George Zimmerman Shot Trayvon Martin Once

The fallout surrounding the shooting death of Trayvon Martin continues apace, with protestors judging the shooting a homicide rather a defensive gun use. The teen’s death has become a cause celebre. “A host of celebrities — including filmmaker Spike Lee, music mogul Russell Simmons and actress Gabrielle Union — are joining an ever-growing chorus calling for justice in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin in Sanford,” orlandosentinel.com reports, somehow forgetting to mention Al Sharpton’s support . . .

The stars have used Twitter to spread word of Trayvon’s death, and some celebrities are bringing attention to a petition on Change.org calling for charges against shooter George Zimmerman. By lunchtime Tuesday, that petition garnered more than 557,000 signatures.

Yes, well, the bostonherald.com offers a salient fact that puts the shooting in a new light:

The handgun that killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black 17-year-old, was fired once — not twice — by a neighborhood crime watch volunteer . . .

Police found a single shell casing at the scene, and when they seized George Zimmerman’s handgun, a Kel Tel [sic] 9 mm, its magazine was full, according to a source close to the investigation. The only bullet missing was the one in the chamber, the source said.

For readers unfamiliar with the way of the gun, a full magazine would indicate that Zimmerman kept an “extra” bullet in the Kel Tec’s chamber.

In other words, Zimmerman loaded the gun, racked the slide to put a round in the chamber (reducing the number of bullets in the magazine by one), removed the magazine, put another round in the magazine, then replaced the magazine in the gun. If Zimmerman had fired two shots, the magazine would have one less cartridge/bullet than its full capacity.

That contradicts the graphic interpretation that lawyers for the victim’s family made Friday night after listening to 911 calls from neighbors who heard or saw a fight between Zimmerman and Trayvon.

Lawyers Natalie Jackson and Benjamin Crump insisted then that they could hear two shots on one 911 call, a warning shot and a kill shot, and that that proved Zimmerman was a murderer.

“You hear a shot, a clear shot then you hear a 17-year-old boy begging for his life then you hear a second shot,” Jackson said.

Them’s what you call inflammatory remarks right there. No surprise, there. As usual, the ambulance chasers and professional agitators are working an all-too-sympathetic media to promote their own “self-defense” agenda. The idea that “something must be done” to protect people from themselves and each other.

Personal responsibility is only an issue when it suits their agenda. Otherwise and anyway, government intervention is the order of the day. To wit:

Trayvon’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, appeared Monday on NBC’s “Today” show and said her son was mild mannered, never got agitated and was followed by Zimmerman because of “the color of his skin.”

“I just don’t understand why the situation got out of control,” she said.

Sanford officials had hoped to sit down Tuesday with an official of the U.S. Department of Justice, an agency with a civil rights division and a record of taking on race-charged criminal cases.

The fact that the mainstream media allows race-motivated players to control the spin surrounding this tragic event is as regrettable as it is expectable. But one way or another, the truth will out. Martin’s autopsy will tell the tale. Or at least part of it.

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

315 Responses to George Zimmerman Shot Trayvon Martin Once

  1. avatarMile66 says:

    If the only missing “bullet” was in the chamber, then Zimmerman didn’t shoot, at all.

    • avatarDerek says:

      Full mag +1 in the chamber would leave one in the chamber and the mag one round short after being fired once.

      • avatarRobert Farago says:

        Explanation added to the text. Thanks.

        • avatarmatt says:

          It doesnt seem to be a good explanation. The only way he could have a full magazine, and fired only one shot, was if the gun jammed.

        • avatarspritom says:

          Matt is correct.

          If Zimmerman began with a full mag plus one in the chamber to begin with (7+1)…then fires a round, the gun should normally cycle the top round in the magazine into the chamber resulting in:
          * 1 round fired (case on ground)
          * 1 round in chamber
          * 6 rounds remaining in the 7-round magazine

          However, the report states that there was:
          * 1 case on the ground
          * empty chamber
          * 7 rounds in the 7-round magazine

          This would be a malfunction of the firearm which could be attributed to things such as:
          * magazine not fully seated
          * limp-wristing the gun when firing
          * interrupting the slide’s full movement during firing
          * faulty magazine
          * Zimmerman having time after firing the shot to remove the round from the chamber and place it back into the top of the magazine, then put the magazine back into the gun with an empty chamber
          * the gun having it’s own personal will to stay at the New York maximum ;)

          I’m estimating one of the first three is more common.

  2. avatarBen Eli says:

    People have started asking me about this case. It is a little ridiculous how much media attention it has gotten and how quickly people are convicting Zimmerman in their opinions.

  3. avatarcaffeinated says:

    So despite not knowing the outcome of the investigation or physical evidence, everyone is rushing to judgement. It also seems there are no reliable witnesses as there is a good amount if bias contrary to the physical evidence. The fact that they state the magazine was full would likely mean a struggle as the slide failed to cycle.

  4. avatarSilver says:

    It has nothing to do with justice, everything to do with race. Just like always. These “celebrities” and their guilt-ridden petitioners don’t have all the facts, don’t care about what’s right, only care about “their own” no matter what the truth is.

    Why not judge those judging Zimmerman? Call them out on their knee-jerk venom, cite them as the fools they are, take them to task for not gathering all the facts before speaking their worthless minds. Spike Lee, for one, is more of a racist than most people are ever even capable of being.

  5. avatarST says:

    Let this incident and the high powered media reaction in favor of the teen stand as another outcome we who carry could face after a defensive gun use.Should the triers of the facts find Zimmerman innocent,he’s still going to have to live with the consequences of the media fallout long after the no-bill comes down.

    • avatarJosh says:

      What if it turns out he was in the wrong? Kid was an honor student. No rap sheet. On bluetooth talking to his girlfriend, freaking out about being followed by a “weird guy’.
      Now he’s dead. Sanford Police didn’t do a thorough job… dead kid deserved at least that.

  6. avatarBob says:

    I would not get too hung up on the exact words in the Boston Herald story. Likely the reporter is not a gun expert (probably a gun-control advocate). So you can not depend on his knowledge of guns being adequate for him to give an accurate description of the condition of the gun.

    • avatarHSR47 says:

      That’s part of the point though; it’s the job of the print media to be trustworthy. That means fact checking, which given the bad technical explanation was certainly not done to the degree it should have been.

  7. avatarAdam says:

    The fact that Zimmerman left his vehicle and went after the kid when he was told not to doesn’t really look that good. I’m a CCW holder myself and, on the surface, it sounds like this was completely avoidable. At least he did the smart thing by not saying anything, so far, anyway.

    • avatarRightYouAreKen says:

      That is the main reason this is spinning out of control. 911 operator told him not to contact the kid, but he did so anyway. He’s an idiot, and brought this all on himself. The media flurry after the fact and all of the race baiting is just as bad, but could have all been prevented had he just been a good witness, providing the kid wasn’t in the act of harming someone, which he wasn’t.

      • avatarJosh says:

        At the very least, he’s a big candidate for IGOTD.

      • avatarAharon says:

        “He’s an idiot, and brought this all on himself.”

        True and it also reflects poorly on the pro-RKBA community while feeding gun-control ammo to the loonies.

  8. avatarShane from Kanuckistan says:

    The whole thing is tragic. Why the hell would Zimmerman choose to initiate contact? If this turns out to be the case then Zimmerman should be held fully accountable for this boys death. If indeed he followed the boy, against the instructions of officials then he has no leg to stand on in terms of self defense.

    • avatarRobert Farago says:

      I need to check FL law . . .

      Generally speaking, a person who is defending themselves can use a slightly higher level of force than the one being used against them—provided it’s a purely defensive situation (i.e. they didn’t start the confrontation in the first place).

      Legally, you’re not allowed to re-engage the aggressor AFTER the initial confrontation is over. You can start as a defender and end up being an aggressor. Or vice versa.

      It’s all pretty confusing—especially as the court has to rely on unreliable witnesses and the testimony of the participants (in this case the survivor). Which is why it all comes down to the “reasonable person” test as interpreted by a jury.

      • avatarJosh says:

        The big problem is what we mean by “reasonable”. I really, really wanted to give Mr. Zimmerman a chance here, but every fact that I’ve dug up about this case (mentally dismissing any bias that was injected after the fact) indicates that Zimmerman followed a very poor set of decisions.
        Its now also been confirmed the kid was on the phone during the following, just before the violence. Person on phone with him claims he was scared because he knew he was being followed by a “weird guy”. You could say the kid was practicing defense… he didn’t know who Zimmerman was. I keep putting myself in both folks shoes.. If I’d been the kid, I’d have been pretty damn unnerved and on edge. If I’d been Zimmerman… well, its just very hard to think like him because I NEVER would have been following the kid.
        Hell, alot of folks who DGU in their own home get more initial police scrutiny than Zimmerman did. They didn’t even do a blood screen on him…

  9. avatarJames says:

    Maybe Zimmerman was wrong – and, on the surface, it certainly appears that he was – but, a court will decide that, eventually. What is being left out in all the accounts, though, is what exactly was Treyvon doing that caught the eye of a neighborhood watch patrol. Likely, he wasn’t just walking down the street, minding his own business.

    As a resident of a Detroit suburb, I feel both compelled and qualified to say:
    If blacks didn’t commit a disproportionate amount of violent crime, to the point that the mere presence of an African-American in any situation outside of a controlled environment causes alarm, then this whole episode might never have taken place.

    Statistics abound regarding the high rates of black crime. I’ll leave it to you to look them up. Suffice it to say that for 13% of the total population, they sure do keep themselves (and our court systems) busy.

    • avatarAlex says:

      This particular neighborhood watch member has called the police upwards of forty times.

    • avatarBuuurr says:

      As someone who lives in Cleveland I would have to agree with you, James. I will point out that the East side of Cleveland is a crime ridden hole. I will point out that the West side is a fairly nice place to live. Need I mention that the East side is largly black and the West side largely White and Hispanic and all kinds of Asian? No, but the PC folk will call us racist (as seen in a post earlier this week) based on our facts, stats and lives lived in these areas.

      I receive a crime report every month from the Cleveland PD and the ‘zones’ they have laid out in districts are interesting to watch. You can literally point out where the East side becomes the neutral downtown area (which ironically has less crime than the East side) and where it becomes the West side. Just looking at the number of murders, rapes and break ins you can tell what part of Cleveland you are looking at. I will try and post it to Mr. Farago and have him put it up for all to see.

      And as I posted earlier this week. I am a man married to an East Indian woman who recently just left the all black church (except for me and my wife and kid) we had attended for 3 years.

    • avatarJosh says:

      He was walking back from a store with Skittles for his little brother and an Arizona Iced Tea during the NBA All-Star halftime… He was also on the phone (bluetooth) with his girlfriend (both confirmed). His suspicious behavior was probably him walking around while talking on his bluetooth. I usually go with Occam’s Razor when piecing together past events.
      The fact that you are putting the burden of proof on the victim and assuming that he “wasn’t just minding his own business” is unfair, and exactly the mind-set that most people define as prejudice. Kid died unarmed with a bag of Skittles… he deserves at least the benefit of the doubt, even if you do live in Detroit.

      • avatarBuuurr says:

        “The fact that you are putting the burden of proof on the victim and assuming that he “wasn’t just minding his own business” is unfair, and exactly the mind-set that most people define as prejudice. Kid died unarmed with a bag of Skittles… he deserves at least the benefit of the doubt, even if you do live in Detroit.”

        I don’t know who is doing the burden of proof thing. Seems a fairly reasonable thread so far. What are you talking about? We don’t have any evidence so far this way or that as far as I can see or from what the media has fed me. And I would like to point out that you clearly don’t live in Detroit.

        People on here like to talk about situational awareness and surroundings and whatnot yet when it isn’t PC you stick your heads up your behinds. In my city if you choose to act the PC way you will end up dead on the street for $5 in your pocket in the wrong neighborhood AND the preps are very likely to be black. Get over it. These are facts, these are stats, this is life in Cleveland. Look it up.

        • avatarJosh says:

          Read the earlier comment by James where he automatically says the kid must’ve been doing something wrong to get Zimmerman’s attention… right.

  10. avatarRopingdown says:

    Assuming the PD turned the case over to the SA promptly, without being beaten over the head first, the furor seems curious. If the turn-over was only after publicity, a mistake was made. Who knows, though? Maybe we’ll find there was evidence Trayvon dragged George out of his car and into the backyards? My reaction to the facts and 911′s is that I do not expect there are many more facts to come out, other than the background of George and Trayvon. I am disgusted, though, that the principle (and statute) allowing “stand your ground” has been perverted by Sanford to the notion that you can get in someone’s face avoidably, but then rely on SYG. If that sort of analysis continues it will lead to the end of SYG laws. I couldn’t care less about the parties involved or the typical New Black Pathers/Holder involvement. They’ve been paired up since the Philadelphia polling-place intimidation. I care about the SYG laws, and therefore resent the abuse of those provisions.

  11. avatarMartin Albright says:

    Wouldn’t you expect other members of the “neighborhood watch” to come out of the woodwork to stick up for their “captain?” Or could it be that there are no other members because Zimmerman was basically a self-appointed “watch captain?” (and if that’s the case, why stop at “captain?” Hell, might as well call yourself the Neighborhood Watch Colonel, or General, or Admiral, or Field Marshal.)

  12. avatarNot Too Eloquent says:

    Incredible that some folks will stand behind this guy just because he has a CCW. I’ll bet a year’s salary this guy is behind bars for decades.

    • avatarBuuurr says:

      I don’t care that he has a CCW ( I know enough idiots with one to know better). I also think there is too little information right now to judge him this way or that. Time and the courts will tell.

  13. avatarScott says:

    I don’t know any of the specifics and I’m not convicting this guy prematurely. The 911 operator asking Zimmerman if he was following this kid, Zimmerman says yes, then the 911 operator advises him to stop….well, that’s not good.

  14. avatarAustin says:

    From the get-go, this has sounded to me like a bad shoot. A very bad shoot. I’m also disappointed with many of the writers and commenters on this site for apparently siding with Zimmerman since he was the one with the gun. I happen to agree with many of the folks who say this was a racially-motivated killing and that the lack of charges thus far is due to racist policy by this particular PD. If you disagree, that’s fine, but don’t complain about people shouting “RACISM” and then say that since black people commit more crimes that they have it coming to them, you’ll just make gun owners look bad.

    • avatarNR says:

      The reason we should be upset about the noise the media is making, is that the it makes it extremely difficult for Zimmerman to get a fair trial. I don’t think RF or most of the commentators here are taking Zimmerman’s side just ’cause he was the one with the gun.

      • avatarJosh says:

        The thing is, the police had stopped looking into this matter… the only thing that got the ball rolling again was all the people who got angry and started shouting racism… The PD took Zimmerman at his word.. and that was it. Kid is dead, justified defense, nothing to see here folks… The family had to get a lawyer and build up a media circus to see anything done.. Its sad, but the police didn’t even do a blood screen on the shooter.

        • avatarBuuurr says:

          That’s what I read too, Josh. Looks like a major fail on the PDs behalf. If anything the family has a case against the PD for sure.

      • avatarAaron says:

        We should be mad that an innocent 17 year old with no prior history of criminal activity didnt get a “fair trial”. His life was taken by some mall ninja wannabe and hasnt spent one day in lockup. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought you could only use self defense at trial, not to avoid arrest when the motive is questionable.

        • avatarMatt in FL says:

          I think normally it’s bad form to quote yourself, but I’m just that awesome, so I can get away with it. From this post:

          “The burden of proof for self-defense is on the shooter to show he acted within the law. So that said, why isn’t he in jail awaiting a determination by autohrities of the legality of his actions?”
          Because the way the self-defense laws are written in Florida, the “burden of proof” is not on the shooter. He is not in jail because, “A law enforcement agency may use standard procedures for investigating the use of force as described in subsection (1), but the agency may not arrest the person for using force unless it determines that there is probable cause that the force that was used was unlawful.” §776.032(2) So, he claimed self-defense, the initial evidence (there was a scuffle) supports it at first, so he remains free while the investigation is conducted.

        • avatarBuuurr says:

          Me too, Aaron.

    • avatarDrewN says:

      Austin, I agree. Even IF the kid was commiting property crime, that’s still no good reason to shoot him. Was he attacking you with a lethal weapon someplace where you had no duty or ability to retreat safely? No? Then it’s a bad shoot. When the “self defense” excuse doesn’t hold up, look for this guy to claim “accidental discharge” next.

      • avatarmatt says:

        Arson is a property crime.

      • avatarRopingdown says:

        It is not necesssary in FL to be attacked with a lethal weapon in order to shoot. It is necessary to reasonably perceive that the attacker intends to grievously injure or kill you, and that he or she has the apparent ability to do so. Fists and feet are enough. The problem isn’t on that side of the equation, it’s on the “who started the fight?” side and the “had the parties broken off at some point?” Fair trial? The problem here is that the PD didn’t even get a blood test of the shooter, under facts which make clear that the shooter wasn’t dragged to the backyard, but pursued the dead man there.

  15. avatarJames says:

    I see. Uncomfortable facts aren’t welcome.

    • avatarJosh says:

      They are welcome, just not relevant. What do big broad statistics about black people being criminals have to do with this one, individual black kid being shot to death by one individual white/hispanic guy? Nothing at all.. whether you agree with the stats or not…
      You’re trying to say that the kid “had it coming” because he was black… Really? Can’t you see how unfair that is?

      • avatarBuuurr says:

        I don’t think that is what James is trying to say here, Josh. I think what he is trying to say is that some people are a lot more defensive with certain races of people than with others. In this instance the guy was cleary agitated and saw the young man as a threat that he probably wouldn’t have seen in a White teen or Hispanic teen. Is this fact? No. But we hear from the media enough about it that it does put some folks on edge.

        That said this kid was scrawny and unarmed. I would not have seen him as a threat personally but in the situation and what transpired (of which we know little) this man obviously felt threatened (or said he did) by him. I am not hedging any bets. I will wait and see what the courts decide.

        • avatarmatt says:

          “That said this kid was scrawny and unarmed. I would not have seen him as a threat personally…”

          Meth/crackheads are scrawny and often unarmed, but would consider them to be a threat. If so, why is it any worse take race in to consideration?

        • avatarBuuurr says:

          “If so, why is it any worse take race in to consideration?”

          From our own logic. Guns don’t kill people. People do. Races don’t kill people. People do.

        • avatarcaffeinated says:

          I can’t agree with that argument more.

        • avatarJosh says:

          Best comment of the day Buuurr.

  16. avatarJames says:

    I see. Uncomfortable posts mentioning the presence of uncomfortable facts are also not welcome.

  17. avatarbontai Joe says:

    I feel sad for the Martin family. Zimmerman should have followed directions and NOT persued the kid, or at least no close enough to allow a confrontation. The media is protraying him as a over zealous community watch guy that was “hunting” instead of watching. On the other hand, I wasn’t there so I’m wildly speculating like most everyone else. Never a good thing when the Rev. Al Sharpton shows up. I remember all too well the circus Rev. Al created over Towana Brawley’s alleged rape that never happened. Rev. Al never once appologized to the district attorney that he accused of committing the rape, even though the D.A. won a defamation case against Sharpton in court. I hope and pray that tempers stay cool enough that no one else gets injured or killed over this, and that the truth will come out sooner rather than later, but I fear that we will see retaliation in the next few days with the usual clowns fanning the flames of hate.

  18. avatarC says:

    Not surprising at all. I live in the Bay Area, and we had this case last year:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/21/kenneth-harding-shooting-self-inflicted-killing_n_906356.html

    The guy was a convicted pimp who was wanted in Seattle for murder, he ran from transit cops in SF, pulled a gun, fired at them, they fired back, he fell down and accidentally shot his own jugular vein out. Some “innocent bystander” stole the suspect’s gun from the crime scene during the near riot that ensued (it was later recovered). That week we had protests against the police brutally killing an unarmed African American man “for not having bus fare”, and a huge memorial (I passed by it once) including dozens of flowers and stuffed animals left at the crime scene by tearful citizens.

    My point is that if a sack of s**t like that garnered unilateral support from the kind of people who like to turn everything into a racial anti-police issue, we can’t expect any respect for due process in a case like Zimmerman’s, which seems on it’s face to be far more ambiguous.

    • avatarRopingdown says:

      I expect we’ll see every race, including ‘white’ folks, choosing sides automatically based simply on loyalty to their own ‘type.’ That’s the natural result of condoning presidential orders and institutional rules that are not ‘race blind.’ The one-way street has clearly hit a dead end. I get the impression that 47 years of that was enough, in public opinion. I find the New Black Panthers bit remarkable. Sure, let’s live that chapter of our history all over again. No wonder people are purchasing guns at a record rate. They probably get the willies every time they see a story like that, the NBP’s showing up. I’m surprised they don’t buy two. It comes so close after the Holder inexcusable walk-away from other NBP antics. Just what we didn’t need from an AG. Maybe he’ll change?

  19. avatarHere Iam says:

    I found it interesting that this controversy carried on for a week before I ever saw any mention of Zimmerman having a bloodied face when police arrived. I believe I’ll wait for all the facts before jumping on a guilty/innocent bandwagon. That said it does seems like sheer stupidity confronting the teen, especially after being told not to, but without the facts, nobody knows what the kid was doing…

    • avatarRopingdown says:

      It doesn’t matter what the ‘kid’ was doing. Zimmerman had no business confronting him. He’d beed advised not to. And he certainly had no business chasing him to the back yard. Assume, even that as he questioned the kid….the kid punched him and ran. Zimmerman still does not have the right to pursue the kid with a gun in his holster. He has the right to call the cops. All of which is not to say “convict him before a trial.” The point is that the facts and 911′s were so one-sided that a proper blood scan and investigative work-up should have been performed by the local PD. That’s what the fuss is about, no?

  20. avatarsharkley says:

    The only thing this kid did wrong was be black in the wrong neighborhood around the wrong white guy that wishes he was a cop

    • avatarNot Too Eloquent says:

      He wasn’t in the wrong neighborhood. He was in a neighborhood of his
      dad’s Girlfriend. If this kid was white, there would be no story, no comments, one arrest. Forget race for once, this was a child walking “home” with Skittles and iced tea, murdered by a vigilante. This guy makes Charles Bronson look like a pu$$y in his vigilant movies.

      • avatarBuuurr says:

        “Forget race for once, this was a child walking “home” with Skittles and iced tea…”

        +1

  21. avatarDon says:

    Forget for a minute who did what to who. We may never know the whole truth.
    The problem here is that the police have not communicated with the citizens very well. They need the trust of the law abiding citizens to do their jobs. They are loosing that here.
    I live in an area where the police are very pro CCW and pro self defense. But if I shot someone under these same circumstances they would lock me up awaiting the DA’s decision to charge or I would have to have a damn good story about why I needed to kill this guy and that I didn’t cause the confrontation myself. And if I had that kind of a good and believable story they would make a statement to the press/public stating that I claimed self defense and that I was unlikely to be charged or would not be charged.
    Without that type or response, it is understandable that people are upset about what happened. This thing doesn’t pass the smell test.

  22. avatarNathan says:

    Alright, something is a little fishy either in the story or the explanation. If he had the +1 in the chamber and fired it, the gun would have cycled and loaded the first round in the mag into the chamber yes? How then was the magazine full? If he was carrying +1, when the police took the gun, it should have had 1 in the chamber and the mag should have been full minus 1.

    • avatarRalph says:

      You are correct if the gun cycled properly. But if the top round in the mag failed to feed, the gun would have a full mag and none in the chamber. The same failure to feed has happened to me when testing or operating new magazines, most recently with a Glock 19. A failure to feed would also explain why only one shot was fired.

    • avatarCharles5 says:

      Several possibilities: The gun in question is a small single stack 9mm. Most people I know that carry guns of this size (myself included) usually have a spare magazine on them too (in addition to carrying the +1 in the chamber). I don’t know that Zimmerman did or didn’t, but it is interesting that the magazine is described as being found “full.” Now, I don’t know if that means that the magazine was filled to its max of 7 rounds or if the police consider one in the chamber and 6 in the magazine a “full” magazine. Lets say, theoretically of course, that Zimmerman does take two shots. Immediately following, he realizes his folly and either adds another round to the magazine from the spare one (he theoretically might have on him) or replaced the original magazine with the spare. He then discards the spare magazine and one of the spent casings to hide the evidence before the police arrive. Another option is that he only fired one shot as the physical evidence suggests (I haven’t heard the 911 call where 2 shots can supposedly be heard). After the boy is down, he clears the chamber and reinserts that round into the magazine so the weapon is clear when the police arrive. Just some thoughts, though there may be some details I am overlooking. Granted, with a Kel Tec, there is a better than average chance that the gun failed to cycle.

      • avatarMatt in FL says:

        The only detail I see you overlooking is that you need to adjust the band on your tinfoil hat, because it appears to be a little tight.

        • avatarCharles5 says:

          Thank you for your educated and well-reasoned response. Your input has greatly contributed to the discussion.

    • avatarGabba says:

      what the hell is wrong with you all? it’s an established fact that most journalists are nearly totally ignorant when it comes to the technical subtleties of firearms (think of the butthurt over when they call mags clips). and now everyone is seizing on this nonsensical data as if it exonerates this douchebag, as if 1shot=self defense and 2hots=murder, instead of chalking it up to the writer heard wrong or heard nonsense and either way didn’t know enough to realize that what he understood makes no sense.

      do any of you really think it’s more likely that this guy reloaded a spare bullet and hid a brass then the reporter that calls it a “Kel Tel” got his gun facts wrong.

  23. avatargordon burkholder says:

    So what, he only shot once? Who cares if that contradicts some testimony? Happens all the time.

    As someone who is CC’ing 15 rounds of 9mm at my 4 o’clock, I’m ASHAMED to see this post. I have seven long guns in my closet, and I’m really disappointed in gun owners who would defend this guy.

    Here is what we know – an unarmed honor student who lived in that community was by a man who was known for being very enthusiastic about being a block captain. He had previous criminal charges for battery of a police officer, IGNORED the PD’s instructions to wait for police the intervene, and then LEFT his vehicle and STARTED the encounter with the kid.

    I’m not saying he is guilty. I’m just saying that it is suspicious enough to warrant an arrest, interrogation and drug and alcohol testing.

    Make it a white girl shot by a black man, and I really don’t see why anyone would be defending the shooter.

    • avatarDon says:

      Amen!
      The question here isn’t about gun functions and how the press described them.
      The question is did the shooter commit a crime or not and why are the police stonewalling?

      • avatarTotenglocke says:

        Except the number of shots DOES matter to if he committed a crime. If there was on shot fired and the gun had a full mag and an empty chamber, then Zimmerman didn’t shoot the kid – someone else did.

        • avatarRopingdown says:

          Toten, there were witnesses to the wrestling and from the moment of the shot up until police with flashlights entered the area.

        • avatarTotenglocke says:

          Yes, but that doesn’t mean much. It’s been proven that witnesses are horribly unreliable, plus even if they saw that, it doesn’t mean that it was Zimmerman’s gun that was fired. Wrestling is not the same as shooting.

    • avatarRopingdown says:

      “But wait, there’s more..” Trayvon’s girlfriend’s testimony is in. The PD has matched the time, and Trayvon was indeed on the phone with the girl during George’s approach. Trayvon “Why are you following me?” George: “What are you doing here?” Trayvon, again “Why are you following me?” George, again: “What are you doing here?” Then she says, it sounded like a scuffle and the phone cut off. There isn’t a big mystery as to what happened in regard to the relevant question, whether the SYG rules were broken. Trayvon didn’t approach Zimmerman. Rather Zimmerman, with no authority whatever, got out of his vehicle and got in Trayvon’s face, in the dark. We’re supposed to be armed against the Zimmermans of the world, not the Trayvons. Or so it appears to me.

      • avatarcaffeinated says:

        If that is indeed the case, then Zimmerman f-d up big time. Unless that is his backyard or adjacent backyard, it could be argued he has as much business there as Martin.

  24. avatarKirk says:

    There’s a lot of details being left out by many commentators here. I have no idea what happened that night, not having been there, but I have carefully read the reports that have come out. Buried in those reports are a lot of telling little details that add up to this whole thing being a case of media malpractice.

    First, if you wonder why Zimmerman was tracking Martin, there’s this: Martin jumped a fence, bypassing security on a gated neighborhood. That’s why this whole thing started–If he’d come in through the gate, like a legitimate resident, then this might not have happened. Act like a criminal, you tend to get classified as one.

    Second, nobody is mentioning Zimmerman’s broken nose and the fact that they had to stitch his scalp back together after he and Martin got done with their little “encounter” behind those houses. This would tend to argue that he was getting the worst of things, and wasn’t likely the one who initiated the fight. Having listened to the 911 tapes, I’m pretty sure the cops made the right choice in not arresting him immediately. What’s messed up here is that the public outcry is likely to influence the prosecutor into pressing charges when he probably doesn’t have the actual grounds to do so. It will be interesting to see what the forensics prove in this case–If Zimmerman shot Martin while he was on the ground, and Martin was on top of him, that’s going to go a long way towards justifying what he did.

    Couple of other points: The pictures being published, like the ones accompanying this article? They’re not recent ones, are they? Martin is shown as a young, sympathetic teen in all of what his family has released. Look for the recent ones, where he looks a lot more like what Zimmerman was evaluating that night–A truculent, far more menacing figure than the image of sweetness and light they want to portray him as. Additionally–When was the last time Al Sharpton was on the side of the angels, in anything? The mere fact that riot-starting asshole has showed up and participated in this tells me that Zimmerman is likely justified in what he did and yet, still due to be railroaded in the name of “racial justice”.

    • avatarRalph says:

      The pictures being published, like the ones accompanying this article? They’re not recent ones, are they?

      I once defended a wrongful death suit where the plaintiff’s lawyer found some pictures of the deceased (who was completely innocent and did absolutely nothing to bring about his own demise) wearing his band uniform and holding a tuba.

      We settled. Fast.

    • avatarJosh says:

      Alot of folks went into the community through the same gap… They only go through the “official gate” if they’re driving. He was on foot, and like almost every other kid going to the 711 in that community, he went through the open gap to save himself a quarter mile of walking. I know this because my wife’s grandparents live in that area and they’ve been there before.
      I cut through backyards in my neighborhood growing up all the time, doesn’t mean I deserved to be shot to death.
      BTW, so what if he looked a bit more grown up now…. he was still an honor student with no rap sheet. And he STILL didn’t deserve to die.
      Zimmerman is still pretty suspect in his actions and has a very obvious motive for lying about the events.

      • avatarKirk says:

        If you knock a man down, and are hitting him hard enough to break his nose while straddling his body, you’re setting yourself up for a disparity-of-force argument that may well lead to your death being judged justifiable. There’s nothing in the law whatsoever that says someone in a situation like that has to lay there and take the beating.

        Let’s assume that Martin was in the right to assault Zimmerman. I’m not sure what that would be, given the damage he inflicted, but let’s just say he was. If you continue things from there, there are two questions to answer: Was Martin continuing his attack on Zimmerman past the point he ended whatever threat he perceived? Was Zimmerman threatening him with his weapon before that point?

        No matter what way you analyze this, once Martin put Zimmerman on the ground and was physically restraining him (straddling his body), while continuing his assault, he was in the wrong. Once he ended the threat to himself, continuing the attack moves him from “victim” to “assailant”.

        The whole thing hinges on who introduced force, and when. If Zimmerman initiated things, and then lost the physical fight, he’s in the clear because Martin continued to attack him after he was physically neutralized. If he didn’t initiate physical force, then Martin is wrong for beginning the attack in the first place. I find it hard to believe that the gun was introduced into the equation until after Zimmerman was on the ground, because if it was, Martin would have been a fool to attack him. The fact that Zimmerman had sustained physical damage from his attack tends to support the idea that he did not have his weapon in hand when the fight started.

    • avatarNot Too Eloquent says:

      Sharp ton shows up where he is paid to show up. The boy’s parent’s attorney has paid Sharpton to show up at a similar case in the past.

    • avatarAlex says:

      I would very much like to see your sources for the information regarding Martin jumping the fence, and Zimmerman’s injuries. (Honestly, not looking to impune you here.)

  25. avatarRalph says:

    I don’t know who did what before and during this shooting, but it does seem like the local PD did not perform a thorough investigation afterwards. The State Police have taken over the investigation, and now the Justice Department has stuck it’s nose into the case based on the usual overblown and overreaching interpretation of its jurisdiction.

    The case is complicated by Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law. If Zimmerman reasonably felt that he was under attack, he had no duty to retreat. However, he did not have any authority under that or any other law to disregard the commands of police, or perhaps the 911 dispatcher. Her authority to tell Zimmerman to stand down is not clear. Also, when Zimmerman said he was following Martin, the dispatcher did not tell him to stop. What she said was, “We don’t need you to do that.” That’s an equivocal statement and I do not believe that it will be deemed to be a command. Had she said, “do not do that,” it might be a different case.

    Whatever the outcome of these competing investigations, I think we can all agree that this is a massive clusterf^ck and that, at best, Zimmerman is the worst kind of flake.

    • avatarRopingdown says:

      If a person with no local badge trails me in his SUV in the dark, and if he then stops the vehicle, hops out, approaches me, and when I ask him “why are you following me” he does not give a satisfactory answer, I’ll have my hand on my gun. It’s that simple. SYG does not allow a person to started an argument, turn it into a fist fight, pursue a person 80 feet into back yards, and then (whatever the circumstance…it really doesn’t matter at that point) shoot the person he was bothering. At least in PA, you may not chase a guy to the piece of turf on which you choose to ‘stand your ground.’ Trayvon was on the phone with his girlfriend through the initial confrontation. This has been verified.

      • avatarGabba says:

        and then he’ll shoot you, claim he was afraid of you because you are armed and call it self defense.

    • avatarDaveL says:

      All right, I’m no lawyer, but here’s how I read the situation based on Google Law School:

      First, self-defense laws only apply when you’re resisting an unlawful use of force. If you assault someone, or attempt to unlawfully detain them, they are lawfully entitled to use force in their own defense. Their lawful use of force does not in turn legitimize your use of force or any escalation thereof.

      Florida does not have a citizen’s arrest statute, but case law establishes that private citizens can lawfully effect an arrest in any case where they have probable cause to believe a felony has been committed. Zimmerman, it appears, had no such probable cause and any attempt he made to physically detain Martin would have been unlawful. Therefore, if Zimmerman laid hands on Martin, as seems likely, then it’s not self-defense.

      Also, I might note that it doesn’t take an Al Sharpton or the NAACP to put a racial spin on a crime. If you find yourself bending over backwards trying to give Zimmerman the benefit of the doubt in the face of the evidence now available, you might want to give your own motives a thorough going-over.

  26. avatarJ says:

    I’m sorry but all you guys talk about defensive gun use and only using a deadly weapon as the ultimate means of defense when your life is threatened blah blah blah and here many of you are defending this jack ass. The fact of the matter is that the boy was an unarmed scrawny little 17 year old. I don’t know about you but if an unarmed teenager comes at me I’m not thinking about my gun first. Why didn’t it occur to him to subdue the assailant before ever pulling his gun? Replay this scenario in your head. I just don’t see how a kid going to his house could cause such fear in a man probably 50-100lbs bigger than, to be so threatened as to use deadly force. The fact is he pulled that weapon prematurely without thinking about the consequences and he should pay for it. He’ll probably go free though because it’s a black kid after all thus making him a “bad guy” right? If this were a 17 yr old white kid, Zimmerman would rot in prison. Choose your targets wisely folks…

    • avatargordon burkholder says:

      Thank you, J.

    • avatarKirk says:

      For an “unarmed, skinny little 17year old”, he sure managed to do some damage. Broken nose, and by one account, 13 stitches on the back of Zimmerman’s head. If Zimmerman didn’t bring the gun into things until after that happened, I’m afraid he was perfectly justified shooting Martin dead. It all depends on who initiated the physical side of things, here.

      Those pictures you’re using to judge Martin as “skinny” and “little”? They’re not at all recent. It’s hard to judge scale with some of the other, more recent ones, but he sure doesn’t look like he fit that description when he died.

      • avatarcaffeinated says:

        If Zimmerman did leave his vehicle and pursue Martin, he may very well face a manslaughter charge depending on his actions after leaving the van. Even if Zimmerman went up to Martin and called him names, that doesn’t justify Martin from basically removing Zimmerman’s scalp. That being the case, FSS does justify use of deadly force as one poster mentioned.

        Should Zimmerman have stayed in his van? Yes. Is he covered by FSS on use of deadly force? I guess the SA’s office will let us know.

        • avatarRopingdown says:

          We do know they broke and ran to the backyards. I disagree with the notion that the law lets you harass someone without a badge, chase them into the back yard (even if you’ve been punched already) insist on fighting some more, and then shoot. Nope. You are definitely not allowed to escalate to a gun in a fight you start or the resumption of which you force. Now, if it was Zimmerman running back to his car after the fight and Trayvon tackling him, the rules are reset. We know that wasn’t the case. You’ve heard Trayvon was on the phone with his girlfriend complaining that someone was following him, and that she heard the initial conversation between George and Trayvon?

        • avatarKirk says:

          I think you’re mistaken, here. First of all, the recorded 911 call has the operator saying “…we don’t need you to do that…”, which is emphatically not an instruction for him to stay in his vehicle.

          A lot depends on what happened once Zimmerman left his vehicle. If he pursued Martin simply trying to maintain eye contact with him when he went behind the buildings, and Martin turned to confront Zimmerman, that’s a different situation than if Zimmerman accosted him or tried grabbing him. It all depends on who started the verbal contact, and who initiated force. If it was Zimmerman, then the shooting is probably going to be adjudicated against him. If Martin started the verbal confrontation (“Why are you following me?) and then initiated the physical assault, Zimmerman is not going to be found at fault. Determining who spoke first, and who swung first is going to be critical.

          My understanding of self-defense law also leads me to believe that it’s quite wrong to say that even if you initiate the fight, you’re never able to use a weapon in self-defense. Let’s say that the fight started with Zimmerman grabbing at Martin to prevent him from leaving the scene of the confrontation. Once Martin has done what he needs to do in order to break Zimmerman’s grip on him, anything he does past that to escalate the assault now puts the onus on him as the aggressor. Once he had Zimmerman down, on his back, and was beating him, Zimmerman has the absolute right to use whatever means necessary to stop Martin. The fact that he had lost the physical confrontation and was now helpless in the control of Martin is actually going to do more to justify his use of deadly force, as he has pretty much proven, by that point, that he’d exhausted all his options.

          Who spoke, and who struck first is what needs to be determined here.

        • avatarRopingdown says:

          I don’t agree, and I’ll say why: We know how the conversation started, because it was overheard. We know that Zimmerman chased Martin from the front sidewalk to the backyards. We know that they engaged in the backyards, in a wrestling-like fight, according to witnesses on the 911 calls. If you chase someone from the sidewalk to the back yard and get close enough to engage, it doesn’t matter if you are losing the fight. Say uncle. You can’t pull a gun when you insisted on a fight, not even if you start to lose it. The charge will likely be reduced to manslaughter from murder 2, but you won’t have an affirmative defense.

    • avatarGabba says:

      im sure his line of thinking is that if he was overpowered, treyvon could have taken the gun from him and killed him with it.

  27. avatarJ says:

    I’m sorry but all you guys talk about defensive gun use and only using a deadly weapon as the ultimate means of defense when your life is threatened blah blah blah and here many of you are defending this jack ass. The fact of the matter is that the boy was an unarmed scrawny little 17 year old. I don’t know about you but if an unarmed teenager comes at me I’m not thinking about my gun first. Why didn’t it occur to him to subdue the assailant before ever pulling his gun? Replay this scenario in your head. I just don’t see how a kid going to his house could cause such fear in a man probably 50-100lbs bigger than, to be so threatened as to use deadly force. The fact is he pulled that weapon prematurely without thinking about the consequences and he should pay for it. Choose your targets wisely folks…

    • avatarRalph says:

      “All” of us guys talk about defensive gun use because this a blog about guns; all of us guys also talk about avoiding confrontations, the limits placed upon gun owners and related matters that seem to have escaped your attention.

      And as far as I can tell, nobody is defending this jackass, nor exonerating him. I realize that your sensibilities might be less offended if we just dragged Zimmerman out into the bushes and shot him, but that’s not going to happen.

      Unless you were a witness, you don’t have a single clue as to what actually transpired. You just have your prejudices, which you’ve made very clear.

      BTW, just to keep the record straight, I’m very uncomfortable with the way this investigation was mishandled by the local LEOs, and I just do not believe what I’ve heard of Zimmerman’s story. But since the flow of information has been controlled by media that I distrust, I expect that we all will learn more over time, and that the additional information may either hang Zimmerman or exonerate him.

      • avatarBuuurr says:

        +1

      • avatarRopingdown says:

        How it was handled by police is the only issue. Unfortunately, if the police decide upon initial evidence that it was clearly a SYG case, they will not arrest. All the comments seem to come at that question different ways, but this remains: Was it so clearly a SYG case that no arrest should have been made, given that the PD had Zimmerman’s statement and all the 911 calls, and we’ve read and heard the same material? To many of us it seems glaringly obvious that the answer is ‘no.’ Not one comment on this post is sensible that approaches guilt or innocence, or race. The issue is only “does it seem this was a clear-cut case of SYG self-defense?” Nobody would be happier if they dragged Zimmerman into the bushes and shot him. Hyperbole. Which is OK, but its hyperbole.

  28. avatarAharon says:

    When I first read at MSNBC about the shooting by a George Zimmerman at first glance I thought it was TTAG own Dan Zimmerman who did the shooting. Hey, don’t blame me since everday I read posts by Dan. BTW, wasn’t George Zimmerman the name of the man who started the Men’s Warehouse chain of clothing stores?

    • avatarRalph says:

      George Zimmer founded Men’s Wearhouse. Dan Zimmerman is the exaulted editor of TTAG (I had to throw the exalted thing in there because he edits my articles and I don’t want to piss him off). Don Zimmer is a retired baseball player, manager and coach who looks like a chipmunk. Ryan Zimmerman is a pretty good hitter and third baseman. And Zimmermann means carpenter in Deutsche.

  29. avatarcaffeinated says:

    We really only have what has been leaked to the media (ie–not the completed investigation). Knee jerk reactions don’t do any of us favors in the long run. Also bear in mind that FL does consider the actions of what we call a “primary aggressor” and such will often decide who is a defendant and who is victim. As the SA’s office is taking over, I’ll wait for the official SA investigation before jumping to conclusions. I’ve seen far too many officers get lives and careers ruined because of the media circus surrounding an otherwise “good shoot.”

    • avatarJwhite says:

      The part the media continues to leave out is the part leading up to the actual shooting.

      “Man followed unarmed 17yr old down street and shot him”

      Orly”?

      I still think the guy went looking for trouble making him the aggressor. “theres a [black] man walking down the street I think hes up to no good, wow somethings wrong with this guy he probably on drugs”

      Lets face it, the guy even said “they always get away” which to me sounds like he’s out there profiling people, and I’m willing to bet he’s mostly calling the cops on black guys walking down the street. Does this guy have training in narco-investigations? The guy was following a 17yr old. If I was him I would be trying to get away from this guy ASAP. I dunno.

      The neighbors calls sounded like there was a scuffle outside their house (front, back, side, who knows)

      The media is doing a HUGE injustice to firearms owners right now, but what else is new.

      • avatarRopingdown says:

        All of the callers reported that the fight was occurring in their back yards, and then a shot was fired. Two of the callers in adjacent units said it was taking place a few feet from their back decks.

  30. avatarDennis says:

    J, You must have missed this post just before yours.

    “Second, nobody is mentioning Zimmerman’s broken nose and the fact that they had to stitch his scalp back together after he and Martin got done with their little “encounter” behind those houses.” – Kirk

    This doesn’t indicate that he jumped the gun, no pun intended. It actually indicates the opposite.

    • avatarRopingdown says:

      They were fighting. All the 911 callers agree. It proves nothing (either way) that George had a broken nose and cut on the back of his head, except that at some point he was probably losing the fight. The question is “did George pursue Trayvon after initially confronting him on the sidewalk?” If so, his defense of SYG is gone. Indeed, I would gladly argue the case that the defense didn’t apply once he got out of his SUV, approached Trayvon, and would not answer the question “Why are you following me?” Much easier than convincing a jury the defense did still exist.

  31. avatarMike OFWG says:

    This is being tried in the media. What’s up with the picture of twelve year old Trayvon?

  32. avatarSilver says:

    Funny, pretty much every “pro-Zimmerman” post is simply stating that we should have all the facts before declaring the guy guilty and starting a race riot, yet some of you (unsurprisingly) say these posters are defending Zimmerman and are being “racist.” Big shock. When you’re totally out of real logic, play the race card. Welcome to modern America.

    The ONLY reason this story is getting any press is because the kid’s black and the shooter isn’t. That’s the only reason anyone is angry, whether real or manufactured. If this was a white kid shot by Zimmerman (or a white kid shot by a black watch captain), no one would give half a shit. And you say the public/news/system is racist against blacks? Get your heads out of your asses.

    • avatarRalph says:

      I guess that some white guys are upset that they don’t have a monopoly on racism.

      • avatarmatt says:

        Get off your high horse Ralph, I’ve see you engage in bigotry everyday on this site. Just the other day you were gay bashing.

        And come on, blacks kids shoot each other everyday and no one gives a shit. A white guy shoots a black kid and it becomes national news.

        • avatarsdog says:

          right matt, way to defend Zimmerman by citing how “on one gives a shit” about black people being killed. and btw Zimmerman is half hispanic, kind of deflates your “white man marching on” theme when you post here.

        • avatarmatt says:

          lol, they shoot each other everyday and it is never picked up in the national media, when a white guy kills a black guy it automatically becomes a hate crime worthy of national attention. here in chicago over this past weekend alone we had 10 dead and 49 wounded, have you heard about any of them? think this is confined to chicago? as I said, no one cares.

          http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-chicago-weekend-shootings-killings-violence-crime,0,5199265.story

        • avatarcaffeinated says:

          Why would the news media care? There is nothing there to sensationalize. In fact, it works against their agenda since IL is so safe with their absolute ban on concealed carry.

        • avatarGabba says:

          zimmerman half hispanic. no black hair, no brown skin, no hispanic accent, no hispanic name. that means white.if the only way you can tell someone is hispanic is by them telling so, then to the cops you are a white guy.

        • avatarBuuurr says:

          Yes, of course! And all Asians are Chinese! I think you are on to something with this.

    • avatarRopingdown says:

      I disagree. I think many of us are angered by the idea that this was considered a ‘stand your ground’ case by the PD, and that no routine investigation, including blood work, was performed. That is why I am angered. I assume Zimmerman would have behaved the same if the kid was white. I have a young adult son. If some creep hopped out of his car and started interrogating him, and would not answer the question “why are you following me?” my son would probably have pushed him away and run. If the guy caught up with him, my son would probably have broken the guy’s nose and banged his head on the ground. And if the guy then pulled a gun and shot him? Well, how would you feel? Guns are not for winning fights which you start or force. The SYG law in PA is clear on that. If the law in FL isn’t? God help you Floridians.

      • avatarcaffeinated says:

        Actually toxicology typically isn’t done unless there is reason to warrant it. THIs and certain DUI cases are typically compulsory depending on the circumstances. Quite honestly from what I’m now reading, I would say Zimmerman was stalking Martin and Martin might have had enough right to strike first instead of waiting for Zimmerman to throw the first punch. The law is also quite clear that application of force be necessary to stop the aggression.

        Again, SYG is intended for not having to retreat before using deadly force when there is a legal right to be there. We will have to wait and see what the SA’s office says about who had what legal right to be where as well as physical evidence details. With as much heat as this case is gathering, the investigation will likely be quite exhaustive.

  33. avatarScipio says:

    This whole thing stinks. It’s a bad shooting, provoked in part by a wannabe cop and a poorly understood law (FL’s stand your ground law). I’ve been involved in several situations reporting imminent criminal events to 911 operators, and when I describe that someone is fleeing the scene of the crime and I give them a license plate, without exception, I have been told each time that I should remain where I am and should not pursue. Zimmerman’s job was done when he called the police. His next responsibility was to contact his neighbors and alert them, if he believed that there was a criminal threat.

    Instead, this tragic event occurred because he thought he was a junior woodchuck cop. It is bad enough when cops shoot people indiscriminately, but when pretend cops shoot people indiscriminately, we have gone a little too far into the police state mentality. I find it hard to believe that there was no crime that Zimmerman could have been charged with. He should have at least been brought before a grand jury on the illegal discharge of a firearm.

    This is not a firearms issue. This is a citizenship issue.

  34. avatarJwhite says:

    If you ask me.. This is going to turn into a “See, see here, see what the ‘shoot first’ law does? We want justice” argument.

    When the man was on the phone with the 9-1-1 dispatcher and he was asked if he was following the victim, and the dispatcher said “uh yeah we don’t need you to do that” and he got out of his car and continued following the victim… He lost his right to self-defense. He went looking for trouble. The stand your ground law* is there for when you or another is faced with a threat to their life. You may use force on force. This is not about “did the man feel he was threatened” because he may have felt that way, but thats negated by the fact that he went LOOKING FOR TROUBLE. I dont support this vigilante one bit. Having an LTC is not about looking for trouble, it’s about avoiding it but knowing you have the means to protect yourself. He should have stayed in his car as the dispatcher directed him to. When he got out of the car, pursued the victim and confronted him, he made a HUGE mistake.

    *I’m not 100% clear on this as I live in the Peoples Democratic Republic of California. We have a duty to retreat. That said, I have only a blush understanding of stand your ground laws.

  35. avatarsandra says:

    Where was al sharpton and the media when this happened?
    A 13-year-old boy who police say was doused with gasoline and lit on fire last week while walking home from school is recovering from first-degree burns to his face and head. The boy was just two blocks from his home in Kansas City Tuesday when two teenagers began to follow him and then attacked him, his mother, Melissa Coon, said.

    Police have described the suspects as black 16-year-olds, while the victim is white. “We were told it’s a hate crime,” Coon told KTLA.

    “They rushed him on the porch as he tried to get the door open,” Coon told KMBC. “(One of them) poured the gasoline, then flicked the [lighter], and said, ‘This is what you deserve. You get what you deserve, white boy.’”

    By lighting the gasoline, the second attacker “produced a large fireball burning the face and hair” of the boy, according to a Kansas City Police Department report obtained by KCTV.

    “It was pretty bad stuff,” Detective Stacey Taylor told the TV station, adding that police are concerned the boy may have suffered damage to his eyes and lungs.

    Coon said her son put out the fire with his shirt and called 911 himself. He was rushed to the hospital and was treated for his injuries. She believes the students also attend East High School with her son, and said he will not be returning to the school. She also told KMBC her traumatized family plans now plans to move.

    “My 5-year-old came in and asked me, ‘Mom, am I going to get set on fire today?’” Coon said. “I was in tears.”

    • avatarmatt says:

      Because your never allowed to accuse a protected class of engaging in a hate crime. And everyone is a protected class except white men (unless your gay/FTM tranny).

      • avatarGabba says:

        what’s your definition of protected class? cops find the aftermath of a shoot out and don’t take custody of the shooter of an unarmed teen. to me that sounds exactly like what a protected class is.

        • avatarmatt says:

          your asking the police to deprive a law abiding citizen of their rights and freedoms without due process. the police are conducting an investigation, and if there is evidence then the police can arrest him. but you know, good luck trying to form your internet lynch mob.

        • avatargordon burkholder says:

          Matt, nothing wrong with arresting someone. People are arrested ALL THE TIME on charges that are later dismissed. The Stand Your Ground is a legal defense that will save your ass in court. It shouldn’t save you from getting arrested.

          The fact that the police didn’t arrest this guy, get a statement and test him is troubling.

        • avatarcaffeinated says:

          Arresting the guy would violate FSS. Any department not wanting to lose accreditation and charter might want to avoid violating the laws it is supposed to enforce. Personally, there were other charges such as stalking they could have charged Zimmerman with if he indeed got out and chased Martin. We still don’t know what we don’t know.

      • avatarDaveL says:

        Matt,

        That’s not how protected classes work. “Black” for instance, is not a protected class. Neither is “gay”. “Race” is a protected class – distinctions made on the basis of race must pass strict scrutiny, whatever the victim’s actual race is.

    • avatarRopingdown says:

      That incident is being presumed, by the police in Missouri, to be a hate crime, according to the St. Louis paper.

  36. avatarAaron says:

    A new article from AP came out about the victim’s girlfriend. Apparently she was on the phone with him while the altercation took place. According to her Martin said that someone was following him. She told him to run, but he said he was just going to walk fast. She then said she heard the voice of Zimmerman and then an altercation. Then the phone went silent. So its my guess that he pursued the kid trying to be billy-bad-ass, got his ass kicked, then shot the boy. White, black, pink, or polka-dotted, this person needs to be in SOMEONE’S custody!

    • avatarmatt says:

      Have you ever heard of the word bias, or the phrase innocent until proven guilty?

      • avatarsdog says:

        mat zimmerman is half Hispanic, he does not have a stormfront account.

        • avatarGabba says:

          he may be half hispanic but he is still white. he doesn’t have black hair, he doesn’t have brown skin, he doesn’t have a latino name, and he doesn’t talk with a latino accent. the only way to know that he is hispanic is to be told that he is hispanic.

        • avatarBuuurr says:

          “Gabba says:

          March 20, 2012 at 19:22

          he may be half hispanic but he is still white. he doesn’t have black hair, he doesn’t have brown skin, he doesn’t have a latino name, and he doesn’t talk with a latino accent. the only way to know that he is hispanic is to be told that he is hispanic.”

          Yeah… it is called fact. The media is supposed to help report some of them.

        • avatarGabba says:

          yeah but people are saying he is hispanic as if that means that he can’t be racist or that the cops wouldn’t view him as a white guy.

        • avatarBuuurr says:

          Errmmm… I think people are saying he is Hispanic because he is… yes, you guessed it – Hispanic.

          What difference does it make?

      • avatarRopingdown says:

        She reported the conversation that took place on the sidewalk. I wouldn’t be surprised if she recorded it. I recounted that, above. She didn’t give a slant either way that I could detect.

  37. avatarheather says:

    This is VERY SAD. I feel for the family and my sincere feelings go to them. As a mother I know the love and protection for a child–there is no other love out there.
    This young individual is no longer here because this guy–neighborhood watch guy–took it upon himself to act in a way that brought about a very bad situation. The guy should have listened to the dispatcher and never got out of his car and this situation could have been avoided. I believe the man had already determined that this was the individual or at least one of the individuals breaking into the houses because of previous news from other neighborhood watch persons. I believe the injuries the neighborhood watch guy got was brought on by harrassing this young individual.
    Let’s all not forget we all were 17 at one time and at that age we did not want someone coming up to us making false statements or harrassing us.
    Bottom line is this man should have never pulled his gun out and shot this young man whom did not have a gun but what seems to be just protecting himself from a man harrassing him.

  38. avatarmichael says:

    Blacks shoot blacks all the time and it is routinely ignored by the media. Just another day in paradise. Blacks shoot whites much more than the other way around, and it’s usually ignored by the media. Just another “random” shooting. A white (not even a white, but apparently an Hispanic who is conveniently labeled “white”) shoots a black, and it somehow confirms the prevalence of white racism.

    This is simply the anti-white media and the usual suspects, the race hustlers, making a political point. We know it is so because all the facts have yet to come to light, but Z. is considered guilty already. Maybe someone can ask Rev. Al, once he gets down there looking for justice, whether Zimmerman was the one who “raped” Tawana Brawley? This entire mess just doesn’t pass the smell test.

    • avatarRopingdown says:

      If this story (on this site) is about the reverse rascism which permeates the media and our society, I want no part of it. This isn’t a good forum for that. I thought the question was “is this the kind of case, with the 911 calls in the PD’s hands, in which no initial arrest should be made?” Americans caved in to being Mau Mau’d long ago. That’s a separate thread, I think. See Tom Wolfe’s “Mau Mauing the Flack Catchers.”

  39. avatarsdog says:

    “This entire mess just doesn’t pass the smell test.”

    no, what does not pass is your racilized “smell test” is the fact you state “that Blacks shoot whites much more than the other way around, and it’s usually ignored by the media”
    without stats, your info is an opinion and not fact,

    A white (not even a white, but apparently an Hispanic who is conveniently labeled “white”) shoots a black, and it somehow confirms the prevalence of white racism.

    no what confirms it is your defense of a person who is clearly wants to play police officer, this fool has called the cops 46 times in the past year to report “suspicious persons,” all who live that neighborhood. why do you feel personally persecuted by a situation that does not involve you.

    btw pointing out that race is a factor in a situation does not make you a racist.

    • avatarBuuurr says:

      sdog says:

      ‘”no, what does not pass is your racilized “smell test” is the fact you state “that Blacks shoot whites much more than the other way around, and it’s usually ignored by the media”
      without stats, your info is an opinion and not fact,”

      In Cleveland, Ohio his comments are nothing but fact. Crime reports that in Cleveland if someone was murdered it is usually by a black male age 18-35. I don’t have my report right now ( a friend is going to send it) but if I recall correctly there were 34 murders in Cleveland in 2009 by February. 30 of them were black on black and 2 of them were black on white. The other 2 show up as white on other.

      In some places this is just fact. There are quite a few more blacks in Cleveland than whites so it would stats-wise show that blacks would be committing more murders because there are more of them. Let’s not forget the fact that blacks in Cleveland have a major issue with poverty. Anyone can tell you that poverty and crime do mix and that it leads an increase of crime within the impoverished community. So… more blacks + black poverty = blacks more crime.

      “no what confirms it is your defense of a person who is clearly wants to play police officer, this fool has called the cops 46 times in the past year to report “suspicious persons,” all who live that neighborhood. why do you feel personally persecuted by a situation that does not involve you.”

      As someone who lives in a community where what he is saying actually happens I have to disagree with you. He is right. Blacks shoot blacks all the time (in Cleveland) and it goes unreported all the time. Add in some sensationalism and we have a story. An example: Sowell. Anyone know of him? Anyone? Killed a mess of women in his house. A black guy that killed a bunch of black prostitutes. Hardly any media coverage for one of the latest and most brutal mass murderers in U.S. history. Fast forward. A black man who had eluded the police in a high speed chase was sighted filling up at a gas station. Police announced and he ran at an officer. The officer shot and the guy was sent to the hospital with major injuries. Uh oh! Major mistake officer! You were white! All over the media here in Cleveland.

      “btw pointing out that race is a factor in a situation does not make you a racist.”

      Some would disagree. I have been called a racist once this week by someone. Where in the post that culture not color matters makes me a racist is I don’t know. People get all uppity about race for some reason.

  40. avatarTom says:

    One item that was brought out in another forum by a lawyer was that Zimmerman should have never been able to catch Martin on foot.
    The cell phone conversation had Martin walking and then later running, but Zimmerman was still able to corner him?
    I am not saying that Martin started the fight ( and I am not saying he did not ), but with superior speed, Martin could choose the engagement point, or withdrawl route. Zimmerman ( whose actions are really dumb ) really could not choose the engagement point or retreating route if Martin chased him.
    From what I can tell, Zimmerman did not really do very well in the hand to hand combat that ensued.
    I can see the race card has become a media and poltical event and we probably will have a few race riots if Zimmerman is aquitted.

    • avatarcaffeinated says:

      Considering Martin played football, I would say his physical prowess is going to be a little better than someone driving around as the neighborhood watch (self appointed or otherwise). Out of all the speculation, I’ve only seen two references to FL state statute with me being one of them. Before people criticize the Sanford PD, they need to actually read the law and understand why Zimmerman was not arrested.

    • avatarRopingdown says:

      Let me understand what you are saying. You think that if Martin was chasing Zimmerman, who had a gun, that Zimmerman would take off into the backyards? No? OK. Are you saying that if Zimmerman chases Martin into the backyards, that Martin doesn’t have the right to say “screw this!” stop, and deck Zimmerman? I disagree. And at that point Zimmerman is not “standing his ground.” I think I’ll drop out of this for a bit and await a well-cited brief on FL ‘stand your ground’ law. At this point it’s about the law, and I ain’t gonna brief it. And nobody else here is going to, I imagine.

  41. avatarST says:

    We need to look at this event based on the verifyable facts at hand.

    Not based on what we ‘think’ happened,or what we’d do in Zimmermans’ situation.I’ve been involved in a situation that went from words to “potential mortal combat” in less time than it took to type that sentence.I backed away from the threat with my hand on the Beretta,but fortunately things cooled off enough for me to leave the area.The thought crossed my mind after the shakes set in:what would the incident look like from the outside?What would the media think had I needed to shoot for my survival?To a lot of uneducated people shooting a burglar in your home *is* murder.To a lot of uneducated masses the things we take for granted on this site as moral and just behavior are actions tantamount to terrorism.Example;loaded Glock on hip to us= personal defense.To ignorant masses,its ‘paranoia’ .Loaded AR15 in cupboard=home defense.To ignorant masses ,its an assault weapon.Thus we should judge based on the facts of the case-and only the facts of the case.I will not condemn or exonerate Zimmerman until the case has been decided accordingly.

    • avatarHaird says:

      It is certainly correct to withhold judgment until an investigation and possibly trial have been undertaken. But that is part of point. From what has been reported, it appears the local police have either not made a thorough investigation, or for some reason have not detained or charged Mr. Zimmerman. Having heard the 911 tapes this is hard for me to understand. They certailiy apper to show that Mr Zimmerman pursued Mr Martin, escalating the incident, even after being told not to leave his vehicle by the dispatcher. I would think that this alone would be enough to bring him in for some very tough questioning. That does not appear to have happened. Remember this event occured at the end of February, but has only just become a national issue. This has happened because, apparently, lots of people have listened to the tapes and read the witness accounts, and are not satisfied that this was self defense on Mr Zimmerman’s part. An investigation will be needed to determine that more clearly. But it did not appear that such an investigation would occur. Now it will. That seems more than proper to me. After all, a life was taken.

  42. avatarDerrilyn says:

    I know nothing about gun laws and do not care. I’m sure there are many who carry guns and who use them responsibly. As a mother, I have been waiting for someone to tell me what Trayvon should have done after being followed by a stranger? I believe most of us would tell our children if you can’t get away, then fight like crazy. This could’ve been a Sandusky type guy.

    I am saddened that you all care more about guns than the life of the boy. Btw, the picture you all are so hoping is old…was taken this year. That’s the menacing, suspicious boy Zimmerman followed. And then cried self defense.

    • avatarAharon says:

      “I am saddened that you all care more about guns than the life of the boy.”

      — Spoken like a typical hysterical and emotionally reactive whatever. Obviously you haven’t read through the posts calmly, rationally, and thoroughly.

  43. avatarDerrilyn says:

    As a mother, I have been waiting for someone to tell me what Trayvon should have done after being followed by a stranger? I believe most of us would tell our children if you can’t get away, then fight like crazy. This could’ve been a Sandusky type guy.

    I am saddened that you all care more about guns than the life of the boy. Btw, the picture you all are so hoping is old…was taken this year. That’s the menacing, suspicious boy Zimmerman followed. And then cried self defense.

    • avatarmike0101 says:

      Too many guesses on what may have happened. Lets see what the investigation comes up with. We have to put faith in the system and the police investigators. By the way the race thing is getting old.

      • avatarChristina says:

        Lovely to know that “the race thing is getting old” for you. Know what else is getting old? Being profiled, stalked, and then killed for being black walking on a sidewalk with candy. If you ask me, I’d rather have your problem.

        What kind of lunacy is it, in 2012 when people ride around with “don’t re-nig” bumper stickers, that the possibility of racism EVER being even the SLIGHTEST contributor to the profiling and killing of a black person automatically is “playing the race card”? Apparently the “race card” is played any time a person suspects that racist stereotypes or negative opinions, attitudes, and thoughts about black people could EVER be expressed into actions. The very idea is COMPLETELY unfathomable and in no way a valid consideration. I suppose the murder of James Byrd Jr. was also not based on race, right?

        How can we “put faith in the investigators” when an investigation NEVER happened? FACT: they just “took Zimmerman’s word” that he didn’t have a record. FACT: they just “took Zimmerman’s word” that it was self-defense. Seems to me the very opposite of “investigating” is just “taking someone’s word for what happened.” FACT: Martin was tested for drugs. Zimmerman, who sounds very intoxicated on his call, WAS NOT. If I am suspected of a crime and the cops show up and ask me where I was at such-and-such time on such-and-such date, and I say “I was home the whole time…” apparently it is perfectly reasonable, as INVESTIGATORS, to just “take my word for it,” shrug, apologize for bothering me and telling me to have a nice day.

        Un. Freaking. Believable.

    • avatarKirk says:

      I can tell you what he shouldn’t have been doing: Assaulting that stranger by breaking his nose, half-scalping him, and then straddling him and continuing to beat him. Even if you assume that Zimmerman started the confrontation, once Martin had him down and on the ground, that was where he should have stopped, withdrawn, and sought help. Continuing to beat on Zimmerman moved him from victim to assailant, and is what got him killed–Assuming that that is what happened. From the fact that Zimmerman was not arrested immediately indicates that there’s enough evidence to support this theory of what happened.

      Even if Zimmerman accosted him and asked for ID, there’s nothing there that justifies what Martin did. That he did what he did is pretty well-established, and what remains is the question of who did what to whom, and when they did it.

      Don’t want your kids to get killed? Teach them the law on use of force, and make sure they’ve got good manners. I can’t imagine a situation where I’d react like the way Martin did to a simple and justifiable question when you’re a stranger wandering a neighborhood you don’t live in. A polite “I’m visiting my Dad’s girlfriend over there in that house…” would have probably defused the situation. Instead, it appears that a foolish young man chose poorly, and got physical with someone twice his age. Hell, even if Zimmerman is the biggest jackass cop wannabe in the world, there was nothing there to justify breaking his nose and beating him up. Fools like that are best dealt with by being painfully polite, and making them look like fools–Which was well within Mr. Martin’s range of available actions. He chose poorly, and died.

      • avatarDerrilyn says:

        Wow. Clearly I don’t belong here. My boys are polite but I cannot advise them to answer any Tom, Dick or Harry whom approaches them.

        Sorry I came on here, that was totally over the top. What a thing to say about a dead child.

        • avatarmatt says:

          You think him being dead should exclude the facts? Flordia has stand your ground self defense laws, him being legally a “child” is irrelevant since he likely would have been charged as an adult for the battery to Zimmerman. Also the dead “child” was 6’3″, not the little boy pictured in every news article.

          Your kid better answer to any Tom, Dick or Harry when he is trespassing on private property in a state with castle doctrine and stand your ground laws, otherwise he too could end up this way.

      • avatarPam says:

        Kirk, I’m lost that you really think that Trayvon has to answer to this stranger that approached him. Your response has racism written all over it, since you feel that a young black man has to answer to this piece of sh*t. Also, it’s hard to believe that someone as little as Trayvon beat this grown man up. If Trayvon hit him, I’m pretty sure it was an act of self defense. By the way, Block Watch Captains don’t have right to ask for anyone’s ID. Let’s leave that up to Uniformed Security Guards.

        • avatarSplashman says:

          BZZZZZZZ.

          Playing the race card is an automatic disqualifier from reasoned discussion. There are a zillion other websites which will gladly welcome your reason-free nonsense. Go away.

        • avatarHSR47 says:

          I suppose this is the “splashback corollary” to Godwin’s law?

        • avatarDaveL says:

          How, then, do you expect to have an honest discussion about racial bias in society?

      • avatarNee says:

        We don’t really know exactly what happened. But the fact is, Trayvon was walking on public domain minding his own business. He wasn’t committing any crimes. Zimmerman is not a police officer, and didn’t offer up a badge. He was stalking the child rolling along at 3mph, he was glaring down Trayvon, Trayvon saw him and got spooked. Trayvon started running trying to get away, Zimmerman continued to follow and at some point got out of his car and approached Trayvon. Those are the facts.

        Trayvon was perfectly well within his rights to “stand his ground”. A large creeper pedophile looking guy stalking you is coming at you, he looks kind of heated in his body language asks you for id? What’s going to go through your head? Fight or continue Flight? He could have hit zimmerman as soon as he walked up to him, it would have been perfectly legal and justified under florida use of force law. He’s 17 also, he probably doesn’t even have id. My sister didn’t have one until she was 18 because she was too uncoordinated to drive. If i wasn’t doing anything wrong and zimmerman asked me for ID I also would say F U and walk off was fast as i can. Zimmerman has no authority to do anything after that point. He’s not a cop, and didn’t present himself as one.

        My speculation is that Trayvon was creeped out and scared, he mouthed off to creeper Zimmerman (omg a 17 year old mouthing off to an adult,that never happens). Zimmerman tried to detain him even though he didn’t have the authority and Trayvon started to fight back. If i were Trayvon i would to, he was stalked and chased down and in fear for his life. And according to you with your double standard no, you don’t stop beating someone until they are dead or unconscious, Trayvon didn’t beat him enough because obviously he had plenty of strength left to pull out his gun and shoot him. I find it funny you can justify killing someone you confronted for unreasonable speculation, and yet say trayvon should have stopped beating him after he did enough damage to possibly run away? Especially someone who has a good 100lbs on you?

      • avatarRopingdown says:

        You refer to “what Martin did.” What are you talking about? What is your source? I haven’t seen any evidence of any behavior but Martin fleeing and George pursuing. Is there a news report you could provide for me? I’m interested. You heard the cell phone call as reported, that was going on during George’s approach?

        As for advice to kids (mine, for example), the advice is not to let anyone he doesn’t know get near enough to be threatening, even if that means leaving a sidewalk. If anyone hops out of a car in the night and approaches without an obvious badge, he gets an SF flashlight shined in his face. If he continues to advance, start running leaving a trail of Fox pepper spray in his wake, for the ‘Georges’ of the world to inhale as the run. Then run like crazy. That’s good manners.

        If it is me walking my town in the night and a ‘George’ follows me slowly in his SUV, then stops the vehicle, gets out, and walks toward me with no badge, and comes closer than loud speaking distance, he’s made a mistake, a mistake of manners. I live in a very civilized township. We don’t expect any non-LEO to presume they have a right, especially in the dark, to leave their vehicle to ask us questions. That’s very unusual behavior. Polite behavior? Roll down your window. Ask me the question, in a pleasant tone of voice. The politeness burden is on the follower, approacher, not on the walker. Who knew that George even lived in the neighborhood? Not Martin.

        Honestly asking, Kirk: Would you let a guy in the night with no badge follow you slowly, then park and hop out and approach within four or five feet without reacting negatively, preparing your defenses? Is that “follow, hop out, approach” bit acceptable where you live, especially in the night? I’d be amazed, but I’m interested. Regions vary, possibly.

        As for having to “stop winning the fight when attacked,” it depends entirely on whether the initiator of the attack, the pursuer, shows clear signs that he has been subdued, given up, stopped fighting back. Short of those, break his jawbone next until he stops fighting back. I believe most states would accept that. I also believe most states do not let you pull a gun after you’ve pursued someone unwilling to engage with you. Start a fight? You can’t escalate to shooting, and still expect to preserve an affirmative defense of self-defense. That’s one good reason not to initiate a fight or force its resumption.

      • avatarChristina says:

        Victim-blaming? Check. Continuous avoidance of placing ANY blame on the person who initiated and pursued this entire matter FROM START TO FINISH: Check. Complete lack of being able to see any value in the life of a teen who was just walking on a sidewalk with candy and tea? Check.

        Why. Is. Martin. Dead? The ONLY reason he is dead is because ZIMMERMAN saw him and decided without ANY VALID REASON that he was “suspicious.” ZIMMERMAN decided that he needed to pursue Martin. Martin was a TEEN, minding his own business, not doing anything wrong and dang sure not owing anyone any explanation about who he was and why he was there. ZIMMERMAN was SO FREAKING THREATENED that HE PURSUED Martin. If he didn’t, how the heck did he not only get out of his car, but they ended up between two houses? If I’m feeling threatened by someone, as a 5’1″ petite female, the last thing I’m doing is CHASING the person “threatening” me. Usually the victim of the “threatening” person is the one being CHASED. If anything, Martin beat Zimmerman in HIS SELF DEFENSE OF ZIMMERMAN STALKING HIM FOR NO REASON. Martin did NOT know who Zimmerman was. He didn’t know if he was a psycho, rapist, kidnapper, WHATEVER.

        The fact that so many of you are doing so much mental gymnastics, blatant denial of common sense, reality, and the facts as stated by Zimmerman himself… on the 911 calls.. and from the witnesses to avoid having to in any way, shape, or form agree that the murder of this teen was unjustified says volumes about your humanity.

      • avatarBrandon Stephens says:

        Kirk, the problem with your argument is that a civilian doesn’t have to answer to another civilian which Zimmerman was in this case. HE IS NOT A POLICE OFFICER but a volunteer. Also, Martin had a legal right to be in the neighborhood since he was a valid guest and the private property claim goes out the window. Third, Zimmerman’s story isn’t going to hold water because his “calculated” statement to the police that he was yelling for help and no one came will be shown to be untruthful. The state and FBI will be running a voice analysis of the 911 tape that clearly captures someone yelling for help before the fatal shot. Witnesses have said the yelling came from Martin not Zimmerman. Even though the witnesses’ ears could be damaged, the voice analysis will tell the final story. This will be Zimmerman’s downfall as he couldn’t have possibly thought the last seconds of the struggle would be captured by audio. He was banking on a situation of “your word against mines.” The evidence is going to catch up with Zimmerman and the Sanford Police Department that was totally inept and maybe negligent in their so-called investigation.

      • avatarHaird says:

        Let’s see now. Zimmerman is justified in shooting Martin under the “stand your ground” law, but Martin is not justified in getting physical (assuming that is what happened) with someone who follows him in a car and chases and possibly physically assaults him for no reason? Doesn’t Martin also have the right to “stand his ground”? Zimmerman was the one who chose poorly, from start to finish.

        • avatarcaffeinated says:

          Actually, SYG does not apply if you are the primary aggressor. Additionally, I would say there is a strong case that Martin could have filed charges for stalking if Martin feared for his life. Be it that both of them had a legal right to be where they were, Martin has more legal standing than Zimmerman IF Zimmerman approached Martin. If Zimmerman went a step further and tried to detain Martin, then you start moving to charges of false imprisonment.

          Unfortunately, we don’t have the facts that remain under lock and key until the investigation is over.

  44. avatarDerrilyn says:

    Sorry about the double post, but you all seem to be preaching to the choir. I am an African American mother of 3. I am not against guns, I am not against concealed weapons. I stumbled upon this site because I was reading about Zimmerman.

    While you all, in this discussion, may be responsible gun carriers, Zimmerman was not. No amount of sizing up the student, talking about his size, jumping the fence, etc. excuses Zimmerman’s shooting of the boy in someone else’s backyard.

    You all should face it, this guy was a bit strange, constantly calling the police. Something was bound to happen. If he was that paanoid about who roamed his neighborhood, he should have moved. He was not responsible. No reflection on those of you who are responsible with your weapons, but don’t make excuses for this guy.

    • avatarKirk says:

      It apparently doesn’t register on you that Martin was reportedly beating the crap out of Zimmerman when this happened. Everything else is completely irrelevant–Unless, that is, you think it’s perfectly OK to break noses, knock people down, and half-scalp them when you feel “disrespected” by that person asking what you’re doing when you’re behaving strangely in a strange neighborhood late at night.

      I’m white, male, in my late forties, and I’d sure as hell not be reacting like that in an analogous situation. And, believe it or not, I have been, visiting friends of mine in a mostly minority neighborhood, after trying to find parking for a wedding reception I was going to. The idea of beating the crap out of the guy who thought I was a cop never even occurred to me–I just told him why I was there, and who I was going to see. Totally defused the situation, and nobody got hurt–Not even my pride.

      Martin apparently assaulted Zimmerman, and even if Zimmerman started things, Martin justified his own death by not stopping and withdrawing once he’d neutralized Zimmerman. Even if Zimmerman swung first, Martin did not have the right to beat him to death–Which was what he was in the process of doing when he was shot. Once he had Zimmerman on the ground, he should have stopped his attack, left the scene, and reported an assault on him. Given that he did not, he’s the one who got himself killed.

      Assuming that the reports that Zimmerman was on the ground and being straddled by Martin, and that he was continuing to hit him, Zimmerman is going to be found not guilty–And, I hate to say it, justifiably so.

      I’m really kinda curious about the mindset that says “I should be able to beat the crap out of strangers who question what I’m doing”. My reaction to something like that is going to be a polite explanation, not trying to beat them to death.

    • avatarez says:

      You’re kind of quick to judge aren’t you? Are you part of the Charles Rangel modern day lynching club?

    • avatarSplashman says:

      You’re singing off-key while searching for your own choir, and somehow are amazed you didn’t find it at this site.

      Go away.

  45. avatarMides says:

    Quick Poll……
    Given the wide array of opinions:
    Was justice served when Zimmerman was released and case dropped after the shooting?(Yes or No answer please!)

    No.

    • avatarPam says:

      NO!!!

    • avatarDon says:

      Lets take race out of this completely and pretend that they were the same.

      Trev wasn’t doing anything illegal and was within the law to be there. He had no weapons. He wasn’t trespassing any more than Zimmerman was. Zimmerman got out of his car, armed and chased after the guy. Who had a reason to fear for their life at this point? Looks like Treyvon to me. Zimmerman was the aggressor based on what we know.

      You can’t go into a business, threaten a robbery by force then claim self defense if the business owner pulls a gun and you respond killing him with a gun of your own. If Zimmerman feared for his life enough to pull out his weapon then he put them both in the position they were in. Just like the robber. Even under Florida’s law, how is that self defense?

      This guy Zimmerman will be the antigunners poster boy for their arguement against stand your ground laws.

      • avatarDerrilyn says:

        I was thinking the same, Don. If your wife or daughter is being followed first by car, then on foot, when they get to a spot where they can no longer run, what do they do? Stop and give the guy some ID? Or do they wait and see what he wants? NO! Suppose your wife gets in some good licks? Does that mean the guy has a right to shoot her?

        And suppose your wife or daughter is “hefty”? Do we then say, well, she was a big one, so she shouldn’t have tried to fight him?

        • avatarIFR says:

          You completely missed the point.

          She would have every right to defend herself until the attacker gave up or was incapacitated.

          Once she continued the assault, she becomes the assailant and the former attacker has every right to defend their life. If she gets shot and killed because she took things too far, that would be her own fault.

          Control yourself or don’t go out in public

        • avatarChristina says:

          “Control yourself or don’t go out in public”

          Blame the victim who is dead from an attack that the OTHER PERSON STARTED for defending himself against this completely unjustified attack… for being shot when HE defends himself.

          I.E. maybe black people should start wearing badges of some sort to actively identify ourselves as “non-threatening” to assuage the hyper anxious, paranoid people out there who think that walking in the rain with a hoodie is suspicious enough behavior to report to authorities on, be stalked, harassed, and ultimately killed for. Gotcha.

          And lest you call this “playing the race card,” you all are playing it by somehow always seeing Zimmerman as “defending” himself from the actual defending that Martin did from ZIMMERMAN’S ACTIONS. Put another way, if some big strange man is following me, and I start running away, and he catches up with me and I start wailing on him all I can because I have NO idea who is he, why he’s following me, NOTHING – all I know is that these actions are actions of someone who is dangerous – if I actually start doing some damage to this guy and he kills me – I AM IN THE WRONG.

          Please get your moral compass’ recalibrated or something.

        • avatarDaveL says:

          Once she continued the assault, she becomes the assailant and the former attacker has every right to defend their life.

          You see, there’s no evidence that Zimmerman ever gave up or was incapacitated. All we know is:

          1) He received injuries to his nose and the back of his head; and

          2) At one point, a witness put Trayvon on top of Zimmerman.

          Neither of which adds up to the threat posed to Martin by Zimmerman being effectively neutralized.

          Remember, Zimmerman’s self-defense scenario rests on one rather implausible premise: That a good student, who had never been in trouble before, at some point decided to kill a man, 100 pounds bigger than he was, who was no threat to him ,with his bare hands, on his way back from a 7/11 run.

  46. avatarJean says:

    Wow. Just…wow.

    So he murdered a child with one shot rather than two. Well, then, that changes everything!

    So, instead of telling children they should try to get away from strangers, we should be telling them to let threatening strangers do whatever they want, because if they resist and the stranger kills them, then it’s their fault they’re dead!

    Anything to keep selling guns, right?

    • avatarJean says:

      Also, in the tape of a 911 call, Zimmerman says Martin is running away and Zimmerman is CHASING him. In the calls from neighbors, someone calling for help and crying can be heard in the background. If Martin managed to injure Zimmerman, it was out of fear for his life. Any other conclusion is not supported by the facts.

      Zimmerman (BTW, was once arrested for assaulting an officer; the charge was plea-bargained away; such an upstanding citizen, who also wasn’t part of a registered Neighborhood Watch group) was armed and prowling the streets. Martin was out getting candy from a convenience store and chatting with his girlfriend on the phone.

      And some of you are trying to blame the child?! It’s nothing short of sickening.

    • avatarDoc says:

      How is a 6’2″ 140 lb 17 y/o a child? Do people not realize that such a person can do a lot of damage? And this young man did, defending himself.

      • avatarJean says:

        Well, I don’t know about Florida, but in my state, 18 is the legal age of majority. Therefore, legally, a 17-year-old is a child. Mentally, their brains haven’t finished developing yet. Therefore, mentally, a 17-year-old is a child. Physically, their bodies haven’t filled in yet (140 lbs. is scrawny). Therefore, physically, a 17-year-old is a child.

        If Zimmerman had murdered an adult, at least the adult would have lived more of his life before being gunned down, but it would still be wrong. Zimmerman (at 250 lbs.) had no business chasing Martin down and accosting him.

        • avatarmatt says:

          LOL! You forget that this “child” likely would have been charged as an adult for what he did to Zimmerman. Had Zimmerman not shot him, he would have been beaten to a pulp, or had his gun taken and used against him.

        • avatarRopingdown says:

          Matt, I’m an ordinary 6’2″ anglo. You’re visiting my neighborhood (where it happens your carry permit is valid!). In the night I slow down and sort of trail you for a bit. You see me do this. Then I stop my vehicle, hop out, walk up to you and ask you “what are you doing here?” Be honest, dude, what’s your reaction going to be? Hand getting ready to clear your jacket from your holster? A few steps back if I keep moving up? What? Really. I wish I could ask everybody this, just to get an average opinion. What’s yours?

        • avatarcaffeinated says:

          Honestly, I would have called the local police if I noticed you following me and done exactly as you have said.

        • avatarmatt says:

          I’m stuck in Shitcago so I dont have a permit, but to play along with your fantasy. How do I know your not a home owner? I would after all be on private property since this happened in a gated community. A situation you described could easily be resolved with dropping the name of whoever your there to visit. At most your going to continue to follow me while you contact whoever I named. And I’m 6’4″, your height isnt going to intimidate me. You don’t have to pull a gun to resolve everything, if I were to carry I would have a backup gun in a pocket I could point at you without brandishing.

          I can tell you that due to shitheads committing burglaries, stealing rims and ramming stolen cars in to the condo building I live in, residents here question people they dont know. Those assholes even broke in to our laundry room several times to steal change from the machines. How would you like to pay to up-armor your laundry machines?

        • avatarChristina says:

          LOL! You forget that had Zimmerman not COMPLETELY INACCURATELY characterized Martin as “suspicious” in the first place, for all the “danger” he was in – got out of his car, confronted, and CHASED Martin who was likely terrified and had no idea why he was being chased by this armed loon who outweighed him by a HUNDRED FREAKING POUNDS – catches up with him and naturally a confrontation ensues because ZIMMERMAN MADE THE CHOICE TO START THE WHOLE CHAIN OF EVENTS -Zimmerman would have never had any reason to kill him in the first place.

          A teen was doing nothing wrong but walking home with some snacks. There is NO reason that he is dead right now aside from Zimmerman’s own paranoia and bloodlust. Zimmerman chose to perceive these perfectly innocuous actions as a “threat.” Zimmerman chose to follow Martin with a gun. Zimmerman chose to GIVE CHASE with a teen who had no idea why he was being followed and was NOT DOING ANYTHING WRONG.

          Your selective “remembering” of the sequence of events is troubling.

      • avatarRopingdown says:

        Agree. The question (for us, not a prosecutor or jury) is just “do the facts (statements, 911 calls, known physical movements, etc. ) justify making a quick call that this was a SYG justified defensive shooting? Maybe it was something else, but was it that? Mothers tend to think “oh, he was so young!” That’s irrelevant. The question is were Zimmerman’s actions such as correctly invoke that defense without further investigation? All I can say is (in the western suburbs of Philadelphia) I sure hope not. I would expect my PD to haul them in for blood work and continue investigating, all done against a lesser charge.

    • avatarAharon says:

      That’s essentially what the City of Washington DC politicos told residents: don’t resist the attacking criminal give that sub-human err attacker what they want and live through it. As if it is that simple…

  47. avatarMark Smith says:

    This just looks bad all around.

    Unarmed kid is pursued by a man with a gun after being told by a 911 dispatcher that he shouldn’t pursue the kid. Kid had no priors. Kid was an honor student. Kid had family in the vicinity.

    Leave race out of it.

    If the man with the gun pursuing the unarmed kid got in a fight and was on the losing end of the fight and shot the kid, that still puts him at a place where he shouldn’t have been. At best.

    If it is what it looks like on the surface – paranoid gung-ho trigger happy Barney Fife wannabe shoots unnamed kid who had every right to be where he was? It’s horrible.

    Every justification for the armed person doing what he did based on ‘well, black people tend to commit more crimes’ is just appalling.

    If you’re armed, and you kill an unarmed person, you had better have an AMAZING reason for doing so. AMAZING.

    Short of that, from what’s known right now? You should be on the kid’s side. Even if the kid threw punches, he was defending himself from someone who was chasing him and outgunned him quite literally. Everyone has a right to live. If Zimmerman’s life was in danger from the scuffle, that’s one thing. But it sounds really bad.

    You have someone pursuing another person and using lethal force when
    a.) Zimmerman was not under any threat when the pursuit began.
    b.) Zimmerman did not own the property where the pursuit took place.
    c.) Zimmerman’s victim was unarmed.
    d.) Zimmerman’s victim was not a criminal and had a clean record.
    e.) Zimmerman was told not to pursue by a legitimate authority.

    That’s a whole lotta’ stupid to overcome.

    • avatarDoc says:

      What does, “He’s got his hand down his pants” indicate?

      • avatarJean says:

        He had an itch? Zimmerman was lying through his teeth?

        Martin had no weapon, drugs or anything illegal. He had CANDY.

      • avatarChristina says:

        He’s lying. Martin didn’t even have a gun, so what exactly would be be “reaching in his waist” for? And if he DID have a gun, wouldn’t he be reaching in his waist to pull the weapon ON someone? If he’s walking alone, why would he be randomly reaching for his weapon?

    • avatarMides says:

      Thank you Mark for clarifying the logic.
      As responsible gun owners, we have to be on the side of justice for all. This is regardless of gender or race or country of origin. This is one of these moment were we should rise above the accusations and innuendo. This is the moment were if there is a hint of us siding with the shooter, will leave us open to the criticism that will deny us us our rights to guns. This does not mean that we have to side with the victim.

      What it means is that there should be due process. There should be some investigation, there should be some additional efforts to seek the truth and justice. We should be the first ones to ask for that. Otherwise, we just become like the others that shoot each other without regards to life and in the name of defending ourselves.

      We really don’t want to give anyone excuses for taking our rights to bearing arms.

      • avatarHSR47 says:

        The issue is that the facts of this case are still either unknown or unclear, and it is being tried in the court of public opinion through demagoguery and racism.

        Whether or not Zimmerman acted legally or illegal, morally or immorally, is fast becoming irrelevant.

        The well is constantly being poisoned, and they’re doing it not to seek actual justice, but to advance their agenda. They’re dancing in the blood of the dead while doing their level best to destroy the life of another.

        Do I think Zimmerman acted legally? I honestly do not know: I don’t know enough of the facts of the case, and I don’t have a good enough understanding of the relevant bits and pieces of Florida’s codified law. What I AM fairly certain of is that, under PA law, Zimmerman’s actions would likely NOT be covered by Act 10 of 2011 (PA’s recent expansion of CD/SYG).

        It is fairly clear that Zimmerman initiated contact, it is also fairly clear that Zimmerman ultimately fired a pistol at least once, and that the projectile(s) expelled subsequently struck and killed Martin.

        Beyond that, the details seem sketchy at best: No good witnesses, hearsay from Martin’s family, sworn statement(s) from Zimmerman.

        As it stands now, I have not yet seen enough firm evidence to make a judgment I can be confident in. What I HAVE heard is plenty of hearsay from all manner of agenda-driven drivel from anti-American talking heads from every major news source. All I can advise at this point is to hold judgment until more evidence comes to light. I’m not squeamish, I just think the mob is racing to bring him to the guillotine; Honestly, if everyone would just calm the Hell down, Zimmerman will either be vindicated, or he will tie the knot himself.

        The worst part about trying him in the press like this is that it gives him the argument that, due to the poisoning of the well, the justice system is incapable of granting him a fair trial.

        So, on the whole, while Zimmerman may well be guilty, the rush to judgment undertaken by the mainstream media is likely to make a mockery of our criminal justice system. On the whole, the mass media attention has only served to make a bad situation WORSE.

        • avatarLongPurple says:

          HSR47 –
          That’s the most sensible post I’ve seen here. I can’t add much to it except to say I suspect Al Sharpton may find a repeat of his Tawana Brawley experience.

  48. avatarST says:

    Did Treyvon start the fight? Unless you are working the case or on the scene, you don’t know.

    Did Zimmerman approach the teen respectfully or with intent? Again, those who aren’t law enforcement working the case or on the scene need not answer.

    Treyvon had a clean rap sheet, but that does not mean he never committed a crime. Zimmerman may have a record of mall ninja behavior, but that’s no reason to assault him on sight.

    All we have are assumptions and bias masquerading as fact, and folks need to take a step back , withhold judgement, and let the authorities do their jobs. Regardless of skin color or profession we are all paying their salaries in any event.

    Until the FACTS come out, further discussion is speculative and disrespectful to the involved parties. Due process which applies to us observers also applies to Zimmerman, and we who post here that claim to cherish the Bill of Rights doggone well should have the decency to allow the system to do its job.

    Once a verdict is rendered and the facts established THEN-and only then- it is appropriate to fire away with personal commentary.

    • avatarcaffeinated says:

      Just read the next few posts. No one is reserving judgement until the facts come out. The comments here are no better than many on the Huffington Post; ignorant and prejudiced.

      • avatarBuuurr says:

        “caffeinated says:

        March 20, 2012 at 21:44

        Just read the next few posts. No one is reserving judgement until the facts come out. The comments here are no better than many on the Huffington Post; ignorant and prejudice.”

        Yeah. Everyone seems to have the in and out of it don’t they?

    • avatarjunyo says:

      Unless Martin attacked Zimmerman’s SUV, it’s pretty much beyond dispute that Zimmerman initiated contact. Unless simply walking through Zimmerman’s neighborhood constituted a threat.

      A lot of gun owners are going through disgusting lengths on this blog to blame the person who’s not alive to defend themselves.

      • avatarcaffeinated says:

        To be perfectly honest, anyone can go up to anyone else and initiate a conversation. You could even go up and call that person names (legally speaking). Verbal abuse doesn’t mean you have a right to physically attack someone. Now if Zimmerman at that point chased Martin, that is a whole different story. Again, this is an on-going investigation and we don’t know what happened. News media sources have conflicting information so that is effectively useless.

  49. avatarPhil says:

    I have been a big fan of this website since I got into shooting just a few months ago. But Farago’s post on this event are ridiculous and you can count me as a set of “eyeballs” that you just lost. This is my last visit to your site.

    If you think a guy that provokes a confrontation while carrying is entitled to the slightest bit of deference, your judgement is as flawed as Zimmerman’s. Whatever the ultimate guilt of innocence of Zimmerman, he is not someone who should be a “cause celebre” for this website or anyone else who considers themselver pro-2A. He is at best a seriously irresponsible, and ultimately dangerous, person.

    If Florida’s SYG law is interpreted so that Zimmerman walks, we should all be scared. I’ve gone from owning zero guns to four in as many months and am proud that my state (not Florida) is very 2A friendly, but the thought that incompetent, dangerous freaks like Zimmerman are protected by similar laws is deeply unsettling to me. And scary. Let me be clear about this: I’m in a mixed race marriage and if I wind up carrying, it will be because of guys like Zimmerman.

    • avatargordon burkholder says:

      Thank you Phil.

    • avatarMatt in FL says:

      I guess you won’t see this since (you say) you won’t be back, but where do you see anyone writing for this website defending Zimmerman? Brad’s original post could basically be boiled down to “let the system work.” RF’s post pointed out factually untrue, inflammatory statements made by the two attorneys, statements that can be disproven by simply listening to the tapes. Both articles were noting the way in which this case was/is being tried in the media, a fact that your emotional post that shows your clear misunderstanding demonstrates quite well.

      • avatarRopingdown says:

        Matt in FL: I think I’m starting get the divide here: The anger is caused by this, that the local PD did not gather enough forensic evidence that night for a full investigation, and essentially stopped investigating. People aren’t well informed enough to stay within the specific bounds of that question, but it is a very important one. We know what the PD knew, short only of the full description Zimmerman gave. If the PD did not take blood work, carefully photograph the grass nearby, and so forth, if it turned out not to be a SYG defense, the prosecution has been harmed. If further investigation proved nothing and no witnesses came forward, the blood work and photos could be thrown out, and the lesser charge used to gather evidence could be dropped and wiped (not reported to the system). It’s about that those first hours after the incident, and how they were handled, at least in my view. Investigate or not? And the question isn’t what the attorneys for Martin’s family say. The question is, was dropping the investigation almost immediately a good call. Do you think it was?

        • avatarMatt in FL says:

          Ropingdown: It’s really easy to Monday-morning quarterback it and say what the police “should have done.” I understand what you’re saying about “investigate now and drop it later,” and I agree in theory.

          To directly answer your question, if the police did actually drop their investigation, then no, clearly, that was not a good call. However, my question is this: Had they actually stopped investigating?

          I admit that I’m not nearly as familiar with some aspects of the case as I would like, specifically what the police did in the immediate aftermath. I’ve seen some comments to the effect that “the police dropped the case, and only actually investigated once popular opinion pushed them to do so.” Of course the police dept isn’t going to come out and say “if it wasn’t for you meddling kids,” so I don’t know if those comments are accurate or not. Had they actually dropped the investigation, and restarted it only due to popular opinion, or were the wheels of justice just turning at their usual glacial pace?

          If they had stopped investigating, then the question is why? Perhaps it happened because of the old story about “once they find a suspect that fits, they stop looking for anyone else.” That’s the basis for half the detective stories out there, right? I suppose it’s possible that because they had a plausible story with no obvious holes, they didn’t push very hard to find an alternate explanation. Some other people see racism there, the “police don’t care about a black kid” explanation. Those people are getting a lot of press right now. Personally, if they did stop investigating, my preferred explanation is bureaucratic institutionalization. There is only so much manpower, payroll, and time to go around, and so, given the fact that they had a plausible story, why spend time and money chasing down dead ends? There’s not money in the budget for wild goose chases.

          If you know of something that answers my question, about whether the investigation had actually been closed, I’d appreciate it if you’d point me to it.

    • avatarCooper says:

      Cause célèbre means to be controversial, or ” to incite widespread controversy”. I have most often seen it in reference to court cases. How does saying that in reference to Zimmerman bother you at all, or tarnish this site?

      Noone wants to see a young man killed, and the tapes were hard to hear for me. But we don’t know what happened. The investigation of this case will be thorough, I am sure. Let it play out.

  50. avatarBeninMA says:

    It may be a defensive gun use, but that doesn’t mean it was a justifiable homicide. It’s always been my understanding that an able-bodied man could not use lethal force to defend himself against a lone unarmed man. Since there’s no doubt that Zimmerman shot an unarmed man, why hasn’t he been arrested and charged?

    • avatarMatt in FL says:

      Zimmerman has not (yet) been arrested and charged because your “understanding that an able-bodied man could not use lethal force to defend himself against a lone unarmed man” is completely, totally, and utterly incorrect in Florida, according to Florida law. I have another post in this thread that has the links to the relevant Florida law, and why Zimmerman has not (yet) been charged or arrested. Feel free to track it down if you’d like to get a little education on the subject.

      • avatarcaffeinated says:

        Why read the law? We have emotions and knee jerk reactions WITHOUT the official investigative report. Considering how many different accounts have surfaced, I’m not holding any of them to be credible to the next unless it came from an official source.

        • avatarCarlosT says:

          I’m with you on this caffeinated: until the facts are nailed down, there’s nothing useful to be said about this case, because if they turn out one way, then Zimmerman has likely committed a crime and should be arrested and prosecuted, and if they turn out the other way, he hasn’t and he shouldn’t. And until we establish those facts, it’s all just shouting to hear ourselves shout.

        • avatarHSR47 says:

          And that’s the problem. There are three kinds of people on this thread:

          Those who came here and are posting based purely on unreasoned emotion, and thus are generally anti-Zimmerman;

          Those who came here and are posting based on a variety of reasons who seem predisposed to believe Zimmerman’s account and claim of self defense; and

          Those who are sitting on the fence saying “Let the system work for a bit so we can see what comes out in the process, and then we can draw our conclusions from that.”

          It seems to me that we are mostly in the third category, which unfortunately happens to be the minority.

      • avatarBeninMA says:

        Thanks, I’ll check it out!

      • avatarBeninMA says:

        Matt in FL – Ok, I read you link, but it only explains why he wouldn’t be arrested for the use of lethal force if he were “justified in using such force.” My point was that he’s not justified in using force because the man he shot was unarmed. Unless Trayvon grabbed a rock or something, I can’t imagine what Zimmerman’s defense could be…

        • avatarcaffeinated says:

          Actually in FL grave bodily harm and/or death are suitable. Coupled with his injuries, LE may not have felt they had enough PC to effect an arrest at that time. This is why the SA’s office is taking it over.

        • avatarBeninMA says:

          That seems to be the case. I’m going on Massad Ayoob’s definition of justifiable homicide… the LE in this case seem to have different ideas on the matter.

        • avatarcaffeinated says:

          As much as Mas is the SME in this area, his definition does not supersede state statute. If there is not enough PC due to whatever circumstance, then any arrest is a false arrest.

        • avatarRopingdown says:

          BeninMA: I assume PA and FL have at least these provisions: Both allow lethal force against a aggressor clearly intending to do you grave bodily injury or inflict death. The old idea that someone has to duke it out with a young punk threatening you with a severe beating is long gone. However, there are other rules which apply when it is not a clear-cut attack, but rather where the shooter himself seems culpable in the initiation of violence. If that is the case, the standard defenses of Stand Your Ground, self-dense claims, fall away. It is a complex set of laws. Where clear ambiguity exists as to shooter culpability in initiating or maintaining a fight outside the home, investigation is simply mandatory in my view. Opinions vary.

        • avatarMatt in FL says:

          OK, let me start by emphasizing I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. That said, let me see if I can lay out for you why, per your initial question, why he hasn’t (yet) arrested or charged, by my understanding.

          Please keep in mind that I am purposely avoiding the question of whether he got out of the car, followed Martin, etc. Look at it from the viewpoint of the cop who just showed up on the scene, and has the following information to work with: (1) Zimmerman called the police about an intruder; (2) the officer showed up, and saw there had clearly been a physical altercation; (3) Zimmerman is visibly injured; (4) Zimmerman has discharged his firearm; (5) Martin is laying dead on the ground; and (6) Zimmerman is claiming he acted in defense of his life.

          The above information is basically all the officers responding to the scene had to work with at that point. Nothing that came after is available or actionable yet. No 911 tapes, no “he wasn’t really a Neighborhood Watch” member, etc.

          There are two statutes that apply to why he hasn’t been arrested, one of which you’ve already looked at. First, the “Stand Your Ground” law, which is what caffeinated was referring to with the “grave bodily harm” language. The statute that references it is Fla. Stat. § 776.013(3), which reads 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… From what the officer can see, based on the only evidence he has at his immediate disposal and Zimmerman’s statement, Zimmerman’s use of force appears justified. That’s where the second statute kicks in, Fl. Stat. § 776.032(2), which says that unless there is probable cause that his use of force was unlawful, he cannot be arrested. The police are still free to investigate the case, which they have done. That section of the law was written so that a person involved in a DGU situation does not sit in jail, with the attendant impact to their life, job, livelihood, etc while the investigation is going on. I assume that’s because before that law was written, it was common practice to just arrest everyone involved and sort it out later. In the meantime, your boss is wondering where you are, the dogs are going hungry, and your girl is shacking up with someone else.

          All of that is why he was not initially arrested. Since then, the police have investigated, the case has been turned over to the State Attorney’s office, and they are deciding whether to pursue charges against Zimmerman. With all the information that has come out since the initial event, I would be very surprised if they don’t file charges.

        • avatarCarlosT says:

          That’s the best summary of this whole mess I’ve seen so far. Kudos to you.

        • avatarcaffeinated says:

          I would actually be very surprised if the investigating officer(s) did not call out a forensics unit to work the scene. At least where I worked, that was fairly standard practice for any non-THI death. Pictures were usually also taken at an officer level stuck with the original report. I don’t know the details of how this department works, but I would be quite surprised if they didn’t take pictures, video, or addition forensic investigation beyond the responding officer. Of course, as an on-going investigation, it would be illegal (per FSS) to release this information.

  51. avatarB Hendricks says:

    Another sad story of people trying to justify the use of guns….a racist vigilante killed a 17 year old boy in cold blood ; those are the facts…he was told by the 911 operators to NOT follow. A sad wanna be cop venting his frustration and anger into the MURDER of a young man. How can you possibly defend him??? This sad story of America today and how the influx of illegal immigrants in this country continues to make our country a sad sad place and much more violent than ever. Fear for our young men wit laws such as those in Florida.

    • avatarMatt in FL says:

      “a racist vigilante killed a 17 year old boy in cold blood ; those are the facts”
      No, that’s your interpretation of the facts. Please understand, I think Zimmerman did several things wrong, and I don’t think he will, nor should he, escape unscathed.

      “he was told by the 911 operators to NOT follow”
      The operator said, “We don’t need you to do that.” I would interpret that as a direction to keep my distance, as clearly you would also. But it could also easily be interpreted as a suggestion, not a direction.

      “A sad wanna be cop venting his frustration and anger into the MURDER of a young man.”
      Now you’re projecting your emotions and feelings onto someone else, and you have no effing clue what he was thinking. This is exactly the point of this post and the one preceding it: the fact that people are using their emotions and feelings to try to guide the direction of the investigation, regardless of what the facts end up showing.

      “How can you possibly defend him???”
      Other than a couple posts that looked like people outright trolling, I’ve seen almost no defense of Zimmerman here. Read more closely, please.

      “This sad story of America today and how the influx of illegal immigrants in this country…”
      With all due respect, what the fuck are you talking about? What does illegal immigration have to do with this case, at all?

      Your entire post is a glowing, spectacular example of exactly the kind of bullshit that Brad and RF’s posts refer to. You have no clue what actually happened, and clearly have made no effort to find out, but simply make grand pronouncements led by your feelings.

    • avatarcaffeinated says:

      Since you haven’t seen the official report and there are multiple conflicting media sources giving contradicting information I fear for your judgement of framing this as a racist attack due to illegal immigration.

    • avatarRopingdown says:

      Sure, like it wasn’t violent as all get out 100 years ago.

  52. avatarwest philthy says:

    This blog has gone south in a hurry. Shame. Maybe I’ll checking back once in a while for the gear reviews, but that’s about it.

  53. avatarpair-o-dee says:

    I figured this story would flush the Klansmen out of the brush. Bingo.

  54. avatarmatt says:

    So where did this internet lynch mob come from? Far too many new names, people claiming to be mothers, and people talking about how they will boycott this site are posting to be regulars.

    • avatarcaffeinated says:

      If people want to do the ostrich in the sand thing, let them. That would make it easier for me to actually read people posting facts over emotional babble.

    • avatarRopingdown says:

      And they’ll say to their friends, I read this blog TTAG and you wouldn’t believe…blah, blah, and half of those friends will come visit the sight. And to West Philthy I say “what’s wrong with various people having their say?” The tone of all the comments above is actually much better, on all sides, than you’ll find in the Philadelphia Inquirer or Miami Herald comment section. No?

  55. avatarDamion says:

    I don’t get it. The magazine shouldn’t have been full unless the gun malfunctioned.

    If the gun had a full mag plus one in the chamber, after firing one shot there should have been one round in the chamber, one casing on the ground, and one round missing from the magazine.

    • avatarMatt in FL says:

      The press is notoriously bad at getting details correct when it comes to firearms. It’s entirely likely that the reporter in question sees a magazine as a binary item: it either has rounds in it (full) or it doesn’t (empty).

      • avatarHSR47 says:

        Or the magazine was released sometime between initial insertion and firing.

        • avatarcaffeinated says:

          Actually it was reported to be a Keltec PF9 somewhere here. If so, I’ve had that happen on more than one occasion until I replaced the magazine catch spring.

  56. avatarSplashman says:

    *sigh* There’s nothing like a white-on-black shooting to bring out the race trolls.

    Kinda like flipping over a big rock and seeing all the critters scurry around. But at least TTAG will get some increased traffic.

  57. avatarAaronvan says:

    Guys dont feed the trolls. I wasn’t there no one reading this was there. Let me know when the investigation is done… and not the ones made people coming here from idk where google maybe?

    • avatarAaronvan says:

      Google George Zimmerman you wont find us add the word gun we’re third down. Similar results can be had if you replace gun with shot. Id go on but its late…

  58. avatarkonj konj says:

    Well said ! Mark “Short of that, from what’s known right now? You should be on the kid’s side. Even if the kid threw punches, he was defending himself from someone who was chasing him and outgunned him quite literally. Everyone has a right to live. If Zimmerman’s life was in danger from the scuffle, that’s one thing. But it sounds really bad.

    You have someone pursuing another person and using lethal force when
    a.) Zimmerman was not under any threat when the pursuit began.
    b.) Zimmerman did not own the property where the pursuit took place.
    c.) Zimmerman’s victim was unarmed.
    d.) Zimmerman’s victim was not a criminal and had a clean record.
    e.) Zimmerman was told not to pursue by a legitimate authority.

    That’s a whole lotta’ stupid to overcome.”

  59. avatarGary Watson says:

    I’m the staunchest pro-gun-rights person on the planet. I think I’ve watched/read everything from Massad Ayoob and am a card-carrying NRA and Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network member. But just based on the agreed facts of the case, this Zimmerman guy was acting in a reckless and dangerous way, and none of the pro-gun-rights people should be standing behind this r-tard. You can listen to the 911 recordings and tell he’s probably a whack job. Reflexively defending him in public damages our collective reputation, and I really wish it would stop. If you carry a gun for personal protection, it is NOT acceptable for you to stalk and chase people and then confront them. You have provoked a fight, and but for your wrongful acts this individual would be alive today. I predict a grand jury indictment for felony murder.

  60. avatarJames says:

    Reprinted from SBPDL.com:
    “It gets better”… this simple, concise declaration of encouragement to tormented homosexuals by Mr. ‘Skipping toward Gomorra’ himself, Dan Savage became an overnight YouTube sensation and a rallying cry for the oppressed everywhere.

    For those of us who look on the world of Black-Run America (BRA), where the radical Black Nationalist rhetoric of the 1960s and the continued machinations for greater “Civil Rights” by such groups as the National Association for the Advanced of Color People (NAACP) has become the official governing policy of the United States, and hope that things will end, well, the tale of Trayvon Martin should show you the insanity of the times we live in.

    The Department of (in) Justice, led by Eric “My People” Holder – who Christian Adams, a former DOJ attorney, tried to warn us about in his book Injustice – is now investigating whether or not a “hate crime” was committed by the Hispanic George Zimmerman:

    The murder of black teenager Trayvon Martin- for the crime of walking with Skittles and an iced tea through a white neighborhood in Florida on February 26th- was shocking enough in and of itself. But the fact that George Zimmerman- the self-appointed, wannabe police officer who shot the teen in cold blood after admitting to 911 he was pursuing the unarmed kid- remains free after the murder has provoked considerable outrage across the nation and even internationally. Ire surrounding the massive injustice has been rising on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, but as the days tick by, Zimmerman remains uncharged.

    However, the case has caught the attention of both the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Civil Rights Division, who have launched concurrent investigations into the teen’s senseless death and the subsequent lack of exploration into his murder by local police. In a statement, Florida state attorney Norman Wolfinger confirmed that a grand jury will begin investigating on April 10th, and asked people to have faith in the system:

    “I share in the desire of the family and the community to accurately collect and evaluate all the facts surrounding the tragic death of Trayvon Martin. I respectfully request that the public remain patient as this process continues forward.”

    In a separate statement, Justice Department spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa said:“The department will conduct a thorough and independent review of all of the evidence and take appropriate action at the conclusion of the investigation… The department also is providing assistance to and cooperating with the state officials in their investigation into the incident.”

    In addition to the investigation planned, the DOJ is dispatching community relations staff to the area to “diffuse tensions,” according to the New York Times. Do you think the wheels of justice are spinning too slowly for Trayvon Martin?

    Xochitl Hinojosa? What is this; a character out of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World? Our world is far worse than that imagined by Huxley, or even the totalitarian state of George Orwell in 1984.

    Merely pointing out that Black males are responsible for a disproportionate amount of crime in America (as we learned yesterday in the entry on Chicago, where Black males are primary reason The Second City is considered dangerous) is viewed as the ultimate evil in society, with Disingenuous White Liberals (DWLs) immediately denouncing you as the embodiment of a bigot while they enroll their children in all-white private schools.

    “It does get better,” we hear Savage tell those who feel discriminated against due to their sexual orientation, when our society does everything to accommodate and normalize homosexuality.

    So yes, in a world where “Glee” is considered riveting entertainment, it will get better for those facing snickers, sneers, and being the momentary butt of a few adolescent jokes.

    But for those who perceive something far more sinister at play in the whole Trayvon Martin situation, especially when 21,000 people have been murdered in Detroit since 1967 (almost all Black people), it isn’t going to get better.

    It’s going to get a whole lot worse.

    Who cares that white people were pulled from their cars in the summer of 2011 at the Wisconsin State Fair in Milwaukee by scores of Black people and beaten; Who cares that white people have been targeted by Blacks in Philadelphia, Columbia, Peoria, Akron, St. Louis, Cleveland, Chicago, and a number of other cities since Mein Obama’s election to the White House, all under the impression that “This is a Black world”; who cares that interracial crime is basically a one-way street, with white people the targets of Black criminality 9 out of the 10 times; the answer is no one.

    That joke from The Boondock Saints, the one about “I’ll have a Coke,” is funny for one reason: because people know it’s true. Without Black people in America, would there be any need for suburbs? Would we have any need for Teach for America or long-commutes that only add to people’s carbon footprint, because living in predominately Black cities is an unsafe decision for a raising a family?

    The Mainstream Media (MSM) continues to utilize “undated” photos in showing young, innocent, straight out of Walt Disney’s “Mickey Mouse Club” central casting Trayvon Martin, with the hopes that sympathy can be garnered from a public still convinced that Kony 2012 is a cause worthy of starting a war over.

    That Zimmerman, a Hispanic guy that the MSM is still addressing as a whitey, gunned down this innocent Trayvon Martin is reason for us all to consider him as “every mother’s son.”

    This whole story merely showcases the absurdity of our time, an age where we have become so desensitized to Black crime that the shootings of 40 Black people in Chicago over this past weekend, and the killing of a six-year old Black girl (one of nine to die over the weekend) is nothing new in a metropolis more dangerous than a war-zone. How many other cities sport violence – courtesy of Black people – that rivals Chicago’s? No one cares that Black people kill each other in shockingly high numbers in New Orleans, Atlanta, Memphis, Baltimore, Cincinnati, or other heavily Black cities.

    In the case of Trayvon Martin, the whole world must tune in as if something extraordinary has happened.

    On the contrary, a Black kid was shot by a Hispanic, which is something that has happened on an almost daily basis in places like California, where the emerging majority of Latinos have ethnically cleansed Blacks from their neighborhoods.

    Now, officious Black people like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson (the mouthpieces for Organized Blackness) and their DWL-enablers are headed down to Florida to stir-up some good ol’ Southern anti-whiteness, when no white people are involved.

    It’s just a story of an overzealous Hispanic – volunteering as a neighborhood watchmen – who was well aware of criminal patterns and the fact that it is Black people who commit the majority of the crime in America.

    This is the reason that white people fled Detroit, leaving it in the capable hands of Black people; high rates of Black crime make it virtually impossible to have trust in a community, because any Black individual – no matter how noble they may be – could always be related to one of “The Blacks” that causes trouble and stereotypes them all.

    White people tried to live by ethos envisioned in Martin Luther King’s I have a Dream speech — of judging by character and not the contents of one’s skin color.

    Under Holder’s DOJ, all white people have been judged as “bigots”, “racists”, and complicit in the death of Trayvon Martin, though it is largely charitable white people around the nation that care for the unwanted detritus of Black male sexual encounters, who abandon the mother in all but 3 out of every 10 instances.

    In our strange world, George Zimmerman could be theoretically “lynched” by a Black Liberation group operating out of Georgia:

    Members of a self-proclaimed “New Black Liberation Militia,” based out of Atlanta, GA, say they plan to attempt a citizen’s arrest of George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watchman who confessed to fatally shooting the unarmed Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fl last month. One of the leaders of this group, which is “a multi-faith, spiritual,cultural, scientific, and political instructional institution,” according to its website, is a top student of the late Dr. Khallid Abdul Muhammad, a controversial National Spokesman and Representative of the Nation of Islam. The militia’s website also states their mission is to “focus on saving and nurturing black children, rebuilding our communities, supporting black women, remaking the black man, re-instilling self respect and self awareness of black people, and re-instilling love for our people, ourselves and our communities.”

    Instead of searching for Zimmerman to lynch, this Black Liberation group should work on supporting Black women, considering that Black men are the leading cause of death for Black women between the ages of 15 – 34 (homicide).

    The point of all this is to say to those white people still convinced that racial nirvana is coming with whitey becoming just another minority in America: enjoy your gulag; enjoy your FEMA camp.

    I’m sure DOJ spokesman (woman? – sorry, not being gender neutral) Xochitl Hinojosa believes the same thing…

    “It doesn’t get better.”

    After reading on the madness of Detroit – a city that collapsed, not because of liberalism but because of one-party Black rule – it’s becoming apparent that white people will never have that awakening that so many believe will happen.

    I hate to write this, but bearing Black-Run America collapsing on itself because of austerity, “it doesn’t get better,” needs to be the moniker for the dwindling white population of America.

    Not only that, but you get to keep paying tax-dollars that go toward EBT/Food Stamps, Section 8 Housing, Welfare, Free Lunches, and other government programs that are disproportionately for Black people to ensure that “it does get better” applies to everyone’s children but yours.

    The transparency involved in Eric “My People” Holder’s DOJ getting involved in the George Zimmerman – Trayvon Martin story, but refusing to even look at the horrible rates of Black-on-white violence that swept America in the summer of 2011 shows that white people have no rights in BRA, save the right to continue paying for their own dispossession.

    “It doesn’t get better.”

    Those are haunting words to write, but by diving deep into the murky waters of American race relations and researching Detroit’s demise, that not one person dares point out the true reason for The Motor City’s collapse is demoralizing.

    But then, the fragility of the entire system – like the Death Star’s fatal design flaw in Star Wars Episode IV – is exposed: the fact of Detroit’s actual demise being 100 percent tied to race belies every mission of our government since BRA became law in 1954. The foundation’s our entire system of government rest upon come crashing to the ground instantly.

    “It doesn’t get better” needs an asterisk.

    It will get better – for everyone – when we admit the failure of Detroit falls in the lap of Black people; it will get better for everyone when we then can admit the real reason people lock their car doors when someone looking like Trayvon Martin approaches.

    It Doesn’t Get Better*… but it can in the blink of an eye.
    Posted by Stuff Black People Don’t Like at 5:05 PM

  61. avatarChas says:

    Do I think Martin’s death was unnecessary? Yep.

    Do I think Zimmerman was reckless and irresponsible? Yep.

    Do I think that if Zimmerman had been black and Martin white that Zimmerman’s racial motives would have been suspect by those who are now saying that Zimmerman is a racist? Nope.

    • avatarcaffeinated says:

      I’ve said it before and will say it again. Law enforcement is told to report and use enhanced penalties for white on black violence where the victim even hints at racism. We were not to question whether it truly was. We were told explicitly to refrain from doing so where the victim was white. In fact, it was a frequent event that car loads of black males would drive around and jump white kids for being white in the “wrong neighborhood.” Those would be ignored as hate crimes and reports would be kicked back until you removed the check box for “racially biased” and fixed any language such as “cracker” or “white boy” in order to cook the stats for the department and justify more funding for certain programs.

  62. avatarblighty says:

    george zimmerman is a dirty harry wannabee, and a murdering piece of racist scum. There is nothing wrong with lawfully carrying a gun, but he went out looking for trouble(clearly illustrated by the 911 call), started the altercation, and then committed murder. If poor Trayvon had shot and killed the zimmerman creature, he would have been hauled away in irons on the spot.

  63. avatarZoDubble says:

    Really, who cares if he fired one shot or two? If you strip away all of the baiting that you are trying so hard to decry, the fact still remains and prompts me and any other logical human being to come to a simple fact: after Zimmerman does 25 to life (or worse under penalty of law), he should never be able to own a handgun again as long as he is blessed to walk this Earth (something he decided was time to come to an end for this young man).

  64. avatarReadyFireAim says:

    Has there been any consideration of the possibility that Trayvon may have had a gun that was removed from the scene by family members who arrived to the scene (right outside their house) before law enforcement?

    • avatarAndy says:

      What the hell are you talking about? Jesus Christ, man.

    • … except for the fact that none of them had any idea that any of this happened until a day or so later… His father and stepmother-to-be had gone out, leaving him with his soon-to-be stepbrother. He left to go to the store and was on his way back to their townhouse when this happened. Nobody bothered to even go around to ask throughout the neighborhood if anyone knew who he was — they all just assumed he didn’t belong there and was “up to no good” … So your theory is bogus. None of his family members were ever on the scene. His father’s fiance’s house was nearly a football field away and the only one there was a child that was (and will always be) waiting on his big brother to bring his Skittles home.

  65. avatarAndy says:

    What is wrong with you people? (Not you, blighty and ZoDubble.) Zimmerman was looking for trouble. He scared the hell out of that kid, chased him down, and shot him. This isn’t about media spin. It’s about a vigilante nutcase shooting and killing an innocent black teen.

    You can’t deny the race element. Do you want Trayvon’s mother to just shut up and behave like a decent colored woman?

    So what if people are confused over the number of shots? I tell you one thing, there was at least one shot fired, wasn’t there?

    • avatarMoonshine7102 says:

      “You can’t deny the race element.”
      —–
      Does the color of Trayvon’s skin make him any more dead? Is this somehow more tragic because he was black?

      • avatarcaffeinated says:

        People who jump to the race card think so.

      • avatarAndy says:

        What I mean, Moonshine, is that you have to consider the degree to which race played a role. Maybe I should have said “You can’t just dismiss the race element off-hand.”

        And regarding “Does the color of Trayvon’s skin make him any more dead?” No, but does it make him dead?

        • avatarMoonshine7102 says:

          “No, but does it make him dead?”
          —–
          And what does that mean? He’s dead because an overzealous neighborhood watcher shot him. I thought that much could be gleaned from the various news articles…

          Oh, I get it now! You’re trying to insinuate that the shooting was somehow racially-motivated. It does not matter. Dead is dead, and if Zimmerman is convicted, murder is murder. Racially-motivated or not, the outcome is the same. Put away the race card; it’s worn out.

        • avatarAndy says:

          It’s important to understand what happened and why.

        • avatarBuuurr says:

          It sure is, Andy. I am glad you understand that. But to understand you need to stop waving the flag and watch the story as it unfolds and see where it goes.

          You were not there. None of us were. We don’t know what happened in its entirety yet.

          The courts will tell us and then we, like the jury and judge can all pass judgment.

        • avatarAndy says:

          Most people here are waving their flags. But at least you guys don’t censor weirdo libs like me who disagree. ;-)

        • avatarMatt in FL says:

          Yeah, nobody really gets censored here unless they get out of line with personal attacks. You’re welcome to your opinions, just don’t get mad when we ask you to back them up. :)

        • avatarPrice Shearn says:

          So are we supposed to indict the entire Hispanic community as “racist” just because Zimmerman is?

        • avatarMoonshine7102 says:

          Why not? Happens to the white community all the time. Isn’t equality the goal?

          [/sarc]

    • avatarReadyFireAim says:

      You mad bro?

      I only asked because of the discrepancy between the 911 callers statements and the physical evidence. I wasn’t there. I don’t know what happened, but neither do any of you at this time.

      I considered that the sound of the gun shot may have ricocheted off of the buildings in the neighborhood first, but that wouldn’t be possible if there were shouts heard in between, correct?

      I’m not trying to imply any guilt or innocence only trying to understand the information presented. You should do the same.

      • avatarZoDubble says:

        If you are so concerned with the information presented you wouldn’t be creating fairy tales (such as saying the kid may have had a gun that was removed by his parents/family who arrived at the scene). You would know that Zimmerman gave a statement himself and did not mention another gun; you would also know that this kid’s parents/family never arrived on the scene because they didn’t get a call to do so since they had to call 911 the next day to report their child missing. Now, none of this I made up–I found it out all by ‘understanding the information’–I hope you go over it again and try to do the same thing.

        • avatarReadyFireAim says:

          ZoDubble, again I’ll ask, you mad bro? I’m not responsible for the fact that you took it upon yourself to infer, incorrectly, that I am lobbing accusations at the Martin family. That simply wasn’t the case. Furthermore, if I had knowledge of the information that you presented then why would I propose the question in the first place? I thank you for your time, but any form of citation would have been more useful. I hope you can use your implied superior ability to understand to read between the lines here.

        • avatarZoDouble says:

          You should simply not make statements when you don’t know what the heck you’re talking about. I’m not your bro/I am someone who wants you to not readily give up your ignorance to those who may assume it rather than having you vehemently verify it.

        • avatarReadyFireAim says:

          My initial post was a question and not a statement…BRO. You do understand the difference, don’t you? And you want to talk about ignorance.

        • avatarZoDubble says:

          Dude, if you wanna offer clarification say so…posts are getting long so if you want a question answered say so, if not, move on…I don’t really care enough to go back to your original point. No skin off my back. Be done with it.

      • avatarAndy says:

        I’m getting counseled by someone called ReadyFireAim. Amazing.

        • avatarReadyFireAim says:

          Are you the only one that fails to understand its a reference to the media, on a firearms blog none the less? Are you the type of person that just goes around passing judgement and believing that your perceptions are omnipotent?

          I’m having a discussion with someone called Andy. Amazing.

        • avatarAndy says:

          Yes, I am the only one that fails to understand. Yes, I believe my perceptions are omnipotent, whatever that means.

  66. avatarann says:

    I HARD THE 911TAPE that is enough to alert me to this twenty-eight years old two hundred pound man with a gun, approach a hundred and forty pound seventeen year old with no .This man with this minded set approach any teen let alone who he feel should not be in that neighborhood just because he black with a hood own when it raining. WhAT makes Zimmerman’s word the last word are the only word he could be lying to cover up his tracks .The tape show what kind of thinking Zimmerman had then he approached this young man for no real reason a altercation then the child bleed out and drops down on the side of the road an he claims self defense and the police is not even suspicious Zimmerman self defense claim what made it self defense, he got out of his car approaches a Person own foot whatever happen he was older /bigger and had a gun and already had call the young man out of his names well as a whole race of people. The place department should be investigated federally this action on this case ad the case should go to federal investigation bureaU for one do not trust the police to be fair and non=bias at this point .Zimmerman had prior history of violence why did he have a gun in his poses ion, their is a lot of questions about Zimmerman the man as a neighborhood watch why a gun at all, what made the young man intimidating and suspicious in the first place. ZIMMERMN needs to take a lie detector test.IT MAKES NO DIFFERANCE HOWMANY SHTWAS HEARD HE SHT ONCE ANDKILL A TEENAGE BOY THAT NOUGH FOR ME,HE HAD TH RIGHT TO WALK ANY WHERE HE PLEASE AND SO DO WHI .TE SPANISH PEOPLETHI WAS A HOMICDE AND THE CRIME SEE HASBEEN COVER UP AS WEL AS CONTMINATED ZIMMERMZN HAD PLENTY OF TIME TO CLEAN UP HIS MESS AND TRACKS HE OP TOOK ERY HING H SAID AS LAW .

    • avatarMoonshine7102 says:

      Da fuq did I just read? I understand your frustration, but being able to express your thoughts in a coherent manner would really help people understand what you feel and why.

  67. avatarann says:

    THE GOVENOR OF FLORIDA AS WELL AS THE POLICE DEPARTMENT SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED BY FEDERAL INVESTIGATION BUREAU . I FOR ONE DO NOT TUST SANORD .

    • avatarMatt in FL says:

      What did SANORD ever do to you?

      Welcome to the website of the Southern African-Nordic Centre (SANORD).
      The Southern African-Nordic Center is a partnership of higher education institutions from all the Nordic countries and southern Africa. Its primary aim is to promote multilateral research cooperation on matters of importance to the development of both regions. There are currently 34 members.

    • avatartwency says:

      SHOUT LOUDER, I STILL CAN’T HEAR YOU!!!!

    • avatarcaffeinated says:

      What’s a govenor? At least I now know what SANORD is. Anyone want to take a stab at it?

      • avatarLotus503 says:

        I guess when sentiment disagree with your own its good to focus on spelling and grammar mistakes.

        From the 911 calls alone, Zimmerman is a murderer.

        He stalked a kid walking back from getting halftime Snacks and murdered him.

        I do think from the 911 calls he profiled the kid because he was black. So yeah race played a part, common sense.

        as a 40 year old white male who has a Glock 21.

        Zimmerman was looking for trouble, created it and murdered an unarmed Kid.

        The facts and 911 tapes alone, say as much.

        • avatarcaffeinated says:

          So from just the tapes you know exactly what Zimmerman did physically? Did you see the scene? Collect evidence? Maybe Zimmerman said he was getting out and he never did? We don’t know until we get all the facts in. The fact the kid had a hoodie on means Zimmerman likely didn’t know what race he was. Even the 911 call has Zimmerman unsure of what race Martin was.

        • avatarLotus503 says:

          FACT police told him not to follow, while he was in his car.

          Fact he left his car where an altercation ensued.

          Thats right there is enough, he was the aggressor and murdered the kid.

          You can remain obtuse and oblivious to what is obvious to everyone else.

          Do I think Zimmerman was a racist? I have no clue.

          Do I think the 911 tapes are evidence enough that he profiled the kid, Yes I do along with the rest of normal civilized society.

          I guess common sense isn’t so common.

        • avatarcaffeinated says:

          Actually a dispatcher is far different from a law enforcement officer giving an order. Just saying. I’m not saying Zimmerman is in the right, just that we don’t have all the facts. Go ahead and keep making knee jerk reactions without all the facts. If Zimmerman did act as the primary aggressor, let the SA’s office determine that and prosecute him. If he was somehow in the right (however unlikely that is), then your rush to judgement along with “the rest of society” condemns an innocent man. Last I checked, it is innocent until proven guilty in the criminal justice system.

        • avatarLotus503 says:

          So the guy is told not to follow him, does it anyways, shoots and unarmed teenager carrying skittles and tea ,talking to his girlfriend on the phone.

          You can sit back and wait for all the facts to roll in, I personally think the guy is a murderer based on just the small bit of evidence that is out there.

          I do think legally he is to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, but that would require and arrest and charge.

          Lucky for me I am not the legal system and I am not required to presume innocence. I have the Luxury of being able to take the available information and form an opinion about it.
          And its my opinion the guy is a murderer and should be charged as such.

          He had no business interacting with the kid who was on his way home, let alone shooting him in the chest.

        • avatarcaffeinated says:

          Good for you, but like it or not; we live in country founded on that presumption of innocence.

        • avatarLotus503 says:

          Well I am not law enforcement a judge or on the Jury, so the legal founding of presumption doesnt apply to my opinion.

          Just as it obviously didnt apply to Zimmerman that night.

          Difference being I didnt shoot an unarmed kid

        • avatarLotus503 says:

          In additon the actual law enforment handling of the case has been dreadful. They didnt even hold the guy to the same standard they would have held had it been an officer involved shooting.

          Lied to the parents and the public about Zimmermans record. Tested the murdered kids for drugs but not the shooter.

          Plain insanity, good thing Feds are stepping in, the local police botched this 5 minutes after it happened.

        • avatarMichael B. says:

          What is obvious to me is that you and the rest of the overly emotional people in these Zimmerman threads should never be selected for a jury, ever.

          You don’t have all the facts.

        • avatarLotus503 says:

          I dont have all the facts, I do have enough to form my opinion.

          If I was on a jury, I would be bound by the law and have to look at the facts absent of my opinion. But since I am not on a jury I dont have that burden.

          Emotional about it? Sure as hell right I am, unarmed kid gets shot dead by a guy who decided to engage vs follow law enforcement direction to not follow the kid.

          Sometimes folks when you dont have a legal requirement to be objective you can allow common sense to help you form opinions.

        • avatarmatt says:

          “FACT police told him not to follow, while he was in his car.”
          9-11 operators are not the police. In Chicago they are part of the Office of Emergency Management and Communications.

          “Fact he left his car where an altercation ensued. Thats right there is enough, he was the aggressor and murdered the kid.”
          So leaving your car makes you the aggressor, but throwing the first punch does not? Wow.

        • avatarLongPurple says:

          I have listened to the tapes. The dispatcher asked if Zimmerman was following Martin, and Zimmerman said yes. The Dispatcher replied:
          “We don’t need you to do that.”

          What else could he say? Zimmerman and Martin BOTH had equal rights to be there and walk about on public property. He had no power to forbid Zimmerman from following Martin, if he wished to do so. On the other hand, neither could he direct Zimmerman to endanger himself by following a suspected criminal.
          Clearly, the Dispatcher did no more than advise Zimmerman that he was not expected to put himself in danger by continuing to observe Martin. If he had asked Zimmerman to follow Martin, I would expect the city might be liable for any injury to Zimmerman, who might be considered to have been deputized. The city might also be resposible for any wrongful acts the “deputy” took in dealing with Martin.
          The decision to continue following Martin was solely that of Zimmerman, and he was within his rights to do so, every bit as much as Martin had the right to be there.

        • avatarZoDouble says:

          Bottom line: the dispatcher was trying to curb Zimmerman, who had at that point come down with a serious case of the ‘Wild Cowboy Dumb@$$’ which, get’s people killed (obviously). Yeah he had the right but, hopefully you have the brain to know he shouldn’t have gotten out of his car.

        • avatarLongPurple says:

          Yes, and Martin “had the right” but not the brains to just go to the home he was staying at and call the cops himself.

          ‘Fonly ‘fonly.

        • avatarZoDubble says:

          Hmmm, did you forget the cops were already called? Didn’t change the outcome did it? Appears this convoysa few sandwiches short of a logic picnic so I’m gonna leave you to it man.

        • avatarLongPurple says:

          No, I did not forget the police were already called (by Zimmerman). What I said would have “changed the outcome” was IF EITHER Zimmerman OR Martin made smarter choices in how they handled this encounter with each other, Martin would be alive. Too bad you find that too hard to follow. Better luck next time.

    • avatarRalph says:

      I DONT TUST NBOODY.

  68. avatarLotus503 says:

    Lasty before I bid my Farewell, I’d like to say as a Gun owner and 2nd amendment advocate. I am pissed off, if/when the government decides to infringe on my right to bear arms, its going to be on the backs on people like Zimmerman, whos Irresponsibility very well may be the catalyst for such infringement.

  69. avatarNCG says:

    There are too many comments here to completely digest, though I took a good sample. A lively debate, to say the least.

    For the Lefty, and admittedly anti-gun view, check out Democracy Now! You may not agree, but their coverage has been thorough, and they’re usually good on the facts, and the “other” side. They had a lot of stuff on Monday and Tuesday as well.

    http://www.democracynow.org/2012/3/21/headlines#0

    I will say that the Sanford PD has absolutely disgraced itself. You have a dude who shot an unarmed kid (who was much smaller than him and black, if that matters), and you don’t do a balls-out investigation, calling in whatever agencies you need to do the job? You don’t put the guy in the little room for hours and hours? Seriously? Now evidence has emerged that Martin was freaked out and trying to get away, and Zimmerman was stalking him. It really looks like the Sanford PD was trying to cover for Zimmerman. They obviously knew him, from his constant 911 calls.

    Now let’s consider the cultural zeitgeist. Our country has a long and sordid history of white men (well, and anybody else) murdering black men without repercussions. Just ’cause you don’t want to hear about it doesn’t mean it’s not a legit historical beef.

    So now the Feds are involved, and we all love the Feds, right? Because they protect civil rights. Right? If Zimmerman goes to trial in Federal Court, he’ll likely go down hard. Those prosecutors don’t often lose.

    The whole “hold your ground” thing is now under scrutiny, and probably rightly so. I support the concept, but if it comes down to “he said, but the other he can’t say because he’s dead and unarmed,” I think the shooter has to face the music, right or wrong.

    One thing we 2A advocates say is that as a free society, we have to accept the very real risks associated with bearing arms. TTAG is at the forefront of this, with its excellent IGOTDs, etc. So maybe Zimmerman is totally righteous (I don’t think so, but it’s not up to me), but he has to accept the risk of going out there, alone, with a gun. Judged by twelve, right?

    Finally, there is a very good tactical reason why a neighborhood watch should be a community exercise, and not one angry dude roaming around.

    • avatarLongPurple says:

      “Now evidence has emerged that Martin was freaked out and trying to get away, and Zimmerman was stalking him.”

      There seems to be a lot of “emerging evidence” going around about this incident. There is also the report of witnesses who saw Martin straddling Zimmerman, beating him as he was calling for help, which, along with the injuries Zimmerman displayed, and the grass stains on his back, were sufficient evidence to convince the police that Zimmerman shot in self-defense.
      This is countered by the claim that it was Martin who was calling for help as Zimmerman tracked him down and shot him twice. Perhaps some technical analysis of the tapes can reveal who was calling for help.
      There are many questions that have been raised about this matter, and I am certainly not convinced one way or the other. I see questionable statements being made by both sides, maybe not outright lies, but deceptions for sure.
      I look forward to a full and complete investigation.

      • avatarZoDubble says:

        Concur Sir. We must ultimately let the investigation decide the whole picture.

        Poor Zimmerman if his stupidity got his arse kicked. Stupidity does that at times; Something tells me this isn’t the first time for Zimm…following a 6’3″ kid from Miami and cornering him doesn’t rate high on the sanity scale. It may get you bloodied and bruised, which yes, may lead to a shooting. Rocket science and theories aside, still very unfortunate for both.

      • avatarZoDubble says:

        Concur Sir. We must ultimately let the investigation decide the whole picture.

        Poor Zimmerman if his stupidity got his a$$ kicked. Stupidity does that at times; Something tells me this isn’t the first time for Zimm…following a 6’3″ kid from Miami and cornering him doesn’t rate high on the sanity scale. It may get you bloodied and bruised, which yes, may lead to a shooting. Rocket science and theories aside, still very unfortunate for both.

      • avatarZoDubble says:

        Concur Sir. We must ultimately let the investigation decide the whole picture.

        Poor Zimmerman if his stupidity got his butt kicked. Stupidity does that at times; Something tells me this isn’t the first time for Zimm…following a 6’3″ kid from Miami and cornering him doesn’t rate high on the sanity scale. It may get you bloodied and bruised, which yes, may lead to a shooting. Rocket science and theories aside, still very unfortunate for both.

  70. avatarPaul says:

    Well the NAACP is trying to make some money off this and make it a race crime. Looks like they are succeeding. If the shooter was black then of course there would be none of this going on. Also plenty of black Florida residents have used this law in their favor. This is all simply an attempt to make the parents millions of dollars from the state just like the bay county bootcamp garbage. I’m sick of this white guilt they try and push on everyone. Oh well one less person to have to support in the FDOC.

    • avatarElizabeth says:

      Really? Wow. Your statement just made it racial by implying that Trayvon would have ended up in the Federal Department of Corrections. Am I right? You think the parents want to be millionaires from the death of their own son what kind of sick animal are you? Zimmerman is Latin/White and the teen was Black. Look at the facts sir. Please don’t be so ignorant as to think that racial issues do not exist. We all have our racial judgement on others. It is ingrained in our history and in the present. I can’t even waste any more time on you. I pray that God forgives you of our ignorance and hate and I pray justice comes from this incident.

    • avatarcaffeinated says:

      I can see the NAACP making money off of anything they can spin, but throwing the race card either way is wrong. Who’s to know Martin wouldn’t have found the cure to cancer? None of us know Zimmerman or Martin. It’s unfair to judge either of them until we know all the facts.

  71. avatarBreathing says:

    Uh, sorry to interrupt the high-tech kangeroo court, but I’ve got a journalistic nit to pick. This site is The Truth About Guns, right? Well, the article quotes bostonherald.com as follows:

    “Police found a single shell casing at the scene, and when they seized George Zimmerman’s handgun, a Kel Tel [sic] 9 mm, its magazine was full, according to a source close to the investigation. The only bullet missing was the one in the chamber, the source said.”

    This can’t be correct. If they found an empty casing, then a live round should have been chambered, and the magazine should have been one (or two) cartridge(s) short of full, if the mag was fully loaded in the first place. If they found an empty casing and the magazine was full, then the chamber must have been empty. Did the Kel-Tec malfunction, or was it bostonherald.com that malfunctioned?

    • avatarMatt in FL says:

      Asked and answered. The most likely scenario is that the reporter who wrote that (it’s been seen other places, not just the BH) doesn’t know much about guns, and for them, magazines only exist in two conditions: empty (0 rounds) and full (any number > half capacity).

    • avatarJB says:

      That was my question too… I admit, I did a TL;DR on the other comments after the ALL CAPS one.

      Have to forgive the BH reporter, DC reporters, or any NYC reporters since they probably have never seen a real firearm in person before folks.

      Edit>> Wait… I thought initial reports said he had a Glock? Was it a Glock or a Kel-Tec or was there a backup gun involved? If he was in an altercation and had to get a backup gun, that would change the whole picture on this one.

    • avatarLongPurple says:

      I can’t put much faith in the accuracy of newspaper reports on anything of a “technical” nature concerning guns. It seems reporters were quick to seize on the term “handgun” because they could not learn the difference between a “pistol” and “revolver”. I remember reading quite a few reports that described a crime weapon as a “.38 Special pistol”, when the only such American pistol was the S & W Model 52 target pistol.

      • avatarZoDubble says:

        Your point above was by no means hard to follow LP (like I said it was ‘illogical’), it was just sad and sick trying to make an excuse for a grown a$$ man by charging a 17-yr (why do you think 17 is not an adult?) old to make similar decisions on the fly as an adult. No way you win that argument in the public opinion court unless you are ghostwriting as the devil on Zimmerman’s left shoulder. You think the kid should have dodged the bullet, grabbed the gun, un-cocked/de-chambered and pressed the dis-assemble button also in a split second? Take Dirty Harry out of your DVD player and give it back to George when/if he is absolved (hopefully when he is patrolling your neighborhood).

  72. avatarJD says:

    Trayvon ATTACKED Zimmerman and broke his nose and cut his head open, the pics on tv are atleast 5 yrs old, he was a wannabe thug

    Zimmerman is Innocent.. FLAME DELETED

    • avatarprimo says:

      Let’s assume, arguendo, that Trayvon Martin did break Zimmerman’s nose and that Zimmerman sustained injury to his head, or let’s take Zimmerman’s version of the facts as true, that he was in a scuffle with Trayvon; clearly you can hear two separate and distinct gunshots. The first shot was either a warning shot or it was a shot that initially injured Trayvon (hence the cry for help) and the second shot that you can clearly hear (amiss the crys for help) was the one that ended Trayvon Martin’s life when it struck him in the chest; because witnesses made clear that when that shot was fired “The crying stopped”.

      There is no doubt this is murder. Zimmerman had ample time before the police arrived to think up a so-called ‘self-defense’ theory; because, after all, he was majoring in ‘criminal justice’ and one of the sessions you are taught in a criminal justice course are the elements of what constitutes ‘self-defense’. Zimmerman changed the facts to make it plainly appear that it was ‘self-defense’, when in fact and in truth, as Zimmerman then well knew, it was NOT ‘self-defense’ but rather a blatant manslaughter or at worst first-degree murder and he should be held accountable. If he were MAN enough, he would fess-up to his careless mistake so that all of this can come to an end and he don’t have to ALWAYS be in hiding because unless he is arrested, convicted and sentenced there will not be justice for Trayvon Martin and he gets to roam the streets free from his criminal acts. The fact of the matter is ONE day justice shall prevail either in the Courts or on the Streets. The entire world including other countries are fully aware of this case and have a clear idea of what George Michael Zimmerman looks like, and somebody out their in the world is going to always be looking for him to obtain the justice that Trayvon Martin is due.

      I would not want to live the rest of my life hiding, knowing that I always have to be on guard. The most simple thing to do would be to admit to the wrong doing so that at least my life is spared and I don’t have to continue hiding from people in the world.

      Again, this case will NEVER end unless and until justice for Trayvon Martin is obtained in either the Courts or on the Streets, and until that happens, Zimmerman will ALWAYS be a ‘target’; point blank.

  73. avatarprimo says:

    There is no doubt that you can hear two separate and distinct gunshots. The first shot was either a warning shot or it was a shot that initially injured Trayvon (hence the cry for help) and the second shot that you can clearly hear (amiss the crys for help) was the one that ended Trayvon Martin’s life when it struck him in the chest.

    It should also be noted that when the police arrived, they observed Trayvon with both of his hands underneath him, which means that he apparently fell when the first gun shot hit him and then Zimmerman finished him off. Because the witnesses say that they saw Zimmerman straddling on top of Trayvon as if he had him pin down. I’m convinced that Zimmerman deliberately murdered Trayvon not only for a racist purpose but also because he has a criminal history of having a violate tendency because he was arrested on numerous occassions for assault including on a police officer.

    Under these facts, this can be nothing but murder in the first degree; no matter how you look at it. But the bottom line is, had Zimmerman stayed put as he was told by dispatch (WE DO NOT NEED YOU TO DO THAT) and not pursued Trayvon, there is no doubt that he would be alive this very day.

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