Mall Ninja Gear

Okay, what is better to a Mall Ninja than a Tactical Flashlight?

How about a tactical flashlight with a built in camcorder with night vision. Let’s all say it in unison…..”OOoooooh”

 

 

Woot.com had this product listed. I couldn’t help to chuckle. But in reality, think of what a difference this could of made in the Martin-Zimmerman case. A recording to back up Zimmerman’s statement could make the difference between life and life in prison.

http://www.miiflashcam.com/

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Published in: on March 22, 2012 at 3:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Sanford, FL Police Chief Bill Lee steps down

Reports are coming in that Sanford, Florida police chief Bill Lee has voluntary stepped down “temporarily” as head of the department.

The problem with this case is it’s getting political, and will move into chaos. I am actually surprised it took this long for us to see Al Sharpton’s name being tossed around.  Also from the article, the Justice Department apparently now has a Civil Rights investigation open on this case now.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/22/justice/florida-teen-shooting/index.html?hpt=hp_c1

Something I did not know,

“It’s extremely, extremely significant because the federal government is not allowed to prosecute just your ordinary, everyday murder,” he said. “Two people fighting on the street is not a federal crime. However, if one person shoots another based on racial hostility, racial animus, that does become a federal crime.”

 

 

Published in: on March 22, 2012 at 3:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Is Zimmerman being thrown under the bus, and should he be?

There are lots of questions in this case.  And the more information that is released the more murky it gets.  A claim on the part of Zimmerman that he got out of his vehicle to read a street sign. Seriously, is Zimmerman the worst neighborhood patrolman ever? Does he really not know where he is in his neighborhood?  Oh wait, he reported his location earlier to police – that’s odd!  Zimmerman very well has put his entire testimony in doubt with that comment.

The admission that Martin was out-of-school due to a suspension.  We keep seeing these very young photos of Martin. Many question whether we’re seeing current photos of the 17 year old Martin or a younger Martin from earlier photos.  Suspensions do not necessarily equate to bad kids, wearing an Optimus Prime T-shirt can get a kid suspended today.  But it does point to the possibility that Martin had some character issues.

I theorize one of two scenarios occurred:

Scenario 1:  Zimmerman foolishly and against guidelines of the Neighborhood Watch Program and verbal directives of the local police pursued Martin resulting in a confrontation where Martin acted out in his perceived self-defense and Martin than shot him in retaliatory self-defense.

Scenario 2:  Zimmerman in addressing Martin made an inflammatory comment and Martin responded physically resulting in Zimmerman’s defense of his self.

I believe scenario one would likely lead to a manslaughter conviction. In it Zimmerman has engaged in an illegal pursuit as no crime had been witnessed.  A strong argument can be made that Zimmerman acted negligently in regards to his neighborhood patrol. And such negligence led to the resulting incident.

With regards to the second scenario, the waters get a bit murkier.  Zimmerman is still a fool acting negligently and foolishly, but there could be a valid self-defense claim there. However, I believe this claim is easily proven or disproven, where was Martin shot? Based on Zimmerman’s claim Martin’s body should have lied near Zimmerman’s SUV.  If this is not the case, then I believe Zimmerman’s self-defense claim in undefensible.

Now, I am not a lawyer, nor is this a trial. I have read lots of comments in the blogosphere regarding “Throwing Zimmerman under the bus” and “convicting and hanging the guy”. 

While we might express our feelings and interpretations based on the facts, we’re not a convicting authority.  What I believe we are expressing is that there is clearly enough question in this case as to whether a reasonable self-defense claim can be made or not. Many feel the police department needed to pursue a more thorough investigation.  And at this point there are quite a few of us who feel that there is enough to warrant inquiry into charges being made.  We’re not calling for him to immediately be convicted and thrown in jail – just that this needs to be made a case and go through due process to make a determination.

Now realize this is hard for many gun owners, who often when totally in the right, face an interminable experience of defending themselves.  In many cases which are clean-cut self-defense gun owners have found themselves rotting in jail cells waiting to prove their self-defense claim. This is in part one of the purposes of Castle Doctrine laws. To restore the presumption of innocence.   In the Zimmerman/Martin case, I personally believe enough evidence has been raised to question that presumption.

Nor do I feel it is wrong to throw an gun owner under the bus when they have acting foolishly, negligently, and likely taken a life needlessly – doing such hurts our community, our reputation, and puts our liberties in jeopardy. This fool, and that’s what he is, has handed the anti-gunners a silver platter.  And frankly, if scenario 1 is born out to be true, then yes, as a community we need to throw this man under the bus, and hope he is not protected by the castle doctrine – because this is not the purpose of that law.

In the case of Jerome Earsland, a convenience store worker in Oklahoma who was a victim of a robbery, and shot and killed one of the criminals and pursued the other down the street. Many threw Jerome under the proverbial bus because he had pursued outside his store, and also grabbed a second firearm and seemingly ensured that the other was dead. 

I actually opposed throwing Earsland under-the-bus, in that scenario Earsland may or may not have over-reacted, but according to the verdict he was deemed to have exceeded the acceptable bounds stipulated by our laws.  My personal view was that Earlands scenario was of no fault of his own, and responsibility lied wholly on the criminal elements. Earlands was convicted of life imprison for over-reacting when his life had just been threatened without cause.   I would not have convicted him of murder. He was pressed into a situation where he had to defend himself, but he was no threat to society – just criminals. Had criminals left him alone, the case would never have happened. [Sadly, Jerome Earsland received a sentence far stiffer than the armed convenience store robbers likely would have received.]

Now let’s return to the Martin/Zimmerman case.  Who was the aggravating agent in this scenario?  If Zimmerman had not acted then there would have been no threat requiring self-defense.  It’s not as if Martin jumped into his car and started beating him.  No, Martin was pursued, and confronted.  The action of responsibility falls on the Zimmerman. And that is why I am willing to throw him under the bus.

YOU DON’T GO PICK A FIGHT THAN CLAIM SELF-DEFENSE

All that said, if you want to understand why the gun community is so leery of ever tossing one of it’s members, even one as foolish and negligent as Zimmerman, under the bus. You need look no further than Jerome Earsland, who was simply minding his own business while working and faced death at the hands of a criminal.  And because he came out the victor, and with perhaps a little less self-control than society would like to see when someone is shooting at you, he is now spending the rest of his life in prison.

That is why we need Castle Doctrine laws….
I also hope I’ve made my case as to why I do not feel that Zimmerman’s case has fallen within the automatic blanket of castle doctrine.  I’m not saying to toss the guy in jail.  I’m simply saying he’s needs a trial

Published in: on March 21, 2012 at 12:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Martin / Zimmerman Case

Thoughts regarding the controversy…

I’ve been mostly silent on this blog regarding the Martin/Zimmerman case although I have strong feelings. My feelings have recently become more

SUMMARY:  Block Watch activist sees a young black man, Trayvon Martin in his neighborhood. Contacts police who tell him not to confront the individual. Shortly afterwards an altercation occurs between a couple houses, shots are fired, and the 17 year old is left dead.

George Zimmerman claims he was on the ground being pummeled and that it was self-defense. This case has caused a lot of controversy, with some supporting Zimmerman’s self-defense claims, and others not. Accusations have been made of throwing Zimmerman under the bus. And many have questioned whether race was involved.

The big issue with this case is with one party dead, there is little evidence to disprove Zimmerman’s self-defense case.

Where do I stand?

Perhaps surprisingly, I am finding myself more on the side of conviction of Zimmerman. Were I a jurist, I am not sure that I would convict on a murder charge; I would likely convict on a manslaughter charge.

I often look to “first cause” when decided a judgment. Who made the first wrong action. It’s why if a burgler gets shot in the back as they flee, I have little sympathy of convicting the victim even if they may have exceeded the arbitrary lines that we establish for self-defense.

A while back there was a case of a convenience store which had been repeatedly robbed. One of the empoyees shot the robber, and was accused of retrieving another firearm and returning and firing again. Killing the invader. Even in that case, I am unsympathetic, in that had the man NOT chosen to rob the convenience store than he’d be alive today. He sought to harm another human being and died in the process. The first wrong move was on his part. And force equal to the threat he made was used. Expecting an average citizen to remain fully under control under such circumstances is to me a hope, but one that we cannot fully expect when their life have been threatened.

But in this case, something different occurred. George Zimmerman took action that I would label as the aggressor. By Zimmerman’s own account with the police Martin was not actively engaged in any criminal activity (merely walking around a neighborhood is not a crime, the only criteria for alert that Zimmerman had was the fact that Martin was young, black and unknown – that’s NOT A CRIME).

At some point a pursuit ensued, not necessarily a fast pursuit, but one in which Martin detoured from the sidewalk through a number of houses. Martin and Zimmerman at some point found themselves in direct confrontation. We have to look at the actions of both Martin and Zimmerman.

Did Zimmerman have the right to observe Martin? Yes

Did Zimmerman have the right to inquire who Martin was? Yes, though Martin was not obligated in any way to answer Zimmerman.

Did Zimmerman have the right to pursue Martin and confront him? Personally, I do not think so.

Martin tresspassed a neighbors yard when trying to avoid Zimmerman, isn’t that a crime? If so, than Zimmerman is equally guilty of tresspassing in pursuit.

Martin was beating up Zimmerman, doesn’t that justify self-defense? Not when you’ve instigated and created the situation. If Martin was walking away, and endeavoring to flee from Zimmerman, than it was Martin who was using self-defense.

Then we have the question, is self-defense against self-defense justifiable? I do not believe so. If a man breaks into my house, and I start beating him up with a baseball bat, can he shoot me in self-defense?

That’s how I view this case at this point. Now perhaps Zimmerman instigated an altercation using racial epitaphs or some other speech until Martin punched Zimmerman. But once again, I go back to the point that if Zimmerman was not pursuing Martin than no such altercation could arise.

Until recently, there was a lot of question as to whether Zimmerman’s self-defense plea would stand or not. The biggest item in Zimmerman’s favor was that there was no witness to provide any testimony that counters Zimmerman’s version of events.

That may change…

Today, Yahoo News had an article about a teenage girl who apparently was on the phone with Martin while the events transpired.

“He said this man was watching him, so he put his hoodie on. He said he lost the man… I asked Trayvon to run, and he said he was going to walk fast. I told him to run but he said he was not going to run…. Eventually he would run, said the girl, thinking that he’d managed to escape. But suddenly the strange man was back, cornering Martin.”

If Martin was indeed trying to flee, and Zimmerman in fact cornered Martin; I would think such an account would be quite damning to Zimmerman’s case.

The case becomes one of Illegal detention. Results in detainee trying to flee. Then being shot by illegal detainer.  That makes Zimmerman actively engaged in criminal behavior when he shot and killed Martin. The saddest part of this case is that will become racially charged and a witch hunt. Where Martin white this would likely be a non-story; a footnote in the news.

Did Zimmerman commit murder? Was his deed premeditated? No, I don’t believe so. Was he negligent & reckless – I believe he clearly was. His last defense of acting in accordance with an organized watch system may also be in jeopardy as the statement below from the director of the National Neighborhood Watch program:

“there are about 22,000 registered watch groups nationwide, and Zimmerman was not part of a registered group”

Remember, had Martin actively been engaged in a criminal deed. If Zimmerman saw Martin breaking into a house, smashing a car window, or engaged in a criminal act. Then there would be a good case to be made for citizen intervention. But that did not happen here, by Zimmerman’s own admission. The first, and multiple wrong actions, were taken by Zimmerman.

LESSONS TO BE LEARNED

When one becomes a gun owner, especially when one begins to carry on their persons. The individual must always remember that they are obligated to take the high road.

  • First, NEVER, put yourself in situations where a confrontation can arise needlessly. (ie: walking through the worst part of town with a tons of gold jewelry and a pistol on your hip is just asking for trouble; either you’re going to be robbed or have to shoot someone – don’t put yourself in that situation).
     
  • Second, it’s never fun taking the life of another human being. It’s messy, morally gut wrenching, emotionally scarring and usually financially bankrupting.
     
  • Third, it is a good idea to have an alternative to the use of lethal force. Jack Spirko over at the Survival Podcast strongly advocates carrying pepper spray if you carry. You may need to protect yourself from a wayfaring aggressive dog. Life will be simpler if you can just pepper spray it rather than having to inform your neighbor that you just shot their best friend.

Had Zimmerman followed these guidelines, he might not be in the mess he is in today. And an apparently innocent young man might still be alive.  And this tragegy, for all sides, would have been avoided.

Article on Yahoo

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UPDATE: I loved this quote by a poster in the article comments name Marvin, repeating the words his combat instructor told him regarding egos and guns:

“From now on, when dealing with crazy / possibly violent people, you will lose every argument. You are always wrong. You are sorry for impinging on their day. You will apologize and apologize again. You will back the F down. You will put your tail between your legs. You will let them talk about your ladyfriend. You will let them call your mother and your dad names. You have no ego.

You do all this because if you are the one to start a fight, by default that fight now has a gun in it, and if you start losing, you’re going to pull it and kill him. And even if you don’t go to jail because you could convince the jury that it was self-defense, you’re going to have to live with the fact that you could have saved someone’s life and yet you let your ego kill someone.”