to convey. You've specifically proposed a scenario where Martin was backing away. You've specifically argued THEY WERE NOT CLOSE TO EACH OTHER.

I've said very little about the distance between them, except that they were close enough for the gun muzzle to be no more than a few inches from Martin - which puts them at arms length and no more. On an assumption, that may be incorrect, that a hole in the chest would result in a lot of blood and that gravity wasn't suspended (a more likely to be correct assumption) I did say that it seemed very unlikely that the situation reported by witnesses just before the gun shot (Zimmerman on the ground, Martin above him) was still the situation when the gun was fired. Of course, if a gunshot wound in the chest doesn't result in blood falling towards the ground then I could be wrong. So, IF I'm right and the struggle between the two had resulted in a slightly different geometry then the claim (made by others equally unqualified to comment as I am) that it was clearly self-defence because Martin was on top of Zimmerman pounding him with his fists is unsound.

Yes, I speculated (and, clearly so) that one of the possibilities was that after giving him a good thump on the nose Martin considered that that was enough. But, when it comes down to it there is no evidence - even if someone had got a camera out and videod the fight and gunshot we would still have zip on what Martin was thinking.

quote:
That's what I find outrageous. Again I ask: how this is any different to the doctoring of the phone call that was done to make Zimmerman look more racist?
In part because I've not tried to pretend I'm anyone other than a not very well informed layman speculating. If someone actually thinks I'm putting forward anything other than speculation they're more of a moron than you're accusing me of being. Doctoring a phone call is deliberate deception, or an attempt at that anyway.


quote:
If he's guilty (in a moral sense, let's forget the court room), you should be able to argue that from the things we can be confident about. Not make stuff up to bolster your position. If you want to claim the moral high ground, you're choosing a damn funny way to reach it.
I don't really need to justify that it is morally wrong to kill another human being. "Though shalt not kill" rather covers that. Of course, the law has to take a slightly different line than my morality, and I'm fine with that (I'd actually be deeply concerned if my moral code was somehow decided to be the arbiter of the law). So, I can say that the shooting of anyone is morally wrong, while accepting that it may be legal (and, that would be a decision of the courts).

Apart from a few very evident diversions into speculation what I have said has been based on what is generally agreed. Zimmerman saw a kid walking down the road in the rain, and for some reason (unfathomable to me) decided this looked suspicious. He called the police to report it. He followed Martin, obviously not very subtly since the phone call says that Martin saw him and looked directly at Zimmerman, and the account of his girlfriend who was talking to at the time supports that. Martin (possibly unwisely as it happens, but teenagers aren't renowned for wisdom) decided to run - which IMO isn't unreasonable when someone starts to obviously tail you. A few minutes later after a gap in the evidence (so what happened between is unknown) the two are fighting, on the ground, Zimmerman gets a punch in the face and his head hits concrete. Another short gap in the evidence, and Zimmerman fires the fatal shot from close range. Any disagreement with that outline of the facts?

What I have speculated on is what might have happened in those two gaps in the evidence. How did the two meet up again? What caused things to escalate to punches getting thrown? What happened that allowed Zimmerman to get his gun out and shoot Martin? I doubt even Zimmerman would be able to fill out the full story.

Am I trying to bolster my moral position? I didn't think so, but maybe you read my posts as doing so. According to my moral position, it is wrong that Martin is dead, it is wrong for someone to kill someone else, it may be morally less wrong to kill to prevent yourself/someone else being killed (which requires an instant judgement on the likelihood of that happening, and therefore some accommodation for mistakes), it is certainly morally wrong to use lethal force to defend against a lesser offence - whether that's injury or theft. I've stated that before, and no one has really questioned it. If you really want to discuss whether there are occasions on which it isn't morally wrong to kill someone, perhaps you can start such a discussion.

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Posts: 32413 | From: East Kilbride (Scotland) or 福島 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by Hiro's Leap:
very smart people like Alan making terrible arguments about blood splatter and considering them conclusive.

Just for the record, I made no argument about blood splatter. I made a comment about blood falling from a wound, I know enough (from CSI and Dexter) to know that those are different phenomena. And, I never claimed anything conclusive, just speculatively that I found it incredible that if Martin was leaning over/kneeling on Zimmerman when he was shot that the wound didn't bleed and the blood didn't fall onto Zimmerman. So incredible infact that I suggested it more likely that Martin was not, at that moment, leaning over/kneeling on Zimmerman. But, what do I know. I'm just some moron who watches too much and too little TV.

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Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.

Posts: 32413 | From: East Kilbride (Scotland) or 福島 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Hiro's Leap:
What I found frustrating about Zimmerman etc is how reluctant people have been to modify their views in the light of new information, and how instead dissenters have been attacked (often as racists). There was almost no acknowledgement that it was a mistake to think of Martin as a helpless child or to dismiss Zimmerman's injuries; and that having been entirely wrong on such key issues maybe we ought to have a bit of soul-searching and be careful about jumping to conclusions in future.

Not only did this not happen, the exact situation repeated itself in Fergusson. As a strong progressive (at the time) I found it unnerving to watch my side show all the same biases that I'd attributed to conservatives.

Part of the problem is that initial impressions make a gigantic difference, as spin doctors know. If we'd seen Zimmerman's bloody face and smashed nose at the start then there'd have been no widespread outcry, but once the idea of him as a monster became fixed it was very hard to dislodge. It's even tougher when political enemies take the opposite position - then you end up with very smart people like Alan making terrible arguments about blood splatter and considering them conclusive. Or countless others who were wrong about Zimmerman's beating but are still 100% sure he's wicked.

(orfeo, in case you have any spare reading time I again recommend Thinking, Fast and Slow. It talks about these issues.)

I wishlisted it when you mentioned it previously.

You've hit exactly on all my frustrations about this stuff. I won't claim I'm immune to jumping to conclusions and holding biases - far from it - but it truly alarms me how much of the world is locked into first impressions, and I think it's getting worse. People become notorious over something on social media and it's the end of them.

And part of why it's so scary is because media reporting is so shit. I've lost count of the number of times that I've been frustrated because a story is incomplete and it's impossible to get better information because everyone is just repeating the same thing in an echo chamber, and that's just the times I'm aware of it.

Martin and Zimmerman isn't a story, it's a meme. And so is so much of what passes for news these days. We want everything reduced to one-liners that can be replicated in an image shared on Facebook. And I do share images on Facebook, but the world is so much more than what can be expressed in a GIF.

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
I don't really need to justify that it is morally wrong to kill another human being. "Though shalt not kill" rather covers that.

It does if you accept that as an accurate translation. What a pity the Bible also has a considerable number of bits about putting people to death.

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Doublethink.
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# 1984

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by Doublethink.:
For a start, if he had a hand free to use a pistol, he could have used it to block, or to punch the boy the face - or in the bollocks which might have been more effective than the face. Or he could have headbutted him.

There are more options than kill, or lie still and scream.

What other options there are is irrelevant, under the law of many countries including your own.

The question is whether the option chosen is reasonable. Now, I accept what you said in the post before this one: there are certainly valid arguments that shooting is a disproportionate response. In some cultures it might be seen as more "proportionate" than others.

But a list of other things that Zimmerman might have done is not relevant to the law in the USA or in the UK or in Australia. Because what you can come up with after the fact is hardly any guide to what someone would come up with in the situation. You have all the time in the world to compose your thoughts and point out better options. He didn't.

The options are relevant, because they form the context for a jury to decide what is a proportionate response. What people may actually do, as opposed to what it is lawful for them to do is the metaphysical gap in which crimes occur.

My point about the options I listed is they are not complex, and they are things I believe would occur to a reasonable person in that situation.

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All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

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Twilight

Puddleglum's sister
# 2832

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It really is odd that the Zimmerman/Martin case has sparked international outrage, while thousands of cases of gun violence barely make the news.

Here's an example of another African-America 17 year-old involved in a murder case. Even though it's in my area I wouldn't even have been aware of it if I hadn't happened to catch it on the local news last night. Our gun problems go far beyond a questionable self-defense case. Here.

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Curiosity killed ...

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# 11770

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But the police report that came with the ballistics report recommended Zimmerman be charged with manslaughter, so this isn't all community outrage and internet meme, although the demonisation is an unnecessary added extra.

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Alan Cresswell

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# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
It really is odd that the Zimmerman/Martin case has sparked international outrage, while thousands of cases of gun violence barely make the news.

It happens all the time, the media focus on one story at the expense of others.

What marks Zimmerman out as different? Many gun deaths are directly linked to crime, a group of addicts getting shot in a crack house comes under the banner of criminal activity or gang violence. Martin was unarmed and not involved in any criminal activity, at least up until the point he started to punch Zimmerman. What really made Zimmerman different was the response afterwards, by whatever accident of timing (maybe it was a slow news day) or roll of the dice the petition got noticed. It caught a particular mood in the country as a string of videos appeared of police over zealousness in handling black suspects, with a string of stories of black (usually) young men dying in police custody, and the #BlackLivesMatter hit the mood of a large proportion of the population and went viral. But, it would have remained largely forgotten, a footnote in history related to the origin of the hashtag, if Zimmerman hadn't made a big thing of selling the gun.

And, as I said before the statistics are too big for most people to comprehend. We comprehend putting faces to the issue, we need to bring these things down to a human scale. It's not just gun violence, any massive tragedy is the same - an earthquake that kills thousands is widely reported, but it's the stories of individuals (a few among thousands) desperately digging through the remains of their house for a missing child that catch our hearts and emotions. An accident of timing with relation to what else was happening in the US and the world at the time, and it was the face of Trayvon Martin that was the individual who represents the thousands of others.

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Twilight

Puddleglum's sister
# 2832

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Another harmless teenager. The idea that Zimmerman was foolish to be afraid of one so young is -- foolish.

here.

It makes me wonder why we're even talking about the Zimmerman case again when this is a thread about the endless, daily, needless deaths that happen because Americans can't part with their beloved guns. They think the constitution is more holy than the word of God. Their daddies took them hunting when they were four and it's a great memory, they love their collection, they like rubbing the oil into the shaft, they think target practice is the most exciting thing ever, they belong to gun clubs when no other clubs would have them, they think it's a sport when they're too out of shape for real sports, they only feel safe with their guns, they only feel like men with their guns. And the result is innocent people and real children die every day.

Posts: 6817 | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged



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