Zimmerman verdict, the stand your ground element
Few elements of this case have been more widely misunderstood than the “stand your ground” (SYG) element. Quite simply, Florida’s SYG law, statute 776.012, simply rescinded a previous requirement that one had to retreat if possible before using deadly force in self-defense. This did not particularly change the rules of engagement. The previous law had demanded retreat only if it could be accomplished in complete safety to oneself and other innocent people present. It is hard to imagine a situation in which one WOULD kill another person if they could have simply walked away unscathed.
Zimmerman never used the SYG law as a defense. The pres and politicians have been going on and on about their law. It's kind of hard to retreat when you have a 170 pound "child" siting on your chest.
Zimmerman verdict part 5, the gun stuff
Prosecutor John Guy, in his dramatic opening statement, made a big deal out of the fact that Zimmerman carried the Kel-Tec with a live round in the chamber, as if this implied malice and a man looking to kill someone.
Over in CNN Headline News Land, Nancy Grace took up the same cry. Zimmerman’s after-the-assault attackers even made a big deal out of the fact that he had a pistol with no dedicated manual safety. Ms. Grace claimed that he carried it with the safety off, and when a friend of Zimmerman’s was on her show and told her the gun HAD NO safety catch per se, she yelled at him that he was wrong, she knew all about Kel-Tec PF9s, and implied that Zimmerman must have flicked the safety off beforehand. (Premeditation, don’t cha know?)
A lot of the current pistols on the market today have no manual safety. When the Glock first made it's appearance all those years ago, that was a selling point. The regular cop on the street would have a safe pistol with no manual safety to fumble with in a high stress situation.
I carry a 1911 with a round in the chamber, cocked and locked, with the manual safety engaged. I guess it's just the dinosaur in me that I carry a gun designed over 100 years ago.
Another element I warned O’Mara and West about back in second quarter 2012 was that they could expect the prosecution to attribute malice to Zimmerman for loading with hollow points. Such ammunition is standard in virtually every police department in our nation, and is the overwhelming (and logical) choice of armed citizens. The expanding bullet is less likely to ricochet, and it is more likely to stop inside the body of the offender instead of passing through to strike an unseen bystander.
Nearly all self defense ammo sold in this country is hollow points. Every one I have ever talked to use it. And as Mas explains, with very good reason.
the Zimmerman verdict part 6, what if versus what is
In the spring of 2012, in the question/answer session that followed the CATO Institute “Stand Your Ground Symposium”, a sincere young man who happened to be African-American asked me if SYG protection would have been in effect for Trayvon Martin if he had been violently attacked by George Zimmerman, and had killed Zimmerman in self-defense. My answer was “Yes, of course.” And I would give the same answer now
“What if Zimmerman hadn’t gotten out of his car, and just driven on to his destination, the Target store?”
what ifTrayvon Martin had not attacked him and smashed his head into the sidewalk?
“What if Zimmerman had avoided any danger by not getting involved at all?” Well, if the nineteen firefighters killed last month in Arizona hadn’t “gotten involved,” they wouldn’t have died either. Does that make them responsible for their own deaths? Review the case of Kitty Genovese and then get back to me with your “Don’t get involved” argument. But take a long look in the mirror, first, and ask yourself how long you’d want to live with looking in the mirror of the face of someone who “didn’t get involved” enough to pick up a phone to help Kitty Genovese.
You can "what if" all day long and it will not change the facts.
Zimmerman verdict part 7 why the jury didn't learn about Trayvon Martin
You can read the first three here.