The Trayvon Martin shooting

This has been in the news a lot lately, and because of my background I’ve had a bunch of you ask me my opinion on the matter.

First off, I spent a lot of years as a firearms instructor. During that time I certified a couple thousand people to carry a concealed firearm in the state of Utah. One of the things that I made sure I harped on every single class was that it was a permit that says you can carry a gun in order to defend yourself from serious bodily harm, not a badge. It isn’t your job to enforce the law or protect other people’s property. Sometimes you’re going to blunder into a bad situation, but then if humanly possible you’re supposed to avoid and deescalate, and shooting somebody is a last resort to keep you or others from getting seriously hurt. Period.

For a regular citizen, placing yourself in danger unnecessarily is usually a bad call. Following someone, especially because you think they are up to no good, even if you think you’re doing it for a good reason like vectoring the cops in on them, falls into that bad call category. Neighborhood watch isn’t the police.

That said, just because you do something stupid to put yourself into a bad situation doesn’t mean that the resulting shoot itself was justified or not. For those of you getting super worked up one way or the other, you don’t know either, and you need to calm down.

Here’s what it comes down to. You don’t have the facts. You’re not one of the investigators and you’re not one of the attorneys, and odds are you won’t be on the grand jury. The available facts from different witnesses has changed daily. This shooting demonstrates exactly why we have a justice system. The law says that if in Zimmerman’s situation, a reasonable person would believe that they were imminent danger of serious bodily harm, and Martin had the ability and opportunity and presented himself as such a threat, then Zimmerman was justified in using deadly force. If Zimmerman did not have those things, then he wasn’t justified, and then should be tried in criminal court, and if found guilty, sent to prison.

That’s how the system normally works when the media doesn’t get involved.  

Also while on the topic of the law pertaining to shooting people, this has absolutely nothing to do with Florida’s Castle Doctrine, and as soon as you hear somebody spout off about that like they have a clue, you can safely file them in the idiot bin. That law doesn’t even come into play here, and anybody who thinks it does, probably doesn’t know jack about self defense law or they’ve got an agenda and they’re milking this. As a rule of thumb, if you don’t know anything about a topic, you probably shouldn’t try to sound smart about it by repeating anything you heard on the news, because they’re usually wrong, and people who know what they’re talking about will just think you’re an imbecile.

But the most important thing I take from all of this, the race baiting assholes out there need to shut the hell up.

Seriously. If their hypocrisy and evil doesn’t enrage you, then you need to take a step back and examine your life. The Black Panthers are offering a $10,000 reward for Zimmerman dead or alive. Spike Lee put the guy’s address out on Twitter for all the little psychopaths to go get their murder on. I’m a little confused here… Wasn’t lynching people without a fair trial one of those things we’re supposed to be ashamed about in our nation’s history?

As more facts come out, it seems like racism didn’t really have much to do with the shooting. But hey, don’t let that stop you. Innocent? Guilty? Who cares? Let’s burn this sucker down!

We’ve got the President saying that if he had a son he’d look like Trayvon… What do his looks have to do with it? Oh wait! That’s right. This is Obama we’re talking about here. It is always about race. Just like how he proclaimed that the Cambridge cops acted stupidly before he had any facts, Obama knew that this shooting was all about race, and not about the fact that allegedly getting your face kicked in legally constitutes serious bodily harm in the state of Florida.  

He also said we all need to examine what role we played in this event… No, Mr. President, we don’t need to examine our roles in this because that is friggin’ stupid. We didn’t have a role in this shooting, nor did you. The people who had a role in this are the two individuals involved, then the witnesses, investigators, attorneys, jury, and judge. None of which are you. So you need to quit fanning the flames for opportunist dirt bags like Sharpton and Farrakhan and let the justice system do its job. If you have any role to play at all, it certainly isn’t to be a prognosticating douche bag about topics you know nothing about. I’m pretty sure most other Presidents would try to prevent riots. I know. Crazy, right?

Man, this whole thing pisses me off.

If Zimmerman is guilty, fry him. If he is justified, then he should be left alone. And going back to what I taught in CCW classes, this whole thing is a perfect example of why you should just stay out of other people’s business whenever possible.

54 Responses

  1. Larry: I try to not speculate on someone’s “politics” when I only know them by their craft – with you that is enjoying your books. I am in the closing chapters of Vendetta as I write this.

    I was delighted, as I read these comments, to see that our “politics” are alike. I did a radio talk show on the Martin shooting this morning and noted the exact points you note. Thanks for speaking out.
    BobLee

  2. Finally, commentary that makes some sense. Thanks Larry. Excited for the backlash once i post this to my friends.

  3. Thee are no winners here, just different degrees of losing.

  4. Thank you for summing the issue up so perfectly, I wish I had your elegance and flair. Now we just need to convince you to run for president! =)

  5. You can take your rational logic and march yourself right out of here young man.

    P.S. if you’re ever in Indy and want to shoot let me know, I’d love to go through a case of 9MM and talk about MHI and Jake Sullivan.

  6. One thing to take about this case: If you think that you will have a “good shooting” where cops will sing your praises and you go home that night with a big breasted blonde and thoughts of cavorting, think again. The truth is you may end up with a posse of idiots demanding your scalp.
    Reasonable fear of death or Grave Bodily harm, anything else is asking for trouble and even then you cannot be sure you are not in trouble.

  7. You nailed it perfectly. Couldnt have been said any better.

  8. Larry, I’ve been saying much the same thing. And, I have had idiots on both sides attack me trying to say I don’t know what I’m talking about when I say to let the police and courts do their work before coming to a conclusion. I try to spread the word of same voices like yours and Massad Ayoob, but to many people have their minds made up already. I’m afraid that no matter what the truth is, justice will not occur. If Zimmerman is justified in his shooting, he may be railroaded in the name of politics. If he is not justified, he may get off because of the rush to arrest and charge him causes someone to make a mistake.

  9. I mean, it’s not like the kid was a werewolf or anything…

    So, what does this mean for MHI’s SOP when it comes to humanoid monsters?

    • True story:
      A dear friend of mine was SF way back in Haiti. He and his buddy responded to a ‘disturbance’ call.

      They followed the last of the mob running to the ‘disturbance’ just in time to see bloodstained people walking back the other way. On the ground were barely identifiable remains.

      “What the hell happened?” he asked one of the freshly reddened indigs.

      “He was a werewolf.”

    • Speaking of Haiti, my friend was also part of one of the only completely successful gun control programs in history.

      They successfully rounded up ALL the guns.

      The peaceful result?

      Gangs of 20 or more men walking around with machetes doing and taking exactly whatever the heck they wanted. Including rape and butchery, usually combined, if not simultaneous.

      ‘Perfect’ gun control ended when the occupying forces finally listened to the town elders’ begging and allowed shotguns for home defense. It was still bad, but not as bad as before.

  10. Gotta agree. I usually turn off any and all news sources for an unspecified amount of time after a “national hysteria” event like this shooting, or Katrina, or 9-11…everything is just talking heads regurgitating the same non-information and throwing out uneducated speculation, which usually is taken as “it was on TV, therefore it must be gospel”. However, I do think Zimmerman’s life is pretty much over. If he’s found guilty, he is going to face some very difficult days in prison. If he’s found innocent, he’s going to face some VERY difficult days walking around the streets of his town (like that Amanda whazzername chick who was accused of killing her baby and then going partying…courts found her innocent, but there were too many emotions involved for the public to forget quickly). I don’t see this one blowing over soon.

  11. Wow, where the hell did this intelligent scribe come from. I’ll stick with the X-files philosophy and intellect worthy of my time like this. We have no real idea what occurred. But, I know what the reaction has been. MOB mentality. I’ll agree with the last paragraph of this little article.

    Good to see a little smarts floating around the inter tubes.

  12. “Fry him”? That usually implies death penalty which would mean first degree premeditated murder, at the least. That would be hard to make stick when he was found attempting to render first aid and that he asked witnesses to arrive on the scene to call for an ambulance.

    At most, if he’s found chargeable at all, I suspect it would be some form of manslaughter charge with “fry him” not even in the dining room, let alone on the table.

    IANALNDIPOOTV

  13. I thought it was strange that so many people in the media were jumping to the conclusion that this was a racial crime, despite the fact that no empirical evidence has come forward to confirm this.

    But I do feel that enough evidence has come forward to take “justified self defense” off the table. No one should take this as a final judgment—I have not made a final judgment. I’m only stating which way the tree is leaning.

    • I didn’t find it strange of the Mainly Sewage Media.
      1 because as been pointed out their using this to drive ratings on tube and radio and sales of papers.
      2. Because they’re so agenda driven they’re driving this by twisting everything around so as to distract…yet again…from the election and Obama’s faults, inconsistencies and out right lies.
      3. The MSM ceased to be relevant years ago…they’re trying to make it seem like they’re still relevant.

      4 and completely apropos of nothing outside of my own irritablity..I’d dearly love to take the “race baiters” stake them out in the everglades, cover them in honey and then chum the nearby water with blood. The gators will come get their free meal eventually, and the insects will get a bite out of it as well. Who says I’m not an animal lover?

  14. Zimmerman’s in hiding right now but he has to be hyper paranoid that any African-American that he sees or more importantly sees him just might rat him out to the Sharpton/Jackson/Panther Rainbow Klan for the reward.

    That $10,000 Wanted Dead or Alive poster has to put him in a rather strange place with respect to his legal self-defense rights.

    otpu

  15. Well said, Larry. It reminds me of the Duke lacrosse team case where outrage preceded facts, fanned by the media of course. And, I’ll admit, I keep falling for it. Not that I wanted Zimmerman to be lynched but that I thought he absolutely must be guilty (and crazy and rabid and racist and a maniac) based on what I was being told by the media. I will learn my lesson some day, I hope. :(

    And the end of the day, Trayvon Martin — a troubled kid who was young enough to potentially have a chance — is still dead and being used by people who really don’t care about his death any further than the benefit it brings them. The former president of the Texas NAACP has referred to Sharpton and Jackson and the others as “buzzards circling Trayvon Martin’s corpse”. It was an apt description.

    • A “troubled kid” who was caught with a screwdriver, a pocket full stolen gold jewelry, and a crack pipe by cop who picked him up late at night for a curfew violation.

      Don’t try to make this jerk look like anything other than a 17 year old Mookie.

      The local cops declined to press charges against Zimmerman for a reason. Police do not allow good homicide busts to walk away.

  16. Spot on Larry. Well said, and you echo my thoughts on the matter precisely. As soon as the case broke, and the vulgar carnival of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson started up with their whole schtick, I knew the case wasn’t going to be as black and white (pun totally intended) as it seemed. And I’ve got more than a little reason to be interested, as my wife’s not white and has seen her share of *real* racism in this country. The circus antics and atmosphere of the media and the race-baiters on this thing leaves me rather depressed. Zimmerman’s life has been ruined forever, and the facts have not been made clear. So now we’re going to see two lives destroyed for the price of one? This is justice? (shakes head) Did you see the news article about the white kid in Seattle who got brutalized as “payback” for Trayvon? But a couple of black thugs? Yup. It’s a big hot freaking mess. People are using this case as an excuse to act like douche bags.

  17. Could not have said it better! I was a Police Officer for quite a few years and I’ve learned to never second guess a situation that you had no personal knowledge of. It creates contention and causes shit like this to happen. What really threw me was reading how Zimmerman was classified as a “White” Hispanic! Really! The guy isn’t even Caucasian, but let’s say that he he is because it satisfies our agenda. As for the Black Panthers, here in Indiana what their doing is inciting violence and will probably result in people getting killed. Then, hopefully, they can be charged with Conspiracy to commit murder!

  18. Being foolish does’nt make you guilty or innocent. But anything Sharpton supports must be crap

  19. Thank you Larry for a well thought out response to all of this incredible media hype. We DON’T know what really happened and we DO need to wait until all of the facts are out there. What we don’t need is a president fanning the race flames period! You have echoed my thoughts perfectly! Jane

  20. Mr Zimmerman really only has one option. Leave.

    Like it says in “Shane”, you can’t live down a killing. Were I him, I’d head out to the Idaho pan-handle. ‘Zimmerman’ is already Germanic.

    Sucks, but Florida is now a death trap for him. The media has declared him ‘White’ and the New Black Panthers have declared him ‘Entertainment’.

    He hasn’t been arrested yet, and the local police knew all the details immediately, so ‘flight of prosecution’ doesn’t apply. Getting the h*** out of Dodge does.

  21. You put this well all the facts are not out. But I do find it interesting that most of the mainstream media is using old pictures of both and putting Zimmerman’s in to a bad light by showing him in jail orange. You are also in the fact that while Zimmerman was a bone head for following him it does not change the fact he was at the very least hit in the face (got a broken nose and cut on the back of the head). I have also heard that there may have been an eyewitness that saw Martin beating Zimmerman. Now if that is true or not time will tell. The fact the police didn’t arrest him looks as if they at least then believed him in his stating it was self defense.

    I also think that those that are screaming this was a hate crime due to race need to pull their head out of their posteriors. Race had nothing to do with it in the least except in those that want it to be that way. I also find it sad the anti-gun crowd are using this event to prove that guns are evil.

    Even more distressing is right before this happened there were several murders in Chicago but no one even said one little word about it. I guess it is different when it is in Obama’s backyard don’t want to put it in a bad light.

  22. My own personal opinion is I wasen’t there I didn’t shoot anyone and I’m perfectly happy letting the cops and justice system do their jobs and investigate this one.Everything else is politics,smoke and mirriors ,and bullshit

  23. well said Mr. Correia

  24. Indeed, Larry: where is Sergeant Joe Friday when we NEED him: the “Just the facts, ma’am. . . ” attitude seems to be sorely lacking. . . and imagine if a politician would just say: “Everyone: calm the heck down and let the due process of law work its’ way to the truth. . . .” Hell, I’d vote for a guy (or gal . . .) like that for any office you could name. . .

    I’ve read that Zimmerman has some Peruvian roots. The way things are going, running off to the grandparents there might well be a good idea, , , ,

  25. Was the boy armed when he was shot? If the answer is No, then Zimmerman is guilty.

  26. One other things that annoy me about this lynching by media:

    -Had Trayvon been shot and killed by a young black male, this whole mess would be just another page 6 non event. Al and Jessie don’t march against black on black shootings.

  27. Imagine you are walking home on a rainy night. Someone is following you….now they are chasing you. Do you feel threatened? If you can stop them by putting up a fight would you? If you putting up a fight causes you to get shot and killed should the killing be considered justified?

    I do not think this is an issue of race but it is an issue of a bad law.

    Let me put a more corrupt hat on for a second. There is a person in FL I may not like. I can go antagonize them and when they start throwing punches I can say I was afraid for my life and shoot them.

    It is a bad law and Trayvon did not need to die. Perhaps Zimmerman felt threatened and feels like it was self-defense but he put himself in a situation of being a threat himself and that should go on trial…but without the outrage and protests that have reached the national level there is not way he or this law would go on trial….and it still might not.

    • Of which law do you speak? Please quote the exact law that allows what you’re hypothesizing.

    • You can say that, but you’d be completely legally in the wrong if you did.

      Here’s an analysis from an *actual* lawyer on what Florida self defense law has to say about the situation:

      http://volokh.com/2012/03/27/floridas-self-defense-laws/

      In short, the “Stand Your Ground” law has *zero* bearing on this case one way or the other – it turns entirely on standard common-law rules of self defense which are practically identical from Texas to New York.

      If what Zimmerman claims is true, it’s lawful self defense. If the media theory of what happened is true, then it’s homicide. With or without the “Stand Your Ground” law.

    • If there’s one thing the l’affaire du Zimmerman has taught us all, it’s how stunningly, shockingly, blisteringly ignorant of self-defense law 90% of Americans are.

      Seriously, Ms. Heyl, you should have kept your hands in your lap and let me continue to suppose you got your legal information from Sam Waterston, instead of putting them on the keyboard and removing all doubt.

      • I love the insults without any substance.

        First here is a direct quote from the law that shows had Trayvon killed Zimmerman, he would have been immune also.

        “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.”

        If you would like to read more of the ACTUAL law here it is http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0700-0799/0776/Sections/0776.013.html

        It is a STUPID law that allows for tragedies such as this one.

  28. Another unfortunate consequence of a righteous shoot is a (may this be damned by all Gods!) civil action brought by one of the decedent’s survivors. At criminal law, to secure a conviction it is necessary for the prosecution to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt to a moral certainty, that the defendant did the deed. However, in a civil suit, all the plaintiff’s attorney needs is preponderance of evidence or ability to elicit lachrymosity from the jury. Defending oneself in a civil action, especially one wherein the plaintiff’s attorney is on contingency fee, can be costly enough to ruin one financially. Finally, if the State of Florida clears Mr. Zimmerman, he can expect Federal action (Really, are some Federal laws covering issues in prvince of the States, efforts to circumvent the constitutional prohibition of double jeopardy?) for “… violating [Mr. Martin's] civil rights…”

  29. I agree that if another black person had shot this kid, it would make the third page of the local paper and that’s about it. If a black person had shot a white kid, the same would happen. The only time that anything is a hate crime is when the person holding the gun is white (or looks white), and the “victim” is any other color. Sorry, but in my mind, all crime is a hate crime.

    The media needs to quit starting these firestorms pitting one group of people against another. When they stop putting media whores like Al Sharpton on the TV, then I will watch. Until then, I will catch the weather and shut the TV off.

    And if I hear gun control brought up by lefties I work with one more time, I swear I will poke my eardrums out with a #2. Take away the guns and you are only taking them away from law-abiding citizens. The criminals will always have them, because they don’t care about the law…that’s kinda why they’re called criminals.

  30. Well said, sir. And I’ll join the group that groaned when the Reverends and NBPP showed up. At that point any hope of media clarity went out the proverbial window.

  31. you have a gift for words my friend! I like the way you think!

  32. This podcast with no holds barred analysis (and salty language) of this case by a former LA gang unit cop is articulate, well reasoned, and convincing.

    Dave slaps the hell out of the racists (black and white) who want to unjustly vilify George Zimmerman.

    [audio src="http://archives.davechampionshow.com/Champion_1_032512.mp3" /]

  33. I have to agree with the posting that said if a person of African- American descent had killed Treyvon it would only be a story in the back of the local newspaper. We were not there, we have no real idea what really happened. The media and everyone else needs to back off and let the criminal justice system do its job. Also, has anyone ever heard of a hate crime where a white person was the victim? I’m not trying to be an ass, I’m just legitimately curious.

  34. Well said Larry, exactly what I’ve been expressing to people since the media circus started.

    sidearmstevo, the only time a white person can be a victim of a hate crime is when that white person is openly homosexual.

  35. You used the term “friggin’ retarded” Angry about race baiting buy no problem with “friggin’ retarded” Stay classy.

    • Well, I used it in a manner to suggest that there would have to be something wrong with your mental faculties in order to believe something that asinine, rather than as a slight against any particular group of people.

      But you know what, you’re right. The term is offensive. I will edit it out.

      • The disparaging use of retard to mock or belittle a differently-abled person is only one of several definitions of an appropriately descriptive word.

        noun
        3. a slowing down, diminution, or hindrance, as in a machine.
        4. Slang: Disparaging .
        a. a mentally retarded person.
        b. a person who is stupid, obtuse, or ineffective in some way: a hopeless social retard.

        I never make fun of those living with disability, but I shall continue to use “retard” as the great word it is.

        For more on this point, please see the South Park episode titled, “The F Word.” I will always appreciate the absurdity of people being offended by the small mouth noises of their fellow pink monkeys.

  36. Mr. Correia:

    I strongly agree with your analysis of the tragic event in Florida. I fear that the unprecedented intrusion by the President into this event and the circus of events promoted by the Liberal press, Sharpton, Jackson, the New Black Panthers etc. will spawn another attack by the Federal Government on the 2nd Amendment and the rules around concealed carry. Given the way Obama is whispering to the Russians and the impending debt crisis coming to this country, we will badly need those guns to protect our families and what property we can keep from the Feds and the mob rule headed our way.

    Zimmerman unfortunately did exactly what any concealed carry person should not do by putting himself in harms way when their was an easy way out. Even if he was attached by Martin the counsel given by the 911 officer seems not to have been followed. Unless a load of specific evidence arrives on the scene this just like a black eye for gun owners everywhere.

    And speaking to Cadeyrn comment on “this kid not being a Werewolf”, if you have not noticed lately in the large cities we have bands of youths of all races, roaming around doing mischief and worse and behind them we have drug dealers and sex traffickers and all manner of humanoid monsters that truly deserved the application of the MHI SOP. Things I fear will have to get worse before it gets better. By this I mean when we have a crisis set off by the inability of the government to hand out free food and circuses to the maddening crowds in the cities, then you will have real monsters roaming the streets for sure.

  37. The fact of the matter though is WE DO KNOW THE FACTS! We have a 911 emergency call with the dispatcher saying “Dont follow the boy sir!”. Yet he followed the boy anyway. No way he wouldve done that if the kid was white, no way

    • The fact of the matter is, that’s not what the operator said. Good try, though.

      Larry, have you ever read any of Mas Ayoob’s writings on the legal and civil aftermaths of a self-defense shooting? If so, what do you think of them?

    • Right. And how do we “know” that he wouldn’t have done that “if the kid was white” (even though there have been a string of burglaries in the area, that he had called the police multiple times in his roll in the neighborhood watch, and that he had expressed frustration that they always get there too late–as the police are wont to do)? Well, it’s _obvious_ because of racism. And how do we know that racism dictated his decision? Why because he wouldn’t have followed the kid if he were white.

      The term for that is “circular reasoning” and it’s a logical fallacy.

      But even if we allow that, following the stranger, not a resident of the gated community, along public areas is not a crime. Asking that non-resident what he’s doing there is also not a crime. (Being their without permission would be–trespass. Now, it happens that Martin actually did have permission but, when asked, he didn’t _say_ that, at least not according to any recordings or testimony released so far.)

      Assaulting someone, knocking them to the ground, getting on top of them and continuing to beat on them (for which we do have testimony and evidence–physical evidence of Zimmerman bleeding from the nose and back of the head and his back being wet and covered with grass and testimony of witnesses who saw a guy in a white top (consistent with a gray hoodie seen at night) on top of and hitting an individual in a red top (Zimmerman was wearing such) who was calling for help) _is_ a crime.

      Now, it’s _possible_ that Zimmerman did something to legally justify a violent response by Martin but evidence of such has not been brought forward. Following the guy may have been stupid, but it was not criminal. Committing assault, however, is.

    • Wigger Cracker ???

      Hmmmmm the appellation speaks worlds to me about preconceived dispositions.

  38. Larry, you took the words out of my mouth. The media is just stirring up the racial hatred and possible future violence. If Zimmerman was defending himself then leave him alone, if Zimmerman shot Martin without a good reason then put Zimmerman away. Have an investigation and see what the facts are. From what I read on the Web, Spike and friends posted the address for the wrong person and some innocent people are now fearing for their lives. I think Spike needs to be sued. It is illegal to post bounties on people by the Black Panthers. Their leaders need to go to jail. Most violence is within their own group such as white on white or black on black etc. When it is one race on another it is much more likely blacks attacking whites than whites on blacks. Whenever you read about black on white violence it is written up once then forgotten.

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