Sunday, July 14, 2013

Justice for Trayvon Martin!

Justice for Trayvon Martin is pretty popular right now.

Everyone wants to hold George Zimmerman accountable for his actions.  George's actions, that can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, are:
1. driving around looking for trouble while armed.
2. seeing a young black kid and deciding to follow him on foot.
3. upsetting that young man in some way.
4. Getting his own ass kicked.
5. Shooting that kid to death.

Laws broken?  I don't know Florida laws all that well.  Harassment?  Based on race?

I think the law you'd like to have is "acting like a cop when you're not a cop."  It's generally not a good idea to pretend to be a cop.  Though I nitpick at the concept, the reality is the police have authority and training to do things you don't.  Things like harassing kids while armed.  This leads to two things: 1. the kids don't generally wind up fighting them and 2. they don't usually fight the kids for acting like brats- they just arrest them.

Not always, but much of the time.

But if you're not a cop, the kid has no reason to treat you with any respect, and in fact is wholly in the right to tell you to fuck off, and strike you if you won't, because frankly, you're being a creep.

Buuuuut- if he's successfully beating you into unconsciousness, you do get to use that gun.

What bothers the masses is that you brought the gun and created a situation where you needed it.  That seems unfair.  It is unfair.  But there's no law there.  You could pass a law that says: A person armed with a gun may not initiate confrontations (except when defending another from great bodily injury (meaning a beating with a pool cue) or something- if you see your kid getting smacked around in a normal fight, put your gun down first before you intervene.  you'll thank me later).  Or something.  Make the punishment 20 years.  I'm a gun owner, I think that's a legitimate idea.  Guns are for protection, or for violating the law.  They shouldn't be available to people to use to play cop.  That's a bad idea.  Trayvon is what you get.

Beyond the event, you get a lot of people bringing up stereotyping and profiling.  First- I think it is sweet that so many white people are upset about this, but the reality is you can't fix it without making it unlawful for an officer to detain a person without probable cause.  And you guys are going to whine so much if that ever happens.  Just like the police whine about the idea.

Of course, the reality is that Terry stops don't really get a lot done, they often end in constitutional violations.  My understanding is that police presence is what is shown to prevent crime best, not having them harass the suspicious.

And how does that relate to George?  He's not a cop.  He was playing cop.  Even if you changed that law, you'd never come up with a law that could stop average people from acting on suspicions.

But you might come up with something to stop them from playing cop.  That's about as close as Trayvon is ever going to come to justice.


  1. I don't agree with you, but you make a good argument. The thing is that you're stating that Zimmerman was pretending or acting like he was a cop and you can't possibly know that. Only Zimmerman knows that, and he denies that was the case.

    Without rehashing a lot of stable dressing, Martin ended up on top of Zimmerman pounding Zimmerman's head against the pavement. How long would you, personally, put up with that before you shoot Martin? Me, I wouldn't put up with it at all.

    1. Are you saying that regardless of party A's conduct, once party B begins inflicting great bodily harm party A has a right to kill? You don't see this is inviting people to pick fights, start losing, and kill the intended victim? There are many ways to construct self defense laws. Your idea would be one extreme. Another is you can never kill, and only use "reasonable" force, and run if the circumstances allow it. I tend toward your view, but at the end of the day, I do not want my children to be possibly murdered by some belligerent asshole and let off because my kids are trained in martial arts and the dipshit was just a jerk with a gun.

    2. I'm out of step with most of the world, and no, I don't see it that way. Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins, so if you don't want to get shot - do not damage my proboscis.

      Unfortunately for the rest of us, there are a lot of belligerent assholes in this world. Some of them go out looking for a fight just because they can, they're likely to win and they enjoy fighting. What you should ask yourself is: Are my kids, who are trained in MA and presumably do a lot of sparing and maybe some full contact, are my kids going to act like belligerent assholes? Because if the answer is 'Hell no!', you've got nothing to worry about.

      Or at least very little to worry about, because your kids aren't as sensible, as respectful of authority and the rights of others and as obedient to their elders as we were when we were kids. Right?

    3. I think the only way your system works is if everyone is armed. Otherwise, if party A with a gun starts a fight with party B that doesn't, and party B starts winning that fight, party B will die. Thus, party B has no right to defend himself against anyone with a gun, or at least has no right to do it well.