Why I am an atheist – Michael A Pipkin »« Those randy ancients

We surely do have a screwed-up country

Jesse Taylor tells a story about growing up black in America.

There’s a reason that Trayvon Martin’s story hits me so hard. When you’re thirteen and threatened with a bullet through the chest for getting your braces tightened, it teaches you how the world works, and does it in a hurry.

Or you could just read everything you were afraid to find out about the Trayvon Martin murder.

Comments

  1. mikmik says

    That’s premeditated murder.
    That’s what gun freaks say never will happen, because all gun owners are so responsible.

  2. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    I was reading Crommunist’s post about this (link), and some interesting points were made, that I have thought about after reading your second link.

    6. Martin’s English teacher described him as “as an A and B student who majored in cheerfulness.”

    I understand that these things are brought out in order to make us feel compassion, but there is the other side of the coin. If he had not been a good student, or if he had been bullied or depressed, would he deserve any less compassion? And would the case be as wide known as this one is, or maybe it would be pushed under the rug as so many other were because we wouldn’t have a “perfect victim” who didn’t deserve to be shot.

    7. Martin had no criminal record.

    Similar to the previous point.
    Zimmerman wouldn’t be able to know this, so it would make no difference to his decision. But if Martin had had a criminal record, I’m pretty sure chances of charges against Zimmerman being brought would be even smaller. Like, non-existent.

    Definitely read Crommunist’s post. He explains the “perfect victim” theory, and it’s generally one of his brilliant posts.

  3. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Damn, I guess you’re right Beatrice! His English teacher shouldn’t have made such an endearing tribute to him.

    Don’t be an ass, I don’t have anything against his teacher or anyone else saying nice thing about Trayvon. I’m not saying that Trayvon’s positive attributes shouldn’t be mentioned. Just that they are not pertinent to the case itself. The implications are that if Trayvon wasn’t such a nice boy, and most importantly – if he had a criminal record, the whole thing would be developing differently. And that’s not ok. Not because Trayvon Martin is treated by the media in a positive light (that’s good), but because many other (black!) boys are treated like shit. Because they are not a “good” enough victim and because they “deserve” being shot and killed. Another example : just think about rape victims acting in a certain way or having a past that prevents them from being seen as “real” rape victims instead of lying sluts. Similar thing goes for situations when the guy shot for no reason needs to be “pure” enough so that his death isn’t excused as something that he “deserved”.
    (sorry for all the “”, it got a bit out of hand)

    I know I’m not the best at expressing myself, so if I wasn’t clear, I would recommend you to read Crommunist’s post.

  4. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    I don’t know, maybe I’m terribly off base here.
    I’m glad so many people are supporting Trayvon’s family in their demand for justice for their son. I hope they succeed. I can’t do much from here, so I just signed the petition.
    It would be even better if this case brought some significant change to how racist crimes are treated in US. But it looks like, even if this case results in a conviction against Zimmerman, it will be an outlier. That one case when the victim was good enough to get justice. All the others are just criminals who would have gotten shot either way at some point in life, so what’s the problem if it happens sooner rather than later?

  5. d cwilson says

    Beatrice does have a point. Trayvon Martin is hardly the first case of a killer invoking the “Stand you ground” law as justification. But the media was never going to rally behind say, a shootout between two gang members.

    The American media is not about providing the public with information. It hasn’t been for decades now. Today, it’s all about selling an entertaining story. Like all good stories, you need a hero, a villain, and a victim. For the narrative to sell, the victim must be perceived as being blameless or the story shifts, making the victim into the villain and the narrative becomes how they deserved what they got.

    Just ask Nancy Kerrigan how fast the media can turn on a victim if they perceive you are no longer worthy of their sympathy.

  6. Brownian says

    That’s what gun freaks say never will happen, because all gun owners are so responsible.

    Correction: not all gun owners. Just the one you happen to be talking to at the moment.

  7. says

    I think the ‘stand your ground’ law is being used as a scapegoat here, because a reasonable look at the law shows it doesn’t actually apply to the case. Stand your ground laws serve a necessary function, and as someone who has dealt with both a stalker and toxic family members, I’ve been in a position where I needed such a law. But ‘law enforcement’ gets antsy whenever people start getting the notion that they can defend themselves and thus maybe not have to put up with the asinine behavior that has become so commonplace with the police.

    If anything, anti-stalking laws should be coming into play because the murderer admits to following the victim.

    I think back to how terrible the cops were in my hometown. I got my shoulder dislocated for the crime of being in my front yard without my ID on me. He asked for my ID, I said okay and turned around to go get it, and he grabbed me and slammed me into the fence. I was a kid. I was arrested for ‘resisting arrest’ for the crime of walking hand in hand with my black boyfriend. My charges got thrown out quickly. My boyfriend had to spend the night in jail and very nearly ended up with a criminal record. No one ever told us what we were being arrested for when we ‘resisted’.

    The problem isn’t the stand your ground law. The problem is some cops are nothing more than thugs with a badge and racist, sexist, homophobic bigots to boot. The stand your ground option is needed because sometimes, calling the cops just makes a situation worse for everyone involved, if they even bother to show up in the first place.

  8. stephenillsley says

    My wife and I attended the Al Sharpton rally last night up in Sanford. Good crowd, 8,000-10,000 people probably. Audio could have been better quality, especially since the speakers were trying to be heard over four news helicopters in the air. The speakers (the ones we could hear) were touching, inspiring.

    It was a little bit embarrassing to be among the small % of white people there. Come on, people, this is an issue that affects us all!

  9. says

    Andrew Cohen at The Atlantic posted this update on the Trayvon Martin case:

    Update 5:20 p.m. We’ve just learned from the Sanford Police that there is evidently a typo on the first page of the neighborhood watch calls report they provided. The date range of Zimmerman’s calls, they say, evidently is 2001-2012, not 2011-2012, which means his 46 calls came over a 10- to 11-year period — roughly four calls per year — and not four calls per month as the initial police statistics revealed. That certainly changes my early analysis on that issue — but only slightly. The defense would say that 4 calls a year to dispatch is reasonable. Prosecutors would say that 46 calls is still an awful lot and that making all those calls year in and year out might have heightened Zimmerman’s frustration/obsession with people he deemed “suspicious.”

    Unfortunately, the Sanford Police Department has been less than credible here–so it can’t just be assumed that this new report is accurate. And if it is accurate, I think Cohen is right to imply it’s still enough to suggest that Zimmerman is a nutcase.

  10. says

    Fuck the laws of any jurisdiction that protects the person (and I use this term VERY loosely) who executes someone for Skittle-ing and Hoodie-ing while black. In another thread I was corrected for being optimistic enough to hope that things cannot possibly get worse. They got fucking worse, and with more laws that are so moronic and beyond reason being drawn up by mouth-breathing, shit-for-brains, Jeebus’ ass-slobbering slackjaws, it will only get biliously worse.

    Louis Farrakhan has suggested that a reverse vigilante action is the only way of bringing justice about. Guess how that is going to be spun in the press and how things are going to go for racial harmony in the next few weeks, months, years? Florida’s stupidity has opened up multiple bags of worms, shit and bullets for the entire country. Well done, useless, dangling, sorry excuse for a state, well done.

  11. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Well, when you can’t find anything else to pin on the victim, it’s always safe to go with their clothes.
    Works for rape victims, and apparently minorities.

    Question: So, a white kid under the hoodie appears more or less intimidating than a black kid without one, or hoodies just don’t work like that when it comes to white people?

  12. FilthyHuman says

    @Beatrice
    #15

    Question: So, a white kid under the hoodie appears more or less intimidating than a black kid without one, or hoodies just don’t work like that when it comes to white people?

    Well, in Assassin’s Creed, people with hoods can kill everyone around them people by just nodding at birds.

    OMG! Assassin’s Creed is the one responsible! It made Zimmerman fearful of all hooded people!

  13. janine says

    Beatrice, I thought the answer was obvious; the darker the skin of the person wearing the hoodie, the scarier the hoodie becomes.

    At a certain point of darkness, a person is justified to shoot in self defense.

  14. julietdefarge says

    I keep hearing that there’s some contention about who’s calling for help. Since there’s a tape (or digital record,) can’t that easily be compared to recordings of Zimmerman and Martin?

  15. Anri says

    I understand that these things are brought out in order to make us feel compassion, but there is the other side of the coin. If he had not been a good student, or if he had been bullied or depressed, would he deserve any less compassion? And would the case be as wide known as this one is, or maybe it would be pushed under the rug as so many other were because we wouldn’t have a “perfect victim” who didn’t deserve to be shot.

    Well, I think the case could be made that stories of a student with a history of poor attendance, disruptive behavior, and legal trouble might have helped to play into the repulsive narrative Zimmerman’s trying to sell.

    It does not necessarily have anything to do with the level of sympathy or compassion for the victim, but goes a long way in undermining the “Oh gawd he was a drug-dealin’, gun-totin’, thug-lifin’ BLACK GUY I WUZ SO SCARED!” bullshit we’re hearing from the shooter. So long as our legal standard pretty much boils down to “This guy made me nervous”, it seems reasonable to examine if the victim might make a sane someone nervous.

    That being said, I think this is actually far more on target about the reason we’re seeing this:

    The American media is not about providing the public with information. It hasn’t been for decades now. Today, it’s all about selling an entertaining story. Like all good stories, you need a hero, a villain, and a victim. For the narrative to sell, the victim must be perceived as being blameless or the story shifts, making the victim into the villain and the narrative becomes how they deserved what they got.

    So, I agree partially (mostly) with you, Beatrice, just a minor quibble or two.

  16. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    I was just trying to be sarcastic by asking if a white kid with a hoodie is more or less dangerous than a black kid without one.

  17. Anri says

    I was just trying to be sarcastic by asking if a white kid with a hoodie is more or less dangerous than a black kid without one.

    No, no, what makes the hoodie scary is that you can’t tell if the person you’re heroically confronting from behind is flagged SHOOT-OK (dark skinned) or !SHOOT-OK (light skinned).

    That’s what makes hoodies to terrifying: the horrible errors that might be made in shooting a white kid or – even worse – leaving a black kid unshot.

  18. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    *facepalm*

    Although, I do love the unintentional irony of this idiot mentioning Johnny Cash’s lyrics “don’t take your gun to town son, leave your gun at home”… while referring to the hoodie (?!). Because things would have definitely turned out different if Zimmerman had listened to that particular advice.

  19. says

    I keep hearing that there’s some contention about who’s calling for help. Since there’s a tape (or digital record,) can’t that easily be compared to recordings of Zimmerman and Martin?

    That might well be worth doing (though none of this stuff works as well it does on CSI). I’ve heard the recording, and one thing that sticks out is that the screams are high-pitched; I’ll be genuinely surprised if Zimmerman uttered them. If it was the boy, the implication (that he knew he was about to be killed) makes the whole sorry business even more horrible. What must his parents be suffering?

  20. jaranath says

    I keep thinking I shouldn’t be shocked by this. I know this happens. I know we aren’t THAT much better than we were. But goddammit I just can’t get this one out of my head. Maybe it’s because I know pathetic wannabes like (apparently) Zimmerman, but I keep coming back to the casual disregard on the authorities’ part. Which again, I already knew…

  21. robro says

    @jaranath — I think we should be shocked and horrified. Not because of any thought that racism was behind us, we know better, but because these things are still so much with us. Things like this go on far too often. As I believe Beatrice is suggesting, it too frequently goes unnoticed because the Black or Brown person who gets killed isn’t a nice kid but a troubled one with a not-so-squeeky clean record and the perpetrator isn’t a self-appointed neighborhood vigilante but the police. That difference should not excuse the implicit and explicit racism of the situation, but it effectively does.

    And, it’s not the “casual disregard” of the police that troubles me, but their “apparent” (and it seems pretty obvious) duplicity in Zimmerman’s crime, possibly because they identified him as a White, “outstanding citizen.”

    @Abdul — Yes, amazing in fact that anyone at the National Review would say anything remotely positive about Sharpton, particularly given the founder’s (William Buckley) rampant racism. Of course, Lowry goes on to hedge that admission by stating that Sharpton and his “usual complement of allies” (truly smug in the Buckley manner) by turning the case into a “wholesale indictment of American society” (more Buckley-ish apologetics). It is a wholesale indictment of American society, and only one of many.

    Oh, and the part about Zimmerman’s “mixed-race Hispanic” heritage that Lowry is loathe to point out is disingenuous because for one, “Hispanic” is a White sub-group, and second, the Sanford police identified Zimmerman as White and so probably treated him as White, not “mixed-race.” If his appearance had been more obviously Black or Brown then it’s not difficult to imagine the Sanford police having treated him quite a bit differently.

  22. says

    That story made me sick to my stomach. I couldn’t help but put myself in that poor kids shoes. And I can’t stop thinking about how scared he must have been during those last moments of his life. I’m seriously getting nervous/anxious and i can’t stop thinking about it. Makes me want to run and never stop.

  23. Evinfuilt says

    Want action, let Florida know where it counts.

    I’m faxing a letter to the Governor of Florida that I’m canceling my annual vacation to Orlando due to this event. Racism and Police Corruption can not be allowed in this country (or any.)

  24. unclefrogy says

    the thing that stands out for me is that Zimmerman felt justified in chasing someone down and confronting him. It was an “approved course of action” even with the comment by the 911 response dispatcher that he should not pursue him. There is no way that was self defense he was not standing his ground he was hunting!
    it is gratifying to see this story reach this level of coverage and I hope mr Zimmerman is not sleeping so well as he awaits for what must surely be coming.

    Will things change generally as a result of this case? would be nice wouldn’t it.

    uncle frogy

  25. Pteryxx says

    Pardon if someone covered this already:

    Question: So, a white kid under the hoodie appears more or less intimidating than a black kid without one, or hoodies just don’t work like that when it comes to white people?

    One of Crommunist’s commenters related a story of a white friend who inadvertently terrified some random black passerby by lowering his hoodie and showing his white, bald-shaven head. In retrospect, he realized he’d tripped the other guy’s skinhead alarm.

    Source

    So yeah, power disparity hoodies can work both ways…

  26. Pteryxx says

    Oh, and the part about Zimmerman’s “mixed-race Hispanic” heritage that Lowry is loathe to point out is disingenuous because for one, “Hispanic” is a White sub-group,

    Oh it is SO NOT. Hispanic’s nowhere near acceptable to white bigots; I get to hear “those people are so hardworking and grateful” all the time.

    and second, the Sanford police identified Zimmerman as White and so probably treated him as White, not “mixed-race.” If his appearance had been more obviously Black or Brown then it’s not difficult to imagine the Sanford police having treated him quite a bit differently.

    I agree with all this though.

  27. bksea says

    One of the things that scares me about this is suppose that Trayvon Martin was carrying a gun, confronted Zimmerman for following him, got into a scuffle, and killed Zimmerman. By my understanding, Martin would have been fully justified under the stand your ground law. He certainly in retrospect would have been reasonable to fear for his life.

    So what we have is a law where either person can shoot and kill the other without any legal repercussions. How can this possibly be a good idea?

  28. FilthyHuman says

    @bksea
    #34

    So what we have is a law where either person can shoot and kill the other without any legal repercussions. How can this possibly be a good idea?

    If your goal is population control…
    Of course, it may be more efficient to mandate that everyone should play the game of Russian Roulette when they’re born.

  29. snarkmatter says

    What I liked about the second link was the people touting this bullshit: “We weren’t there and don’t have all the facts. We shouldn’t be so quick to judge!”

    Fuckin’ idjits. Need only a few facts: Zimmerman had a gun and was told to stay away whereas Trayvon was carrying skittles and got shot. Pretty sure unarmed black teens don’t try to attack big scary white guys. Zimmerman disobeyed the dispatch and that could mean only one thing: he wanted to shoot him a black kid.

  30. Cranky Mechanic says

    I agree with snarkmatter, Zimmerman was on the hunt.

    Zimmerman never should have been issued a pistol permit either, with that resisting arrest and assault against an officer on his arrest record. (Note, arrest records are forever, even if you are not convicted, unless purged by court order.) That’s what the background check is all about every time you go to buy a firearm, and a concealed carry permit has it’s own background check requirements, including fingerprinting and being run through the law enforcement databases, and has to be directly signed off on by a judge or a sheriff before it’s valid if you have an arrest record. It’s looking like a lot of layers of Florida law enforcement failed Trayvon, and continues to fail him.

    But most of all, I would think that self-defense of any sort, whether or not it’s the “Stand Your Ground” law or not, would be negated by his stalking and confronting (while armed) an unarmed and smaller person. If anything, the SYG law would have applied to Trayvon.

    As an aside, does anyone know if Zimmerman was carrying his pistol concealed, or did he just have it with him at the time? Just a curiosity question, has nothing to do with the facts of the murder.

  31. Pteryxx says

    As an aside, does anyone know if Zimmerman was carrying his pistol concealed, or did he just have it with him at the time? Just a curiosity question, has nothing to do with the facts of the murder.

    Well, since Zimmerman initially followed in his car, wouldn’t all of him have started off ‘concealed’ ? I think it depends on what “concealed” versus “having it with him” actually means.

  32. tim rowledge, Ersatz Haderach says

    It’s not only the US which is screwed up. I know it makes the most headlines for it, but that’s life.
    And it’s not only skin colour that lets out the insanity in other people; you too, Mr NiceWhite, can – albeit briefly – experience a moment of stupid discrimination. All you need to do is dress differently to ‘normal’. A hoodie sweatshirt seems to be a good trigger these days. In my youth, carrying a motorcycle helmet – not even wearing it and thus hiding your face – was a good one. People appear to see the magical-difference-marker and not the human behind it. Just try it. If it doesn’t give you at least the faintest glimmer of empathy for how it might feel to be treated as ‘dangerous’ or ‘inferior’ for your whole life… well, shame on you.

  33. shadow says

    Don’t you all understand?

    This kid was armed with SKITTLES and iced tea!!!

    Zimmerman was obviously afraid that the smaller, younger, lighter person would force feed him the skittles and iced tea, choking him (or, if Z is diabetic, sending him into shock). Naturally, Zimmerman had to protect himself!

    *** Disclaimer: Spouse is pre-diabetic and has to watch the old blood sugar. Even eating the whole bag and drinking all the tea wouldn’t have sent spouse into shock.

  34. shadow says

    As a follow up, would someone be justified for standing one’s ground around someone who is known to: a> carry a gun; and b> use it for no real reason?

  35. shadow says

    That someone being Zimmerman.

    If so, then the wild west has come to FLA.

    AS terrible as the situation is for the family, and I am sincerely saddened that a bright, intelligent (from the reports I’ve heard)CHILD is no longer with us, and the hordes of darkness howl “Guns don’t kill people” while ducking for cover.

  36. Brownian says

    As a follow up, would someone be justified for standing one’s ground around someone who is known to: a> carry a gun; and b> use it for no real reason?

    If it’s justifiable to stalk an unarmed kid and shoot him, then why does it matter whether the someone is ‘known’ to carry a gun or use it?

    I don’t know of a single person who doesn’t fit the definition of ‘suspicious’, where ‘suspicious’ doesn’t mean anything at all.

    Everybody shoot everybody, it’s all okay because Redcoats! at some point in history.

  37. Pteryxx says

    I don’t think anyone linked to this yet – the story of someone who *survived* being shot and left for dead under Florida’s then-new Stand Your Ground law.

    MSNBC: “Gunshine State”

    According to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, at least 23 states have passed laws similar to Florida’s since 2005.

    Florida does not keep comprehensive records to gauge the impact of Stand Your Ground. But the St. Petersburg Times found that in the first five years after the law was enacted, “justifiable homicides” in Florida more than tripled, to more than 100 in 2010 from just over 30. The Stand Your Ground law was invoked in at least 93 cases over that time period, involving 65 deaths.

    Despite assertions from supporters of the law that it has worked as a deterrent of violent crime, Dennis Henigan, a lawyer and veteran vice president of the Brady Campaign, said the state was still saddled with a “tragic record” on violent crime.

    “It’s quite remarkable how consistently awful Florida’s record has been,” Henigan said. “It takes some work to finish in the top five in violent crime among all the states every single year for the last 30 years.”

  38. says

    I’m a gun owner…

    While I understand the talk about asshole gun nuts, and agree with it for the most part, it is useful to note that there are plenty of gun owners who stand squarely against Zimmerman and his behavior. There are also the expected gun nuts who try to blame Martin, but they aren’t the sole voice speaking from the gun-carrying community.

    These are pretty conservative folks, don’t share much in common politically with most of us here, and even a decent number of them understand how wrong Zimmerman was to shoot Trayvon Martin. I wish it was 100%, of course, but we deal with the world as it is, not as we would like it to be.

    Also, “stand your ground” laws are generally garbage that encourages psychos and cowards like Zimmerman to start fights that they can’t win, and then murder the other person when they get punched a couple of times. They need to be stricken from the books, and replaced with sensible laws that allow you to defend yourself with reasonable force and only when no other option is available.

  39. Pteryxx says

    …Yeah Joe, I believe you’re sincere, but it wasn’t safe sane gun owners who lobbied for and passed these Stand Your Ground laws in twenty-some states. When I hear MORE responsible gun owners speaking up against these incidents than I hear Catholics condemning the child rape cover-ups, or Christians condemning harassment and murder of abortion providers, then I’d be willing to give y’all some credit. Sorry.

  40. Cranky Mechanic says

    Pteryxx was faster on the enter key than I was, I meant to say I agree with Improbably Joe in #46. All of the gun owners I personally know are just as infuriated with the Trayvon Martin murder as most everyone else is, and many add a bit of extra contempt to Zimmerman for hiding behind self-defense. Stalking, with a weapon, legally carried or not, is stalking, and murdering someone that is unarmed is murder, not self-defense.

    I took the time to look up the Florida concealed carry statutes, they would look to be pretty tight on first look, until you notice the licensing is carried out by the same authority that carries out any other licensing. Most states I’m familiar with you have to (even if for just a minute) stand in front of a court official and declare you want the weapon for self defense. Not in Florida. They (supposedly) run a background check on you where his arrest should have kept him from ever getting his permit, but there is a catch in Florida, if you commit whatever act that would normally cause you not to get your permit, After you already have it, they don’t withdraw your permit, they just wait for it to expire and don’t renew. I read a couple of articles in the Sun-Sentinal about known felons that still have their licenses, and a number of people with warrants out for major felonies.
    Something is wrong in Florida.

  41. Marc Abian says

    it is useful to note that there are plenty of gun owners who stand squarely against Zimmerman and his behavior.

    Is it useful? I’m not sure there’s anyone here cynical enough to warrant pointing that out. I’m worried that you felt you should say it.

  42. says

    Pteryxx, are you completely off the electrical grid? Do you refuse to ride in any and every vehicle, or use any and every device that works off of a combustion engine, or ultimately gets its power from fossil fuels? If not, can I blame you for all of the pollution involved in getting power to fuel your life?

    Yeah, gun owners can and should do more to oppose the evil of the NRA… but owning a gun isn’t like being a Catholic. We’re not all sworn servants to the NRA, paying our tithes every year. We’re more like car owners, some of whom would prefer not contributing to pollution but still need our cars to get to work.

  43. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    We’re more like car owners, some of whom would prefer not contributing to pollution but still need our cars to get to work.

    So you’re a cop and need a gun at work?

    I doubt you need your gun when you drop by the supermarket to buy groceries or go to the mall, or if you work somewhere that is not police, security or military.
    I already see this has good chances of becoming one of those gun threads, but your comparison is too stupid to pass.

  44. says

    Beatrice, anormalement indécente, do you live, sleep and eat in your car? Do you drive your car into the restaurant or movie theater or doctor’s office? I know you’re desperate to find a way to insult me, but making yourself look dumb in the process isn’t the way to go. The same way that car owners don’t live in their cars, gun owners don’t have to carry their guns everywhere they go.

    If you want to be the 180 mirror image of an idiot gun nut, feel free… but also feel free to leave me out.

  45. DLC says

    The so-called “Stand your ground” law does not apply here, and probably does not really apply in a goodly number of other cases in Florida. In this case, it’s not so much the law at fault for Zimmerman’s still being free, but the people charged with enforcing it. It should be fairly clear to anyone who’s bothered to look into it that Zimmerman lost any claim to self defense or “stand my ground” when he chased after the victim. You can fight, but you are not allowed to start the fight and then later claim self defense.

  46. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    As far as I remember from previous discussions like this, you are not one of those I would consider safe gun owners. That is, who keep their gun safely locked at all times except when at a shooting range or if they are hunters, when hunting.
    If you are one of those, I apologize. If not, my point stands. You don’t need a gun (like people you mention need their cars to go places).

  47. Pteryxx says

    Joe: And I don’t own a gun, either, so laws such as Stand Your Ground and concealed-carry statutes don’t affect ME at all, except to the degree I or people I care about might be shot by someone who does own a gun. Don’t you think that as gun owners y’all might have a bit more responsibility towards laws that affect gun owners, and to those who pass and support such laws?

    Or do folks like me have to bust into ‘your’ territory and call out the laws made for people like you?

  48. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Besides, being a 180 mirror image of a gun nut really doesn’t look all that bad. Idealistic and nutty, but overall much less lethal.

  49. says

    This is a simple academic exercise for most of you… as I was laying in bed about to go to sleep, I heard gunshots from down the street.

    I guess if someone breaks into my house, I can be a ‘responsible’ gun owner and throw the gun at an assailant since I’m supposed to keep my ammo where it can do me no good… anti-gun nuts are better than gun nuts because they aren’t going to shoot anyone. That doesn’t make them any less irrational.

  50. says

    We’re more like car owners, some of whom would prefer not contributing to pollution but still need our cars to get to work.

    What utter bollocks. People don’t need guns, arguably not even those in law enforcement. People in Sweden, Germany or Holland don’t have guns, and their societies don’t descend into chaos and lawlessness just because their citizens don’t carry firearms around. The rate of gun-related homicides in the US is 8 times higher than in any other developed country, as you can see here or here.

    You have no idea how fucked-up and stupid US gun laws and the ready availability of firearms appears to any civilized person outside your little homicidal paradise. But it’s your right to own a gun, right ! Nimwit.

  51. Pteryxx says

    Joe: For petes sake, it doesn’t befit you to get all huffy about being assaulted in your own bed when we’re talking about gun laws designed for situations outside one’s home. If you can’t come up with an argument relevant to the discussion, don’t bother.

    About where those gun laws came from, by the way:

    As Mother Jones has reported before, the American Legislative Exchange Council often writes conservative legislation that finds its way onto the lawbooks—it’s shaped energy laws, as well as labor fights in Wisconsin and Michigan. (It’s also recently been caught red-handed passing its legislation onto lawmakers in Florida.) But Media Matters says ALEC has also teamed up with the National Rifle Association to pass “stand your ground” legislation to protect shooters:

    Florida’s statute on the use of force in self-defense is virtually identical to Section 1 of ALEC’s Castle Doctrine Act model legislation as posted on the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD). According to CMD, the model bill was adopted by ALEC’s Civil Justice Task in August 2005—just a few short months after it passed the Florida legislature—and approved by its board of directors the following month.

    Since the 2005 passage of Florida’s law, similar statutes have been passed in 16 other states. This was no accident. In a 2008 interview with NRA News, ALEC resident fellow Michael Hough explained how his organization works with the NRA to push similar legislation through its network of conservative state legislators:

    HOUGH: We are a very pro-Second Amendment organization. In fact, last session, I’ll get off-topic here real quick, but some of the things that we were pushing in states was the Castle Doctrine. We worked with the NRA on that, that’s one of our model bills that we have states introduce.

    Media Matters notes that the NRA, along with the Koch Brothers, has been a primary funder of ALEC, adding, “NRA got what it paid for.”

    Quote source: MoJo update #14

    ALEC info source: Media Matters

    Yeah, I think the good, careful, non-racist gun owners need to have a talk with the groups that supposedly represent their interests.

  52. Pteryxx says

    More on that NRA-sponsored Stand Your Ground legislation that’s appeared in 24 states since Florida in 2005:

    UPDATE 16, 8:45 p.m. EDT, Wednesday, March 21: NRA pushes “stand your ground” in all 50 states

    My colleagues Nick Baumann and Dave Gilson have compiled a story and set of charts showing how the National Rifle Association wants the “stand your ground” self-defense standard, “the law protecting Trayvon Martin’s killer,” in all 50 states. Here’s one of their charts:

    Link to map

    Link to article

    It looks pretty much just like the current rash of abortion restrictions and forced-ultrasound laws being pushed in coordination. It’s Think Tank Nation.

  53. Brownian says

    If you can’t come up with an argument relevant to the discussion, don’t bother.

    Well, he’s already used the “It’s the other gun owners that are the problem; I’m one of the Good Guys™—you can tell from my White Stetson (and lack of hoodie).”

    What argument is there* but to switch on the campfire flashlight and tell spooky stories about the Menacing Other™ who wants nothing more than to break into your Castle™, steal your hard won American Dreams™, sully your woman and convince your kids to buy foreign cars?

    *”An Armed Society is a Polite Society” and “From my cold dead hands” are kind of more the sort of arguments NRA supporters favour than leftyish atheists, though Eric Hoag doesn’t mind dropping the latter when numbers start confusing him.

  54. Cranky Mechanic says

    I would like to know why the local police are giving Zimmerman such preferential treatment. You know, ignoring witnesses, trying to get witnesses to change statements, invoking the Stand Your Ground doctrine on a stalker, not testing him immediately for alcohol/drugs in his system after a homocide, and so on. Is this Zimmerman guy supposed to be someone important? I haven’t seen anything to suggest so, and I’d really hate to think it’s because of who the victim is, but I haven’t come up with another likely-sounding scenario.
    Why all the angst about guns anyways? The assholes that are a danger to society are going to carry with or without a permit, and given the crime statistics, I would submit that most of the guns out on the street at any one time are carried illegally anyway (not counting the police).
    I think the real problem is the culture of violence, about which much has been written and nothing solved. I really think that if all guns magically disappeared, people here would be going at it with knives and baseball bats.

    Oh, and hello everyone, I failed to introduce myself, I’m CrankyMechanic as the name says, long time lurker (about a year and a half now). I’m recovering from being brought up unaware that I was endowed with male privilege and majority status, but I think I’m making decent progress. Please forgive me if I step wrong, and I know people will be happy to point out my errors.
    Well, enough nattering for me now, on with the regularly scheduled program.

  55. says

    I really think that if all guns magically disappeared, people here would be going at it with knives and baseball bats.

    This may be true, but you are forgetting or omitting two important facts. One, it’s much harder to clubber someone to death than to pull a trigger from 10 meters away, and two, wounds from baseball bats and knifes don’t result in as many deaths as do gunshot injuries. So if all guns magically disappeared, or since we don’t do magic around here, the government would stand up to the lobbyists and regulate them away, there would be less deaths, and less assaults.

  56. says

    If not, can I blame you for all of the pollution involved in getting power to fuel your life?

    because Western civilization runs on gunpowder, and it’s nearly impossible to extricate oneself and not own a gun.

    wait, that doesn’t sound right.

    Well, he’s already used the “It’s the other gun owners that are the problem; I’m one of the Good Guys™—you can tell from my White Stetson (and lack of hoodie).”

    now all we need is the “I wanna be the fluke, you guys can be the statistic” line.

  57. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    For petes sake, it doesn’t befit you to get all huffy about being assaulted in your own bed when we’re talking about gun laws designed for situations outside one’s home.

    To be fair, I did reveal myself as an anti-gun nut, conveniently giving him an excuse to ignore any part of my own or anybody else’s argument.
    —–
    Improbable Joe
    Try to ignore for a moment that I want to take your babies guns away and focus, as Pteryxx asked you to, on guns outside your home.
    When you were comparing gun owners to car owners, you failed to explain why you would absolutely need your gun outside your home like someone would need a car to get to work. The whole analogy was a fail, but it would have been nice if you had acknowledged that without going all “you want me to get murdered by taking my gun away!!!1!11!!”.

  58. NotAProphet says

    Speaking to “Stand Your Ground” laws, I can see the logic of the concept, that being that retreating when someone has a ranged weapon might well not be adequate to defend yourself, but I do not believe that requires a specific law, as the principle of self-defence already requires a necessary and proportionate reaction (at least it does where I am, I get the feeling the US might permit a lethal response just because it is possible, not because it is necessary). By this I mean that if someone took the choice not to retreat because they feared they would be shot in the back then it would still be self-defence, even without SYG provision.

    The problem with the application of SYG laws seems to be the timeframe being considered for the purposes of not retreating; in the Martin case it appears to be being applied from the moment Zimmerman confronted the victim, when a wider snapshot of the evening would paint a very different picture. SYG, if it must be applied, should not be relevant if an option existed to avoid the confrontation altogether.

    Moving on to the question of who called for help, and this is my own horribly prejudiced opinion, borne out by nothing other than my own stereotyping, but I find is eminently more plausible to suppose that a large armed man called for help when faced with a skinny unarmed youth than vice versa. Ah no, shit, I got that the wrong way round again!

    Finally, the thing that really jumped out to me is that Zimmerman’s family were quick to point out that he was not “pure” white, but part hispanic. Again, my own assumption, but to me this smacks of “he couldn’t have been racially motivated, because he’s non-white too”. I’m sure I really don’t need to expand on why this is utter horseshite, but it does seem to be an assertion that holds some water in modern society, with its whites-vs-everyone-else mentality. If only they’d been so quick to point it out to the police before they seemingly fell over themselves to plaster him with privilege.

  59. says

    I own a gun and support gun ownership. I’ve also had a stalker and so support stand your ground laws.

    But there are a lot of idiots out there, so I support gun control and think it should actually be stricter in many ways while still allowing sensible people who like to hunt, target shoot, or need protection to own a gun. In my case, protection means I live on a farm and have livestock, and stray dogs, raccoons, and coyotes are occasionally a threat.

    I’d love to see gun safety courses required where the instructor can, if they feel the owner is a little too gungho about firearm ownership or using the gun as ‘compensation’, fail the owner and thus prevent him/her from owning the gun. I’d also like to see hefty fines for the sellers who slack off on the background check issue. And anyone firing their gun in the air or bringing a loaded firearm into a public gathering should do a minimum of six months jailtime, years if they combine the two crimes.

    And what I’d really like is a reasonable way to sue individual police officers when they pull asinine crap like deliberately misapplying a law to let a murderer walk free because they think of the crime as ‘no humans involved’ or whatever bullshit they are using to justify their actions to themselves. But frankly, I think they are only using the stand your ground law as a scapegoat because they want it gone. They want people solely relying on the police so that people stop getting the notion that the police are often part of the problem rather than the solution.

  60. Aquaria says

    The date range of Zimmerman’s calls, they say, evidently is 2001-2012, not 2011-2012, which means his 46 calls came over a 10- to 11-year period

    And that makes Zimmerman’s bullshit claim about having to get out to check the street sign so much bullshit.

    If you’ve ever done a delivery route, or, heck, just lived in a place long enough, you know the streets in your neighborhood like the back of your hand. I don’t have to get out of my car or even look at the sign to tell you what street I’ve just passed or turned on in my neighborhood.

    Y’all wouldn’t believe how many entire zip codes worth of streets I know in San Antonio from being a postal worker–and I wasn’t even a letter carrier, just someone who had to go out sometimes to help out carriers. I still have mental maps of the coverage areas for most of those stations, even though I worked at none of them longer than 3 years.

    He knew where he was. He didn’t get out to look at the sign. He got out to hunt.

  61. Aquaria says

    The same way that car owners don’t live in their cars, gun owners don’t have to carry their guns everywhere they go.

    Then what’s the point of concealed carry?

    If you don’t need your gun everywhere, why do so many of you cowards need to carry it with you all the time? Why have you pushed for legislation that makes it easier for more people to be able to carry wherever they go, whenever they want?

    That’s the part you cowards never explain.

  62. says

    —If you don’t need your gun everywhere, why do so many of you cowards need to carry it with you all the time?—

    I use concealed carry because some people get absolutely stupid when they see a gun. They do things like try to grab it out of your holster or start posturing about ‘I could punch you in the face before you could get that thing out’ and other such bullshit. Or they start acting like I’m some sort of homicidal maniac intent on eating their livers. Or they make fun of me for having a ‘lady gun’ and I’m treated to a lecture on why their massive ego-piece is superior. I chose a smaller weapon not because I’m female, but because there are no circumstances in which I would need a more powerful weapon and the more powerful weapon has greater opportunities for catastrophe. Sure, a bullet from your gigantic power-trip can travel half a mile and still penetrate two walls, that’s exactly why I DON’T want one and think anyone who does carry one outside of the military and/or SWAT is a fucking dipshit. Ditto for automatics, assault rifles, etc… Sorry, pet peeve.

    So I prefer, when I do have my gun on me, that it be under my jacket and thus not visible unless actually needed. I also occasionally need to transport my gun from point A to point B and in general it’s easier and sometimes safer (in terms of the gun ending up mishandled) for me to carry it strapped to my person. I’ve had my vehicle broken into enough times that I don’t consider the glove compartment or even trunk in a lockbox to be valid alternatives.

    Anyone who carries their gun with them all the time probably is the type who doesn’t need to own one.

  63. Pteryxx says

    WithinThisMind, thanks.

    I also recall Dr. Mila Means having an armed friend for protection from anti-abortion terrorists:

    Means said she has a supportive network, including a companion who is licensed to carry a concealed weapon, with whom she travels pretty much all the time.

    Source

    I gather that actual victims who are being stalked, harassed, and receiving death threats, do in fact need to carry their gun (if they own one) literally everywhere they go. Which means it has to be concealed. But these are people who, almost by definition, don’t have any other recourse because their attackers have more undeserved credibility and presumption of innocence than the targets do.

    Also, this has little or nothing to do with Stand Your Ground legislation being rolled out all over the country, as far as I can tell. The NRA and ALEC pushing these laws don’t give two turds about the welfare of abuse victims, stalking victims or abortion providers. (Why aren’t the MRAs going nuts about laws that let women shoot their stalkers?) It’s always framed around Upstanding Citizen protecting himself from those scary looters/criminals (shorthand for people who are brown and/or poor).

    WithinThisMind, would you be willing to talk more about how Stand Your Ground laws are supposed to work for stalking victims?

    It didn’t even occur to me, when my abuser was stalking me, to get a gun in case he tried to kill me or one of my companions; and that was a real risk. I’ll have to give this some thought.

  64. says

    @ 78

    Yes, my point flew over your head. I’m glad you acknowledge that.

    —I gather that actual victims who are being stalked, harassed, and receiving death threats, do in fact need to carry their gun (if they own one) literally everywhere they go. —

    No, they don’t, for the most part. Stand your ground laws aren’t about gun ownership. They are about the right to not have to put up with shit. In one of my cases, it was about the right to physically throw someone out of my house even though I was perfectly capable of leaving, rather than let that person continue her pattern of screaming at me and breaking/stealing my belongings.

    It starts on the fucking playground. How many folks here get enraged when they hear that a bullying victim got suspended too because they were ‘both fighting’? For that matter, how many folks here have been the victims of bullies?

    I remember, back in about elementary school, there was this one boy who kept grabbing the chest of any girl who had the misfortune to develop early. He left bruises. But… running away and telling teacher was an ‘option’, and that is what we were supposed to do. Of course, it never actually solved anything, but it was the ‘correct’ reaction. He stopped doing it to me the day I turned around and broke his nose. I stood my ground.

    I also very nearly ended up in serious trouble for doing so.

  65. says

    I remember, back in about elementary school, there was this one boy who kept grabbing the chest of any girl who had the misfortune to develop early. He left bruises. But… running away and telling teacher was an ‘option’, and that is what we were supposed to do. Of course, it never actually solved anything, but it was the ‘correct’ reaction.

    This is why I hate the “stand your ground laws”

    Hmmm the law is having troubles with efficiency and doing what it needs to to protect people we could either fix that with work and make our police system actually efficient and productive rather than an annoyance or source of angst to people…or we could just say fuck it and tell the people to figure it out on their own.

  66. says

    —Hmmm the law is having troubles with efficiency and doing what it needs to to protect people we could either fix that with work and make our police system actually efficient —

    I’m sorry, what about my post made you think it was an either/or situation? Ideally, both situations should be true. We should have an honorable, productive, and efficient protection/law enforcement system. And in situations in which the above is not available, we should be allowed to defend ourselves.

  67. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    And in situations in which the above is not available, we should be allowed to defend ourselves.

    But have you not been allowed to defend yourself already? I can’t believe that the law before “stand your ground” laws absolutely assigned culpability to someone protecting themselves from an attacker.

  68. Louis says

    So the argument runs “elementary school bullies, therefore I should be able to kill someone ‘giving me shit’”.

    Well that seems fair.

    I wonder how the rest of us in the Western world get by without being able to shoot the modern day equivalent of school yard bullies.

    Louis

  69. Pteryxx says

    I can’t believe that the law before “stand your ground” laws absolutely assigned culpability to someone protecting themselves from an attacker.

    The laws didn’t need to “absolutely” assign anything. Self-defense is interpreted according to the biases of the legal system, right? The same bias that lets ordinary people panicking about imaginary threats get credibility for denying legal protection to immigrants, trans people, and rape survivors, among others. Sure, you could always defend yourself, but whether anyone believed you were justified depended on privilege status.

  70. Pteryxx says

    Incidentally, blockquote works with blockquote tags:

    [blockquote] quote goes here [/blockquote] only with > brackets instead of ].

  71. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    The same bias that lets ordinary people panicking about imaginary threats get credibility for denying legal protection to immigrants, trans people, and rape survivors, among others. Sure, you could always defend yourself, but whether anyone believed you were justified depended on privilege status.

    Basically, either law could work fine if there weren’t tons of underlying issues of discrimination. *sigh*

  72. Pteryxx says

    So the argument runs “elementary school bullies, therefore I should be able to kill someone ‘giving me shit’”.

    Louis, this is a bullshit deliberate misinterpretation. People absolutely are capable of bullying someone into justified fear for their lives. There’s a cell phone video from Baltimore I could show you, as well as my own experience with my abuser. If you’ve got a problem with guns in this context, stick to that, not marginalizing victims of serious harassment.

  73. Pteryxx says

    *headdesk* I’m an idiot:

    People absolutely are capable of bullying someone into justified fear for their lives.

    See also THE ORIGINAL TOPIC. Zimmerman claims to have been threatened by scary black people, sure. But Trayvon was justified in feeling threatened by a white guy chasing him down. All the evidence of disproportionate punishment and harassment of POCs backs up Trayvon’s fear, not Zimmerman’s… not to mention the outcome. I’m sure black people feel a lot less fucking safe while listening to the BS about how scared the white folks with the guns and cops and justice system are.

    No, I don’t know just now whether giving victims the option to defend themselves with lethal force in a biased uncaring system is helpful, or even workable. Some of it’s personal. I have to go but I’ll keep thinking on it and check back.

  74. mikmik says

    Pteryxx
    The NRA and ALEC pushing these laws don’t give two turds about the welfare of abuse victims, stalking victims or abortion providers.
    The NRA is beyond any semblance of reason. Get this – they believe that victims of crime should be prosecuted! Yup, for not carrying, and using the courts and law enforcement for protection instead of doing it themselves, ffs.
    As for women, they want everyone to own and use guns, men, women, and young children.
    Among other things on the Youth portion of their website, like training boy scouts for their firearms merit badges, take a look at the age of the kids in this:
    Lead Hill, AR holds first Youth Hunter Education Challenge
    Wayne LaPierre Won’t Meet With The Families of Gun Crime Victims . I can’t find what I’m looking for, they changed their website, but seriously, Ted Nugent and other very top level execs promote the prosecuting of victims of crime. They are fucking bizarre nuts.
    Oh, I have tons of references: Protection Or Peril? Gun Possession Of Questionable Value In An Assault, Study Finds . Read some of the links to the immediate right, there is all kinds of research about the futility and danger of gun ownership.

    This is excellent: A database of social science, criminology, law reviews, medical and public health research concerning firearms (2000-2009), compiled by the Harvard Injury Control Research Center.

    Harvard Injury Control Research Center
    Firearms Research .

    Like, it’s not even close whether or not guns are good for anything day to day. I honestly have no respect for anyone that wants weapons around. I live right in the center of the highest per capita murder area of 2011, and personally have known several people killed, and have been within >100m of shootings.

    I live in a nasty area, and I would never want to own a gun, fucking ever. No reason at all, and in fact, owning a gun would make me a target, whether it was concealed, or not.
    If I wanted to commit crime, there are dozens of things I would do to prevent anyone from being able to draw, or protect themselves, and when guns are prevalent, criminals just get automatic assault weapons, attack in groups, take you by surprise, disable you first, get more paranoid, get cocky.

    I mean, what part of ‘the more guns around, the more guns get used, and the more danger inherent’ don’t people get?
    “Only criminals will have guns” is another of the stupidest remarks I have ever heard.

    WithinThisMind
    I also occasionally need to transport my gun from point A to point B and in general it’s easier and sometimes safer (in terms of the gun ending up mishandled) for me to carry it strapped to my person. I’ve had my vehicle broken into enough times that I don’t consider the glove compartment or even trunk in a lockbox to be valid alternatives.

    Uh, question. How exactly do you get from point A to B that you need to leave your car parked for significant time periods that allow the opportunity for it to be broken into?
    Let alone when it is just parked somewhere for business, or at home? You MUST get your car broken into all the time, an awful lot of times, in fact, sheesh! I mean, if you are worried about it getting broken into while you are driving from point A to B, I mean, wow, man, that’s bad.
    You should probably get a system that warns you and everyone when your car is getting broken into, and maybe even set it to its loudest setting, or something. You would think someone would have thought of this before, FFS, but there you go. I guess just driving from point A to B without leaving your car unattended is not feasible, I mean, obviously, right, so I don’t know, perhaps they need to build better roads where you live, or something.

  75. mikmik says

    WithinThisMind
    But… running away and telling teacher was an ‘option’, and that is what we were supposed to do. Of course, it never actually solved anything, but it was the ‘correct’ reaction. He stopped doing it to me the day I turned around and broke his nose. I stood my ground.
    I also very nearly ended up in serious trouble for doing so.

    You should have just shot him, then no one would have fucked with you.
    In martial arts, the major philosophy is to avoid violence at all costs, including running away.
    Yes, I have been bullied, and yes, I ran away and/or learned to avoid those situations, but when that wasn’t enough, telling the teacher was a fucking excellent idea, because mister bully-pants got into trouble and/or expelled.
    Stand your ground is fucking pure bullshit, the very implication of having that law is that you can use excessive violence, and use violence in situations that do not warrant it. Phone the cops, get away, quit being such a fucking cry-baby weakling that you need to prove something instead of being mature and reasonable. You have a perfectly exploitable reason for unnecessarily wounding or killing someone already, and it’s been repeatedly pointed out. The self defense gambit.
    I mean, really, give your head a fucking shake, really. You are exactly the type of moro genius that I don’t want having access to, and possession of, lethal, medium range, toys. Anyone with your level of reasoning ability cannot be expected to behave appropriately in emotionally agitated states, let alone if you’ve been drinking.
    I don’t care how much there is something seriously fucking wrong going on inside of criminal and/or psychotic heads, adding weaponry to the mix … have you heard the phrase, “adding fuel to the fire?”
    Yeah, that’s it, take a screwed up situation, and make it more volatile, dangerous, and provide more avenues for escalation to result in lethal outcomes.

  76. Anri says

    This is a simple academic exercise for most of you… as I was laying in bed about to go to sleep, I heard gunshots from down the street.

    Thank goodness those gunshots didn’t come from, yanno, guns, or that would be undermining your entire point about guns generally being OK.

    Oh, wait…

    I guess if someone breaks into my house, I can be a ‘responsible’ gun owner and throw the gun at an assailant since I’m supposed to keep my ammo where it can do me no good… anti-gun nuts are better than gun nuts because they aren’t going to shoot anyone. That doesn’t make them any less irrational.

    If guns are so great at preventing home invasion, how in hell to they ever get stolen out people’s homes?
    Maybe all those illegal guns the pro-gun advocates are always deploring just walked out of the gun cabinets on their own?
    Or do we assume they’ve all been stolen from gun shops, police offices, and military bases?

    If I were to sell a potentially lethal home defense system that worked only when someone was at home, killed a family member or friend 30-some-odd times more often than a home intruder, and was stolen out of homes it was installed in thousands of times per year, I’d be hard pressed to go out of business before being sent to jail. Seriously – picture selling an ADT Home Security system with the kind of statistics behind it that ‘home defense’ handguns have. What would the copy look like, do you think?
    “Best safety record in the industry – only kills friends or family members 20 times more often than home intruders! Get one today to feel safe!”

  77. says

    —But have you not been allowed to defend yourself already? I can’t believe that the law before “stand your ground” laws absolutely assigned culpability to someone protecting themselves from an attacker.—

    ‘Duty to retreat’, meaning if you had the opportunity to flee and didn’t take it (for whatever reason, including knowing that the abuse would just continue), you forfeit your ‘self defense’ right.

    —So the argument runs “elementary school bullies, therefore I should be able to kill someone ‘giving me shit’”.—

    Bullshit. That isn’t even close to what I said. This is hyperbole on a similar level to ‘you support birth control that means you want to kill babies’.

    —How exactly do you get from point A to B that you need to leave your car parked for significant time periods that allow the opportunity for it to be broken into?—

    Most recently, I went to a target shooting competition. While waiting for my rounds, I sat on a bench and read. During that time, the gun was on me, under my jacket, rather than locked in the car. A few weeks prior too this, I kept it strapped to me while in a friend’s apartment for an hour while I was waiting for this friend to finish getting his stuff together so we could go to the gun club together to work on our aims. As I am a responsible gun owner, I do practice with the firearm to minimize the chances of a shot going astray.

    —You should have just shot him, then no one would have fucked with you.—

    If that is really your philosophy, then you are the type of person who should be absolutely forbidden to own a firearm. Personally, I didn’t think 11 year old boy being a jackass deserved death, but obviously you disagree. I’m sorry the concept of proportional response eludes you.

  78. Pteryxx says

    Well, so much for actually talking about self-defense and ‘stand your ground’ instead of everyone going bananas about OMG GUNS.

    mikmik:

    Yes, I have been bullied, and yes, I ran away and/or learned to avoid those situations, but when that wasn’t enough, telling the teacher was a fucking excellent idea, because mister bully-pants got into trouble and/or expelled.

    How sweet for you. When *I* was bullied, and I asked for help from teachers, they put ME in detention. They punished ME instead of any of the kids bullying me, even when I had evidence. Eventually, they essentially expelled ME. (The principal told my parents I was no longer welcome at school because the other parents were afraid of what I might do to THEIR kids… close enough.) I’m lucky I didn’t get sent to a re-education camp.

    So, no, appealing to authorities for justice does NOT work for everyone.

    *sigh*

    The only unanswerable advantage I can see to having a gun, for a person who’s being harassed with serious non-imaginary risk of injury or death, is that it works at a distance. When I was being stalked by someone that I knew absolutely had tried to kill me before and could again, and I kept track of all the escape routes and potential weapon-like objects in my vicinity, it’s possible that a gun would have let me use the threat of force to keep him from getting close enough to hurt me. Not much else could keep a determined abuser away: not a restraining order, not the threat of prosecution, not even being in a crowded place where strangers or co-workers might intervene. The only other distance weapon I had was my car, and I did live in it for some time.

  79. says

    Also, as I pointed out, my belief about concealed carry and my belief about standing your ground are separate issues. I own a firearm because I live in the country and occasionally must defend my livestock against predators such as raccoons, stray dogs, coyotes, and mosquitoes.

    All the times I have ‘stood my ground’, I was unarmed, and would not have used a firearm even had one been on my person because the situation did not call for that level of force.

    But it is also worth pointing out the time I had a legitimate case of self-defense (no one to hear me scream and backed into a corner), I took a lot of shit for defending myself and the fact that my defense was successful meant the guy served a pitifully short sentence and went on to attack other women. I was repeatedly told that since he ‘wasn’t going to kill me’, I was not justified in using potentially lethal force to defend myself, even though he was fully intending to violate me and I had no way of knowing how badly he intended to hurt me. I got second-guessed, victim blamed, etc… all over the place. So no, ‘self defense’ laws are often not adequate in our current culture. I wish that wasn’t the case, but since it’s not a perfect world, we are limited to imperfect means of response. And no, I didn’t have a gun then either. The weapon in question was a flathead screwdriver that was unfortunately only a couple inches long.

  80. julian says

    Phone the cops, get away, quit being such a fucking cry-baby weakling that you need to prove something instead of being mature and reasonable.

    Pretty much my thinking.

    ‘Stand Your Ground’ and similar have next to nothing to do with self defense. The situations people seek to invoke them in are not life threatening. These people are looking for the government to give them permission to kill someone else. Not defend themselves or their property. They want permission to kill someone because that person had the audacity to present any level of threat.

    If you listen to any group of home owning gun enthusiasts it’s always about how they wish the last guy had actually stuck his head in the window so they could have blown it off with their shotgun. Or wishing they lived in a state where it was permissible to shoot someone just for being on your property.

  81. KG says

    Stand your ground laws aren’t about gun ownership. They are about the right to not have to put up with shit. – WithinThisMind

    Y’know – that sounds like you’re saying that they’re about being able to pull a gun on anyone who is giving you shit. Is that really what you meant to say?

  82. says

    I’m sorry, what about my post made you think it was an either/or situation? Ideally, both situations should be true. We should have an honorable, productive, and efficient protection/law enforcement system. And in situations in which the above is not available, we should be allowed to defend ourselves.

    Because the other option isn’t tried. Everyone in the gun rights debate seems happy to leave the idea of slow response or ineffective response alone and just move the responsibility to the civilians.

    It is ignoring (or rather denying) the concerns that necessitated such decision making and judgements to be removed from the casual population and given to an authority source. The fact that the authority source is fucked is undeniable, but retreating backwards just puts us back at the same problem we started at.

    People react poorly in stress and times of emotion, ergo mob justice is prone to poor choices, therefore we train a professional class with the express duty of upholding law and protecting public interest because we can properly train and equip them and hopefully minimize some of those problems. That we failed necessitates either changing the organization, implementation or training of said profession. Stand your ground laws are trying to solve this problem by regressing back towards square one. It’s something we’ve already tried that didn’t work, comparable to rolling back business regulations.

    Proposing such laws seems as ludicrous to me as Amtrak telling it’s passengers to get out and push.

  83. Louis says

    Pteryxx,

    I apologise if you think I am minimising or mocking the victims of harassment. I assure you that wasn’t my intent, and although that isn’t magic, if that’s what I have done, I have done so inadvertently and apologise without reservation.

    I absolutely do not disagree with this, for example:

    People absolutely are capable of bullying someone into justified fear for their lives.

    And can add {insert anecdote here} if it would help anyone understand I truly get this. Although I’d rather not rake over painful anecdotes if it’s okay. Not least because I imagine my rather pathetic anecdotes of this type would be overshadowed by the vastly more serious crap that others have experienced.

    However, part of WithinThisMind’s post was about a justification of being able to carry a gun, because of “not wanting to put up with shit”. Not my words. In fact, in relation to Stand Your Ground laws, the words were “the right to not have to put up with shit”. The right? I want THAT right! I could list some shit I put up with! These laws are, wrongly it would appear but I’ll come to that, used to “justify” people who carry guns outside their homes in defending themselves using a gun. Whether that gun is concealed or not is moot. It’s a gun, in someone’s hands. It’s a lethal weapon.

    Zimmerman is claiming he was attacked/threatened and was using his weapon in justified self defence. A self defence he has tried to pin on the Stand Your ground law in FL, IIRC. Zimmerman is still at large for murdering an unarmed teenager. Regardless of my sympathy for people being harassed/disenfranchised/on the receiving end of an unequal society etc, this murder would not have happened in a different climate, a climate where the carrying of lethal weapons combined with easily misinterpreted laws about Standing Your Ground is not considered normative.

    Really, the rest of the developed world gets by nicely largely without these laws/weapons. That fact is quite inescapable to American gun advocates. It’s almost impossible to communicate just how odd this weapon carrying population appears to the outside world. Crimes happen here, sure. People are killed, sure. Terrible crimes and tragedies happen. We don’t live in national nirvanas and no one should claim all is right with the world, it ain’t, but reams of data demonstrate time and again that guns do not make the situation better or people safer. Quite the reverse. Guns make things WORSE. The USA is an outlier here for a series of reasons, some of those reasons are manufactured by Smith and Wesson.

    I don’t object to anyone standing up to bullies, more power to people who do, I’m one of those who do too, and I certainly don’t belittle the genuine fears of people being persecuted (I remember them), but I do disagree that the way to combat either bullies or harassers is with lethal force, or access to easy lethal force, in all but the most rare and extreme of circumstances, which I am sure we can all tirelessly, and tiresomely, imagine/remember.

    So forgive me if my short satire wasn’t clear in its aim.

    Louis

  84. Pteryxx says

    Sheesh, you people. If ‘stand your ground’ laws are only about self-defense, but they take place in a context where guns are not uncommon, then deal with that and quit conflating the two.

    WithinThisMind, *I* am not clear on that point and I haven’t yet found an article that doesn’t conflate gun use with stand your ground. Can you give a better explanation?

  85. Pteryxx says

    Louis, thanks. I didn’t see satire in there at all, just hyperbole; which might be due to a difference in perspective, but I’m willing to take your apology in good faith.

    Also I still refresh slower than everybody, sigh.

  86. says

    —Y’know – that sounds like you’re saying that they’re about being able to pull a gun on anyone who is giving you shit. Is that really what you meant to say?—

    Nope, and you are being deliberately dishonest to imply such.

    See here, where I said this:

    “All the times I have ‘stood my ground’, I was unarmed, and would not have used a firearm even had one been on my person because the situation did not call for that level of force.”

    Stand your ground laws apply even when there is no gun around for miles. In a case I applied it, someone was in my house, refusing to leave, breaking and threatening to steal my property while screaming horrible invective at me. I used physical force to remove her from my house and closed the door. Technically, this action of mine was illegal under the self-defense laws in the location this occurred. I had called the police before in dealing with this person and knew what their (lack of) response would be. I actually called them when she entered my house this time as well, before any altercation started. They never did show up.

  87. julian says

    And atheists want to burn churches and throw people who pray in jail while feminists castrate all men and kill all the babies. Right.

    Only relating what I’ve heard from neighbors and coworkers over the last few years.

    I’m sorry that most gun owners aren’t capable of distinguishing when lethal force is necessary. I’m sorry that most guns rights enthusiasts carry so much baggage racially fueled violence and tragedies are going to happen.

    It’s the reality the law must reflect.

  88. says

    TL:DR version of mine: If the teachers blame the victim rather than the bully the proper solution is to fix the problem on the teacher’s end. Allowing kids to stand their ground compounds the problem by a) teaching people the authorities are either against them or indifferent, b) creating more of what to an outside observer looks close to or identical to the original bullying.

  89. Pteryxx says

    The average citizen is ill equipped to judge, especially in times of stress, what level of shit they are required to put up with.

    …I have a difficult time reconciling this with support of abuse and stalking victims, where the principle is that the victim is THE person best equipped to know the level of threat in their situation.

  90. unclefrogy says

    I hate to say it and I know it will inflame some reading this but it is not the guns that kill people it is people using guns that do the killing Mr. Z’s gun would not have hurt anyone if he brought a good camera with him instead of a gun.
    He thinks he has to carry a gun to be safe and kill to protect society.?

    Lets think about this gun lobby for a minute. All the criminals will carry guns illegally and the guns will not have been bought legally.
    They are not making their own guns they are name brands manufactured by well established firms for the most part very few would be custom made by gun smiths. So the manufacturers made money off of all the guns that are out in the public and in the government very few were stolen from the manufacturer.
    So they make money and have a vested interest in anything that would promote gun sales.
    The guns were sold by someone to someone else whether legally or not no one is giving them away. It is very easy to get guns at least as easy as buying drugs legally or not. Many gun owners are also licensed dealers who trade guns and collect guns and sell guns as a “hobby”.
    There are many gun dealers who engage in under the table or otherwise questionable sales. They all have a vested interest in promoting guns as a hobby which is a small part of the market but more in promoting fear of crime to really boost the sale of guns to the none collector a much larger group.
    I think it is the profit aspect of guns that contributes to the irrational arguments in favor of guns and fear that contributes to the irrational reaction to guns and gun ownership which happily for the gun dealers plays right into the fear of the already fearful public about the government and lawlessness.
    The gun lobby has been hijacked by those who make money off of guns and has fed the public both their supporters and the general public fear to promote sales. When fear of crime goes up so do gun sales so keep fear foremost in view. It does not have to be real it is about perception.
    So as a result we have members of the public at large paranoid about crime and shocked because someone kills some innocent person.
    If we are really becoming more irrational is it any wonder?

    uncle frogy

  91. Louis says

    Pteryxx,

    But I think the two (SYG laws and guns) are inextricably linked in the USA. If people want to discuss the merits of SYG laws wrt self defence, then cool, but that doesn’t seem to me to be happening. Apologies if I’m missed some “subtlety”!

    I don’t think if you waved a magic wand and gave everyone in the UK the right to own a gun in an identical manner to the way the USA does this that our gun crime/violence rate would soar to USA levels. I think other factors, legal and cultural, are in play. There are other societies in the developed world that have relatively loose gun laws and a fraction of the gun crime/violence rate of the USA. Although IIRC from the UN data I linked the other week, higher rates of gun ownership are strongly correlated with higher gun crime/violence….well….duh! ;-)

    I’d have to truly investigate the legal arguments, which I confess I haven’t, surrounding SYG laws etc to really know, but I have a hunch, and no more than this, that such laws are contributory to higher levels of violence. I am willing to be wrong and be shown to be wrong. It’s a hunch. Perhaps I’ve phrased that poorly: in the social context of the USA, where carry laws, concealed carry laws and access to guns laws abound, the SYG laws have an exacerbating effect on gun crime/violence as opposed to a calming one. Again, I confess that’s a hunch, a guess, a “gut feeling” call it what you will. I hold my hands up to no expertise on this subject and would welcome a bit of hand holding from someone more experienced.

    Louis

  92. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    The stand your ground law allowed an armed man to kill an unarmed man. That tells me the law needs to be either greatly changed or repealed.

  93. says

    …I have a difficult time reconciling this with support of abuse and stalking victims, where the principle is that the victim is THE person best equipped to know the level of threat in their situation.

    If we treated abuse and stalking victims better they shouldn’t have to be in that position. That’s what I’m saying. The problem already is one that a social system has failed these people. Saying “yup you’re on your own” doesn’t seem very supportive to me, which is where I see the difference between just self defense and these stand your ground.

  94. says

    I got second-guessed, victim blamed, etc… all over the place. So no, ‘self defense’ laws are often not adequate in our current culture.

    in “our current culture”, stand your ground laws won’t be adequate for actual victims, either. if you’re a woman defending yourself against rape, you’ll still be a slut, but now you’ll be a murderous slut used for MRA statistics about how much worse domestic violence against men is; if you’re a racial minority, you’ll simply be a thug violently attacking innocent people; if you’re gay, trans, etc; you’ll be similarly vilified. A system that blames the oppressed and exonerates the oppressor is not going to suddenly stop existing just because on paper it says you’re allowed to kill in defense. all it’ll do is allow the oppressor to kill you “in defense”.

  95. says

    in “our current culture”, stand your ground laws won’t be adequate for actual victims, either. if you’re a woman defending yourself against rape, you’ll still be a slut, but now you’ll be a murderous slut used for MRA statistics about how much worse domestic violence against men is; if you’re a racial minority, you’ll simply be a thug violently attacking innocent people; if you’re gay, trans, etc; you’ll be similarly vilified. A system that blames the oppressed and exonerates the oppressor is not going to suddenly stop existing just because on paper it says you’re allowed to kill in defense. all it’ll do is allow the oppressor to kill you “in defense”.

    Exactly what I was circling but couldn’t put my finger on. Stand your Ground is abandoning such people and telling them to deal with the problem themselves.

  96. Pteryxx says

    Pteryxx,

    But I think the two (SYG laws and guns) are inextricably linked in the USA. If people want to discuss the merits of SYG laws wrt self defence, then cool, but that doesn’t seem to me to be happening. Apologies if I’m missed some “subtlety”!

    Louis: I agree that discussing SYG laws separately from guns isn’t happening, either here or in any larger media context that I’ve seen. I don’t know if it’s impossible to separate the two; I admit I’m kind of trying to push WithinThisMind to go that way, because I’m way out of my knowledge zone here.

    I’d also add, other countries may not have the rate of gun violence that the USA does, but they sure do still have problems with rape culture, queer-bashing and victim-blaming. If SYG can help address victims’ safety in a victim-blaming society, guns or no guns, I’m willing to at least consider it.

  97. says

    —Everyone in the gun rights debate seems happy to leave the idea of slow response or ineffective response alone and just move the responsibility to the civilians. —

    Bullshit.

    We just acknowledge that there are things like oh, reality, to contend with.

    Where I live now, the law enforcement officers are awesome people. I wish every town were as lucky.

    But even under ideal circumstances, if I had to call them to my location, it would take about fifteen minutes for them to get here. And a lot can happen in fifteen minutes. In under two minutes, a stray dog managed to kill most of my son’s ducks and was growling at my son while he tried to protect the rest. You may think this makes me a terrible person, but instead of grabbing my son and running inside to use the phone and hope the cops got there before the dog finished the ducks and moved on to the turkeys and chickens, I shot the dog.

    That’s why I own a gun. That’s why I’m not inclined to give it up. It is a wholly separate argument from my beliefs regarding stand your ground laws.

    Yes, stand your ground laws are protect you from people intent on giving you shit. That’s why I think if someone keeps walking up to you and pulling your hair and nothing else seems to be stopping them, you are justified in turning around and socking them in the mouth if they do it again. Pretending that has anything to do with guns is a strawman. It has to do with the current ‘duty to retreat’ laws, which say you are obligated to flee if the person approaches you and pulls your hair, even if you have a perfect right or even an obligation to be in that location.

    In the case in which I defended myself against a rapist, my intent was not to ‘kill’ the guy. My intent was to make him stop trying to hurt me and if that took killing him, that was acceptable to me. I do not believe a person should respond with lethal force unless it is realistically the only level of force it would take. And you know something? Because he’d harassed me (verbally) at work before, I was actually asked ‘well, why did you go there if you thought he might be there?’ The attack occurred at the place I worked.

    Or are you actually saying I should have laid down and taken it like a woman instead of defending myself? Because honestly, with the level of hyperbole filled strawmen you are throwing around, it’s starting to sound that way. And frankly, other people have said it outright so it’s not too farfetched.

  98. says

    —Louis: I agree that discussing SYG laws separately from guns isn’t happening, either here or in any larger media context that I’ve seen. I don’t know if it’s impossible to separate the two; I admit I’m kind of trying to push WithinThisMind to go that way, because I’m way out of my knowledge zone here.—

    I haven’t actually conflated the two.

  99. says

    Unless, of course, you conflate ‘shooting raccoons and stray dogs attacking my livestock’ with ‘killing any human being who looks crosswise at me’, as apparently some folks here have.

  100. Pteryxx says

    A system that blames the oppressed and exonerates the oppressor is not going to suddenly stop existing just because on paper it says you’re allowed to kill in defense. all it’ll do is allow the oppressor to kill you “in defense”.

    I don’t buy this either-or universalizing argument for race- or gender-blindness; why should it even apply here? Obviously the system needs to have the bigotry purged out of it; but in the meantime can SYG be helpful to victims who can’t wait that long?

  101. Pteryxx says

    WithinThisMind: Sorry. I wasn’t trying to say YOU had conflated SYG and gun laws, but the rest of us sure are. I was trying to push you to clarify the distinction for, well, me.

  102. says

    —Obviously the system needs to have the bigotry purged out of it; but in the meantime can SYG be helpful to victims who can’t wait that long?—

    Well, it’s going to take some time to get the equipment we need to fix the clog in your septic pipe. Just ignore all the shit-filled water spreading everywhere in the meantime in spite of there being a pump and some sandbags handy. Because that isn’t a perfect solution, dontchaknow?

  103. says

    and as for guns themselves…

    1)can’t outlaw guns in the US, that boat has sailed. too many “off the grid” areas and too many people who know how to make bullets, meaning trying to get gun ownership to end in the USA would be about as effective as doing so in Afghanistan

    2)however, reducing gun culture is something that should be doable, and should be done. it’s indeed not guns per-se that kill, it’s the people who find guns to be a casual sort of thing who kill.

    3)”responsible gunowners” are to “guntoting nuts” pretty much what “liberal christians” are to “fundies”: sure, they’re better, and if we have to have theists/gunowners, they are definitely the preferred kind… nonetheless, they’re enablers and normalizers

  104. Louis says

    WithinThisMind,

    To be fair, I think calling KG (and by extension myself) dishonest is a little strong! After all you are advocating both SYG laws AND carrying guns within two posts. The second of the two posts being partly a response to Aquaria who was objecting to an aspect of your gun advocacy. Forgive us if we missed the vast gulf of difference in your incredibly nuanced position.

    The combination of a SYG law like the one in FL and the right to carry guns is demonstrably a lethal combination. Whether Zimmerman is justified in claiming support from SYG laws, and I’ve seen a thing or two to indicate he isn’t but IANAL, he certainly thought he was. Or as far as anyone can tell short of miraculously climbing into his head and reading his thoughts.

    I’m not so opposed to guns that I think they are the root of all evil, I don’t. I have in the past used and owned guns here in the UK. For sport and for standard country activities like those you mention…although our wildlife extends to a lightly moody squirrel, so they were small guns! Like I said to Pteryxx above, it’s not that I lack sympathy or understanding for people in situations like those you describe, I’ve been in similar situations, I just disagree that laws that grant, or appear to grant, licence to people to use lethal force in ambiguous circumstances are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

    Whilst I agree with Pteryxx’s comment that the victims of stalking etc are best placed in some senses to know the level of threat posed to them, but that’s not the whole story. And no, that really isn’t a subtle “bitches be crazy”. It’s a recognition that people experiencing genuine persecution can become paranoid and misjudge situations. I know, I’ve done it. I’m more than willing to believe that you are a better judge than me, and so are many people, but I still don’t want a gun in my, or your, hands combined with a willingness to use it unless it’s absolutely necessary. And that necessity is really tough to determine, and anecdotes don’t help much. I’m with Ing that when the authorities etc let you down, as they have me too, that’s not a good reason to have means to circumvent the authorities, it’s a reason to get better authorities. Circumvention, especially in penny pinching times, is an excuse for those authorities to push their responsibilities onto citizens.

    Of course, the flip side of the coin is true, and we’re dealing with situations at the boundaries of reasonable. Authorities undervalue the testimony of the stalked or harassed. Especially if those people belong to a minority or oppressed group. It’s tricky stuff, stuff I am glad I don’t have to decide on a daily basis.

    Louis

  105. says

    —WithinThisMind: Sorry. I wasn’t trying to say YOU had conflated SYG and gun laws, but the rest of us sure are. I was trying to push you to clarify the distinction for, well, me.—

    I’ll give it a try.

    Folks, if you aren’t female, pretend you are, just for the moment.

    You are waiting for the subway when you feel a hand on your butt. You step forward. A second later the hand is there again, this time grabbing. You take a quick look around, but you don’t see any security present (as is usually the case). You could go to the phone bank and try to call for security, which will show in about fifteen minutes or so. In the meantime, that hand is still there and your train should be arriving in ten minutes. You could leave the area, but, well, your train is arriving soon and if you have to wait for the next one you’ll be late and there is no guarantee that the guy with the hand won’t still be there when you get back. While you are considering this, the hand tries to slip into your waistband. Though the hand must be clearly visible to bystanders, nobody seems to be reacting to it or inclined to come to your defense.

    If any of you would respond by smacking the hand away, hitting the guy with the large handbag you happen to have, kneeing him in the groin, or shoving him away, you support stand your ground. If any of you wouldn’t do it personally, but would cheer on someone who did, you support stand your ground. If you wouldn’t cheer, but don’t really feel she overreacted and certainly that she shouldn’t be blamed for her reaction, then you support stand your ground.

    But if you feel she should have either put up with it or left the area, then you are stuck with ‘duty to retreat’.

    Yes, the stand your ground laws should be better written to ensure they cannot favor the aggressor. But the principle behind them stands.

  106. says

    but in the meantime can SYG be helpful to victims who can’t wait that long?

    how? I mean, you already can shoot your attackers and go to jail for it, in every country. Since SYG won’t result in you not going to jail (because you won’t convince the oppressor-culture that you were doing self-defense), nothing changes for you.

  107. Pteryxx says

    how? I mean, you already can shoot fight your attackers and go to jail for it, in every country.

    Fixed. Look, if it’s POSSIBLE to distinguish SYG from gun use (as I’m asking WithinThisMind to do) can y’all keep the guns out of it for now?

  108. KG says

    —Y’know – that sounds like you’re saying that they’re about being able to pull a gun on anyone who is giving you shit. Is that really what you meant to say?—

    Nope, and you are being deliberately dishonest to imply such. – WithinThisMind

    No, I was not. If you use phraseology that can so easily be misinterpreted, don’t blame others.

  109. KG says

    Yes, the stand your ground laws should be better written to ensure they cannot favor the aggressor. But the principle behind them stands. – WithinThisMind

    Don’t be ridiculous. We are discussing the laws as they are, not some hypothetical law you haven’t even specified.

  110. Pteryxx says

    WithinThisMind:

    Though the hand must be clearly visible to bystanders, nobody seems to be reacting to it or inclined to come to your defense.

    That’s not really accurate, but it’s easy enough to fix by saying “I say loudly Get away from me” and now the bystanders know something is up.

    …Still doesn’t mean they’d react or help though.

    You also omitted the option (such as it is) of moving a short distance away.

  111. Louis says

    Pteryxx, #117,

    I’d also add, other countries may not have the rate of gun violence that the USA does, but they sure do still have problems with rape culture, queer-bashing and victim-blaming. If SYG can help address victims’ safety in a victim-blaming society, guns or no guns, I’m willing to at least consider it.

    On the first part, hells yeah! We non-USA places have all those “charming” things and more. Yay us!

    I’m not sure I agree that “SYG law + Guns” = victim safety in the same way that a similar “SYG law + No Guns” = victim safety. If that makes sense. I think the addition of guns, and perhaps other cultural factors, makes that equation more complex. Like I said, I’m willing to be wrong about that. Especially if there are benefits to SYG laws and SYG like laws for victims. Unfortunately that doesn’t appear to be the case for Trayvon Martin.

    You’re definitely right, as is WithinThisMind, that victim blaming laws/systems are wrong. That I hope is uncontroversial and I certainly don’t dispute it.

    Louis

  112. says

    If any of you would respond by smacking the hand away, hitting the guy with the large handbag you happen to have, kneeing him in the groin, or shoving him away, you support stand your ground. If any of you wouldn’t do it personally, but would cheer on someone who did, you support stand your ground. If you wouldn’t cheer, but don’t really feel she overreacted and certainly that she shouldn’t be blamed for her reaction, then you support stand your ground.

    …and regardless of whether you have SYG laws or not, if the law becomes involved at that point, it won’t be in your defense.

    try to fucking separate the actual right to self-defense from a law in a severely unequal and oppressive culture that claims to be a law for self-defense. because i do support self-defense, but since the victims will be blamed laws like SYG won’t do shit to help them; they’ll simply be cast as the aggressors, and their aggressors as the defenders. or what do you think would have happened if it had been Zimmermann who died in this story, not Martin?

  113. Pteryxx says

    tangent: Aw frick. And I just realized, because POC men are way more likely to have (nonviolent, drug-related) felony convictions on their record*, they’re far less likely to even be able to legally own guns in the first place than white folks are. *headdesk* Anyway…

    (*see Greg Laden’s “Racist Criminal Justice” series -linky here-)

  114. Louis says

    WithinThisMind,

    Okay, perhaps I’ve talked past you or misunderstood you, but for someone who is throwing accusations of straw about you like it yourself.

    Let me be clear:

    1) I absolutely do not dispute in any way a person’s right to self defence. You can kick the shit out of your potential rapist, use lethal force to someone you believe to be attacking you with lethal intent, like a rapist and I will support you to the hilt. I’m not keen on providing a “Bundy-Charter” where people must submit to the nastier people on the planet. So sure, if self defence, meeting force with like force, is what you mean by “stand your ground” then I support it.

    That isn’t the law as it is written in FL, it isn’t the interpretation of the law as Zimmerman has tried to use it (to the best of my knowledge) and it isn’t the limit of the implications of SYG laws that I have read (although, as admitted, those are few).

    2) I do think that, even given a right to self defence, people have a responsibility to not escalate potential conflicts. This is not at odds with my 1). If someone is rude to me, barges me, whatever in a crowded tube train (as happens with regularity I assure you), I can turn and hit the guy. And I really can do that. There’s a bundle of people around me though, a fist fight will end up likely harming them too. That has to be a factor. So whilst smacking arse-grabbers and the like is something I support, context does matter. Sometimes, the best course of action is to move away from the person. I don’t think that is contrary to the right to not put up with shit, I think it’s part of it. The right to not put up with shit does not dictate a specific reaction.

    3) Sorry, but you carry a gun. You have told us that, on occasion, in the street, not just on a farm for raccoon shooting, you carry a gun. So please, do not present anyone’s argument against that as disagreement with legitimate “country” uses of a gun. I at least certainly don’t dispute guns have valid uses, and I don’t recall seeing anyone else here do that. I don’t see anyone disputing your right to a PROPORTIONATE RESPONSE of any kind. I do see people disputing anyone’s right to a DISPROPORTIONATE RESPONSE. The Martin/Zimmerman case that spurred this thread is a cast iron example of a disproportionate response to a perceived threat, and even the existence of that “threat” is more than a mite dubious.

    4) This:

    Or are you actually saying I should have laid down and taken it like a woman instead of defending myself? Because honestly, with the level of hyperbole filled strawmen you are throwing around, it’s starting to sound that way. And frankly, other people have said it outright so it’s not too farfetched.

    Is beyond fucking stupid. No one here, NO. ONE. Is going to say anything like that, so do yourself a favour and buy a clue. Hyperbolic straw men? You have a fine one yourself right there.

    No one has objected to the principle of self defence and a proportionate response to a threat. What people are objecting to is a lethal combination of ambiguous laws and tools that seem to grant licence to gun toting citizens with a wide spectrum of abilities to determine threat, and an equally wide spectrum of prejudices, to blow people away and get away with it.

    Louis

  115. Pteryxx says

    Like I said, I’m willing to be wrong about that. Especially if there are benefits to SYG laws and SYG like laws for victims. Unfortunately that doesn’t appear to be the case for Trayvon Martin.

    *nod* I’ve heard it said that running away would have put him in greater danger, or at least sunk what little credibility he did have, because a black guy running must totes!! be guilty of SOMEthing. Which means he was in a legal catch-22: without SYG, his legal responsibility would’ve been to run and be presumed to be an escaping criminal. (assuming I understand the principles correctly.)

    I admit, while I’m thinking of the abuse victim perspective which is personal to me, being a white-looking woman or queer person running doesn’t carry the same level of danger. I’m worried about getting beat up, not about getting shot in the back. Laws that make you run might be particularly dangerous for dark-skinned men.

  116. David Marjanović says

    rorschach: You’re bringing logic to a gun fight.

    Would go into my quote collection if I could put it there.

    To me the stand your ground laws feels like an act of denying that there is a problem with our law enforcement (a very common theme in this country on many many many fronts)

    + 1

    You are waiting for the subway [...] You could go to the phone bank and try to call for security, which will show in about fifteen minutes or so.

    See, that’s why Americans can’t have nice things.

    Where I come from, the police and the ambulance come in five minutes to the outskirts of the city.

  117. Pteryxx says

    2) I do think that, even given a right to self defence, people have a responsibility to not escalate potential conflicts. This is not at odds with my 1). If someone is rude to me, barges me, whatever in a crowded tube train (as happens with regularity I assure you), I can turn and hit the guy. And I really can do that.

    That opens you up to assault charges though (I think?) which will be applied unequally depending on your privilege/credibility level versus the other person’s. This sort of thing gets used to deny abuse victims access to their own children because they once fought back against a spouse, for instance.

    Aren’t there laws that have actual proportionality clauses written into them? Why isn’t there something somewhere about balancing the duty to retreat with situations where retreating IS escalation?

  118. Louis says

    Pteryxx,

    Yeah you’re right, that would open me to assault charges potentially. Sorry if I wasn’t clear. I merely meant that I am entitled to defend myself with proportionate violence, but that right does not dictate that I should do so, or even that it is appropriate for me to do so in any particular situation.

    Would make the occasional commute more fun though. ;-)

    I jest! I jest!

    Louis

  119. says

    —You also omitted the option (such as it is) of moving a short distance away.—

    No, I didn’t. It was the first thing I covered, in fact.

    —That’s not really accurate, but it’s easy enough to fix by saying “I say loudly Get away from me” and now the bystanders know something is up.

    …Still doesn’t mean they’d react or help though.—

    Been there, done that, got the T-shirt, got the ‘oh you should be flattered’. I do, by the way, think responding with ‘oh he just thinks you are cute/you should be flattered’ to someone complaining of being sexually harassed is a punch in the mouth worthy offense, if you want to continue thinking of me as some violent monster.

    —So sure, if self defence, meeting force with like force, is what you mean by “stand your ground” then I support it.—

    Then we mostly agree.

    The problem is, in 29 states, you may only use force with like force if turning around and running is not an option, in spite of how bad an option it may be (such as forcing you to flee your own home due to a handsy guest rather than shoving them out the door).

    However, I also think that you have some right to limited escalation, such as, oh if someone is standing in your living room screaming racist invective and refusing to leave, you have the right to grab them by the arm and drag them out of the house if you are in a location in which prompt response by the police is not likely.

    That’s it. That’s all I have said from the beginning. The rest is just your bullshit hyperbole.

    –Hyperbolic straw men? You have a fine one yourself right there. —

    Yes, it is. I got tired of yours and threw one back at you in hopes you would see how stupid strawmen are in this argument. Can we be done with them now? Would you like to start addressing things I’ve actually said instead of pretending I’m suggesting the second coming of the ‘Wild Wild West’?

    —-You have told us that, on occasion, in the street, not just on a farm for raccoon shooting, you carry a gun—

    Yep, I also do target shooting at the gun range, which requires me to leave my property and go to another location. And sometimes I go hunting, which occasionally requires me to transport a firearm as far as three hundred miles.

    —I do see people disputing anyone’s right to a DISPROPORTIONATE RESPONSE. The Martin/Zimmerman case that spurred this thread is a cast iron example of a disproportionate response to a perceived threat, and even the existence of that “threat” is more than a mite dubious.—

    Yep, and that’s why the ‘stand your ground’ law doesn’t actually apply to this situation, it’s just being used as a scapegoat to cover up the real situation, which is that apparently, the Sanford police department doesn’t think it’s illegal to shoot black kids. If the ‘stand your ground’ law wasn’t in place, they’d have some other bullshit excuse. Stand your ground and even gun control are red herrings in the Martin/Zimmerman issue. The real problem, what really needs to be addressed, and what the ‘law’ should really be focusing on is getting rid of cops who condone racist actions or engage in racist actions themselves. But they don’t want people focusing on that, so they drag out the stand your ground law and pretend they are just ‘victims’ of this legislation and their poor little hands are tied.

  120. Louis says

    Pteryxx,

    Why isn’t there something somewhere about balancing the duty to retreat with situations where retreating IS escalation?

    THAT is an excellent question to which I do not know the answer. And, again, for the record I do not dispute or doubt that the authorities and laws the world over are biased against oppressed groups and victims.

    Louis

  121. Louis says

    WithinThisMind,

    “The rest is just your bullshit hyperbole.” =/= Mocking your shitty phrasing. Like it or not, it’s no skin off my nose.

    Louis

  122. says

    —Why isn’t there something somewhere about balancing the duty to retreat with situations where retreating IS escalation?—

    It’s an issue at low levels and at high levels.

    With my toxic family member, retreating was exactly the reaction she wanted. Once we retreated in the face of her bullying, she got to have her way. It was amazing how much better she started behaving once it became clear we weren’t going to put up with/flee from her anymore. Of course, she’s still a toxic ass, but at least her ability to damage people’s lives has been curtailed.

    And of course, if you run when a cop barges in like a jackass (or just happens to be present), you must be guilty/have something to hide and shooting you becomes an acceptable tactic. My ex, at a park, on the jogging path, had a cop scream at him about ‘don’t you run from me boy’. Until the cop yelled, my ex hadn’t even been aware of his presence.

    I think a small part of it is the cops are starting to fear that stand your ground laws might end up applying to them. That when they walk up and shove somebody, the courts might just end up on that person’s side if they shove back. Or that when they kick down the door of the wrong house on a no-knock warrant and the confused homeowner reacts defensively and shoots back, the court might just take the homeowners side. It’s unlikely to actually occur, but I think that fear is there.

    And of course, that nagging fear cops always seem to have that they might not be viewed as our righteous and necessary white-knights to be adored, admired, and obeyed if people get the notion they can stand up for themselves and thus don’t necessarily have to put up with cops. I mean, what’s the usual comeback when there starts being criticism of the police? ‘Yeah, yeah, but who are you going to call when somebody is breaking in/hassling you/etc…?’. The most powerful weapon in an oppressors handbag is fear, and by taking away the legal requirement to flee in fear before all assailants, we do take some power/respect away from cops.

  123. Pteryxx says

    If the ‘stand your ground’ law wasn’t in place, they’d have some other bullshit excuse. Stand your ground and even gun control are red herrings in the Martin/Zimmerman issue.

    Okay… I’m still not comfortable with SYG laws given how hard the NRA is pushing them for dubious reasons, but I’m willing to agree that they’re probably not a big contributing factor to either the Martin/Zimmerman issue, or to the greater issue of bigoted and untrustworthy law officers and criminal justice systems.

    The problem is, in 29 states, you may only use force with like force if turning around and running is not an option, in spite of how bad an option it may be (such as forcing you to flee your own home due to a handsy guest rather than shoving them out the door).

    However, I also think that you have some right to limited escalation, such as, oh if someone is standing in your living room screaming racist invective and refusing to leave, you have the right to grab them by the arm and drag them out of the house if you are in a location in which prompt response by the police is not likely.

    Then this is an argument for the duty to retreat not being absolute, not necessarily for escalation or disproportionate force.

    So, I’d suggest (if it were in my power to do so) that instead of SYG laws per se, the duty to retreat should have a few balancing considerations:

    - Does the threatened person reasonably believe that retreating would escalate rather than defuse the situation;

    - Does the threatened person reasonably believe that help such as law enforcement is not forthcoming.

    I think that accounts for escalating abuse situations, persistent harassers who won’t back off, someone trashing your house or your person without actually threatening bodily harm, and situations such as bullying or sexual harassment where the threatened person has made appeals to authority that have gone unanswered; or where the authority has demonstrated indifference to certain classes of victim.

    How does that sound?

  124. says

    —-So, I’d suggest (if it were in my power to do so) that instead of SYG laws per se, the duty to retreat should have a few balancing considerations:

    - Does the threatened person reasonably believe that retreating would escalate rather than defuse the situation;

    - Does the threatened person reasonably believe that help such as law enforcement is not forthcoming.—

    You use that word. That lovely, lovely, wonderful word that almost always ends in some bullshit loophole abuse.

    ‘Reasonably’

    It’s the same problem with the law in question. People are trying to twist Zimmerman’s actions into something approaching ‘reasonable’ even if they must falsify statements, ‘correct’ witnesses, and otherwise disagree with reality to do so. ‘Reasonable’ plays into bias because some particular brands of asshole (like the commentators on the Fox news articles on this subject) think it’s ‘reasonable’ to view the presence of a young black man as a threat.

    Reasonably is the standard. It’s why the current stand your ground law doesn’t actually apply in this situation. And actual reasonable person looking at the law and the facts of the situation can see it doesn’t actually apply. But because bigoted assholes are unreasonable, the law is getting unreasonably twisted as part of this…gah, another dirty word…agenda.

    If the cops in question were ‘reasonable’, the law would not apply. But since the cops in question are not ‘reasonable’, they are attempting to twist the law to make the situation ‘reasonable’, and thus we are again stuck.

    If society were ‘reasonable’, none of this would have happened in the first place.

    The problem isn’t the law. The problem is the unreasonable jackasses in law enforcement and society in general. Your rewrite doesn’t change that.

  125. Pteryxx says

    Hmm. Seeing as how the Reason Rally’s going on right now, I’d guess I have a much more favorable view of the word than you do.

  126. says

    And in many duty to retreat areas, the law is actually applied as you stated. If you are lucky enough to get reasonable officers and law enforcement agents showing up on the scene. If you aren’t so lucky (or aren’t one of the privileged types who receive benefit of the doubt), you can end up royally and appallingly screwed.

    Town I grew up in wasn’t lucky enough to have any reasonable cops, as near as I could tell. Fortunately, at least one prosecutor and one judge were reasonable.

  127. says

    —Hmm. Seeing as how the Reason Rally’s going on right now, I’d guess I have a much more favorable view of the word than you do.—

    If I’d have grown up in the town I live in now, rather than the one in which I did grow up, I’d probably have a more favorable view of the world myself.

  128. chigau (√-1) says

    WithinThisMind
    If you type <blockquote>paste the stuff you’re quoting</blockquote> the stuff you’re quoting gets offset.

    paste the stuff you’re quoting gets offset

    It’s easier to read.

  129. Pteryxx says

    Here’s some of what I found so far on the SYG law in Florida:

    Q: The law lets people use force if they “reasonably believe” it’s necessary to defend themselves. What defines “reasonable” in the perception of deadly threat?

    A: Professor Scott E. Sundby of the University of Miami School of Law says that part of the law is included in many self-defense statutes. “The court leaves that amorphous question to the jury to decide,” he said.

    Deciding whether someone acted reasonably is also a critical part of the “the fact-intensive inquiry” prosecutors must make before deciding whether charges are warranted in a shooting, Sundby said. That is presumably what is happening in the Seminole-Brevard State Attorney’s Office now.

    Q: Can an unarmed person legally pose a deadly threat?

    In case after case during the past six years, Floridians who shot and killed unarmed opponents have not been prosecuted. Former National Rifle Association President Marion Hammer, a major force behind the law’s passage, cited her own size and age in 2006 interview with the Sentinel about what she would do if confronted by a younger and larger aggressor.

    “I’m 4-foot-11. I’m 67 years old,” she said. “If you came at me, and I felt that my life was in danger or that I was going to be injured, I wouldn’t hesitate to shoot you.”

    Source

    Florida also makes it easy to plead self-defense in a killing. Under then-Gov. Jeb Bush, the state in 2005 passed a broad “stand your ground” law, which allows Florida residents to use deadly force against a threat without attempting to back down from the situation. (More stringent self-defense laws state that gun owners have “a duty to retreat” before resorting to killing.) In championing the law, former NRA president and longtime Florida gun lobbyist Marion Hammer said: “Through time, in this country, what I like to call bleeding-heart criminal coddlers want you to give a criminal an even break, so that when you’re attacked, you’re supposed to turn around and run, rather than standing your ground and protecting yourself and your family and your property.”

    Again, the Sunshine State was the trendsetter: 17 states have since passed “stand your ground” laws, which critics call a “license to kill” or a “shoot first” law. The law has been unpopular with law enforcement officers in Florida, since it makes it much more difficult to charge shooters with a crime and has regularly confounded juries in murder cases; many Orlando-area cops reportedly have given up investigating “self-defense” cases as a result, referring them to the overloaded state Attorney’s Office for action. A 2010 study by the Tampa Bay Times found that “justifiable homicides” had tripled in the state since the law went into effect.

    Source

    It sure looks like SYG laws are closely tied to using guns and/or lethal force, however much sense it makes for there to be exceptions to the duty to retreat.

  130. Pteryxx says

    If I’d have grown up in the town I live in now, rather than the one in which I did grow up, I’d probably have a more favorable view of the world myself.

    Heh, I said “word”. That’s the thing though; because I grew up getting bullied and abused in a gun-free context, and because I pass as white, I haven’t had to think about guns or lethal force laws much. For what it’s worth, WithinThisMind, I appreciate you sticking around to argue your side. (Even if not always gracefully. That’s a lot to ask, here.)

  131. Pteryxx says

    Oh duh. Forgot the actual law text:

    Justifiable use of force

    776.012 Use of force in defense of person. — A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if:

    (1) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony; or

    (2) Under those circumstances permitted pursuant to s. 776.013.

    That source again

  132. says

    He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony; or,

    As I’ve stated, I fail to see how the stand your ground law ‘exonerates’ Zimmerman at all. Which is why my conclusion is that it’s a red herring/scapegoat.

  133. Pteryxx says

    Two more articles on how Stand Your Ground laws are being used (emphases mine):

    Contrary to what many liberal pundits have written, Florida should not reimpose a “duty to retreat” — the policy that prevailed before Stand Your Ground — on innocent people who face violent attackers. But it is true that the Stand Your Ground statute protects people who don’t merely stand their ground — it protects anyone who can reasonably claim he faced a serious threat, so long as he was “not engaged in unlawful activity” when the threat occurred.

    Therefore, to arrest Zimmerman, the police would need evidence that he was doing something illegal when Martin attacked him, or that he didn’t reasonably believe he faced a serious threat. Since we don’t know whether Zimmerman threw the first punch when he caught up to Martin, and we don’t know what Martin was doing when Zimmerman fired, this isn’t possible.

    The solution is to make Zimmerman’s activity unlawful. It should be a crime to chase down a fellow citizen who runs away, except in certain situations (e.g. when a store owner pursues a shoplifter, as opposed to a man’s running after a teenager with no provocation whatsoever). One might imagine this was already a crime — such as assault — but Florida police officials have said it is not.

    Source (from page 2)

    (right, making running after someone potentially a crime is a GREAT IDEA…)

    Florida’s new law did three things: It further loosened the restrictions on using deadly force at home. It scrapped the duty to retreat in public places. And it gave people who use self-defense civil and criminal immunity. Pushing for these changes, NRA President Marion Hammer focused on women and their need to protect themselves. “You can’t expect a victim to wait and ask, ‘Excuse me, Mr. Criminal, are you going to rape me and kill me, or are you just going to beat me up and steal my television?” she said.

    Prosecutors opposed the Stand Your Ground law, and they still complain about it. “It is an abomination,” former Broward County Prosecutor David Frankel told the Sun Sentinel in January. “The ultimate intent might be good, but in practice, people take the opportunity to shoot first and say later they had a justification. It almost gives them a free pass to shoot.”

    [...]

    It’s that decision not to press charges that makes Stand Your Ground laws, which a bunch of other states have adopted, a crazy departure from the past. It’s one thing to raise self-defense at trial. It’s another to have what the Florida Supreme Court calls “true immunity.” True immunity, the court said, means a trial judge can dismiss a prosecution, based on a Stand Your Ground assertion, before trial begins.

    Source

    …Yeah, this really doesn’t look good for protecting victims from anything. Even if the SYG laws are correct in principle (and do what they say on the tin) they’re causing massive collateral damage. And, they’re completely entwined with the NRA and the use of guns as the “deadly force” mentioned therein.

    (moved third link to get out of moderation)

  134. Pteryxx says

    Link to the rest of Florida’s actual statute that I quoted above, which lays out the circumstances under which deadly force is considered reasonable:

    Florida 0776.013

    It looks like a fairly tight and sensible set of restrictions… which doesn’t matter if everything’s getting called self-defense without even being investigated.

  135. RahXephon, Giant Feminist Mecha Robot says

    Does SYG make anyone else think of Jimbo and Ned from South Park, who were avid hunters, but after a law change they had to shout before shooting anything/one “look out, they’re comin’ right for us!”?

  136. Pteryxx says

    “look out, they’re comin’ right for us!”?

    I was also thinking of a recent case where cops beating on an Occupy protester (IIRC) lying on the ground kept yelling “Stop resisting arrest! Stop resisting arrest!”

  137. RahXephon, Giant Feminist Mecha Robot says

    @Pteryxx

    Yes, that’s why I don’t like laws like this. As much as I understand the point WithinThisMind is making, I see laws like SYG being used more as legal ass-covering for instigating and then killing someone than as a refuge for victims that the police don’t respond to. It would be great if the latter happened more often, but as janine (I believe it was janine, I’m sorry if it’s not) pointed out farther upthread, we live in a racist, classist, homophobic, transphobic, misogynistic society and there are way more cases of these laws being misapplied to hurt victims than to help them.

  138. crissakentavr says

    I assume this has been covered, but…

    …No one is arguing that the stand your ground law is being used appropriately. But it is important here, because it is the reason Zimmerman is free. Sure, in a perfect word, these laws wouldn’t apply to this case.

    But guess what? This is the exact law that police quoted as forcing their hand.

    So yes, the law is at fault. Intentions aren’t laws.

  139. says

    Ugh. There is no “need” to own a gun. Even in the “country”.

    Wild animals a problem? CALL ANIMAL CONTROL! (And hey, put up better fencing for your livestock — DUH!)

    There’s no need to hunt — you can go to a STORE and BUY your meat.

    And it’s true that if you own a gun, you are far more likely to be a target of violence, or to be “accidentally” shot. With your own gun.

    Therefore, guns should be banned from private ownership.

    WTM, you are a gun-nut, and regardless of what “you’ve been through”, there is ZERO justification for owning a lethal weapon. You don’t NEED it.

    BAN GUNS.

    PROMOTE PEACE.

  140. KG says

    It is absurd for WithinThisMind to keep claiming that the SYG law is a “scapegoat” or “red herring”, when that is exactly what is being cited by Florida police as the reason Zimmerman has not been arrested, and when so-called “justifiable homicides” have soared since it was passed.

  141. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    To go back to Trayvon’s murder for a bit, this Mother Jones article about the case is being regularly updated.

    This is from yesterday, part of the statement made by Zimmerman’s lawyer:

    “In my legal opinion, that ["stand your ground" law]‘s not really applicable to this case. The statute on ‘stand your ground’ is primarily when you’re in your house,” attorney Craig Sonner told CNN. “This is self-defense, and that’s been around for forever—that you have a right to defend yourself. So the next issue (that) is going to come up is, was he justified in using the amount of force he did?”

    Self-defense my ass. That he pursued an unarmed civilian who posed absolutely no danger to him is being conveniently ignored.

  142. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    WMDKitty
    Are you joking?

    No, just describing an ideal world. Unfortunately, it’ll never happen because the “I gots ta have a gun” ethos is so deeply engrained.

  143. says

    Wild animals a problem? CALL ANIMAL CONTROL! (And hey, put up better fencing for your livestock — DUH!)

    Sure. Soon as you write me a check for the nearly hundred thousand dollars it will cost to put up raccoon proof fencing around forty acres of property, I’ll get right on that.

    There’s no need to hunt

    There is a venison section in your supermarket? Little idiot, part of the reason I hunt is for population control for the deer. Whenever they overly limit hunters, we end up with a population surge in the deer and they become so numerous that they start starving to death, increasing traffic accidents, and causing a problem for crops. It’s a bigger picture than Bambi.

    And it’s true that if you own a gun, you are far more likely to be a target of violence, or to be “accidentally” shot. With your own gun.

    Actually, it isn’t. It’s far more likely I will continue to use my gun in a safe and responsible manner. It’s also more likely that if I own a car, I will die in a traffic accident. The statistics don’t actually provide you with any actual ‘knowledge’ on this issue.

    you can go to a STORE and BUY your meat.

    Have you ever seen the conditions animals are raised in to provide meat for supermarkets?

    He who buys the meat is brother to the butcher. And I won’t be party to that kind of cruelty. The meat I eat had as comfortable a life as possible and died clean.

    WTM, you are a gun-nut, and regardless of what “you’ve been through”, there is ZERO justification for owning a lethal weapon. You don’t NEED it.

    Gonna need it again soon. Idiot neighbor never bothers to cover his trash cans and they attract raccoons like crazy. Raccoons will kill chickens for sport rather than just for food. I don’t mind the foxes, a fox will take one bird and I won’t see the fox again for a month, but a raccoon will go in and kill the entire flock and take a bite out of each bird. Right now the raccoon is still hitting the neighbor’s house, but within a week he’ll stop putting the trash out, the raccoon will wander over here, and I’ll have the joy of sitting outside all night waiting for it to show up so I can shoot it.

    Maybe I’ll get lucky and it will wander into the trap and I’ll be guaranteed a clean shot. They don’t always, raccoons can be irritatingly intelligent. If it does that, I’ll post back here and you can decide it’s fate. Do I chuck the entire trap into a water barrel and let the thing suffer drowning, or do I give a quick headshot and have it die instantly? I’ll put up an internet poll. Slow painful death, or instant kill. Your choice.

    I’ve called animal control, btw. Unless it’s a collared stray or something DNR will be interested in (like the time the owl got into the coop, panicked, and broke it’s wing), animal control is too far stretched (and too far away most times) to do anything. Or do you think I should risk myself to catch every dog that comes into my property to attack my animals? Not likely, I prefer to keep my blood on the inside of my skin, thank you. Am I supposed to just let it enjoy itself killing my animals while I wait for animal control to show up? It will take them a minimum of an hour, they aren’t really equipped to come out on an emergency basis. Are you going to pay for all the damage it will do? The vet bill for the goat that got attacked ended up about three grand. The other goat had to be put down. Can I expect your check in the mail and an explanation to my son that the pets he raised from the day they were born had to die because you find guns icky and are too stupid to understand that even a six foot fence can be insufficient to keep a determined dog out as some dogs can climb over / dig under a fence?

    It is absurd for WithinThisMind to keep claiming that the SYG law is a “scapegoat” or “red herring”, when that is exactly what is being cited by Florida police as the reason Zimmerman has not been arrested, and when so-called “justifiable homicides” have soared since it was passed.

    Yes, it’s being used in this way, but the point was that it’s being used incorrectly.

  144. says

    BTW, my little idiotic kitty,

    What, exactly, do you think animal control will do if they do manage to show up to a raccoon call?

    I can tell you, for I have seen it with my own eyes.

    They will shoot it.

    So…your solution to ‘gun violence’, is to call over someone else with a gun and let them do the violence?

    How, exactly, does that make any sense to you?

  145. Pteryxx says

    I’m also in a rural area, so I can vouch for 1) numerous stray and wild dogs and cats that routinely go after people’s livestock; 2) wild BOARS that have attacked people walking or working in their yards/gardens; and 3) animal control out here consists of ONE PERSON and a handful of ill-equipped volunteers in several hundred square miles. Seriously, unless I called 911 for an animal problem out here, I’d be depending on waking up the one person who also runs the ragtag local shelter single-handedly.

    —-

    As far as the Trayvon/Zimmerman case and SYG:

    Yes, it’s being used in this way, but the point was that it’s being used incorrectly.

    Then the question is whether the misuse of SYG laws in practice outweighs the (arguably valid) underlying principles sufficiently to justify condemning the law. I don’t like saying it, but that seems obviously to be the case, given the history and provenance of SYG laws (and with the caveat that I’ve only been looking into this a few days.)

    Of course, if these laws weren’t being applied in a rampantly gun-filled culture, or in a rampantly racist and sexist culture for that matter, they wouldn’t be such a problem. That doesn’t mean people should just get shot for no reason while waiting for those factors to improve. And I’m saying that as someone who decided I *would* fight my stalker to the best of my ability, and reconciled myself to the possibility that I’d kill him, rather than give him (another) good chance to kill me.

  146. Anri says

    So, WTM, can you explain what your uses for guns have to do with Concealed Carry laws, SYG laws, handguns, or assault rifles? I’m assuming you’re not using an AK to off those troublesome raccoons, with a Desert Eagle in a quick-draw holster for backup. Am I right?

    Tell you what, WTM, I’ll get your check for property improvements right on out to you just as soon as you write a check to buy us a planet large enough for every person to own as much property as you do, and live on it without being close to other people. Because, really, until and unless you do that, I’m thinking that this case about a kid being killed by a handgun in a gated community by a would-be vigilante bears as much resemblance to your situation as a LARP group does to the Battle of Hastings.

    As far as letting other people handle violence for me… um, yes, actually I do. And unless you warmed up the ol’ crop duster and swung over to Libya, you do too.

    Do you have a reason to own guns?
    Yes, you do.
    Are you an outlier with regards to the way the majority of humans live in modern societies?
    Yes, you are.
    Different circumstances might just require different regulations.

  147. Pteryxx says

    So, WTM, can you explain what your uses for guns have to do with Concealed Carry laws, SYG laws, handguns, or assault rifles?

    WTM was responding to a specific list of claims in #161. She addressed concealed carry in #75 and SYG all over the latter half of this thread.

    Because, really, until and unless you do that, I’m thinking that this case about a kid being killed by a handgun in a gated community by a would-be vigilante bears as much resemblance to your situation as a LARP group does to the Battle of Hastings.

    WTM gave the situation of defending oneself (not necessarily with a gun) against a rapist or violent family member in #96, 106 and 118, which are much more relevant than rural animal attacks.

    Sheesh, y’all could at least TRY to argue in good faith here.

  148. mikmik says

    Pteryxx
    Sheesh, y’all could at least TRY to argue in good faith here.

    Oh, you mean, like this: “BTW, my little idiotic kitty,

    What, exactly, do you think animal control will do if they do manage to show up to a raccoon call?

    I can tell you, for I have seen it with my own eyes.

    They will shoot it.”
    Okay, first off, they are trained and under insurable and legally specific to perform their task in a predictable manner, one that is far more transparent and susceptible to proper regulation. Fuckhead here can get drunk and pull out his uzi(sarcasm, for fucks sake) and start shooting ghosts in the trees between him and the car passing by on the nearby road, or campers, or whatever the fuck a fucking dipshit like you two would be expected to fucking forget to take into account because you just snapped and can’t handle a ‘coon for one more second, even if it is a kitty cat rustling a mouse it is after.

    You want to shut the fuck up now about ARGUING IN GOOD FAITH!!

    Fuck, you dolts never fail to amaze me how indistinct the line between reality and your fucking fantasy scenarios is.

  149. mikmik says

    In other words, it doesn’t matter to micro-penis he man what percentage of an arbitrary sampling of the population is not mature and/or disciplined and/or sober enough to be in possession of some arbitrarily well maintained zip gun at any random point in time, because he has a right to fucking kill shit, and if you have to let everyone have the right to kill shit just so Einstien here can own killing shit, not to worry, what’s fair is fair, and little spoiled damion might need it the next time he gets pinned down by a psychotic rambo reliving his 16 hour, oh sorry, 11 hour massacre in a campus tower.

    Fuuccckkkkkkkkkkkkk………..

  150. says

    Riiiight, I’m an “idiot” because I want PEACE…

    Look, WTM, you’re a fucking gun nut, and you’re obviously reaching for ANY “justification” for your penile replacements. Go right ahead. Just don’t come running to me when your dumbass kid kills himself with your gun. All I’mma do is say “I told you so.”

    BAN GUNS.

    PUSH PEACE.

  151. mikmik says

    And it’s true that if you own a gun, you are far more likely to be a target of violence, or to be “accidentally” shot. With your own gun.

    Actually, it isn’t. It’s far more likely I will continue to use my gun in a safe and responsible manner. It’s also more likely that if I own a car, I will die in a traffic accident. The statistics don’t actually provide you with any actual ‘knowledge’ on this issue.

    Protection Or Peril? Gun Possession Of Questionable Value In An Assault, Study Finds

    ScienceDaily (Sep. 30, 2009) — In a first-of its-kind study, epidemiologists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine found that, on average, guns did not protect those who possessed them from being shot in an assault. The study estimated that people with a gun were 4.5 times more likely to be shot in an assault than those not possessing a gun.

    Guns in the Home Provide Greater Health Risk Than Benefit

    ScienceDaily (Apr. 27, 2011) — Despite the fact that nearly one-third of American households have a firearm, studies show that having a gun in the home poses a household a greater health risk than a potential benefit. A new study released in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine examined scientific research on both sides of the debate to put hard numbers to this on-going discussion.

    Stolen gun control
    Author:

    Helsley, R. W.

    /

    O’Sullivan, A.

    Publication: Journal of Urban Economics

    Topics:

    Crime, Legislation and Policy, Ownership

    Keywords:

    Crime Prevention

    EQUILIBRIUM

    GUN control

    Household firearms

    firearms and crime

    Bibliographic information +

    Using data about guns stolen in the United States (567,000 each year with 90% taken from private homes) and citing that up to 70% of the guns used in crimes are stolen, the authors contend that “gun control policies should focus on stolen guns.” They propose a deposit on each gun purchase that would be lost should the owner no longer have the gun after a certain period of time but that would be refunded should t

    HOMICIDE
      1. Guns and homicide (literature review). We performed a review of the academic literature on the effects of gun availability on homicide rates. Major findings:  A broad array of evidence indicates that gun availability is a risk factor for homicide, both in the United States and across high-income countries.  Case-control studies, ecological time-series and cross-sectional studies indicate that in homes, cities, states and regions in the US, where there are more guns, both men and women are at higher risk for homicide, particularly firearm homicide. Publication:  Hepburn, Lisa; Hemenway, David.  “Firearm Availability and Homicide: A Review of the Literature.” Aggression and Violent Behavior: A Review Journal.  2004; 9:417-40.

    3. Gun availability and state homicide rates, 1988-1997
    Using a validated proxy for firearm ownership, we analyzed the relationship between firearm availability and homicide across 50 states over a ten year period.
    Major findings: After controlling for poverty and urbanization, for every age group, people in states with many guns have elevated rates of homicide, particularly firearm homicide.

    5. Homicide followed by suicide in Kentucky. We analyzed data from the Kentucky Firearm Injury Statistics Program for 1998-2000. Major findings:  While less than 7% of all firearm homicides were followed by a firearm suicide, in two-thirds of the cases in which a women was shot in an intimate partner-related homicide, the male perpetrator then killed himself with the firearm.  Few of these female victims had contact with the Department of Community-based Services.   Publication: Walsh, Sabrina; Hemenway, David. “Intimate Partner Violence: Homicides followed by Suicides in Kentucky.” Journal of Kentucky Medical Association. 2005; 103:667-70.

    11. Gun availability and state suicide rates, 1981-2001 (time series analysis) Using survey data on rates of household gun ownership, we examined the association between gun availability and suicide over time, 1981-2001. Major findings:  Changes in the levels of household firearm gun ownership was significantly associated with changes in both firearm suicide and overall suicide, for men, women and children, even after controlling for region, unemployment, alcohol consumption and poverty. There was no relationship between changes in gun ownership and changes in non-firearm suicide. Publication:  Miller, Matthew; Azrael, Deborah; Hepburn, Lisa; Hemenway, David; Lippman, Steven.  “The Association between Changes in Household Firearm Ownership and Rates of Suicide in the United States, 1981-2002.” Injury Prevention. 2006; 12:178-82.

    30. Batterers gun possession.
    We analyzed survey data of over 4,500 men in Massachusetts batterers intervention programs.
    Major findings: Risk factors for having a gun included having gambling problems, having attempted murder, and having threatened a partner with a firearm.
    Publication: Rothman, Emily F.; Johnson, Renee M.; Hemenway, David. “Gun Possession among a Sample of Massachusetts Batterer Program Enrollees.” Evaluation Review. 2006; 30:283-95.

    31. Gun owners and mental illness
    We added questions to, and analyzed data from the National Comorbidity Study.
    Major findings: Gun owning households do not have more mental health problems than non-gun owning households; differences in mental health do not explain why gun owners and their families are at higher risk for completed suicide than non-gun owning families.
    Publication: Miller, Matthew; Molnar, Beth; Barber, Catherine; Hemenway, David; Azrael, Deborah. “Recent Psychopathology, Suicidal Thoughts and Suicide Attempts in Households with vs. without Firearms: Findings from the National Comorbidity Study Replication.” Injury Prevention. 2009; 15:183-87.

    School Shootings The Result Of Crisis Of Masculinity, Gun Culture, Professor Argues

    ScienceDaily (Feb. 17, 2008) — The recent fatal shooting rampage at Northern Illinois University, and similar attacks at a Missouri city hall and in a Los Angeles suburb, again raise questions about the eruption of mass violence in America in recent years. What is behind these acts and, more importantly, can anything be done to stop them?

    Reference

    Cyber-bullying
    Bullying
    Self-esteem
    Culture of fear

    In “Guys and Guns Amok: Domestic Terrorism and School Shootings from the Oklahoma City Bombing to the Virginia Tech Massacre” (Paradigm, 2008), UCLA professor of education and cultural critic Douglas Kellner argues that school shootings and other acts of mass violence embody a crisis of out-of-control gun culture and male rage, heightened by a glorification of hypermasculinity and violence in the media.

    “The school shooters and domestic terrorists examined in this book all exhibit male rage, attempt to resolve a crisis of masculinity through violent behavior, demonstrate a fetish for guns or weapons, and represent, in general, a situation of guys and guns amok,” Kellner says.

    Employer Policies Toward Guns and the Risk of Homicide in the Workplace
    Author:

    Loomis, Dana

    /

    Marshall, Stephen W.

    /

    Ta, Myduc L.

    Publication: American Journal of Public Health

    Link to Published Abstract

    Topics:

    Gun Carrying

    Homicide

    State

    Keywords:

    EMPLOYEES — Attitudes

    HOMICIDE

    Violence

    WORK environment

    Bibliographic information +

    In North Carolina, 105 workplaces where a worker was a victim of homicide between 1994 and 1998 were identified and compared to randomly selected workplaces that were in operation at the time of the homicide and were in the same industry sector. Of the workplaces where a homicide had occurred, 91 responded to a survey about their policies towards weapons as did 205 workplaces where a homicide did not occur. Workplaces where guns were permitted were about 5 times

    Gun Violence

    Black Homicide Victimization

    Drive-By Shootings

    Murder-Suicides

    State-by-State Gun Death Statistics

    Women and Firearms Violence

    Youth, Firearms Violence, and Marketing Guns to Kids

    Number and Rates of Firearm Mortality–United States, 1965 to 2004 (pdf)

    Additional Studies

    More Guns, More Shootings (January 2012)

    Firearms are the second leading cause of traumatic death related to a consumer product in the United States and are the second most frequent cause of death overall for Americans ages 15 to 24. Since 1960, more than 1.3 million Americans have died in firearm suicides, homicides, and unintentional injuries.

    Public health research has shown that firearms violence is directly related to firearms availability and density. What separates America from other Western, industrialized nations is not our overall rate of violence, but our rates of lethal violence–

    Homicides
    Homicides by weapon type, 1976-2004. Gun-involved homicides have increased since falling to a low in 1999.[16]
    Homicide offenders by age, 1976 – 2004.[17]
    Gun and overall homicides in Washington, D.C. are concentrated in crime hot spots located in neighborhoods (including Shaw, Sursum Corda, Trinidad, Anacostia, and Congress Heights) with socio-economic disadvantage, while homicide is rare in other neighborhoods.

    While people during the 19th century were concerned about violent crime, it often took the form of riots and other forms of disorder in cities.[18] Gun violence, however, sometimes played a role in these riots (see Haymarket riot). Homicide rates in cities such as Philadelphia were significantly lower than in modern times.[19]

    During the 1980s and early 1990s, homicide rates surged in cities across the United States (see graphs at right).[20] Handgun homicides accounted for nearly all of the overall increase in the homicide rate, from 1985 to 1993, while homicide rates involving other weapons declined during that time frame.[21] The rising trend in homicide rates during the 1980s and early 1990s was most pronounced among youths and Hispanic and African American males in the United States, with the injury and death rates tripling for black males aged 13 through 17 and doubling for black males aged 18 through 24.[11][17] The rise in crack cocaine use in cities across the United States is often cited as a factor for increased gun violence among youths during this time period.[22][23][24]

    Gun-related homicide rates in the United States are twenty to thirty-five times higher than they are in countries that are economically and politically similar to it. Higher rates are found in developing countries and those with political instability.[21][25][26]

    What’s this about arguing in good faith?
    Even after I called him out about citing evidence?
    Here’s some: Guns don’t kill people, people kill people – Raw Data: Past Deadly U.S. Mass Shootings

    Man up, show me the evidence.

  152. RahXephon, Giant Feminist Mecha Robot says

    I don’t think you’re a “gun nut”, WTM. In fact, you sound like pretty much the most sensible gun owner I’ve ever met. However, this extended argument over your right to shoot raccoons on your farm is vastly disconnected from the issue at hand; that being that a man with a racist obsession with young black men in his neighborhood and a criminal record was allowed to get a gun due to lax gun control laws and poor enforcement and has now spent over a month free after committing murder because his lawyer and the police are invoking this very law. As Pteryxx said, the issue we’re really trying to grapple with is if cases like the Martin case and the fact that “justifiable homicides” more than tripled after Florida’s SYG laws were passed are an acceptable trade-off.

  153. chigau (√-1) says

    These were the statements that really struck me

    Wild animals a problem? CALL ANIMAL CONTROL! (And hey, put up better fencing for your livestock — DUH!)

    and

    There’s no need to hunt — you can go to a STORE and BUY your meat.

    I don’t know where WithinThisMind lives but in some of the places I’ve been the response would be:
    What the fuck is Animal Control and will they hear me when I call from my back door?
    and
    Grizzly bears have absolutely no respect for fences, including electric fences.
    and
    What store?
    and even if there was a store
    Why would I BUY meat shipped from somewhere 2500km away when there is meat walking past my house?

  154. Pteryxx says

    It’s also really bothering me that the US criminal justice system’s endemic racism means that black people don’t have the same rights to gun ownership, or to self-defense for that matter, that whiter folks do. Apparently, much like “deadly force” in a law basically means guns not knives, and “nonprofit reproductive counseling centers” means CPCs and not Planned Parenthood (what can I say, I’m more familiar with that example), “gun owners” in this conversation means WHITE gun owners, not black ones. Even “what about abused women” here implies white women, who as a class aren’t in much danger of being shot out of hand by police. That’s got to inform folks’ discussion of the hypothetical situation where meta-Treyvon defends himself against meta-Zimmerman.

    Thanks to commenter shargash over at Crommunist’s who pointed out this 2011 article on the intertwined history of racism and gun control:

    shargash:
    There’s actually a precedent for that. Back when Reagan was governor of California, the Black Panthers started carrying guns openly. Open-carry laws started getting repealed all over the state, and Reagan became a fan of gun control.

    Source comment

    From the article:

    Their instructors were sympathetic black veterans, recently home from Vietnam. For their “righteous revolutionary struggle,” the Panthers were trained, as well as armed, however indirectly, by the U.S. government.

    Civil-rights activists, even those committed to nonviolent resistance, had long appreciated the value of guns for self-protection. Martin Luther King Jr. applied for a permit to carry a concealed firearm in 1956, after his house was bombed. His application was denied, but from then on, armed supporters guarded his home. One adviser, Glenn Smiley, described the King home as “an arsenal.” William Worthy, a black reporter who covered the civil-rights movement, almost sat on a loaded gun in a living-room armchair during a visit to King’s parsonage.

    The Panthers, however, took it to an extreme, carrying their guns in public, displaying them for everyone—especially the police—to see. Newton had discovered, during classes at San Francisco Law School, that California law allowed people to carry guns in public so long as they were visible, and not pointed at anyone in a threatening way.

    [...]

    THE PANTHERS’ METHODS provoked an immediate backlash. The day of their statehouse protest, lawmakers said the incident would speed enactment of Mulford’s gun-control proposal. Mulford himself pledged to make his bill even tougher, and he added a provision barring anyone but law enforcement from bringing a loaded firearm into the state capitol.

    Republicans in California eagerly supported increased gun control. Governor Reagan told reporters that afternoon that he saw “no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons.” He called guns a “ridiculous way to solve problems that have to be solved among people of good will.” In a later press conference, Reagan said he didn’t “know of any sportsman who leaves his home with a gun to go out into the field to hunt or for target shooting who carries that gun loaded.” The Mulford Act, he said, “would work no hardship on the honest citizen.”

    Atlantic – The Secret History of Guns

  155. says

    WMDKitty:

    Wild animals a problem? CALL ANIMAL CONTROL! (And hey, put up better fencing for your livestock — DUH!)

    There’s no need to hunt — you can go to a STORE and BUY your meat.

    Jesus Christ. You and Mikmik are what a rural friend of mine calls “citiots.” You make me embarrassed to have only ever lived in cities and suburbs all my life, myself.

  156. chigau (√-1) says

    WMDKitty
    I guess you’ve never lived “rural” enough to have a cougar take your dog off the porch.

  157. says

    Seen plenty of cougars, Chi, had plenty of meat walk through my yard, and we still never needed a gun.

    So your argument is, in fact, invalid.

    Besides, YOU are the ones encroaching on the ANIMALS’ TERRITORY — it’s only natural that the animals would continue to use THEIR TERRITORY as they see fit. YOU are the invaders, YOU should pack up and move if you have a problem with wildlife. Animals shouldn’t die because YOU find it “inconvenient” to have them on “your” land.

  158. says

    Besides, YOU are the ones encroaching on the ANIMALS’ TERRITORY — it’s only natural that the animals would continue to use THEIR TERRITORY as they see fit. YOU are the invaders, YOU should pack up and move if you have a problem with wildlife. Animals shouldn’t die because YOU find it “inconvenient” to have them on “your” land.

    oy.

    yeah, let’s do that. let’s remove all humans from places where they’re an “invasive species”. I’m sure that’ll work out swimmingly.

  159. says

    You’re still missing the point.

    I’m saying that you don’t NEED a gun to deal with wildlife. You can simply pick up and MOVE. The animals? Not so much — especially when you’ve got livestock, aka “dinner”, available 24/7.

    So, better fencing, or move your stupid gun-loving ass elsewhere, where the wildlife isn’t so “inconvenient”.

    BAN GUNS.

    PUSH PEACE.

  160. Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD says

    So where do you plan to get all your food from WMDKitty if all the farmers move out of the countryside?

  161. says

    There’s no need to hunt — you can go to a STORE and BUY your meat.

    Why would I BUY meat shipped from somewhere 2500km away when there is meat walking past my house?

    Sickening.

  162. says

    Wild animals aren’t a threat to crops, you know.

    We’re discussing how some idiots like WTM think they’re soooo cool for owning guns, and making elebenty-million excuses for why they “need” them.

    The truth is, what WTM and others are saying they “need” guns for — protecting livestock — could be accomplished cheaply and easily with proper fencing to keep predators out. But noooo… they just stick up some barbed wire and cling to their guns.

    Consider the fencing an investment, rather than an expense.

    Consider the fact that you put yourself, your family, everyone around you, in mortal danger if you have a firearm on the premises.

    Consider that most firearm deaths are accidental (or as “accidental” as they can be, when you’re dealing with something that requires a deliberate action to discharge).

    Think about how much safer and saner this country would be if we just stop masturbating to the Second Amendment like it’s Jenna Jameson getting pounded by Ron Jeremy.

    There is no “need” to own a gun that cannot be met in other, SAFER, ways.

    The American gun fetish needs to STOP.

    But apparently I’m stupid for pointing out a few simple truths.

  163. says

    Scintillating.

    Probably not. On the other hand, referring to nonhuman animals as “meat” shows great character and capacity for self-reflection. You know – like with women.

    You…win.

  164. mikmik says

    Jesus Christ. You and Mikmik are what a rural friend of mine calls “citiots.” You make me embarrassed to have only ever lived in cities and suburbs all my life, myself.

    So? Tell your friends I call them inbred. Who cares?
    I don’t have a problem whatsoever with farmers and rural folk owning rifles. I don’t have a problem, much, anyways, with hunting.
    There’s a difference between wildlife, and people. When you read the charges against a cougar, it’s hard to understand their plea, for instance.

    Seriously, Ms. Daisy Cutter, Gynofascist in a Spiffy Hugo Boss Uniform, I’m flattered that you assume whatever reputation you think I have for your own self, but I’m not so impressed with your creativity. You’re way better than that.

  165. says

    1)fencing doesn’t prevent damage, it displaces it
    2)there’s nothing humane about starvation caused by overpopulation. “humane” methods would only work if you also reintroduce native predators like cougars and wolves. which won’t make the deer any less dead, but at least no guns will be involved.
    3)I note that culling is listed in your link, and that the other methods specifically mention that they’re often suitable only for “areas of intensive agriculture, such as orchards or private gardens”

  166. says

    I’d rather the deer be hunted and eaten by cougars and wolves, really, ‘cuz that’s how Nature works.

    Humans are an invasive species, and SHOULD be confined to non-wilderness areas — for the safety of the rest of the planet.

  167. says

    Humans are an invasive species, and SHOULD be confined to non-wilderness areas

    I’m pretty sure humans are an invasive species almost everywhere within their current distribution, like rats. and a wheat field is not a wilderness area.

  168. says

    Forget wildlife, forget farmers, forget WTM’s relentless whining about “but I might have to explain to my precious crotch-dumpling that death happens!”

    The simple fact is, guns, by their very nature, create danger. Flat out.

    If it were any other product, it would have been recalled immediately.

    Our collective gun fetish is KILLING US, and yet we keep worshiping the almighty Smith & Wesson. Not very rational, and I honestly expected better from a group of “skeptics”.

  169. says

    Our collective gun fetish is KILLING US, and yet we keep worshiping the almighty Smith & Wesson. Not very rational, and I honestly expected better from a group of “skeptics”.

    “skeptics” don’t ignore dumbass arguments even when they come from (approximately)their own corner.

  170. chigau (Don’t call me “Chi”) says

    If it were any other product, it would have been recalled immediately.

    Like cigarettes and automobiles.

  171. says

    Great, Jadehawk — then stop ignoring the dumbass pro-gun arguments.

    Some people here (Ing, WTM, Chigau, DaisyCutter) are arguing that it is an inherent right to shoot and kill anything they want to, just because it shows up on “their” land.

    All I’m arguing for is PEACE and NONVIOLENCE. I’m arguing FOR SAFETY AND SANITY.

    I’m tired of hearing, at least twice a week, about how yet another child has been “accidentally” killed by a parent’s (inevitably unsecured) gun. I’m tired of hearing “responsible” gun owners go on and on about how, “oh, I’m responsible, that guy was just an idiot,” and refusing to acknowledge that it’s not the owner, it’s the presence of the gun itself that presents the danger. If you look at the homicide and suicide rates, you’ll find they are astronomically lower in countries where gun ownership is either banned, or very tightly limited.

    Am I an idealistic hippie? Yeah, maybe, but I know that morally, I’m on the right side of this argument.

  172. chigau (Don’t call me “Chi”) says

    Some people here (Ing, WTM, Chigau, DaisyCutter) are arguing that it is an inherent right to shoot and kill anything they want to, just because it shows up on “their” land.

    liar

  173. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Oh come on, even I mentioned that hunters should be allowed to have weapons. Should have mentioned farmers specifically too, but let’s assume they were included with the hunters.

    Some people here (Ing, WTM, Chigau, DaisyCutter) are arguing that it is an inherent right to shoot and kill anything they want to, just because it shows up on “their” land.

    No. I’m pretty sure they are against shooting a trespasser or escaped dogs. Wild animals eating your livelihood? If there are means, I would agree that protective fences and similar are the first option, but if it comes to needing to choose between your animals and some wild one… sorry, but the wild one loses.

  174. says

    @chigau — I most certainly am NOT lying. Please learn to read before accusing me of such a thing.

    Your entire pro gun argument boils down to “I wanna shoot shit.” Don’t deny it, or you’ll be a liar…

  175. says

    Great, Jadehawk — then stop ignoring the dumbass pro-gun arguments.

    you mean the way i did upthread?

    and the day we invent a magical gun-evaporation device, legally disarming the USA is going to be impossible in practical terms. I have no need for ideology-driven arguments, so I’m going to stick to promoting everything that reduces harm, and that reduces gun culture.

  176. says

    and the day we invent a magical gun-evaporation device, legally disarming the USA is going to be impossible in practical terms.

    completely garbled. let’s try again:

    and the day we invent a magical gun-evaporation device, disarmament arguments might be realistic. until then, legally disarming the USA is going to be impossible in practical terms.

  177. chigau (Don’t call me “Chi”) says

    WMDKitty
    If the grizzly bear is chewing on my beloved (or even you), I will shoot the bear.
    If I am hungry and there is no STORE nearby, I will shoot the deer/goose/moose/hun.
    I have NEVER shot “shit”.

  178. says

    Fine, fine, have your guns, have your gun-culture, just don’t complain when people are murdered in cold blood with the selfsame guns you so rabidly support.

    By the by, if we all worked together at it, yes, we could indeed disarm the entire US.

    But fuck that, we gots guns… amirite?

  179. RahXephon, Giant Feminist Mecha Robot says

    @WMDKitty

    Do you not read what’s actually said to you? Jadehawk and others have said multiple times that they’re trying to reduce gun culture and the prevalence of guns, but that they also recognize the reality that there are almost as many guns in the US as there are people, and a lot of those people are ardently against anyone taking their guns, so, until the gun-evaporator is invented the best one can do is containment. Do you get that? We’re not “rabid gun nuts” just because we don’t take your hard-line ideological stance.

  180. says

    And the number of guns CAN be reduced, IF we all work TOGETHER, to PROMOTE NON-VIOLENCE.

    The problem is, there’s something in the American psyche that celebrates and worships violence, sees violence as the solution to just about everything.

    How do we change that?

    And, RaXephon, you’re ignoring the fact that there are rabid gun-nuts on this thread, insisting that they “need” firearms. No, it’s not everybody, just a select few, and that’s who my last comment was directed at. They know who they are.

  181. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Fine, fine, have your guns, have your gun-culture, just don’t complain when people are murdered in cold blood with the selfsame guns you so rabidly support.

    You are a fucking liar. Have you read any of the posts before you came in? We don’t support guns, especially not rabidly. I don’t like guns and I hope US gets them regulated much better, so that every shmuck can’t own one or a dozen.
    I’m from Europe. My country doesn’t have a gun-culture. But my uncle had a hunting license and owned a couple of rifles. They were safely stored, and only ever taken out for hunting. He had a license for which he had to prove membership of a hunting association. No other guns were covered by that permission. That’s because we’re not shaking in our boots here when someone rings the bell. That’s one of the things US needs to get rid off. The gun-culture is kept alive and well by the culture of fear. Getting rid of the second, would largely help with getting rid of the first. That and regulating guns much more strictly.

    When we talk about gun violence, it’s nearly always about the cities. Police should be there to protect you from any violence there. If they are not, that should be changed, instead of allowing anyone and everyone to play vigilantes.

  182. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    And, RaXephon, you’re ignoring the fact that there are rabid gun-nuts on this thread, insisting that they “need” firearms.

    Improbable Joe insisted he needed a gun and he got trounced.
    You can look up these things yourself. They are written right here in this thread.

  183. says

    By the by, if we all worked together at it, yes, we could indeed disarm the entire US.

    depending on who “we all” is, this is either self-evidently true or pure fantasy :-p

    but that they also recognize the reality that there are almost as many guns in the US as there are people, and a lot of those people are ardently against anyone taking their guns

    and I’d add the existence of limits on when you can search a person’s home (subject to your local government’s racist and classist biases, of course) plus vast stretches of the country with less than one cop per square mile. Like I said, disarming the US is about as likely as disarming Afghanistan; the only government that could achieve something even remotely close to disarmament would be a totalitarian one.

    I’m from Europe. My country doesn’t have a gun-culture. But my uncle had a hunting license and owned a couple of rifles. They were safely stored, and only ever taken out for hunting. He had a license for which he had to prove membership of a hunting association. No other guns were covered by that permission.

    Pretty certain that’s how Germany’s laws work, too… except that hunting is very limited; most of the deer-culling is done by the forestry service (won’t I look stupid if it turns out Betrice is from Germany! :-p)

  184. FilthyHuman says

    @WMDKitty
    #189

    Wild animals aren’t a threat to crops, you know.

    You know, even creationists have, at least, an argument that one cannot observe evolution (or, in their definition, macro-evolution).

  185. FilthyHuman says

    @WMDKitty

    By the by, if we all worked together at it, yes, we could indeed disarm the entire US.

    Including the police and military?

  186. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Pretty certain that’s how Germany’s laws work, too… except that hunting is very limited; most of the deer-culling is done by the forestry service (won’t I look stupid if it turns out Betrice is from Germany! :-p)

    Nope, I’m from Croatia, but uncle was from Slovenia (which doesn’t have a gun culture either, so the point stands even if I wasn’t very precise). And he was my grandfather’s brother (calling him uncle out of habit). He was very ill the last couple of years and in no condition to hunt, so maybe the law has gotten a bit tougher on the issue, but I’m not familiar with it.

  187. says

    I don’t think you’re a “gun nut”, WTM. In fact, you sound like pretty much the most sensible gun owner I’ve ever met. However, this extended argument over your right to shoot raccoons on your farm is vastly disconnected from the issue at hand; that being that a man with a racist obsession with young black men in his neighborhood and a criminal record was allowed to get a gun due to lax gun control laws and poor enforcement and has now spent over a month free after committing murder because his lawyer and the police are invoking this very law. As Pteryxx said, the issue we’re really trying to grapple with is if cases like the Martin case and the fact that “justifiable homicides” more than tripled after Florida’s SYG laws were passed are an acceptable trade-off.

    My point was that ‘gun control’ and ‘SYG’ are rather red herrings. The problem isn’t really ‘gun owners’ or ‘standing your ground’, the problem is bad (and bigoted) police and a society that inherently sees black men as both a threat and as worthless.

    Pretending eliminating gun ownership and standing your ground will fix that is just stupid. Guns and standing your ground both serve a purpose. That purpose is not ‘killing young black men’. It’s a big problem, and folks are looking for rosy, simply fix solutions.

    But every weapon I own out of my house and making it illegal for me to defend myself without trying to run away first would not have saved Martin’s life. It would not change at all the racist environment that is…well… pretty much everything located between the orbit of Mercury and Neptune.

    Maybe, just maybe, we should try looking for solutions that address the real problems? I’d like to start with some kind of reasonable civilian oversight of the police, such as an elected group that handles complaints against the police department rather than trust the police to ‘police’ their own.

    I’d also like to see more movies with interracial casts where a minority gets to be the hero without the writer falling back on stereotypes like ‘angry uneducated black man who speaks ebonics but is badass’. That’s the kind of thing that would actually help, and frankly, it’s also very doable.

    ‘sides ya’ll, me and Jim Bob here need that there gun in case of the zombies dontchaknow? amirite?

    Sorry, might as well live the stereotype.

  188. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    ‘sides ya’ll, me and Jim Bob here need that there gun in case of the zombies dontchaknow? amirite?

    Well, you only need one gun each, since they can never run out of bullets. And you don’t really have to know how to shoot in advance, you can practice one afternoon and when the zombie herd comes you’ll be able to shoot them right in the head without missing, ever. While shooting from a moving truck.
    /if this looked like a rant about The Walking Dead… that’s because it was just that

  189. Pteryxx says

    WithinThisMind:

    My point was that ‘gun control’ and ‘SYG’ are rather red herrings. The problem isn’t really ‘gun owners’ or ‘standing your ground’, the problem is bad (and bigoted) police and a society that inherently sees black men as both a threat and as worthless.

    Pretending eliminating gun ownership and standing your ground will fix that is just stupid.

    Well, eliminating Stand Your Ground laws won’t fix racism; and HAVING Stand Your Ground laws in the first place hasn’t fixed abuse and stalking, either, as far as I can tell. That just leaves net benefit versus net harm, and again as far as I can tell, SYG laws are disproportionately being used in a racist manner as a get-out-of-homicide-free card. I don’t think it’s right to expect black folks like Trayvon to get killed out of hand so that abuse victims (and I am one) can more easily use deadly force (i.e. guns) to defend themselves. I hate saying that, but dammit, to the best of my knowledge it’s accurate.

  190. says

    Also, regarding ‘gun control’:

    I actually support it strongly.

    Frankly, I don’t think anyone needs to own an automatic weapon or a high-powered handgun. I think ‘assault rifles’ (I have issues with how they are classified rather than the concept, but define as – guns designed solely to kill people for the purpose of this discussion rather than ‘guns that look scary’ as they are more often defined) should not be owned by anyone outside of the military/police and even then should have some limitations and regulations of their usage.

    Especially in the cities, I don’t think anyone needs to own a handgun whose bullets can travel through a person and a wall to kill another person. For certain police applications (such as SWAT), a higher powered gun can be authorized. A small handgun, such as mine, is more than sufficient for situation where needing a gun could arise. It can take out raccoons, rattlesnakes, coyotes, and if absolutely necessary and I had no other choice, a human being. It will not, however, turn anything into an unrecognizable greasy smear or travel through solid core oak doors to kill some poor person on the other side, as are the the things I hear folks brag about with their big handguns.

    I also think anyone seeking to purchase a firearm must take a comprehensive safety course that does contain a bit of psychological evaluation (anyone talking about popping a cap in someone automatically fails, for starters). And I believe anyone owning a firearm must periodically show up at a shooting range to prove they know how to handle the gun or have their ownership rights terminated. I think it’s currently way to easy to get concealed carry and I think anyone who does want a concealed carry permit needs to be at the gun range every six months having their ability to handle a firearm questioned.

    I think background checks are vital and I think hefty fines + jail time should be in the future of any gun seller who skimps on doing the background checks.

    I think anyone firing their gun off into the air should serve a mandatory six month jail sentence with absolutely no possibility of time off for good behavior. And frankly, I’d be fine bringing back public stocks for that kind of stupid jackassery. If they do so in a public area or within city limits, I’m fine with charging them with attempted murder because to be blunt, that’s pretty much exactly what it is.

    But don’t mind me. I’m just a gun nut.

  191. says

    That just leaves net benefit versus net harm, and again as far as I can tell, SYG laws are disproportionately being used in a racist manner as a get-out-of-homicide-free card. I don’t think it’s right to expect black folks like Trayvon to get killed out of hand so that abuse victims (and I am one) can more easily use deadly force (i.e. guns) to defend themselves

    I think part of the problem is that SYG is being automatically conflated with ‘deadly force’. I think SYG only covers being allowed to respond with appropriate force without being forced to flee if able (or believed to be able). We aren’t talking about the Chicago way, we are talking about if someone keeps poking you, you can smack their hand away instead of trying to keep moving away.

    If you aren’t in imminent danger of someone trying to kill you, you still have no right to use lethal force. Which means you aren’t covered by SYG if you go pick a fight because it’s still an issue of self defense and you can’t call it defense if you are the aggressor.

  192. Pteryxx says

    WTM:

    I think part of the problem is that SYG is being automatically conflated with ‘deadly force’. I think SYG only covers being allowed to respond with appropriate force without being forced to flee if able (or believed to be able).

    Um, the Florida law specifically says deadly force is justified under certain circumstances. I quoted it back at #153: (emphasis mine)

    Justifiable use of force

    776.012 Use of force in defense of person. — A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if:

    (1) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony; or

    (2) Under those circumstances permitted pursuant to s. 776.013.

    where 776.013 is the list of circumstances such as vs. someone violating a restraining order, attempting to kidnap a child etc.

  193. says

    I think part of the problem is that SYG is being automatically conflated with ‘deadly force’.

    absolutely nothing is being “conflated”:

    776.013 Home protection; use of deadly force; presumption of fear of death or great bodily harm.—
    (1) A person is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another when using defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another if:
    (a) The person against whom the defensive force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or if that person had removed or was attempting to remove another against that person’s will from the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle; and
    (b) The person who uses defensive force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred.
    (2) The presumption set forth in subsection (1) does not apply if:
    (a) The person against whom the defensive force is used has the right to be in or is a lawful resident of the dwelling, residence, or vehicle, such as an owner, lessee, or titleholder, and there is not an injunction for protection from domestic violence or a written pretrial supervision order of no contact against that person; or
    (b) The person or persons sought to be removed is a child or grandchild, or is otherwise in the lawful custody or under the lawful guardianship of, the person against whom the defensive force is used; or
    (c) The person who uses defensive force is engaged in an unlawful activity or is using the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle to further an unlawful activity; or
    (d) The person against whom the defensive force is used is a law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(14), who enters or attempts to enter a dwelling, residence, or vehicle in the performance of his or her official duties and the officer identified himself or herself in accordance with any applicable law or the person using force knew or reasonably should have known that the person entering or attempting to enter was a law enforcement officer.
    (3) A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.
    (4) A person who unlawfully and by force enters or attempts to enter a person’s dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle is presumed to be doing so with the intent to commit an unlawful act involving force or violence.
    (5) As used in this section, the term:
    (a) “Dwelling” means a building or conveyance of any kind, including any attached porch, whether the building or conveyance is temporary or permanent, mobile or immobile, which has a roof over it, including a tent, and is designed to be occupied by people lodging therein at night.
    (b) “Residence” means a dwelling in which a person resides either temporarily or permanently or is visiting as an invited guest.
    (c) “Vehicle” means a conveyance of any kind, whether or not motorized, which is designed to transport people or property.

    also noted from that is that it basically allows the use of deadly force for all forms of breaking and entering, if I read (1) correctly.

  194. Pteryxx says

    jinx

    …I shall treasure forever the one day that I actually refreshed the thread FASTER than a regular. ~;>

  195. Pteryxx says

    …Deadly force is justified if:

    (b) The person who uses defensive force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred.

    Argh. It permits deadly force against someone you THINK is an intruder. That covers Harvard professor Henry Gates who was arrested for trying to get into HIS OWN HOME when he didn’t have his key. His neighbor could have SHOT HIM instead of “merely” calling the police to harass and arrest him.

    Article on Prof. Henry Gates incident

    That’s not a subordinate clause to the use of deadly force to protect oneself from imminent threat. It’s a PARALLEL CLAUSE. You can use deadly force if you’re threatened OR if you think a break-in’s happening!

  196. gwangung says

    I think SYG only covers being allowed to respond with appropriate force without being forced to flee if able (or believed to be able).

    No, that’s not correct; there are court cases being cited on this thread and others where cases are being dismissed where the accused was clearly in pursuit of the victim, and SYG laws were cited as the reason why.

  197. Pteryxx says

    Holy crap!

    (4) A person who unlawfully and by force enters or attempts to enter a person’s dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle is presumed to be doing so with the intent to commit an unlawful act involving force or violence.

    That’s it… that is NOTHING if not an open-season-on-burglars law. IANAL but I don’t see that clause being subordinate or an exception to anything. It’s a simple declaration.

    (Ing, thank you for quoting the provisions at length. I missed all of that in my initial reading, I guess because I was trying to comprehend too much at once.)

  198. says

    That’s it… that is NOTHING if not an open-season-on-burglars law. IANAL but I don’t see that clause being subordinate or an exception to anything. It’s a simple declaration.

    To which I raise the question again. What is the difference between someone who does that and someone who follows the thief back and kills them hours later?

    One is standing ground, the other is a vigilante that the law says we can’t tolerate.

    This is the problem with the SYG laws, it seems to me there’s a world of difference between this and calling 911 and them telling you to do what you need to do to protect yourself till the cops arrive.

  199. Pteryxx says

    Sorry, Jadehawk deserves the credit for quoting. I’m just that bad with names even when they’re right in front of me. *headdesk*

  200. says

    I think part of the problem is that SYG is being automatically conflated with ‘deadly force’.

    Sorry, I was unclear.

    I think part of the problem is that the concept of SYG is being automatically conflated with ‘deadly force’ and that’s a problem. Which is why the law in Florida is becoming problematic. Except…it’s not…because it still doesn’t actually provide open season on anyone except those seeking to actually do harm. Which is why it doesn’t apply to the Martin case.

    Because even in the citations of the law being presented, deadly force still only comes into play if “A person is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another”

    A list is then given of circumstances in which such a situation could occur, such as seeing someone breaking into another person’s house. If you see someone breaking into a house, and reasonably (I know, that word again) believe that means the person in the house is going to end up killed by the person doing a B&E, you may intercede to stop them even if that ultimately results in you having no option other than to use lethal force.

    Whereas, previously, your option was to call the cops and hope they arrived in time.

    No, that’s not correct; there are court cases being cited on this thread and others where cases are being dismissed where the accused was clearly in pursuit of the victim, and SYG laws were cited as the reason why.

    I know. And my point was the law is being deliberately misapplied due to the larger problem – racism and general asshattery.

    “A person is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another”

    Zimmerman did not have a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm.

    That covers Harvard professor Henry Gates who was arrested for trying to get into HIS OWN HOME when he didn’t have his key. His neighbor could have SHOT HIM instead of “merely” calling the police to harass and arrest him.

    Keyword in that situation was ‘occupied’. Since the neighbor had no way of knowing anyone was in the house, he would not have been justified in using force.

    Granted, since racism played a picture, that would have been ignored and the law would have been misapplied, but the problem still would have been with society and the deliberate misapplication of the law rather than the law itself. The law serves a purpose and thus should not be removed, but oversight into it’s application should be present to ensure that it is not misapplied due to shoddy (bigoted) policework.

  201. says

    Also, part of the problem with the Florida statute is the ‘presumed’ wording. That should be removed to read something as ‘may be justified’ or something like that, so that if it reasonably applies, it applies, but the benefit of the doubt is not applied in situations in which it is problematic (since the general rule seems to be only the privileged actually get the benefit of the doubt).

  202. says

    Incorrect, because if he THOUGHT there was someone in the house.

    Is that thought reasonable? I mean, since he obviously didn’t even know who the homeowner was, could a reasonable person say he could reasonably believe the home was occupied at that moment?

    We are back to the problem of ‘reasonably’. But then, if people were reasonable, would we actually even need laws in the first place?

  203. says

    Is that thought reasonable? I mean, since he obviously didn’t even know who the homeowner was, could a reasonable person say he could reasonably believe the home was occupied at that moment?

    That is for the jury to decide. Which is the problem.

    My point is that we already know most people under stress or fear are not good at determining that, which is why a call to 911 first would be a better option than making your own judgment call. We deferred that authority and training to police for a reason. It didn’t go well when we all tried to make our own snap decisions.

    For the sideways 8 time. A law that says something MIGHT be legal/illegal is not a good law. It provides no guidance and is almost tailor made for abuse. Hilarious that the same people bitch about how bad crime is and how people get off on technicalities, and now they turn around and write in big loop holes and technicalities.

  204. Pteryxx says

    WithinThisMind: No, I think you’re misreading the Florida law as more generous than it actually is. (It’s hard for ME to parse so y’all jump on me if I’m wrong.)

    This is WTM’s claim: (emphases mine)

    Because even in the citations of the law being presented, deadly force still only comes into play if “A person is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another”

    A list is then given of circumstances in which such a situation could occur, such as seeing someone breaking into another person’s house.

    Here’s the law as written:

    Justifiable use of force

    776.012 Use of force in defense of person. — A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if:

    (1) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony; or

    (2) Under those circumstances permitted pursuant to s. 776.013.

    And one of those circumstances in 776.013 is:

    (4) A person who unlawfully and by force enters or attempts to enter a person’s dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle is presumed to be doing so with the intent to commit an unlawful act involving force or violence.

    So I read it as, deadly force is justified if someone’s about to get hurt OR IF IT FITS THE LIST. The second is NOT subordinate to the first. It’s either-or, take your pick. There’s no requirement to stick to proportionate use of force before calling on The List. The List has the presumption of threat WRITTEN INTO IT.

  205. says

    It just doesn’t seem possible to do so with the intention of protection against human break ins.

    I don’t own a gun with the intention of protecting against break-ins, but I do acknowledge that if a human break-in occurs, the possibility exists that I would use my gun in my response.

    But…well, I’ll be blunt. I’m female. I’m at a disadvantage strength/leverage wise in dealing with my most likely attacker. The city girl hasn’t left me entirely, I still have pepperspray on my keychain and it’s in my hand whenever I’m in a dim and sparsely populated area. I still own a stun gun that often lives in my purse. And I would be lying if I said it wouldn’t comfort me to have my gun on me when walking from campus to car at night (I don’t carry it then because to an extent, it’s false confidence).

    Fix rape culture, and that will go away.

    There are plenty of countries where gun ownership is common and yet gun violence is way below what it is in the US. Where violence in general is way below what it is in the US.

    Fix the culture of violence (a lot of which has to do with privilege), and that will go away

    Until then, you are still addressing a symptom instead of treating the disease.

  206. says

    I don’t own a gun with the intention of protecting against break-ins, but I do acknowledge that if a human break-in occurs, the possibility exists that I would use my gun in my response.

    The requirements to properly safely house a gun virtually ensures it’s ineffectiveness in case of break in. Which is why I said one cannot be a responsible gun owner and keep the gun for household security. The stats even show that it’s not a viable option. IMO a concealed weapon for out of house security is more rational than trying to responsibly keep one in the home for security.

    Plus a gun in the home is horrible security, the biggest benefit of security is deterrent. Security is theater. A gun is inherently hidden.

    A dog, even a small one, is a better security feature. It deters break ins and acts as an early detection system. thieves and break ins don’t like dogs because they make noise even if they’re not afraid of their territorial response.

  207. says

    “A person is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another”

    fuck you for quotemining that, and leaving out the all-important “if” (a) and (b) occur, where (a) is someone breaking into something, and (b) is the person using the force reasonably thinks it’s an illegal action.

    again: in this law, illegal breaking and entering is defined as a situation in which it is reasonable to assume imminent peril of death; that’s not in addition to, that’s not a scenario in which such fear may occur, it’s its definition!

  208. Brownian says

    Hilarious that the same people bitch about how bad crime is and how people get off on technicalities, and now they turn around and write in big loop holes and technicalities.

    Well, it’s only a loophole and a technicality when it’s the Other™ getting off (“These assholes always get away.”).

  209. Pteryxx says

    Fix rape culture, and that will go away.

    …WithinThisMind, can you reconcile that with your earlier position that Stand Your Ground laws support victims of abuse and stalking?

    I don’t disagree with you on rape culture and other forms of bigotry, but I am rapidly losing any semblance of support for SYG as a solution.

  210. says

    And I would be lying if I said it wouldn’t comfort me to have my gun on me when walking from campus to car at night (I don’t carry it then because to an extent, it’s false confidence).

    Exactly why my criticism is extended to house hold security guns.

    Guns for sport I’m fine with you can house it responsibly and safely

    Also for hunting (I don’t hunt myself)

    Security is not, stats don’t support it, doesn’t provide good security and it’s utility is inversely proportional to safety and responsible housing of it.

  211. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Thanks for the news FilthyHuman.

    He told officers that he had followed the teenager but had lost sight of him. He was then walking back to the vehicle when Martin approached him from the left rear and they exchanged words.

    Martin, according to Zimmerman’s evidence, then asked him if he had a problem. The older man told police that he replied no and started to reach for his cellphone but Martin said, “Well you do now,” or something similar and punched Zimmerman in the face.

    When Zimmerman fell, he claimed, the teenager got on top of him and started slamming his head into the ground, prompting him to shout for help.

    I don’t believe a word this piece of shit says. Isn’t it nice how suddenly there is a whole new story emerging. Had some time to think of it, hmm?

    About the tapes and the question who cried for help: to me, it sounded like a high pitched voice and, since I’ve heard the tape with Zimmerman’s voice, I’d say it wasn’t him. Of course, in panic his voice could sound much higher than normal. I still believe it was the kid who cried for help.
    I’m no expert, but this is something that should be easily cleared, right?

  212. What a Maroon, Applied Linguist of Slight Foreboding says

    (gets in wayback machine, goes to the beginning of the thread)

    “Hispanic” is a White sub-group

    Hispanics (both as defined by the census bureau and in reality) can be white, black, Asian, native American, Pacific Islander, or any combination thereof.
    [/hijack of the hijack]

  213. says

    Martin, according to Zimmerman’s evidence, then asked him if he had a problem. The older man told police that he replied no and started to reach for his cellphone but Martin said, “Well you do now,” or something similar and punched Zimmerman in the face.

    He clearly thought he was reaching for a gun. Gun stalking you reaches into his pocket, and Martin defended himself. Stand your ground.

  214. Pteryxx says

    There’s also the word of a witness that the police were tweaking Zimmerman’s story *on the scene*, so even a police report from the same day isn’t necessarily reliable.

    And word via MoJo that Martin was suspended from school for possession of a bag with trace amounts of marijuana. *rolleyes* That’s going to go over well, as if it were even relevant to being shot and killed. Not only are drugs conflated with race and used as an excuse *and* POC students get disproportionately punished in school, I wouldn’t even trust that suspension at face value. I got punished back in second or third grade because another student planted some small belonging of hers in my bag, and I didn’t even have a racist drug-war-obsessed criminal justice system to deal with.

    http://motherjones.com/politics/2012/03/what-happened-trayvon-martin-explained#sonner

  215. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Yeah, I hope the revelation about pot doesn’t turn the tide against Tyvon. It wouldn’t surprise me, though.

  216. Pteryxx says

    Yeah, I hope the revelation about pot doesn’t turn the tide against Tyvon. It wouldn’t surprise me, though.

    FSMDAMMIT

    Just as I read that, the 3 PM news came on NPR radio behind me, and the LEAD F’N STORY was Trayvon’s suspension for drug charges.

    ARRRRRRRRGH

  217. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    *sigh*

    I googled.

    Most articles claim that the pot story holds no relevance to the case.
    But they make headlines of it. Whole articles solely about that.
    But nooooooo, they are not implying anything. Just stating the facts.

  218. Pteryxx says

    Protesters have insisted that Zimmerman lose his gun permit. However, Florida is a “shall-issue” state, which means authorities have no discretion over who gets gun permits so long as the applicant meets the basic legal requirements. Unlike “may-issue” states, such as New York and New Jersey, police in Florida can’t step in and block a gun permit, says Daniel Vice, a senior attorney at the Brady Center. “Even if the neighbors say, ‘No way, don’t give this guy a gun,’ they have to give them a permit,” Vice says.

    If Zimmerman is arrested, according to Vice, police can suspend his gun permit. If he is convicted, police can take it away. But at the moment, the authorities can’t touch Zimmerman’s gun permit.

    Zimmerman can also immediately obtain a new handgun (or handguns). Because his concealed carry permit remains valid, under state law, he can bypass Florida’s three-day waiting period to purchase a handgun. And with his Florida state gun permit still valid, he can visit and tote a gun in 35 other states that grant reciprocity for Florida’s NRA-backed concealed-carry law, according to Florida’s Division of Licensing.

    http://motherjones.com/mojo/2012/03/george-zimmerman-gun-trayvon-martin-police-evidence

    …35 states grant reciprocity for a shall-issue, concealed-carry gun law. Yet Florida’s a safe haven for dodging child support, and most states don’t recognize gay marriages performed in other states.

    I left some reserve faith in humanity around here somewhere… I think it’s filed under MLP.

  219. Ogvorbis: shameless AND impudent! says

    Just as I read that, the 3 PM news came on NPR radio behind me, and the LEAD F’N STORY was Trayvon’s suspension for drug charges.

    Well, as long as we have the right person on trial all is good. Fuck this shit. Kid gets chased. Kid gets shot. Put the kid on trial.

    Anyone want to bet that, within 24 hours, this will balloon until the rightwing press has Trayvon as the leader of a drug gang?

  220. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    We have this mean little verse you used to tell to a kid after they told a lie, supposedly to scare them from it:
    Tko laže taj i krade, tko krade taj i ubija.
    Meaning: Who lies steals, who steals kills.

    It sounds stupid, but this is how a lot of people actually think.
    Trayvon may or may not have had some pot on him at school. But he is now open to suspicion. If he had pot, maybe he took harder drugs or was even a dealer. And if he did that, how far is to go from that to attacking some innocent neighborhood watch guy? And there you have it. A murderer goes free and the victim is turned into a criminal who “deserved it”.
    /cynical

  221. says

    *rolleyes*

    Yup, ‘cuz pot is totally associated with violence, and anyone who even thinks about sparking up a doobie is automatically a big-time dealer…

    Ugh.

    I can see where this is going to go, and I’m not happy about it.

    I just want that murdering racist fuck Zimmerman (“Hispanic”, my ASS!) locked UP!

  222. chigau (Don’t call me “Chi”) says

    oooonoooo!!!
    He had tattoos!!!!!
    He could be capable of any heinous deed.

  223. What a Maroon, Applied Linguist of Slight Foreboding says

    “Hispanic”, my ASS!

    Why do you question his Hispanicness? His mother is Peruvian–that makes him at least as Hispanic as Bill Richardson.

  224. FilthyHuman says

    @Pteryxx
    #265

    I left some reserve faith in humanity around here somewhere… I think it’s filed under MLP.

    If the MLP stands for what I think it’s stands for, then yeah, me too.
    Lots of nice people.

    @Beatrice
    #268

    Well, I don’t know how to tell you….
    do not read this on full stomach, may cause projectile vomiting.

    … words can’t describe it… except… wow, just… wow.

  225. says

    @271 — I’m feeling like his claim of being Hispanic is him basically saying, “Look, I’m a minority, too, so it can’t be a hate crime!” Just a little too convenient.

    But, eh, I’ve been wrong before, so I guess if he says he’s Hispanic, it goes.

  226. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    Well, I suppose someone ought to argue for the other side convincingly.

    @WMDKitty

    If you look at the homicide and suicide rates, you’ll find they are astronomically lower in countries where gun ownership is either banned, or very tightly limited.

    See:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_violence#Suicide
    Yes, I know it’s wiki. However, the last time I looked at the issue, the facts do not clearly back up this position.

    @WMDKitty

    All I’m arguing for is PEACE and NONVIOLENCE. I’m arguing FOR SAFETY AND SANITY.
    I’m tired of hearing, at least twice a week, about how yet another child has been “accidentally” killed by a parent’s (inevitably unsecured) gun. I’m tired of hearing “responsible” gun owners go on and on about how, “oh, I’m responsible, that guy was just an idiot,” and refusing to acknowledge that it’s not the owner, it’s the presence of the gun itself that presents the danger.

    I am going to now make an argument that will make me look like an uncaring libertarian bastard. Do you support the application of the US’s fourth amendment, the one that denies police the right to search and seize without probable cause? Do you think that if we lessened this requirement, that we could catch more criminals, and thereby through deterrence prevent more crime?

    The argument for the second amendment is in the second amendment itself:
    “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

    “”A well regulated militia”
    The emphasis is on “well trained” or “well prepared”, not “government controlled”.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution#Meaning_of_.22well_regulated_militia.22

    “being necessary to the security of a free state”
    The argument is that an armed populace, trained in the use of guns, is necessary for a liberal state with freedoms.

    “the right of the people”
    This is a right of the people. The people need to have guns to be well trained, in order to allow the existence of the well trained militia.

    In short, the argument is that you need guns to prevent tyranny, both from outside and from within. Further note that I think that the actual use of the force is less important than the implicit threatening of force. I am not a gun owner, but I support the right to own guns, as a ways of furthering a culture which reminds us that the government is subservient to the people, not the other way around.

    @WithinThisMind

    Frankly, I don’t think anyone needs to own an automatic weapon or a high-powered handgun. I think ‘assault rifles’ (I have issues with how they are classified rather than the concept, but define as – guns designed solely to kill people for the purpose of this discussion rather than ‘guns that look scary’ as they are more often defined) should not be owned by anyone outside of the military/police and even then should have some limitations and regulations of their usage.

    Respectfully, this misses the entire point. If guns could not kill people, then there would be no need to protect their private ownership. It’s precisely because from their efficacy at killing people that we get their utility to protecting the free state.

    Finally, I foresee the argument coming. While I think Scalia is an ass and wrong on many issues, I find his words in the Heller decision to be both beautiful and accurate:
    http://www.scotusblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/07-290.pdf

    We are aware of the problem of handgun violence in this country, and we take seriously the concerns raised by the many amici who believe that prohibition of handgun ownership is a solution. The Constitution leaves the
    District of Columbia a variety of tools for combating that problem, including some measures regulating handguns,
    see supra, at 54–55, and n. 26. But the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy
    choices off the table. These include the absolute prohibi-tion of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home. Undoubtedly some think that the Second Amend-ment is outmoded in a society where our standing army is
    the pride of our Nation, where well-trained police forces provide personal security, and where gun violence is a serious problem. That is perhaps debatable, but what is not debatable is that it is not the role of this Court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct.

    (Emphasis added)
    I am willing to partake in a discussion about whether the second amendment makes sense. I think it does, and that the relatively small harm is worth the large, but nebulous, benefit to culture to oppose tyrrany. I am rather unwilling to subvert the rule of law. If you want to get rid of guns, or otherwise draconically curtail ownership and bearing, then get rid of the second amendment. If it’s one thing that pisses me off, it’s those who don’t follow the rule of law for their own personal pet issue, thereby greatly endangering our cherished rights.

  227. says

    “”A well regulated militia”
    The emphasis is on “well trained” or “well prepared”, not “government controlled”.

    if you’re going to pull that horse shit I might point out free access to fire arms with minimal effort doesn’t equal well trained or well prepared. In fact last I checked there was no training requirement on owning a hand gun. And individual=/= militia

    And it said REGULATED which implies government oversight.

    And you’re ignoring the historical context of that line which was not meant to arm every yahoo who could get their hands on a gun but to provide the states with their own armed forces.

  228. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Well, I suppose someone ought to argue for the other side convincingly.

    That’s not you. Give up. We recognize BS when it is dumped on our blog. All I see is rotting dung.

  229. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    And it said REGULATED which implies government oversight.

    Language changes meaning over time. You are wrong.

    And you’re ignoring the historical context of that line which was not meant to arm every yahoo who could get their hands on a gun but to provide the states with their own armed forces.

    Do I really need to quote the Federalist Papers, the founding fathers, and so on, to show how you are wrong?

    I find it telling how Breyer tries to make this very same argument in his dissent to Heller, and how Scalia rips it apart. See the above link to the Heller decision.

  230. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    On the facts of what the Second Amendment meant at the time of its writing, I do recommend reading Heller.

  231. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Language changes meaning over time. You are wrong

    Nope, always meant government, just local. Just not Federal. Any fool knows that. What’s your excuse for stupidity?

  232. A. R says

    I’ve always against total prohibition of firearms (I’m a hunter and antique firearms collector, I don’t own any black guns and I don’t carry a firearm on my person). But I suspect that no one sane here is arguing for that, considering that the UK, even with its extremely restrictive weapons laws allows the possession of historical and hunting arms. The issue is then “defense arms,” including assault weapons (not the most descriptive name for a very broad category of firearm, but there it is), and pistols for personal carry. Personally, I couldn’t care lass about this issue, but I do remember quite vividly the brutality committed against the Occupy protesters by brazen and fearless Police forces.

  233. says

    It’s precisely because from their efficacy at killing people that we get their utility to protecting the free state.

    unless they’re as efficacious at killing as what your gubmint has (hint: it’s not; not even fucking close), your toys aren’t protecting the free state. the 2nd amendment was written before nukes and drones and stealth bombers, and if the US ever became the kind of place that defending your freedom from the state with a gun became a necessity, they’d just fucking carpetbomb your ass.

  234. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    It’s certainly something, but thoughtful it ain’t.

  235. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    unless they’re as efficacious at killing as what your gubmint has (hint: it’s not; not even fucking close), your toys aren’t protecting the free state. the 2nd amendment was written before nukes and drones and stealth bombers, and if the US ever became the kind of place that defending your freedom from the state with a gun became a necessity, they’d just fucking carpetbomb your ass.

    You ignored the part where I said I feel the cultural impact is probably more important than the actual usage. Simply knowing that you have the right to a weapon of violence promotes a certain kind of culture that would curtail potential tyranny. The Fourth has the exact same rational – it limits the expression of government power.

    Also, Iraq and Afghanistan would like a word with you.

  236. says

    (The FBI does not keep statistics on convictions, only arrests). While I don’t have the time to crunch the numbers to see which exact portion of those arrested are young black males, the general perception that young black males are disproportionately involved in crime is an accurate one

    wow. fucking wow.

    ladies and gentlemen, this is what racism looks like.

  237. says

    Simply knowing that you have the right to a weapon of violence promotes a certain kind of culture that would curtail potential tyranny

    actually, the reality is the opposite. and again, that effect assumes that the US military is afraid of your handgun.

    Also, Iraq and Afghanistan would like a word with you.

    oh? the US Military is at home in either of those? And the US military went all-out in its desire to impose a tyranny in it and wipe out all dissent?

    Dresden and Hiroshima and My Lai would like a word with you

  238. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    ladies and gentlemen, this is what racism looks like.

    Not surprised that a gun nut makes racist remarks. Goes with the territory. Can’t lynch them if you are respectful of those non-whites….

  239. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    ladies and gentlemen, this is what racism looks like.

    Well yeah.

    Note to the reader:

    The American Conservative is founded by Nazi sympathizer Pat Buchanan, and frequently links approvingly to the white nationalist site VDare.

  240. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    And the US military went all-out in its desire to impose a tyranny in it and wipe out all dissent?

    I do detest this hypothetical. Even in shithole countries like Syria, such things do not happen easily. Troops defect every day rather than shoot at their own countrymen in cold blood. I find your scenario quite implausible for the US, especially as long as we promote a culture of freedom.

    Really, the US would nuke its own citizens who are in open or guerrilla revolt? Please.

    You have an incredibly ignorant and naive view of modern warfare.

    (You also continue to dismiss my assertion that having the right to guns reminds us that we are free citizens, and that this would help prevent the very tyranny that would lead to open confrontation.)

  241. says

    the US promotes a culture of freedom? lol.

    You have an incredibly ignorant and naive view of modern warfare.

    says the guy who thinks the kind of gun a private person can own can stop or discourage a coup-wanting US military from a coup.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

    (You also continue to dismiss my assertion that having the right to guns reminds us that we are free citizens, and that this would help prevent the very tyranny that would lead to open confrontation.

    of course I’m dismissing it. Your gun ownership hasn’t stopped the Patriot Act, the fucked-up parts of the NDAA, or any other of the parts that are slowly turning the US into a tyranny (of a different kind than the one that would involve any guns at all, i.e. a military coup)

  242. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    *looks at Europe*
    *looks at US*
    *counts guns in Europe*
    *counts guns in US*

    Somehow, I don’t feel we’re in any more danger of tyranny than US. And I’m pretty certain I live in much less fear than an average American. But yeah, your guns make you feel freeeeee.

  243. says

    oh, and I forgot to mention the ongoing voter-disenfranchisement; guns aren’t stopping that, either

    besides, if it should happen in the near-ish future, the US wouldn’t become a tyranny by the sort of violent takeover where guns would be useful. More likely, it’d end up creeping its way to a mix of corporate rule and theocracy (theofascism?)

  244. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    Of course, I mean, one method to impose limits on government power isn’t working. Why don’t we remove the Fourth too? I mean, it hasn’t helped us stop the passing of the PATRIOT act either, nor internet spying bullshit, etc. Hell, democracy hasn’t stopped it either, so let’s just get rid of the whole republic idea too.

  245. says

    I’m sorry, where exactly was I proposing repealing the 2nd amendment?

    dude, I laugh at you and criticize you because you make shitty arguments. my own position on this topic has been stated what… three times now in this thread? how ’bout you don’t strawman me?

  246. says

    I do note with amusement though that now it’s suddenly “well, those other laws didn’t work either” instead of “having the right to guns reminds us that we are free citizens, and that this would help prevent the very tyranny”

  247. Ogvorbis: shameless AND impudent! says

    Well, I don’t know how to tell you….
    do not read this on full stomach, may cause projectile vomiting.

    I really do now feel ill.

    I love the photo of him grimacing. Like no one else has photos floating around out there that are really scary.

    Well, I suppose someone ought to argue for the other side convincingly.

    That would be nice for a change.

    [reads]

    Oh. You were lying.

    Hmm. Regulated does not mean government.

    Who else regulates?

    Hell, democracy hasn’t stopped it either, so let’s just get rid of the whole republic idea too.

    Your fellow travellers — the GOP and the TeaParty — are working on it.

  248. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    Yes, you’ve made it clear that you are against gun ownership in principle, that you think gun ownership is an evil, and people like me are “enablers”. You have said that I am wrong that gun culture helps prevent tyranny by citing how we’re becoming more tyrannical. I pointed out the absurdity of the argument by how you selectively applied it to only gun ownership, but not any of our other civil rights. You then threw out a red herring by claiming some asinine pedantic minor point that you’re not against repealing the Second in practice, though you clearly are for repealing it in principle – a distinction that has no bearing on the points made.

  249. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    Hmm. Regulated does not mean government.

    Who else regulates?

    Have you even bothered to read the Heller decision in full? It covers this, and more. It provides many sources. It would do well to help fix some of your misunderstandings of the language involved.

  250. says

    you’ve made it clear that you are against gun ownership in principle

    incorrect.

    you think gun ownership is an evil,

    “evil”? lol.

    people like me are “enablers”.

    in perpetuating gun-culture? of-fucking-course, you even admit to it

    I pointed out the absurdity of the argument by how you selectively applied it to only gun ownership, but not any of our other civil rights.

    except that it isn’t an absurdity; by definition, if you’re getting more tyrannical, then what you have isn’t preventing tyranny. d’uh.

    though you clearly are for repealing it in principle

    i don’t deal with “principles”, they are as useless as ideologies. either something will improve people’s wellbeing, or it won’t.

    a distinction that has no bearing on the points made

    bullshit. it’s the distinction between irrelevant hypotheticals and reality

  251. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    except that it isn’t an absurdity; by definition, if you’re getting more tyrannical, then what you have isn’t preventing tyranny. d’uh.

    The flaw of your argument is that you are conflating and confusing all public policy as taken as a whole, and with a small part of it. Obviously the way we’re going is not “preventing tyranny”, but it is absurd to jump from that to “this small piece of law that I don’t like is not helping to prevent tyranny”. For example, by your specious reasoning, the Fourth which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures is not helping to prevent tyranny, because we’re getting more tyrannical.

  252. says

    you have the reasoning ability of a rotten grapefruit. let me remind you that you claimed that the right of possession of guns creates a culture that prevents tyranny.

    let me now point out that, just as that is obvious bullshit, it’s also bullshit to say that the mere existence of laws against unreasonable searches prevent tyranny; the insistence on a diligent application of the law can do so; the insistence on a diligent application of the 2nd amendment OTOH, not so much; not as long as your military has toys that far outgun yours, as already explained.

    nuance. you fucking suck at it.

  253. A. R says

    Hiroshima

    Arghh… Get better examples of US military war crimes people! Use the Tokyo firebombings FFS, not Hiroshima.

  254. A. R says

    Not saying that it’s not an example, just saying that there are better ones with fewer justifications. The firebombing of Tokyo on the night of 9/10 March 1945 was the single deadliest air raid of World War II; greater than Dresden, Hiroshima, or Nagasaki as single events. See the Pfft for primary research.

  255. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    not so much; not as long as your military has toys that far outgun yours, as already explained.

    nuance. you fucking suck at it.

    First, it is not a foregone conclusion that they have overwhelming force in plausible scenarios. See Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya. That’s just from that last decade or so.

    Second, you do “get it” in the following quote:

    it’s also bullshit to say that the mere existence of laws against unreasonable searches prevent tyranny; the insistence on a diligent application of the law can do so;

    It is indeed the culture of keeping the government in check which keeps the government in check. A culture that actively curtails unwarranted searches and seizures helps keeps the government from going tyrannical. A culture that actively reminds the citizens that they are not servants to the state and that the state is ultimately responsible to them also helps keeps the government from going tyrannical.

    Your pithy argument “they have better guns” could equally be applied to any argument about trying to change culture to prevent tyranny, such as “free speech”, “searches and seizures”, “habeas corpus”, and so on, and as such entirely misses the point. My point is not to win in open warfare. My major point is to win the war of ideas, to promote a culture where the government is not beyond reproach. Having a gun, or merely being able to have a gun, is itself a powerful thing that can affect the culture at large. It is you who fails at nuance.

  256. says

    See Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya.

    already dealt with. not my fault you can’t tell the difference between these scenarios and a coup in the US.

    It is indeed the culture of keeping the government in check which keeps the government in check.

    *facepalm*

    Your pithy argument “they have better guns” could equally be applied to any argument about trying to change culture to prevent tyranny, such as “free speech”, “searches and seizures”, “habeas corpus”

    no, it actually couldn’t be. but you’re welcome to try, I’m sure that would be entertaining.

    Having a gun, or merely being able to have a gun, is itself a powerful thing that can affect the culture at large.

    oh, I’m quite aware of that. what you aren’t realizing is that this culture is toxic, and has fuck-all to do with protecting freedoms.

    It is you who fails at nuance.

    “i know you are, but what am i”? really?

    *sigh*

  257. says

    just saying that there are better ones with fewer justifications.

    the point was not about it being unjustified; the point was about it being an excellent example of the destructive military power the US can, and on occasion did, wield.

  258. A. R says

    Jadehawk: Out of curiosity, are you in favor of UK or Canadian-style gun laws? I’m personally in favor of Canadian style.

  259. A. R says

    Jadehawk: Should have reloaded! Anyway, I tend to go with the firebombings, because fewer people will try to justify them. But Hiroshima is applicable, if somewhat less strongly so, in the situation you describe.

  260. RahXephon, Giant Feminist Mecha Robot says

    Floundering for a Point @307

    Let’s make this simple.

    You have two premises:
    1. Promoting a culture in which the government is kept in check keeps it in check just by existing.
    2. Gun ownership is at least a partial basis for said culture.

    Now, given that the US has extremely high rates of gun ownership, and is also becoming more tyrannical while other countries with lower gun ownership are becoming less tyrannical, how do you reconcile these two premises?

  261. says

    A.R., I don’t know shit about either country’s gun laws; but ultimately, it’s not the laws themselves that make the difference; it’s the gun culture, here exemplified by LFAAPN and above exemplified by Improbable Joe, which makes guns and their use a necessary and inseparable part of both political self-government and everyday life.

    As long as you have people who worship guns like that, laws don’t fucking matter; people would just go out of their way to break them, anyway, even if it were ever possible to get them passed in the first place.

  262. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    Now, given that the US has extremely high rates of gun ownership, and is also becoming more tyrannical while other countries with lower gun ownership are becoming less tyrannical, how do you reconcile these two premises?

    To be clear, it’s probably a small effect, if present at all. I suspect it is, slightly. I figure we have bigger fish to fry when violent crime has been decreasing for decades and school shootings are once a year, given the potentially large negative impact it could have one the culture of freedom to remove private gun ownership.

    I disagree with the “obviousness” that gun ownership rates are linked to homicide rates, violent crime rates nor suicide rates. The studies and meta studies I’ve looked at are conflicting.

    How do I explain this apparently higher incidence of “tyranny” in the US vs some European countries? Large mitigating factors, lots of which I’m sure we’re all aware of. Gun rights is a small issue in the grand scheme of things. Religion, socio-economics, accidents of political history, the larger culture of limited government, etc., all have a bigger impact IMHO.

    I haven’t even looked at a comprehensive view of the “rates of tyranny” for the US vs European countries, so I don’t know. I do know that I can at least make offensive racial or sexual or sexual orientation jokes when I want to (not that I do, but I want that right), unlike several European countries such as England. So, pick your poison. So, I’m not sure I accept your assertion that the US is “more tyrannical” than all of the European countries. For example, AFAIK, the US still has the best freedom of speech except for maybe one of the Scandinavian countries if you ignore patent and copyright issues.

    tl;dr I don’t know.

  263. A. R says

    Jadehawk: Ok, so we’re looking at firearms ownership (in the NRA sense, not the collector or recreational sense)as an ingrained culture. Then would you suggest something similar to the actions taken against Racism, Sexism, and Classism? If so, we’ve got quite a long road ahead of us.

  264. What a Maroon, Applied Linguist of Slight Foreboding says

    Personally I think the problem in the US is that we don’t take the 2nd Amendment seriously enough. The amendment makes a clear link between gun ownership and membership in a state militia; it’s time to enforce that link. You want to buy a gun? Fine, welcome to the state militia, in the form of the National Guard. Trainings one weekend a month (be prepared to bring all your guns), and if the federal government calls you up, you go. You are responsible for keeping your guns in good working condition, and for keeping track of them. You can sell them, of course, but you have to register that sale, and the buyer joins the militia. And if any of your guns is involved in a crime, you are liable.

    Don’t like it? Then don’t buy a gun.

  265. A. R says

    What a Maroon, Applied Linguist of Slight Foreboding: Eh, bad interpretation of the 2nd amendment. No court has ever interpreted it in that extreme manner, in fact, no nation has anything quite that extreme. Besides, do we really want to hand the federal government that many troops to send after oil?

  266. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    The amendment makes a clear link between gun ownership and membership in a state militia; it’s time to enforce that link.

    Please read the Heller decision (linked else-thread) to correct yourself of this misapprehension.

  267. says

    If so, we’ve got quite a long road ahead of us.

    yup. mind you, I’m not against the kinds of regulatory laws people upthread have proposed, but those too are circumvented commonly (gunshows and private sales) because of the gun culture, too. rejection of gun culture and regulatory laws would have to go hand-in-hand, and become mutually reinforcing. very difficult, especially when idiots insist they need them to defend themselves against home invaders, random people in the street, and Teh Gubmint

  268. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Please read the Heller decision (linked else-thread) to correct yourself of this misapprehension.

    Hows about you use basic logic, and admit you are a gun nut who has nothing cogent to say, and hasn’t said anything cogent, even with your first post…Nothing but self-serving drivel.

  269. RahXephon, Giant Feminist Mecha Robot says

    @314

    So, gun ownership was critical to perpetuating this culture of anti-tyranny, until I pointed out that it’s not actually doing that. And now it’s a “small factor”.

    Okay, player.

    I do know that I can at least make offensive racial or sexual or sexual orientation jokes when I want to (not that I do, but I want that right), unlike several European countries such as England.

    If it’s illegal to make jokes like that, I’d like a citation to the law, because I’ve never heard of such a thing. If it existed, Ricky Gervais wouldn’t have a career, so I’m very curious where you heard this.

    Also, if making sexist jokes is your metric for tyranny…wow.

  270. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    Hows about you use basic logic, and admit you are a gun nut who has nothing cogent to say, and hasn’t said anything cogent, even with your first post…Nothing but self-serving drivel.

    The right to keep and bear arms in the US was always understood as an individual’s right apart from service in a militia – your denial of history notwithstanding. I have linked to an overwhelming mountain of historical evidence contained in the Heller decision. I can do no more.

  271. md says

    fuck off, dear racist cupcake

    Charming. On what evidence do you base your accusation?

  272. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I can do no more.

    Nope, you can do more. Fuck off, and never come back. Liars and bullshitters like you aren’t welcome here.

  273. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    Nope, you can do more. Fuck off, and never come back. Liars and bullshitters like you aren’t welcome here.

    Have you read the Heller decision? You dismiss the plethora of citations going from pre-founding, to founding, to pre-civil war era, to post-civil war era, which all basically support this interpretation? I’m open to discussion that I’m wrong that gun culture is a good thing, but I’m not open to history revisionism. I believe you are the liar and bullshitter.

  274. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    If it’s illegal to make jokes like that, I’d like a citation to the law, because I’ve never heard of such a thing. If it existed, Ricky Gervais wouldn’t have a career, so I’m very curious where you heard this.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-16825874
    Sorry, took me long enough to find it. Racist, not homophobic. My apologies there. I don’t know what’s going on in England nowadays w.r.t. free speech.

  275. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    fuck off, dear racist cupcake.

    Who was this even aimed at? Me?

  276. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    md confirms that he is a white nationalist!

    I are not surprised.

  277. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    Who was this even aimed at? Me?

    Well it’s probably aimed at the person who last addressed Jadehawk by nym.

    Try not to be a dumbass about this, Looking.

  278. RahXephon, Giant Feminist Mecha Robot says

    @327 and 328

    He was going to receive a small fine for racially-motivated abuse at someone else, not for “making a racist joke” in private. This is manifestly different from the right you seem to want but won’t exercise.

    I looked up a bit of info on the Heller case, and of course it was a split 5-4. Gotta love those Bush appointees!

  279. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    He was going to receive a small fine for racially-motivated abuse at someone else, not for “making a racist joke” in private. This is manifestly different from the right you seem to want but won’t exercise.

    To be fair, my understanding from that news story and other articles was that it was purely verbal. If it escalated to physical contact (beyond that normal in soccer), then I’m definitely for charging.

    Also, I do want the right to be offensive in public, not merely in private.

  280. RahXephon, Giant Feminist Mecha Robot says

    @333

    So, it’s not abuse if it’s verbal.

    I reiterate my previous position: Okay, player.

  281. What a Maroon, Applied Linguist of Slight Foreboding says

    Please read the Heller decision (linked else-thread) to correct yourself of this misapprehension.

    Why is it then that the 2nd Amendment is the only one of the first 10 that includes an introductory clause? In any case, the Heller decision is the opinion of five jurists; for now it’s the law of the land, but it can be changed or amended.

    No court has ever interpreted it in that extreme manner, in fact, no nation has anything quite that extreme. Besides, do we really want to hand the federal government that many troops to send after oil?

    I want fewer people to have guns. But if they are going to have guns, I want to make sure that they take responsibility for their use. Given that Congress has the power to organize, arm, and discipline the militia, surely they can tie gun ownership to service in the militia. That would not be impinging on Second Amendment rights; it would be ensuring that they are applied for the stated purpose.

  282. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    Why is it then that the 2nd Amendment is the only one of the first 10 that includes an introductory clause?

    I see you still haven’t read the decision. Please, continue to wallow in your ignorance as you spout half-truths and lies.

  283. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    So, it’s not abuse if it’s verbal.

    Isn’t that what free speech means? To be fair, I accept harassment, libel, and so on, but I do not believe a single soccer game qualifies as any of the well known exceptions. It is merely offensive, mean, abusive if you so wish, and merely being mean and offensive is precisely the speech we need to protect for the First Amendment (and all free speech law) to mean anything.

    To quote a common paraphrase of Voltaire:
    “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”

  284. md says

    I want fewer people to have guns. But if they are going to have guns, I want to make sure that they take responsibility for their use. Given that Congress has the power to organize, arm, and discipline the militia, surely they can tie gun ownership to service in the militia.

    This is the problem with the liberal interpretation of the Constitution. You assume what you want is good, and work backward from there through the legal system to achieve your end. The intent of the rule as it was written does not matter to you.

    If you and your ilk muster the will to change the constitution to make my guns illegal, I will respect it. I wont like it, but I probably won’t leave the country. Until that time comes, respect my rights.

  285. RahXephon, Giant Feminist Mecha Robot says

    @338

    Yes, “fewer guns” means “take all your guns away”. Hey, I hear the President is trying to do that! Along with giving us healthcare! And he’s black!. BE AFRAID.

  286. A. R says

    What a Maroon, Applied Linguist of Slight Foreboding: Well, for now Heller would prevent that. And considering that liberal courts don’t normally take Second Amendment cases, and if they did, they would never tie firearms ownership to military service (Imagine what the ACLU would do) it’s unlikely to happen in the foreseeable future. Think about it though, I have a collection of antique firearms, and a few hunting arms. I don’t even own a modern pistol, and none of the firearms I own would be usable in a military sense. So should I not be allowed to keep those firearms, most of which never leave my home? (Not even the Brits go that far.)

  287. says

    The intent of the rule as it was written does not matter to you.

    Problem with conservatives: idiocy.

    The intent of the rule as written did not matter to the Framers either…you know since they designed a document specifically that could grow and change to future needs and climates.

    You know for say if we moved from militias to a more formal military?

  288. says

    The intent of the rule as it was written does not matter to you.

    This is rich. We’re talking about the people who didn’t let you vote directly because lol poor people are stupid. You think they wanted you to have *guns*, without supervision of any sort?

    I personally don’t really give a shit about their intentions, but that’s because they are a group of dead, racist, classist, and sexist assholes. Every time Meriken pretend they were the emperors of liberty, I laugh.

  289. What a Maroon, Applied Linguist of Slight Foreboding says

    This is the problem with the liberal interpretation of the Constitution. You assume what you want is good, and work backward from there through the legal system to achieve your end. The intent of the rule as it was written does not matter to you.

    If you and your ilk muster the will to change the constitution to make my guns illegal, I will respect it. I wont like it, but I probably won’t leave the country. Until that time comes, respect my rights.

    My proposal has nothing to do with your right to bear arms, and probably wouldn’t have any effect on the number of arms out there. Rather, it’s an application of the power of Congress to organize and discipline a militia–essentially, a modern equivalent of the Militia Acts of 1792, but instead of applying to “free able-bodied white male citizen[s],” it would apply to any citizen with a gun.

    I’m willing to compromise on the requirements for participation in the militia–rather than joining the National Guard, Congress could just require gun owners to undergo some basic training and then report once a year with their guns to ensure that they are secure and in working order. And of course there can be exceptions for antiques which are no longer functional.

  290. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    You think they wanted you to have *guns*, without supervision of any sort?

    Correct. It is apparent you’ve never read any Washington, the Federalist Papers, and so on.

    I’m willing to compromise on the requirements for participation in the militia

    This requirement is a figment of your imagination. Read Heller.

    The intent of the rule as written did not matter to the Framers either…you know since they designed a document specifically that could grow and change to future needs and climates.

    You know how they intended that to happen, to grow and change? Through laws that fit within the constitutional framework, and for the constitution to be amended when it doesn’t make sense anymore.

    You guys really need to read Heller.

    JUSTICE B REYER moves on to make a broad jurispruden-
    tial point: He criticizes us for declining to establish a level
    of scrutiny for evaluating Second Amendment restrictions.
    He proposes, explicitly at least, none of the traditionally
    expressed levels (strict scruti ny, intermediate scrutiny,
    rational basis), but rather a judge-empowering “interest-
    balancing inquiry” that “asks whether the statute burdens
    a protected interest in a way or to an extent that is out of
    proportion to the statute’s salutary effects upon other
    important governmental interests.” Post , at 10. After an
    exhaustive discussion of the arguments for and against
    gun control, JUSTICE BREYER arrives at his interest-
    balanced answer: because handgun violence is a problem,
    because the law is limited to an urban area, and because
    there were somewhat similar restrictions in the founding
    period (a false proposition that we have already dis-
    cussed), the interest-balancing inquiry results in the
    constitutionality of the handgun ban. QED.
    We know of no other enumerated constitutional right
    whose core protection has been subjected to a freestanding
    “interest-balancing” approach. The very enumeration of
    the right takes out of the hands of government—even the
    Third Branch of Government—the power to decide on a
    case-by-case basis whether the right is really worth insist-
    ing upon. A constitutional guarantee subject to future
    judges’ assessments of its usefulness is no constitutional
    guarantee at all.
    Constitutional rights are enshrined with
    the scope they were understood to have when the people
    adopted them, whether or not future legislatures or (yes)
    even future judges think that scope too broad. We would
    not apply an “interest-balancing” approach to the prohibi-
    tion of a peaceful neo-Nazi march through Skokie. See
    National Socialist Party of America v. Skokie, 432 U. S. 43
    (1977) (per curiam) . The First Amendment contains the
    freedom-of-speech guarantee that the people ratified,
    which included exceptions for obscenity, libel, and disclo-
    sure of state secrets, but not for the expression of ex-
    tremely unpopular and wrong-headed views. The Second
    Amendment is no different. Like the First, it is the very
    product of an interest-balancing by the people—which
    J USTICE B REYER would now conduct for them anew. And
    whatever else it leaves to future evaluation, it surely
    elevates above all other interests the right of law-abiding,
    responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and
    home.

    Emphasis added.

  291. says

    Correct. It is apparent you’ve never read any Washington, the Federalist Papers, and so on.

    Heh. Could not be more wrong. Altogether too much. They’re dead assholes, and every second wasted on them was something I could have used on real scholarship. (Also, good job naming Washington from his period as a figurehead.)

    Read Heller

    I didn’t realize Scalia was a medium. More to the point, I don’t give a shit what the national deities wanted. Even if they actually wanted to pass out ammunition (They didn’t, but let’s play pretend), they were wrong to desire this – horrendously so. That they have left a loophole is something that can and should be exploited, because open access to firearms is poisonous to society. The only argument I’ve seen with any merit whatsoever is the one put forth by the Black Panthers and others. And it is still found wanting.

    Someone claiming the other person lacks historical background should full well know this is within the founding deities’ desires; it’s why the constitution is as ridiculously vague and elastic as it is. It’s a compromise document by people with fundamental disagreements on the role of government. The US Constitution is rather like the bible – loose and can be twisted with trivial ease.

  292. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    You’re mixing two points of contention.

    1-

    open access to firearms is poisonous to society.

    I’m not posting any more to argue this point.

    2-
    While I might disagree weakly with point 1, I continue to post because I strongly condemn your history revisionism to suit your fancy, and your complete abridgment of rule of law. Why even have a constitution if you can decide on a whim that it’s wrong?

    On the one hand, you seem to indicate that the intent of the writers of a law, and the common understanding of the law at the time of passing, is irrelevant. You dismiss the writers’ intent here:

    They’re dead assholes, and every second wasted on them was something I could have used on real scholarship.

    And here:

    I didn’t realize Scalia was a medium. More to the point, I don’t give a shit what the national deities wanted. Even if they actually wanted to pass out ammunition (They didn’t, but let’s play pretend), they were wrong to desire this – horrendously so.

    You dodge the issue of original intent and original common understanding by claiming that they were wrong, stupid, ad nauseum. You rewrite history in order to support your point.

    Had you bothered to actually read Scalia’s opinion, you would see that contrary to him attempting to read the minds’ of dead men, you would see citation after citation after citation clarifying the original intent and original understanding of the second amendment.

    Had you been actually versed in history, you would know that the bill of rights was passed by the majority federalist congress as codifying pre-existing rights to appease the anti-federalists. The individual’s right to own a gun was prevalent in the state constitutions at the time, and it was based on the English right to own a gun (at least a right that the crown could not contravene, but the parliament could). This came about when James II tried to disarm the protestants, and the reaction against that was the then and now well understand right to keep and bear a gun individually, without government sponsorship, in fact in spite of government sponsorship. That you so fail to understand the nuance of the militia and what it means to be a freeman is no excuse for the absurd blinders you have on in regards to historical fact.

    The militia is all able bodied men. The militia is well regulated aka well trained if they have access to guns to practice on their own time. The states and the congress have the power to call forth the militia. They don’t arm it. They don’t create it. They call it forth. It is thus assumed to be in existence already. Compare and contrast with the wording of “To raise and support Armies”.

    I am not arguing for gun rights per se right now. I am arguing that rule of law is important, and you can’t just throw it under the bus at your whim. Maybe when you grow up, and get an appreciation for a decent time horizon, you’ll see this.

  293. says

    You dodge the issue of original intent and original common understanding by claiming that they were wrong, stupid, ad nauseum.

    What part of “I don’t care what assholes who would have executed me for my race said about liberties that should be had” is being lost on you? Is it the part where the founding deities’ pronouncements are meaningless to me? Do you just not understand what that means, to not care about your gods’ opinions? I do not give two shits. They did not all remotely support you or scalia, but that’s besides the fucking point; They could have embossed in gold print “CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES SHALL HAVE UNRESTRICTED ACCESS TO ALL WEAPONS OF WAR” and I would still not care. It would still be dumb as hell, pronouncement from the founding deities or not.

    They left a loophole; even if they didn’t want firearms regulation (Like you, Scalia has the fun habit of selecting a minimum of sources on intent in a document drafted to allow many, many viewpoints), it’s irrelevant. I will advocate that loophole be abused until the issue obviated, preferably by straight up deleting the amendment.

    I am arguing that rule of law is important

    Fuck you; if the rule of law were actually important to you, you’d have shown up when trolls were trying much less forgivable loopholes to actually marginalize people. You’re here for gun rights, don’t lie to us.

  294. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    It’s fascinating how the original intent and common understanding when Scalia rules this way is always in agreement with Scalia’s beliefs.

    It’s amazing that you’re using this ad hominem-like attack which blindly ignoring the mountain of historical evidence in his favor, which is laid out with caring detail in the Heller decision. Even a broken clock is right twice a day, and lol-Scalia is indeed broken.

    @348 ruteekatreya
    I am not claiming the founding fathers are gods, nor that they are always right. In this particular case though, when determining the effect of a law, the usual standards are: “what did the legislature understand the law to mean?” and “what did the everyday man of the time understand the law to mean?”. In this case, because the framers were (part of) the legislature in question, their views are quite relevant. As is the multitude of citations supporting this position.

    Thus, when you say you do not care what they think, you are abrogating the rule of law because you disagree with it. I say again – why even have a constitution if you can unilaterally decide what is and is not stupid?

    They did not all remotely support you or scalia, but that’s besides the fucking point; They could have embossed in gold print “CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES SHALL HAVE UNRESTRICTED ACCESS TO ALL WEAPONS OF WAR” and I would still not care. It would still be dumb as hell, pronouncement from the founding deities or not.

    Technically, I think they did. See US Constitution, Section 8, “To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;”. That is, congress shall have the power to grant letters of marque and reprisal. What is a letter of marque and reprisal? That is an authorization for privateer action, usually w.r.t. combat on the seas. So, how does this make any sense unless private citizens were owning and maintaining ships of war, cannon and all?

    To be fair, neither they nor I would allow unconditional keeping and bearing of all weapons of war. For example, no one is going to allow storing a shitton of gunpowder in city limits in a residential area due to the explosion hazard. The gunpowder treason plot springs to mind as an example of what’s not ok to do with large amounts of explosives.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunpowder_Plot
    Similarly, it’s insane to allow every Dick and Harry to own a nuclear weapon. No one is arguing against all regulation.

    However, The people who are on the side of history and rule of law state that it is quite clear to anyone who doesn’t have their head up their ass that the right is guaranteed, not given as it pre-exists the constitution, to keep and bear firearms.

    Fuck you; if the rule of law were actually important to you, you’d have shown up when trolls were trying much less forgivable loopholes to actually marginalize people. You’re here for gun rights, don’t lie to us.

    I’m sorry that I’m not omnipresent. I am not sorry that this is a particular pet peeve of mine. Whatever your view of the “goodness” of gun rights is irrelevant to what our constitution says.

  295. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    The rule of law changes…and is intended to change. Your insistence on treating it as sacred it evident of a undeveloped and unexamined moral character.

    You obviously have no fucking clue what you’re talking about.

    The rule of law changes when the law changes, not from legislatures nor judges deciding on a whim that they don’t like a law and thus can ignore it.

  296. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    Pray tell, Ing. What is the difference between the legislative branch and the judicial branch in your world view?

  297. A. R says

    I actually had a discussion somewhat like this on RDnet a few months ago, though the person I was arguing against had the rather bizarre view that the Constitution was open for universal interpretation by hir and/or the legislature. Not what that particular document was meant for.

  298. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    Legislative branch makes laws, judicial branch interprets laws or shoots down illegal laws.

    Correct.

    By definition it is judicial and legislative branches that change the law.

    Maybe – The legislative branch makes laws, and the judicial sets precedent, which is a kind of law. Usually, the judicial is honor-bound to attempt to interpret honestly, aka honestly interpret the original intended and well understood meaning of the law. I think that was implied in what you said, but I want to bring this up as I think you contradicted this several posts earlier. Do you think it’s the province of the judicial to overturn laws merely because they think they’re bad laws? I think not.

    So, let’s accept that the original purpose of the second amendment is the individual’s right to keep and bear firearms. (See the Heller decision for the overwhelming historical evidence.) With that, whose responsibility, job, or power is it to change this law? I would think it’s the legislative, not the judicial. And the legislative can do it through and only through the specified mechanism, an amendment to the United States Constitution, to be ratified by the state governments, or by a constitutional convention. Unless you want to throw it all out and start over ala revolution.

    So I’m genuinely lost on what you think. I think you are inconsistent and incoherent but you don’t yet realize it, or in abject denial of historical fact.

  299. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    Do you think it’s the province of the judicial to overturn laws merely because they think they’re bad laws? I think not.

    One preemption / correction. While I do not think it’s the place of the court to declare the second amendment stupid and no longer binding, I do believe in a kind of judicial activism, supported by the ninth amendment:
    “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
    The court has great power to uphold rights under the ninth, but that does apply in this case of denying gun rights simply because some people think it’s stupid and harmful.

  300. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    The court has great power to uphold rights under the ninth, but that does not apply in this case of denying gun rights simply because some people think gun rights is stupid and harmful.

    Fixed. Ack. Bad proofreading.

  301. says

    Looking For An Applicable etc.,

    I’m not going to comment on Heller itself (which is a complicated and interesting case), but I have serious issues with Scalia’s brand of originalism, in general.

    The difficulty with hardline constitutional originalism is that, simply put, it provides the judiciary with very few tools to protect individual rights in a range of areas. A strict originalist analysis of the Constitution, if consistently applied, would wipe away most of the great progressive constitutional decisions of the last century. It’s unlikely that the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment ever thought that it would have the effect of mandating desegregation of public schools or conferring a right to interracial marriage, for instance. Similarly, it would be very hard to justify the decision in Lawrence v. Texas that the criminalization of gay relationships is unconstitutional, or the decisions in Romer v. Evans and Perry v. Brown striking down instances of state-sanctioned discrimination against gay and lesbian people, if we were limiting ourselves to what the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment likely intended: indeed, Scalia dissented in both Lawrence and Romer, and will likely vote to reverse Perry if it reaches the Supreme Court. So, too, he dissented in Roper v. Simmons, arguing in his dissent that the Constitution does not preclude states from executing juveniles; he dissented in Padilla v. Kentucky; he maintains that Miranda v. Arizona was wrongly decided; and so forth. If an originalist paradigm were applied consistently, therefore, we’d end up wiping away most of the hard-won constitutional gains of racial minorities, of immigrants, of criminal defendants, of lesbian and gay people, and of others who have traditionally been unsuccessful in receiving protection for their rights through the democratic process. Scalia seems comfortable enough with this, and would likely simply say that minorities who want protection from discrimination and abuse should resort to the legislature and the voters, not to the courts, to protect them. But that’s because he is able to pontificate from a judicial ivory tower; those of us who actually care about the civil liberties of real people in the real world, and who recognize that the tyranny of the majority is as oppressive as any other tyranny, cannot be content with such an outcome.

    I think it’s noteworthy that so many of the most important Amendments are couched in broad, vague, value-laden language: “freedom of speech”, “cruel and unusual punishment”, “life, liberty or property”, “due process of law”, “equal protection of the laws”, and so forth. Their framers could have framed them in much narrower and more precise terms; but they chose not to. Thus it inevitably falls to the judiciary to make value-judgments, in light of the Constitution’s purpose of protecting individual rights and in light of today’s values and social conditions, in deciding what these terms should be understood to mean, in the context of today’s society. There is no compelling reason why we ought to look to the intention of the text’s authors as the final word; it is certainly relevant, but it need not be dispositive. Rather, the Constitution is a living instrument which should be interpreted in light of the social conditions and values of the present day. This is widely understood in other jurisdictions, too: other national constitutions, and international human rights instruments such as the ECHR and ICCPR, are often also understood by the judiciary as living instruments whose meaning has to be interpreted in light of present-day conditions and values.

  302. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    @359 Walton
    I agree in large part. I think this is also codified in the ninth amendment. (Oh I totally saw that coming. See 357+358. You possibly didn’t notice.) If there wasn’t a ninth amendment or equivalent understanding in judicial interpretation, I would want it.

    I like the vague and general terms of equality before the law, and so on. It allows the constitution to keep up to dates with the current zeitgeist of moral improvement.

    However, the constitution is a positive rights constitution. It lays out several of these vague positive rights, and one of those vague positive rights is the right to keep and bear arms.

    Again, I do thoroughly enjoy and am proud of the judicial “activism” in helping out in gay and racial rights, etc., throughout the history of the US. The distinction I see between those advances and the “advances” proposed by rolling back the constitution is that of character. All of the advances of gay and racial rights have had the character of positive rights, not negative rights. Each decision was limiting government power or discretion in some way. However, with gun rights, the situation is the reverse. The decision decides to take away my positive rights, and that’s why I think your analogy fails. The court can always invent more individual positive rights, but I do not like the court taking rights away.

    Furthermore, I want to emphasize that I am not a libertarian idiot. I have to deal with one of my friends daily who is, and I try to make him see the light. For example, I am a big fan of national health care for both the moral argument and the argument that it’ll make it cheaper on the taxpayer by cutting down on emergency room visits.

    However, I still usually err on the side of limited government, especially when it comes to civil liberties issues. In that sense, it’s possible that you will (incorrectly IMHO) identify me as libertarian.

  303. says

    I’m sorry that I’m not omnipresent.

    I’m sorry that you’re a shitty liar. We just had an argument, on the latest Trayvon Martin thread, that constituted what the law said. Somehow, it didn’t draw your attention. Which leaves gun rights. You fucking assholes never care about something useful when you can be concerning yourself with guns. Even here, you didn’t enter the conversation until it came to that. Fuck off, jackass.

    Whatever your view of the “goodness” of gun rights is irrelevant to what our constitution says.

    If it leaves a a hole the size of a Meriken Car, and can be used well, it damn well should be.

    That is, congress shall have the power to grant letters of marque and reprisal. What is a letter of marque and reprisal? That is an authorization for privateer action, usually w.r.t. combat on the seas. So, how does this make any sense unless private citizens were owning and maintaining ships of war, cannon and all?
    Good question, since AFAIK cannon weren’t actually permitted on civilian vessels outside of wartime by the late 1700s. Seems to me that’d be a restriction, and a pretty serious one.

    it is quite clear to anyone who doesn’t have their head up their ass that the right is guaranteed, n

    Under direction by local government. Lackwit.

  304. says

    I like the vague and general terms of equality before the law, and so on. It allows the constitution to keep up to dates with the current zeitgeist of moral improvement.

    Yep, I think we’re in agreement there. But that’s precisely why I’m uncomfortable with originalism as an interpretive paradigm.

    The decision decides to take away my positive rights, and that’s why I think your analogy fails.

    I wasn’t drawing an analogy; like I said, I wasn’t commenting on the outcome in Heller itself, but rather on the flaws of originalist constitutional reasoning in general. I’m largely agnostic as to how the Second Amendment should properly be interpreted, and I don’t know how I’d have decided Heller.

  305. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    Under direction by local government. Lackwit.

    Of course, because my positive right to assemble peacefully is also subject to the arbitrary whims of local government. Right…

    PS: Sadly, it is in California at least.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gang_injunction
    When I heard about it on the radio, I was so pissed. In California at least, it’s a civil court order restricting the right to assemble. Such horseshit.

  306. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    However, I still usually err on the side of limited government, especially when it comes to civil liberties issues.

    I dislike these vacuous statements; they are the opposite of informative and the antithesis of profundity.

    As a result of Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, restaurant owner Lester Maddox was forced—forced by the government!—to sell food to black people. Was Title II morally wrong?

  307. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    But that’s precisely why I’m uncomfortable with originalism as an interpretive paradigm.

    Seconded.

  308. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    As a result of Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, restaurant owner Lester Maddox was forced—forced by the government!—to sell food to black people. Was Title II morally wrong?

    No. I was merely try to try to explain my own position that I like to err on the side of limited government, not that I’m a gungho Randbot. I know you all love [sarcasm] Mill, but he got it right. Government actors have the most power, and thus they should have the least “power” and discretion. Large corporations and the public at large have a lot of power unto themselves, and thus they should also have less “power” and discretion lest they similarly abuse it. The individual has the least power, and thus has the most discretion. It’s a balancing act, trying to provide maximal freedom of choice and happiness, while preventing excesses of tyranny and government.

  309. says

    Of course, because my positive right to assemble peacefully is also subject to the arbitrary whims of local government. Right…

    I ain’t the one who decided that your local government had your interests better at hand than the federal one, you lackwit.

    As a result of Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, restaurant owner Lester Maddox was forced—forced by the government!—to sell food to black people. Was Title II morally wrong?

    Well, it was an infringement on the dignity of the White Race, which is actually important.

  310. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    You continue to speak in useless generalities. Maddox was a lone individual, and thus by the only reasoning you’ve presented, his power in his limited sphere of influence should have been left to him instead of being overridden by the federal government.

    In a single word, it seems you don’t agree with that, but you do not account for how you come to your conclusion. Has sloganeering so eroded your brain that you are unable to account for your conclusion?

  311. says

    I just don’t like to see people relying on Scalia-esque originalist reasoning, given that it can be (and often has been, by Scalia himself) used to justify refusal to protect the freedoms of oppressed minority groups. The meaning of the Constitution and its Amendments isn’t fixed or immutable – as you’ve agreed. With this in mind, any discussion of how to interpret the Second Amendment ought to be understood not just in light of what its framers understood it to mean, but in light of today’s values and social conditions.

    And, of course, it’s also worth noting that the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment, like most other rights, has never been regarded as absolute or unqualified; even the most ardent Second Amendment hawks acknowledge that the Constitution permits states to prohibit minors and the mentally incompetent from buying firearms, for instance, and that certain kinds of weaponry can be restricted from private ownership. Saying “we have a right to bear arms!” isn’t dispositive of the question; we need to determine what that right means, and in what circumstances it can be limited. I think I’d generally agree with Justice Breyer’s separate dissent in Heller. On Breyer’s view, the court should apply an “interest-balancing” test, weighing the compelling objectives of public policy that the statute serves against the burden that the statute imposes on Second Amendment rights, and should hold the statute to be controversial unless the burden is disproportionate to the benefit. On the facts of Heller, he thought the DC handgun ban served compelling objectives of public interest (namely, reducing the number of deaths from handgun violence), and that the burden on Second Amendment rights was not disproportionate to that objective.

  312. says

    Correcting my own typing error:

    On Breyer’s view, the court should apply an “interest-balancing” test, weighing the compelling objectives of public policy that the statute serves against the burden that the statute imposes on Second Amendment rights, and should hold the statute to be constitutional unless the burden is disproportionate to the benefit.

    In case anyone was wondering why that line of my previous post made no sense. (In my defence, I was re-reading Heller, thinking and typing all at the same time.)

  313. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    life is like a pitbull with lipstick, what do you want from me? I agreed that excesses of the culture at large when it immorally negatively affects a subgroup can justify government action to prevent it. Have you read “On Liberty”? He spends quite a large amount of time describing how the masses can be as oppressive, if not more oppressive, than government action, through social taboos, and so on. I was seconding this observation, and stating that government action to fix this can be justified.

    PS: Note that my understanding of the equal opportunity employment act is that it does not apply to businesses less than 20 (?) (or something) employees. Maybe that was done because it would just be a pain to enforce, but I suspect the writers shared a bit more of my fundamental values.

  314. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    LFAAPN, why not trying to shut the fuck up. Your liberturd tendencies are not welcome here, and nobody is listening to you because of that. Liberturds are the scum of the Earth, being arrogant, ignorant, anti-social, selfish, and arrogant. Did I mention arrogant, and never shut the fuck up?

  315. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    Walton, I would be curious how you would reply to Scalia’s compelling retort in his decision. I reproduced it in at 344.

    Let me step back from my overly “ambitious” defense of original meaning and intent. Still, original meaning and intent is important. If an idiom falls out of use, that shouldn’t change the meaning of the law. Ex: “well regulated militia” at the time meant “well trained” or “well prepared”, and we consequently should use the old well understood meaning, not the current English where the phrase has a substantially different meaning.

    Still, I stand by my earlier statements that it is not the purview of any US court to do interest balancing w.r.t. civil liberties as you suggest. The court does have the power to grant “new” rights to previously oppressed groups, and it does have the right to apply “new” rights to new technologies and new situations, but it is not the purview of the court to consider an existing right in an existing context and take it away. Positive rights stay. It’s consistent in spirit with the “no ex-post facto” rule in the US Constitution, and basic jurisprudence IMHO. The idea is that something that a long enjoyed right ought to remain legal, barring good rational reasons why not. This is the current state for ninth amendment jurisprudence AFAIK. For specific enumerated constitutionally guaranteed rights, I argue the bar ought to be even higher, such as requiring a constitutional amendment.

  316. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls, I obey your command to rewrite history. Now, as a first step, shall we start with the listing of citations in Heller and purge those from local libraries?

  317. says

    @Nerd of Redhead — Thank you, I was about to say much the same thing, far less eloquently.

    @LFAAPN — Holy fuck, dude, I don’t know what you’ve been smoking, but it’s clearly not doing you any good! Please shut UP about “Heller”, already — we know you have a hard-on for that case, quit waving it around.

  318. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I obey your command to rewrite history.

    Then shut the fuck up as a terminal insipid fuckwit. Killfile engaged due to terminal stupidity and arrogance. Which if you weren’t arrogant, you could cease posting and boring us with your political theology (it ain’t science).

  319. says

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls, I obey your command to rewrite history. Now, as a first step, shall we start with the listing of citations in Heller and purge those from local libraries?

    Why not? You’ve already decided their opponents are irrelevant.

    Seriously, troll, fuck off. “Originalism makes me uncomfortable but I’m going to keep advocating it, even to the digital face of people who would have been wiped out, enslaved, or reduced to incubators under the founding deities’ intentions”. As always, ‘original intent’ always lines up with what you already wanted. When it’s against what you want, you shuffle your feet, aw shucks, maybe it’s not so big, except where you care. Fuck those assholes, and fuck you for your lack of courage in your convictions.

  320. says

    The court does have the power to grant “new” rights to previously oppressed groups, and it does have the right to apply “new” rights to new technologies and new situations, but it is not the purview of the court to consider an existing right in an existing context and take it away. Positive rights stay.

    That’s an oversimplification. For one thing, Heller did not simply reaffirm an existing understanding of the Second Amendment; rather, it pushed the scope of the Second Amendment further than it had ever been taken, and was the first time that the Supreme Court had explicitly decided that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms. Scalia himself described it in his opinion as “this Court’s first in-depth examination of the Second Amendment.” So it’s not a case of taking away rights; it’s a case of deciding anew how a right should be interpreted, when the question had never yet been authoritatively decided.

    Walton, I would be curious how you would reply to Scalia’s compelling retort in his decision. I reproduced it in at 344.

    Well, like I said, I’m really not an expert on the Second Amendment caselaw, and it’s a while since I’d read Heller. But I’m confused as to what he means here (though I could be missing the point).

    We know of no other enumerated constitutional right
    whose core protection has been subjected to a freestanding
    “interest-balancing” approach.

    In many circumstances, the Court applies “strict scrutiny” to laws which burden certain constitutional rights. That is, a law that burdens the protected right is presumptively unconstitutional unless it is justified by a compelling governmental interest, and narrowly tailored to that interest. Strict scrutiny is applied, for instance, in the Equal Protection Clause context to laws which discriminate on the basis of a suspect classification, such as race. Similarly, strict scrutiny was previously applied under the Free Exercise Clause to laws which burden the free exercise of religion, under Sherbert v. Verner. (Though this is no longer the usual test in Free Exercise cases because of Scalia’s majority opinion in Employment Division, Oregon Department of Human Resources v. Smith, which effectively though not explicitly overruled Sherbert.)

    Breyer explains in a passage of his opinion why he would adopt his “interest-balancing” approach to the First Amendment, rather than strict scrutiny per se:

    Indeed, adoption of a true strict-scrutiny standard for evaluating gun regulations would be impossible. That is because almost every gun-control regulation will seek to advance (as the one here does) a “primary concern of every government—a concern for the safety and indeed the lives of its citizens.” he Court has deemed that interest, as well as “the Government’s general interest in preventing crime,” to be “compelling,” and the Court has in a wide variety of constitutional contexts found such public-safety concerns sufficiently forceful to justify restrictions on individual liberties Thus, any attempt in theory to apply strict scrutiny to gun regulations will in practice turn into an interest-balancing inquiry, with the interests protected by the Second Amendment on one side and the governmental public-safety concerns on the other, the only question being whether the regulation at issue impermissibly burdens the former in the course of advancing the latter.

    I would simply adopt such an interest-balancing inquiry explicitly. The fact that important interests lie on both sides of the constitutional equation suggests that review of gun-control regulation is not a context in which a court should effectively presume either constitutionality (as in rational-basis review) or unconstitutionality (as in strict scrutiny). Rather, “where a law significantly implicates competing constitutionally protected interests in complex ways,” the Court generally asks whether the statute burdens a protected interest in a way or to an extent that is out of proportion to the statute’s salutary effects upon other important governmental interests. Any answer would take account both of the statute’s effects upon the competing interests and the existence of any clearly superior less restrictive alternative. See ibid. Contrary to the majority’s unsupported suggestion that this sort of “proportionality” approach is unprecedented, the Court has applied it in various constitutional contexts, including election-law cases, speech cases, and due process cases.

    (I’ve omitted the citations for easier reading, but the full text of his dissent is online here.)

  321. says

    Breyer explains in a passage of his opinion why he would adopt his “interest-balancing” approach to the First Amendment,

    Argh. Second Amendment. My brain is breaking. And with that, I’ll have to withdraw from this discussion.

    I should add that I’m not at all sure I’m correct on the Heller front; I’d have to take more time to analyze the decision before coming to a firm view. It’s been a while since I first read Heller, and I’m not at all an expert on it.

  322. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    That’s an oversimplification. For one thing, Heller did not simply reaffirm an existing understanding of the Second Amendment; rather, it pushed the scope of the Second Amendment further than it had ever been taken, and was the first time that the Supreme Court had explicitly decided that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms. Scalia himself described it in his opinion as “this Court’s first in-depth examination of the Second Amendment.” So it’s not a case of taking away rights; it’s a case of deciding anew how a right should be interpreted, when the question had never yet been authoritatively decided.

    Politely disagreed. Yes, it’s the first time that SCOTUS has considered the basic right, but as he said similar other bill of rights long enjoyed were only recently reviewed as well. The plentiful citations show that it has long been an individual right for the entire history of the nation, and even before then as it is based in English common law. So, pedantically it is the first time that the court has decided its meaning, but practically the right has been well understood for a long, long time, and thus deciding against gun rights would be taking away a positive right.

  323. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    Seriously, troll, fuck off. “Originalism makes me uncomfortable but I’m going to keep advocating it, even to the digital face of people who would have been wiped out, enslaved, or reduced to incubators under the founding deities’ intentions”. As always, ‘original intent’ always lines up with what you already wanted. When it’s against what you want, you shuffle your feet, aw shucks, maybe it’s not so big, except where you care. Fuck those assholes, and fuck you for your lack of courage in your convictions.

    I have tried to explain my nuanced take on jurisprudence. The original narrow desires and intent of the writers of a law is not the only thing that matters. The plain reading matters as well. However, laws don’t suddenly change meaning because an idiomatic phrase such as “well regulated (militia)” falls out of use. I think that’s what got us to “original intent”. I think it’s now settled as to the original intent, so let’s go on from that.

    As I tried to explain elsethread, I think that the narrow literalist intent is now how jurisprudence should work, because otherwise all of the bill of rights et al would be limited to white male landowners. Instead, as our moral zeitgeist improves, as does our understanding to whom and when these natural positive rights apply. I challenge that it is a rare thing in jurisprudence when a pre-existing natural right is taken away. Again, this is codified quite clearly in the Ninth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

    PS: I may be a new poster and slightly older lurker, but I’ve seen your behavior in threads. All you ever seen to do is come in, declare someone to be trolling, usually tone trolling, add nothing of substance to the conversation, then declare that the person is not welcome, and declare that the person has been killfiled. Your performance has been held up in this thread where you spout actual verified nonsense, and accuse me of being the one out of touch of reality, such as in post 280, where you take the rather childish and naive view of “well regulated”, ignoring the entire historical evidence which was presented well before you made your error. I do not know why you have been graced as OM. Perhaps your behavior in the past was more admirable, or perhaps this place truly does enjoy some asshat just coming in, yelling “troll troll troll, lol killfiled”.

  324. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    life is like a pitbull with lipstick, what do you want from me? I agreed that excesses of the culture at large when it immorally negatively affects a subgroup can justify government action to prevent it.

    Something like this is what I wanted, some kind of justification for your stance, rather than empty sloganeering.

    Have you read “On Liberty”? He spends quite a large amount of time describing how the masses can be as oppressive, if not more oppressive, than government action, through social taboos, and so on. I was seconding this observation, and stating that government action to fix this can be justified.

    You were not. Maybe you thought you were, but I read what you said, while you were aware of what’s in your head. (I’m actually more equipped to understand the precise meaning of your statements, since I’m not viewing them through the lens of your assumptions. This parenthetical is not your fault; that’s just how we all work.)

    PS: Note that my understanding of the equal opportunity employment act is that it does not apply to businesses less than 20 (?) (or something) employees. Maybe that was done because it would just be a pain to enforce, but I suspect the writers shared a bit more of my fundamental values.

    Well then your fundamental values are somewhat racist.

    There can only be pragmatic justifications for such a clause about the number of employees.

    (By the way, Title II, what I asked about, is not about employment. You made your case worse by changing the subject unnecessarily.)

    It’s inexcusable to take a “moral” stance that black people who apply to work for a small employer shouldn’t get the same civil rights as black people who apply to work for a large employer.

  325. says

    Ex: “well regulated militia” at the time meant “well trained” or “well prepared”, and we consequently should use the old well understood meaning, not the current English where the phrase has a substantially different meaning.

    And I repeat, you cannot square Well trained and well prepared with “open access”. Gaining a gun license requires neither training nor preparation. It’s absurd that you insist on this definition on one hand and ignore it on the other. Furthermore, the language itself as you are using it implies a right to a group, a military unit. I honestly can’t see how you can defend the original intent, when you ignore the fucking original intent. Your only argument seems to be the authority that you lick form Scalia’s scrotum. Scalia has a observed patern of equating his own values to equal ‘original intent’. In sort Scalia’s argument is most likely ad hoc bullshit. He reached the decision and then worked backwards to argue that it was what was originally intended. Original intent is already a ethically and practically bankrupt metric (fuck practical or moral concerns, what did these dead guys think!?) and Scalia continues to bastardize it even further.

  326. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    It’s inexcusable to take a “moral” stance that black people who apply to work for a small employer shouldn’t get the same civil rights as black people who apply to work for a large employer.

    Do you believe it’s the government’s purview to guarantee equal access in dating, or in who I make friends with? That if the statistics comes up bad that I can be sued or brought up on criminal charges if I don’t date X people of other races? What if I don’t meet my quota for transgendered, or height? How is this fundamentally different than two friends going into a joint business, and wanting to hire only friends or family? It’s a logical extension of freedom of assembly – I have the right to assemble with who I want. And of course this right is curtailed in exactly the way that the equal opportunity employment act does.

    The law is a very blunt instrument. It cannot be used to solve all problems, and I do not want it regulating my interpersonal relationships to that degree. I want you to recognize that there is a difference between “What I think ought to happen morally” and “What I want to be allowed and disallowed legally”. In that sense, I disapprove morally of purely racially based discrimination, but I also disapprove of the blunt instrument of the law trying to fix every instance in this case for fear of tresspassing on other rights, such as the right to assemble, and moreover chose my own business partners and friends, and also for fear of granting the government too much power.

    That last part (“too much power”) may be why some of you have (incorrectly) called me a libertarian. For shame [sarcasm] if someone thinks that we should restrain government power for fear of tyranny [end sarcasm]. Government is made of people, has absolute power, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. One can be for limited government and also for helping out our fellow person. I am for both.

  327. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    He reached the decision and then worked backwards to argue that it was what was originally intended.

    So, we’re still on this, eh? I believe that you still have not read Heller in full, because I believe no reasonable person could see the citation after citation and still come away with this wrong headed attitude. Yes Scalia is evil, and yes his original intent only doctrine that he espouses can reach evil and IMHO unconstitutional ends, but it is shameful that you would dismiss his arguments and the multitude of citations because of personal attacks and character assassination.

  328. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Funny how liberturds, who don’t like being bullied, tend to bully with their inane political theology. Must get in the last word, must inanely and ineptly attempt to refute cogent arguments, etc. They are never right, but can’t just fade into the bandwidth like people with honor and integrity….

  329. says

    PS: I may be a new poster and slightly older lurker, but I’ve seen your behavior in threads. All you ever seen to do is come in, declare someone to be trolling, usually tone trolling, add nothing of substance to the conversation, then declare that the person is not welcome, and declare that the person has been killfiled.

    What the shit are you talking about? I haven’t had a working killfile since Firefox 5 or 6 broke it 2 years ago or so. Calling someone a concern troll is reserved for when it’s done – that’s not very common here, outside of matters of atheism. Presumably, asshat -ists who are atheists troll dedicated anti-racist or feminist or what have you blogs rather than Pharyngula. The last time I mentioned concern trolling was when another poster tried to invoke its specter against me.

    d. Your performance has been held up in this thread where you spout actual verified nonsense, and accuse me of being the one out of touch of reality

    You are. Shit, son, you tried raising letters of marque. You’re about 100 years too late for cannon being standard equipment on ships during peacetime. Even if the founding deities universally agreed with you (They didn’t), you’d still have gotten shit wrong.

    such as in post 280, where you take the rather childish and naive view of “well regulated”,

    How many times are you going to have to hear I don’t give a shit what the Founding Deities meant when they wrote it before it sinks into that empty little head of yours? The only concern of mine is what can be done with it. Plus, what Ing said.

    I do not know why you have been graced as OM

    When the hell did I get an OM? Are you sure you don’t have me confused with someone else?

  330. says

    Do you believe it’s the government’s purview to guarantee equal access in dating, or in who I make friends with

    Wow. So this is the hill you’re going to die on; the government doesn’t have the right to enforce equality of opportunity in employment.

    One can be for limited government and also for helping out our fellow person. I am for both.

    Statement assumes facts not in evidence, apparently.

  331. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    Racist Looking For An Applicable Political Name,

    Access to employment is one of the most important things in life, right up there with food, shelter and healthcare. It is most definitely within any government’s purview.

    How is this fundamentally different than two friends going into a joint business, and wanting to hire only friends or family?

    Better yet, how is two friends going into a joint business, and wanting to hire only friends or family, fundamentally different from them only wanting to serve white customers?

    You suggest that you think the latter should be illegal, but you have no coherent reason to pick one and not the other. These two issues are of a piece.

    The law is a very blunt instrument.

    Which is why there might be pragmatic justifications for such a clause about the number of employees.

    But it’s inexcusable to take a “values” stance (and “values” was precisely the word you chose) that black people who apply to work for a small employer shouldn’t get the same civil rights as black people who apply to work for a large employer.

    You picked the racist answer.

    Bad pick.

    I am for both.

    Only in vague sweeping generalizations of theory. Not in practice.

    In practice you’re a white supremacist.

    (There are answers to your other questions to me, but I don’t want to give you any hints before you try to work out the issue of hiring black workers verses serving black customers. Do your best, and then I’ll get back to you.)

  332. RahXephon, Giant Feminist Mecha Robot says

    @390

    Life (may I call you life?), I just came over here again from the latest Trayvon Martin thread and my patience is low. Can I scream obscenities at Racist Looking…yet? Because I soooo wanna do that.

  333. life is like a pitbull with lipstick ॐ says

    (Yep.) And yep, I recommend it.

    I love that Title II question. It brings out the worst. I keep it handy at

    pharyngula dot wikia dot com/wiki/libertarians

    for just this purpose. (I take him at his word that he’s not a libertarian; but he shares certain defects with them that tingled my CRA 1964 senses.)

  334. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    I love that Title II question. It brings out the worst.

    Do you want me to continue in this conversation? Or would you rather I left?

    You did make me think about this. I talked with several of my friends as well, and got differing views. Some agreed with you that there’s no reason to morally condone racial discrimination in any circumstance, and I found myself forced to agree. Others had .. a feeling .. if you will .. that this is just a bad idea for the government to try to do. Not for money cost. After sitting down and talking about it, I think the sentiment is just a knee jerk reaction for limited government.

    I found myself asking, “what if I had god-like powers, would I enforce Title II, Title VII, and so on?”. As currently written, yes. Would I enforce Title VII on all businesses irrespective of size, and Title II on all businesses, public and private? I found that to be a sticky question. It’s related to a similar question: “If I had god-like powers, would I smite/reprimand/fine/etc. everyone who was a bully or a dick, for play or not?”. I usually find myself saying a cautious no. I usually say no for two reasons. 1- “What if I’m wrong?”. 2- “Do I really want to live in a world without insult? Do I want to live in the soma-esque world of Brave New World? No.”

    So, you’ll probably jump at me now, now that I’ve compared racial discrimination in employment to having fun at a friend’s expense. I don’t mean to conflate the two in the importance and harm, but I do mean to compare the similarities and character of the basic moral problems.

    I don’t know if I’ll defend my earlier statement that racial discrimination in 20 or less (whatever the number is) people businesses ought to be outlawed or not. As I said, I’m against it morally, but I don’t know if I want it illegal.

    For some things, I know what the right choice is, and I will use force on others to make that moral choice. For some other things, I know what the right choice is, but I wouldn’t enforce that on others. Moreover, I trust the government less than I trust myself, and thus the number of things I want enforced by the government is even less. Can I at least get an agreement in principle on this? In other words, can we at least agree that checks on government power is a good idea, and a limited constitutional republic is the way to go? It seems that I’m being labeled a libertarian for what I thinks is a rather non-controversial opinion.

    To come back to Title VII, I’m trying to think up examples where I find the idea .. dubious .. but I admit that I’m finding it difficult. My initial thoughts were “A butler maybe?”, but I don’t think I care enough about racist asshats hiring butlers. I’m trying to think of the potential government power excess that could come from giving them this power, specifically the power to enforce no racial discrimination in all employment offered in the public space. I thought initially that this was going too far, but I don’t know anymore. Maybe not?

  335. says

    So you can’t raise a solid objection to the government enforcing the inability to discriminate on racial grounds, are apparently dimly aware that this shit isn’t, you know, good for non-white people in general, and it is a threat to that most highest of holies to you if you’re having this conversation at all, Liberty to be discriminated against, and you are still having trouble coming to a decision. Motherfucking christ, I hate you assholes.

  336. says

    Access to employment is one of the most important things in life, right up there with food, shelter and healthcare.

    Actually if you think about it, it IS food, shelter, and healthcare.

    So, you’ll probably jump at me now, now that I’ve compared racial discrimination in employment to having fun at a friend’s expense. I don’t mean to conflate the two in the importance and harm, but I do mean to compare the similarities and character of the basic moral problems.

    Because you are going by some fiat morality…ie legalistic amorality.

    It’s wrong because it’s wrong on principle not because of the impact or consequences. This is why I said you have an unexamined conscience and undeveloped morality. You operate on the level of an android.

  337. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    @ruteekatreya
    If you prefer more clear language, I was wrong on that point. I take it back. I’m sorry that I haven’t clearly considered it before.

    @Ing

    It’s wrong because it’s wrong on principle not because of the impact or consequences. This is why I said you have an unexamined conscience and undeveloped morality. You operate on the level of an android.

    Yes. I’ve agreed that it’s wrong. I questioned whether it should be legislated. Apparently I’m not going to get a clear reply back whether you agree in principle that sometimes the government should not act to prevent a universally recognized harm. I think there are cases.

    However, I have since acknowledged my mistake, and I agree that racial discrimination in publicly offered employment is a case where we can safely legislate a solution.

    Also, to both of you, pull your heads out of your collective asses and stop doing this false dichotomy that you have. People can disagree without being uncaring immoral white supremacist asshats. I’m not tone trolling. I’m pointing out that by painting the discussion as “us vs them”, you do the argument injustice, and perpetuate sometimes false stereotypes, and the conversation devolves down into name calling instead of discussing the issues.

    Note how I didn’t call you a “bleeding heart liberal” who doesn’t understand the basics of limited government, refuses to acknowledge it, and is therefore a fascist. Instead, I’m trying to discuss issues, and I do think/hope that you do agree with limitations on government power, that both 1- sometimes any possible law will do more harm than good, and 2- you don’t want to legislate away all harm for fear of some Brave New World-esque scenario. Of course, for (2), we’re no where close, but sometimes we get scarily close to me when we start talking about outlawing certain kinds of speech…

  338. David Marjanović says

    I’m with comment 217.

    I also think anyone seeking to purchase a firearm must take a comprehensive safety course that does contain a bit of psychological evaluation

    …hopefully the test isn’t like Austria’s, where you can find all the correct answers somewhere on the Internet, learn them by rote, regurgitate them, and get your “sane enough to buy a gun” certificate.

    my assertion that having the right to guns reminds us that we are free citizens

    Do you seriously need a reminder!?!?!

  339. says

    Also, to both of you, pull your heads out of your collective asses and stop doing this false dichotomy that you have. People can disagree without being uncaring immoral white supremacist asshats.

    You’re an idiot if you think that racist jackassery is predominantly the province of mustache twirlers in white hoods. All actions and attitudes that systematically deny power to non-white people are racist. There is a reason you were (and for all practical purposes, on my end, are) being treated as such. It’s great that you’ve changed your mind; really, there is no sarcasm here, it is. But there’s no reason to extend the benefit of the doubt, and it is not particularly praiseworthy to not be a jackass on one thing (Even if it is a thing many people find difficult).

    I will note that being racist is the default state of affairs, and quite frankly I trust nobody completely not to be (Including myself)

    Apparently I’m not going to get a clear reply back whether you agree in principle that sometimes the government should not act to prevent a universally recognized harm. I think there are cases.

    Such a situation may exist. I can’t immediately think of one, but it’s a big world. But blocking systematic deprivation from marginalized classes is not going to be it.

    and perpetuate sometimes false stereotypes, and the conversation devolves down into name calling instead of discussing the issues.

    This is a tone argument, actually (Which you’ll note I haven’t said prior); calling someone a racist asshole does not preclude discussion.

    1- sometimes any possible law will do more harm than good,

    This is only an argument if you think we are in favor of absolutely unlimited government; the arguments levelled against you in favor of legislation should demonstrate that this is trivially false, it is just apparently not on lines you recognize. For instance, I would never knowingly campaign for a law that would increase the majority’s standing at the expense of the minority; such power is already so widespread through culture and de facto institutional lines that it needs no help by becoming de jure. That is a very real limit I think should be placed on government. That it is not one you recognize does not change that.

    2- you don’t want to legislate away all harm for fear of some Brave New World-esque scenario. Of course, for (2), we’re no where close

    Putting aside that you neatly nullified your own argument, how is this a limit in any but the most philosophical sense? It’s neither practical or possible. It’s like the moral lesson seen frequently in fiction/sci-fi; Immortality is wrong and not meant for humans. Great, I’ll keep it in mind if it becomes an issue, but it ain’t.

    These aren’t matters of abstract philosophy. They affect real people, right now. Keep that in mind.

  340. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    Such a situation may exist. I can’t immediately think of one, but it’s a big world. But blocking systematic deprivation from marginalized classes is not going to be it.

    Your example is free speech, such as racist jokes during a football game, as mentioned else-thread.

    Unless, of course, you don’t like the First Amendment’s protection of speech and assembly, the Fourth Amendment’s protection against search and seizure without probable cause, the Fifth’s protection against forced self incrimination, and so on.

    That you are unable to think of a single example, despite given several in this thread already, shows that you do have fascist tendencies, and I do not trust you to make decisions about what powers to give the government.

    These aren’t matters of abstract philosophy. They affect real people, right now. Keep that in mind.

    Indeed. People are being fined in other countries for speech. I don’t want that happening here.

    What’s the difference between for fining someone for insulting your “favored” group, such as blacks, but against fining someone for insulting your “disfavored” group, such as Catholics? One is called a hate speech law. The other is called a blasphemy law.

  341. says

    Your example is free speech, such as racist jokes during a football game, as mentioned else-thread.

    That isn’t a universally accepted harm, I would point out. I mean, it’d be great if it was, but then we wouldn’t have such a horrifically racist society.

    Unless, of course, you don’t like the First Amendment’s protection of speech and assembly,

    You’re having a lot of trouble wrapping your head around this concept of not having the same sacred cows, aren’t you? No, I don’t think freedom of speech should cover blatantly -ist language.

    the Fourth Amendment’s protection against search and seizure without probable cause

    How would that have anything to do with the quoted example?

    the Fifth’s protection against forced self incrimination, and so on.

    ????

    That you are unable to think of a single example, despite given several in this thread already,

    Or that I didn’t read it all. But I’d point out your first example wasn’t what you said it was, to start with.

    Indeed. People are being fined in other countries for speech. I don’t want that happening here.

    Golly gosh darn, not a fine. Well, I guess in the face of such horrors, we’ll just have to let the majority keep saying that gays are trash that should be wiped off the face of the earth. that’s so much less harsh than a fine.

    Are you trying to be this clueless, really?

    What’s the difference between for fining someone for insulting your “favored” group, such as blacks, but against fining someone for insulting your “disfavored” group, such as Catholics? One is called a hate speech law. The other is called a blasphemy law.

    The difference is that Catholics aren’t generally oppressed*, you amazingly dense twit.

    *Well, not for their catholicism at any rate.

  342. echidna says

    The other is called a blasphemy law.

    Vilifying Catholics would still fall under hate-speech. Are you saying that stating a blasphemous belief (e.g. there are no gods) that differs from the Catholic view is insulting Catholics?

  343. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    Apparently I’m not going to get a clear reply back whether you agree in principle that sometimes the government should not act to prevent a universally recognized harm. I think there are cases.

    Such a situation may exist. I can’t immediately think of one, but it’s a big world. But blocking systematic deprivation from marginalized classes is not going to be it.
    [...]

    the Fourth Amendment’s protection against search and seizure without probable cause

    How would that have anything to do with the quoted example?

    the Fifth’s protection against forced self incrimination, and so on.

    ????

    Were you repeatedly dropped on your head as a baby? Or did you just flunk out of your high school civics class?

    If you trusted the government completely, then why should they be prevented in doing a search whenever they want? Why should they be prevented in compelling self incriminating testimony? Why should a rapist go free because the police can’t do a blanket search without cause for evidence? Why should a rapist go free because we can’t compel him to testify against himself, and thereby catch him in a falsehood? Why have most of the bill of rights? It is the basic idea of the limited form of government of the west, one of the major differences between a free state and an absolute monarchy. This is quite a basic concept.
    ****

    No, I don’t think freedom of speech should cover blatantly -ist language.

    The difference is that Catholics aren’t generally oppressed*, you amazingly dense twit.

    *Well, not for their catholicism at any rate.

    This is what I understand your argument to be: “It’s ok to discriminate against Catholics. It’s ok to call them evil, stupid, murderous, (child) rapers, and so on. It’s not ok to call blacks stupid, murderous, rapers, and so on. Why? Because blacks are oppressed, and Catholics are not.”

    http://www.rd.com/best-of-america/christopher-hitchens-on-freedom-of-speech/

    To paraphrase that and another speech of his: “Do you know anyone who you trust to determine what you are and are not allowed to read? I do not. Moreover, do you trust the government to make this determination for you?”

    It plays nicely into his view that religion is there for people who want a parental figure, a life long dictator. I don’t want the government to be my parent, deciding what I can and cannot say, what I can and cannot read.

    The arguments are simple.
    1- I do not trust even myself to censor properly. I might inadvertently censor something which specifically would do more harm than good. And I sure as hell don’t trust the idiots elected by the majority to decide for me what I can and cannot read.
    2- It does more harm to the speaker to deny speech, even harmful speech, than it does to the listener. In my world view, offense is not a legal harm, and this kind of social engineering is stupid at best, and slippery slope (ala 1) to tyrannical at worst. In short: buck up, and grown a thicker skin.

  344. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    2- It does more harm to the speaker to deny speech, even harmful speech, than it does to the listener. In my world view, offense is not a legal harm, and this kind of social engineering is stupid at best, and slippery slope (ala 1) to tyrannical at worst. In short: buck up, and grown a thicker skin.

    Ack, hit send too soon.

    Of course, I’m all for acting individually, or even en masse, to show displeasure at other people’s speech. I am strongly against using the government’s powers to do the same thing.

  345. says

    Were you repeatedly dropped on your head as a baby? Or did you just flunk out of your high school civics class?

    Excuse you, but you were the idiot who added the qualification “Universally accepted harm”. IT’s not my fault you can’t apparently understand your own writing.

    This is what I understand your argument to be: “It’s ok to discriminate against Catholics.

    Not unless there was any benefit to be had to a marginalized group in doing so, which strikes me as dubious in matters of religion.

    It’s ok to call them evil, stupid, murderous, (child) rapers, and so on. It’s not ok to call blacks stupid, murderous, rapers, and so on. Why? Because blacks are oppressed, and Catholics are not.”

    That’d be correct; it’s not contributing to a culture of oppression and discrimination as it stands. If you say gay people are corrupting the moral fibers of america, are calling God’s wrath, you’re adding to an established pattern and culture of horrendous bullshit; say it about a catholic, and you’re basically going to be treated as a lone nut, because it doesn’t happen often.

    If catholics were routinely being called the same thing, then it’d also be wrong to just dogpile on catholicism (You’re incapable of nuance, but this wouldn’t equate to a lack of criticism for everything it does; in short, it’d mean keep your criticisms strictly reality-based and don’t go seeking them out as the cause of all problems they’re not really connected to)

    To paraphrase that and another speech of his: “Do you know anyone who you trust to determine what you are and are not allowed to read? I do not. Moreover, do you trust the government to make this determination for you?”

    Were you born stupid, or did you just go out of your way to avoid the gift of literacy? I said I don’t value free speech in and of itself, and I said there was no ethical problem with limiting oppressive speech; the infringement on liberty isn’t worthy of my consideration. I didn’t say I didn’t see the utility in a border that can’t be crossed…

    1- I do not trust even myself to censor properly. I might inadvertently censor something which specifically would do more harm than good. And I sure as hell don’t trust the idiots elected by the majority to decide for me what I can and cannot read.

    …That said, that’s all the utility I see in it, and although I’m far from an expert in the creation of successful anti-hate speech laws, it does seem quite possible to successfully make them, and not just as a way to protect the majority.

    It plays nicely into his view that religion is there for people who want a parental figure, a life long dictator. I don’t want the government to be my parent, deciding what I can and cannot say, what I can and cannot read.

    No, you’ve decided that the deity of freedom of speech will free you from any thought in the opposite direction.

    In my world view, offense is not a legal harm,

    Your worldview is free of having to deal with the effects of your spoiled, self-centered ideas.

    In short: buck up, and grown a thicker skin.

    Really? Why don’t you just stop being a selfish asshole who just has to have the right to throw around slurs?

    SEriously, white boy, it doesn’t work that way. See, f’rex,
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/crommunist/?p=4339

  346. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    Well, I guess that’s about all that needs to be said.

    I have a healthy fear of government power overreach, and an understanding that majority rule in determining what is too offensive against oppressed groups cannot work.

    You have the intellectual maturity and honesty of a five year old, completely unable to see the world in anything but a dichotomy of white and black, and completely trustful of your parents the government.