A Florida Law Gets Scrutiny After a Teenager’s Killing

A Florida Law Gets Scrutiny After a Teenager’s Killing

MIAMI — Seven years after Florida adopted its sweeping self-defense law, the shooting of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, has put that law at the center of an increasingly angry debate over how he was killed and whether law enforcement has the authority to charge the man who killed him.

The law, called Stand Your Ground, is one of 21 such laws around the country, many of them passed within the last few years. In Florida, it was pushed heavily by the National Rifle Association but opposed vigorously by law enforcement.

It gives the benefit of the doubt to a person who claims self-defense, regardless of whether the killing takes place on a street, in a car or in a bar — not just in one’s home, the standard cited in more restrictive laws. In Florida, if people feel they are in imminent danger from being killed or badly injured, they do not have to retreat, even if it would seem reasonable to do so. They have the right to “stand their ground” and protect themselves.

That is precisely the question in the case: Was the gunman, George Zimmerman, 28, a white Hispanic crime watch volunteer in Sanford, Fla., in imminent danger and acting in self-defense during his encounter with Trayvon Martin, as he asserts?

Full Story Here:
U.S. Opens Inquiry in Killing of Trayvon Martin

Stand Your Ground or The Castle Doctrine, whatever name your state gives it, I am a serious supporter of it. I live it, I advocate it, I believe it is the most wonderful expression of Second Amendment FREEDOM gun owners can have.

That said; Castle Doctrine has, apparently, a broad interpretation, and allows some serious loopholes to exist, and lets call it like it is, good law or not, you can’t FIX stupid. There are some real IDIOTS in this world, some of them are gun owners that blaze away and use the Castle Doctrine as their justification for doing so.

Case in point; Joe Horn cleared by grand jury in Pasadena shootings

A Harris County grand jury decided today that Joe Horn should not be charged with a crime for shooting two suspected burglars he confronted outside his neighbor’s home in Pasadena last fall.

The decision to clear Horn of wrongdoing came two weeks after the grand jury began considering evidence in the case, including Horn’s testimony last week.

Horn, a 62-year-old retiree, became the focus of an intense public debate after the Nov. 14 shootings. Many supporters praised him as a hero for using deadly force to protect property, while others dismissed him as a killer who should have heeded a 911 operator’s instructions to stay in his house and wait for police.

Horn called authorities after hearing breaking glass and seeing two men climb through a window into his next-door neighbor’s home in the 7400 block of Timberline.

The 911 operator urged Horn to remain inside, but he went outside with his 12-gauge shotgun and came face-to-face with Diego Ortiz, 30, and Hernando Riascos Torres, 38.

In MY opinion, Horn got away with murder. All incidents like this do is shine a bad light on legal, sane and well trained gun owners. 

I sincerely hope that George Zimmerman isn’t allowed to do likewise by HIS actions.

From ALL indications, Trayvon Martin had nothing more than a bag of Skittles and a bottle of iced tea in his hands. Candy and a drink.

He was, according to ALL accounts, killed because George Zimmerman felt threatened by a bag of candy and a cold drink.

I don’t know what, if any, verbal confrontation took place between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin, I don’t know if anyone actually does know, but the fact remains, you can’t shoot someone just because YOU think they *look out of place*.

Many people feel like they are the most well equipped person on the block if there is a threat to the neighborhood, be that threat real or imagined, and some folks will jump right in and declare themselves to be Judge, Jury and Executioner, all because they have attended some course that trained them in how to secure a Concealed Handgun License.

Having a CHL does NOT give a person ANY degree of Police training in the handling of a situation on the street, a situation where the Police were indeed ON THE WAY, and if reported correctly, one in which there was NO REAL THREAT to anyone.

Deadly force can only be used if YOU or someone near you is in a life threatening situation.

No matter what Trayvon Martin was doing, walking through the neighborhood, eating his candy or whatever other actions he may or may not have been engaged in, it seems that if anything, he was guilty of *walking after dark while black*.

The Florida police department handling the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teen by a self-appointed neighborhood watch leader admitted to ABC News tonight that investigators missed a possible racist remark by the shooter as he spoke to police dispatchers moments before the killing.

The admission comes a day after the Justice Department announced that it has launched an investigation of the slaying of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman last month as a possible hate crime.

On a tape of one of Zimmerman’s 911 calls the night of the shooting, he is heard saying under his breath what sounds like “f**ing coons.” Seconds later he confronted Martin and after a brief scuffle shot him dead.

Zimmerman claimed self defense, and was not charged with any crime. SOURCE

Only God knows what a Grand Jury will do in this case, after all, Joe Horn claimed self defense AFTER shooting 2 men in the back and killing them over a property crime, and he was cleared by a Harris County Texas grand jury.

I hope the jurors in Florida have better sense.

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9 Responses to A Florida Law Gets Scrutiny After a Teenager’s Killing

  1. Katie says:

    Well said Fred. This poor young man was guilty of nothing more than a bad choice of snack foods. While Michelle Obama and her ilk would give everyone the death penalty for it, he should not have been harassed let alone killed.

    I hope a Florida jury will convict the shooter of a felony in this case (manslaughter perhaps) and he receives a prison sentence.

  2. BobF says:

    If it went down like it seems, then Zimmerman was wrong and needs to pay the price. I remember the Horn case and that man got away with murder.

    What’s taking place now with the investigations by the DOJ and the NAACP outrage doesn’t have a thing to do with this kid being shot. Kids are shot all the time and never a peep is heard. What I believe is taking place now is an attack on CCW rights and Castle Doctrine Laws. Since when does the DOJ investigate the shooting, whether right or wrong, of one person? Since when do we hear of national outrage over anyone being shot like this? The DOJ blew it with Fast and Furious and now they’re using this to go after gun owners and hopefully divert attention from Fast and Furious. I may be wrong but with the current Regime in power, I don’t think I am.

  3. mrchuck says:

    If I saw a break-in of my absent neighbor’s house, I would first call and inform our police, then I would take a “post” on my property line as close to the door/window of my neighbor’s, that the burglars went in.
    Our police an Sheriff’s know me personally, and where I retired from.
    Post, means me, my shotgun or SU-16, with my always present sidearm, flashlight, arm and leg wire tie restraints that are next to my weapons ,,,,and await for the police presence.
    If these burglars start to leave from the same door/window they broke and entered,before police arrival, I would then bring my instinctive training of being a retired 35 year career as a Federal LEO into use.
    I can guarantee you this scenario is one I am very familiar with, and how to handle.
    No heroics here,, like cutting grass to me.

    Note, if you are not familiar, nor trained, then it is better that you stay further away before any confrontation.
    Easy to do, just shout louder.
    Just know your defensive weapon, and it’s capabilities.
    The burglars just want to get away without any confrontation

  4. TexasFred says:

    I am not aware if this Zimmerman guy even had a concealed handgun license.

    I know this to be a fact; I have encountered numerous CHL holders that think they are Matt Dillon off of Gunsmoke, simply because they have a CHL.

    I met one a few years back that had just got his CHL and he proceeded to tell me all about how he was now a well trained WEAPON and how he knew the law just as well as ANY officer OF the law… It really hurt his feelings when I told him he was basically a dangerous MORON with a gun…

    He told me he was QUALIFIED, he had had to fire *X* number of rounds and keep them on target, HE was well qualified … so HE said.

    He told me how he stood there and used perfect form, perfect stance, perfect grip and how he sent rounds down range like a PRO, totally cool, calm and collected.

    He told me all about grip, trigger control, recoil control, recovery and everything his CHL course had taught him that made him the ultimate professional.

    He told me that HE was now a trained GUN FIGHTER.

    I think it burst his bubble when I asked him how many of those targets were firing BACK at him..

    Don’t take me wrong, some CHL holders are good people, well trained and fully able to engage in a hostile situation, but they didn’t learn that from some guy teaching a CHL course. Some folks that truly ARE trained gun fighters have a CHL so they can carry legally.

    Some folks that ARE trained gun fighters don’t have a CHL and don’t give a damn one way or another simply because they KNOW their abilities and they will NEVER engage in a gun battle unless it is really and truly the last resort.

    Some folks go the CHL class, qualify with a really decent gun, a Springfield XD-40 Sub, but they are the kind of person that believes whatever line of bullshit the last bullshit artist laid on them and the put the .40 away and carry a Taurus .25 auto because some IDIOT that they know told them that a .25 is all the gun ANYONE ever needs to carry and that it has more than ample stopping power.

    It takes all kinds to make the world go around and the gun owners of America are NO different. There are real experts, highly trained and experienced gun hands that KNOW what it is to be shot at, maybe even hit, and to fight their way OUT of that situation and come out ALIVE.

    Some folks think they have those skills, and those that really do PRAY their less than adequate brethren never face a hostile situation.

    As Mr. Bill Jordan so aptly titled his book, No Second Place Winner. You win or you lose, and on many occasions, if you lose, you die.

    For the novice that thinks it’s all just like a video game or a TV show, it’s not, and there is no re-set button. And I pray you never have to know what it really feels like, win or lose.

    • BobF says:

      I’ve got my CCW and I hope and pray I never have to use my weapon in self defense. I try to use my witts and common sense to not get into a situation where I may have to depend upon a weapon. I know there are times and situations beyond my control but I’ve got enough sense to not go into certain areas just because I’m armed. I also don’t even like visiting WallMart at night because it’s a big parking lot and a lot of places for vermin to hide in the dark. Just because I can doesn’t mean I should.

      Fred, when I took my CCW class, there was a guy who had never shot a semi-automatic handgun and had just purchased one right before the class. He had no clue how to load or fire his weapon. I wish the instructor had turned him away until he got some proficiency with his handgun. That was scarey to me.

      • TexasFred says:

        Bob, that’s the difference between a sane and mature CHL holder and some asshole that was run through a school for $$$.

        I am seriously of the opinion that MANY of those that teach CHL courses give a damn less about right and care about how many people they can run through on Saturday..

  5. BobF says:

    I knew they would get around to examining Florida’s Castle Doctrine laws.

    By msnbc.com staff

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi said Thursday that they had appointed a new prosecutor to investigate the shooting death of Trayvon Martin and would appoint a committee on citizen safety that would examine the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law. Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old, was killed by a self-described neighborhood watch guard in February.

    In a statement, Scott called for the task force “to investigate how to make sure a tragedy such as this does not occur in the future, while at the same time, protecting the fundamental rights of all our citizens – especially the right to feel protected and safe in our state.” He said the task force would look at Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, which allows someone who is being threatened to use deadly force.

    • TexasFred says:

      Stand Your Ground and The Castle Doctrine are not the same law are they?

      Castle Doctrine is IN YOUR HOUSE, and in some cases, in your yard… That is, if I am understanding it all correctly…

      This Stand Your Ground thing seems to make some folks believe that if a guy looks at them the wrong way, it’s an excuse to shoot…

      You can’t FIX stupid…

  6. mrchuck says:

    Hopefully,,,we will find the truth in what actually happened.
    On both sides,,, Zimmerman and “Trayvon”.

    I am absolutely sure with the press and Obaka’s interest, the true facts will be gleaned, cleaned and presented to the press.

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