Maybe in the court of public opinion.
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By Bill Sly
It has been a long time since I have written a “rant” but it is time that I must.
Being a gun owner, conceal carry permit holder, NRA Instructor and a general believer in my rights as expressed in the Constitution, I must speak out on the Zimmerman/ Martin case in a different context.
I very recently watched a female friend seem to side against Mr. Zimmerman when he shot young Martin in Florida. It seemed clear that she too, a generally conservative person, fell for the hype that Zimmerman was clearly wrong – tried, bartered, quartered, convicted and executed (according to some) by the court of public opinion, outcry, plea and racial courts.
I have to ask and I will ask during my next firearm classes this question, for men but especially for women; If a man suddenly slaps a woman or grabs from behind, pushes her down and announces that he is going to rape her, tell me, when does she have the “right” and the clear signal (to keep from getting criminally charged and convicted) to shoot him if she is armed?
Is it now?
Does she have to have witnesses to the event? (Zimmerman does-let’s see what they say in court).
Does she have to wait until he rips her clothes off and binds her hands?
Does she have to wait (to prove) vaginal penetration?
Does she have to wait until she has been sodomized, raped and beaten?
Will he claim consensual sex?
What if she dies during this? Then can she shoot?
Unless there is rape, how will she be able to prove her case? Why did she shoot him?
Here it is. The court of public “execution” is generally contrived on innuendos, falsehoods, mis-statements, false beliefs, partial information with a toxic mixture of all of the above. None of us were there. We get spoon fed tidbits of whatever someone wants us to believe.
That young man also made a choice. He was not forced into any of his choices. It happened the way he wanted to. It ended differently than what he had planned. No one has discussed this action and the alternatives available to him.
Also, since he began the attack on Zimmerman let us go to the what-ifs remembering the attack was underway and progressing.
If had Zimmerman just laid there and took it until he could “prove” (in some minds) will that constitute the right to use deadly force? If he had waited five more seconds, how many more punches or head banging’s would be delivered? How about 10 seconds or 15? How much more of a beating, damage or life threatening injuries does he have to endure in order to defend his well-being? How much before he can draw and fire, if he could? Would he have his gun taken from him then?
OR, if Zimmerman was NOT armed, the shooting would never have happened and we hardly have ever heard about this case or whatever happened to poor beat-up or dead Zimmerman. Clearly, he was on the losing end of the attack.
It is the “imminent fear” of grievous bodily harm, not the delivery and the amount of blows or potential fatal hits one must first take in order to defend their life and/or well being.
Zimmerman was not even in a “stand your ground” moment since he was attacked and down on the ground. He was on the ground, not standing with Martin in an aggressive position (as witnessed). So why is the “stand your ground” laws even applied here?
Martin made choices as well. Zimmerman did NOT draw or fire his gun until those choices were made, not be him, by young Martin. All the issues may be moot based on these actions alone; based on eyewitness accounts; on forensics, tapes and statements.
It is a shame a young man died but it appears that his action precipitated the response and it appears Zimmerman was merely responding to the attack.
Now it must be determined “how much damage must occur, or the intent to believe you were in fear of imminent grievous bodily harm”, not whether it was race related or driven by such factors.
We were not there and I refuse to let the media use me as a tool to sit in judgment of either of them. That is for the prosecution and grand jury to decide and a judge, jury and defense to try in court, not TV.
Lives have changed forever. Instead of race baiting or rushing to judgments we really know nothing about, let us let the system bring out all the facts, not the media or other inspired issues.
This is the way I see it, not judging or blaming. There actions stand alone. I refuse to get caught up in the hype.
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