'Stand Your Ground' foe wrong about cowardice
August 06, 2013 10:46 PM | 1182 views | 1 1 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Dave Young, letter writer of “Cowards with guns will always be afraid,” Thursday’s MDJ, needs to consider who he is calling cowards. No doubt many of his neighbors own guns and several probably have Concealed Carry licenses. I believe the number of Georgians with Concealed Carry licenses is nearly 700,000.

One category of FBI crime statistics alone is enough to make anyone consider purchasing a firearm. Home Invasions average 71,000 annually, an average of 1,420 per state. More-populous states will have more than lightly populated states. Larger cities will obviously have more than small towns.

Young claims the “Stand Your Ground” laws are “nothing more than a license to kill without consequence.” When a person is attacked, the SYG laws enable that person to defend him/her self, loved ones and domicile. Lacking the SYG, the victim could be required to retreat to avoid trouble if at all possible. That comes much closer to an accurate definition of cowardice than to prepare oneself for the unanticipated possibility of defending oneself against a superior attacking force.

I should point out, very few gunshot wounds are fatal, a fact to which I can, happily, personally attest. Only the fatal ones make the news. However, non-fatal ones usually have the effect of stopping whatever activity in which one was engaged.

While there are many who believe George Zimmerman intended to kill Trayvon Martin, it seems to me it would be difficult to aim a gun accurately lying on your back with another person sitting on your chest pounding your head on a concrete sidewalk. My only desire would be to get the person off me and stop the head-pounding. I suspect Mr. Zimmerman’s intent was along those lines.

The same edition of the MDJ carried a Page One story about four teens who are accused of beating a 36 year-old man, leaving him lying unconscious in the road where he was struck and killed by a vehicle. If Joshua Chellew had been armed, the outcome may have been different. There were witnesses both in and outside the gas station where the incident occurred. If any one of them had been legally armed and had chosen to step in, Mr. Chellew would be alive today and the four 18 year olds would not be facing murder charges. On the other hand, an unarmed concerned citizen who intervened might have joined Mr. Chellew lying on the pavement of a highway.

Young made a snide remark about how SYG laws “are nothing more than laws to promote the carrying and use of firearms without any state of or civil recourse by conservative legislatures in Republican-controlled states.” He evidently would prefer to live in a Democrat-controlled state where only criminals are armed.

As for me, I appreciate the logical thinking of a majority Republican state.

Bill Stafford


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Junior Samples
August 07, 2013
The problem has been the focus on irrelevant arguments – some of which are actually unsupported by the evidence.

1. ‘GZ racially profiled TM’ There is no evidence of this.

2. ‘GZ disobeyed an order by the police’ * The civilian dispatcher, Sean Noffke, testified that he did not give GZ an order and, in fact, he, like his fellow dispatchers, are trained not make comments that sound like commands. * Noffke also testified under cross that, as a result of his asking GZ which way TM was going, GZ could have reasonably interpreted this as being asked to follow Martin. * It is also not a crime in Florida to disregard a comment made by a civilian dispatcher.

3. ‘GZ got out of his car’ Not a crime on public property and not negligent either.

4. ‘GZ followed TM’ Again, anyone can follow anyone on a public street unless the followee has obtained a restraining order against the follower and even there, the RS only places time, place, and manner restrictions on the person enjoined.

5. ‘GZ wasn’t really injured’ * Under Florida’s self-defense laws, one doesn’t have to be injured AT ALL to use deadly force * No one is required to refrain from defending himself while another is engaged in or attempting to commit a felony.

6. ‘TM is dead through no fault of his own’ * If you believe that TM assaulted GZ, then he IS dead as a result of his own actions.

7. ‘GZ could have left’ * Under Florida law, there is not a duty to withdraw rather than use deadly force * TM was straddling GZ so how the latter was supposed to leave the scene is unanswered.

8. ‘GZ was armed and TM wasn’t’ * One’s fists can be considered weapons and can result in severe bodily harm or death. * GZ was legally carrying a weapon * There is no requirement under the law that the same weapon be used by the assailant * A homeowner can kill an intruder whether or not he has been threatened * Those that attack cannot feign surprise if they are met with superior firepower.

9. ‘Stand Your Ground!’ * SYG is NOT at issue in this trial. * The defense is a classic self-defense case.

10. ‘Black men NEVER get to use SYG!’ * Wrong http://tinyurl.com/nboht35

11. ‘GZ is a man and TM was a boy!’ * As if ‘boys’ don’t commit murder, rape, and assault everyday in this country.

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