By John Boch

If any doubt exists, hold your gun silent. Act to the standard to which you will be judged.

Those are the words we teach each and every student in our firearms training classes when it comes to the use of deadly force to protect innocent life. Why is that? As the George Zimmerman case proves, even the most noble and legitimate use of deadly force may be followed by the most despicable and unethical prosecutors filing charges against you . . .

Even worse, those trying the case may draw and exploit a far-from-impartial judge as they seek to exploit the tiniest of imperfections as evidence of criminal intent, to say nothing of so-called witnesses that are untruthful and suspect. Following that, you will be judged by a jury of your peers and frankly, those peers will probably have little or no training or education in the law of self-defense, other than what they’ve gotten from Hollywood and the mainstream media.

Anyone with legitimate training in the law of self-defense would have dispassionately look at the facts of the Zimmerman case and concluded in a matter of moments that it was a classic “back against the wall” self-defense case. Sure, those ignorant of deadly force law, and those driven by bigotry of a racial stripe or otherwise will try to cloud the issue with a host of irrelevant facts as they apply detached reflection and personal biases to the incident.

Those who proclaim how this was an unjust shooting are only showing their inability or unwillingness to recognize the fundamental legal requirements of using force for self-defense.

George Zimmerman will be used as a case study for a generation on how a perfectly righteous use of force in self-defense can utterly ruin a person’s life. The fact that it took a jury of Zimmerman’s peers over sixteen hours of deliberations to determine his innocence is but another reason that relying on a jury of your Hollywood- and media-trained peers can be risky.

Even with all of the evidence exonerating your actions, with all of the testimony supporting the appropriate use of self-defense, with all of the written instructions that the jury is left with, you are still relying on a panel of strangers to follow the law, not emotional arguments or personal misconceptions in a time when common sense seems to be less common every day.

Go forth, be prudent and be safe. Avoid any conflicts which might escalate. Remove yourself from heated discussions, even if it involves backing down to an unlawful aggressor. Only if there is no other option available to save innocent life should you use your firearm. The only thing good that will follow using deadly force is that innocent life will probably live to see another day.

About the author:  John Boch has been a practicing firearms and personal protection instructor for sixteen years, currently holding instructor certifications from the NRA, USRA and LIVE FREE USA and can wallpaper his study with training certificates received over the years.  He’s also president of Guns Save Life and Vice-President of LIVE FREE USA.

A version of this post originally appeared at gunssavelife.com. It is reprinted here with permission. 

94 Responses to When It Comes Down To a Jury Of Your Peers

  1. Thanks for sharing.Massad Ayoob has volumes of stories about DAs pursuing just people in court for lawfully defending themselves.Those of you walking around with 3.5LB triggers and Skull slide plates on your Glocks/XDs/etc. are tempting fate.

  2. Mr. Boch,
    Very well said! Subject thoroughly covered. Should be reprinted in every paper in the nation, on every shooting range, and handed out in every firearms class.
    Thank you!

  3. A jury of your peers will never be a true jury of your peers. If Zimmerman’s neighbor hadn’t snapped the pic at the top of the post he might of lost. Though the evidence was heavy in his favor, he needed every bit of it. A simple novelty doodad like a smiley face on his Keltec might have pushed the jury of moms the other way.

    • Boy, I hate comments that undermine the common law roots of our republic.

      It’s common in “liberal”/”progressive” sources to hate trial by jury because juries (like jurists) can uphold law rather than massage sensitivities. Do *we* really want to add to this erosive tendency to put sensationalism ahead of the law systems of a democratic republic? How can we possibly do that and also advocate for the Bill of Rights?

      The six women on the jury listened to the evidence and judged Zimmerman according to that. Before the law they are his peers. The very word comes from the 1200s in English law: a juridical peer is someone equal in rank or station. The word comes via Continental (French/Roman/Latin) law, and the old Latin /par/, meaning equal.

      Simply put, a peer is someone equal before the law, and the only way one can argue that the jurists and Zimmerman were not equal before the law is to dive into a mess of -isms and category baiting.

      Which is what the Trayvonistas do: they wish to replace the rule of law with what I’ve heard so often since this whole story started being flogged: “I don’t care about the facts, I’m siding with the black kid.” (A comment, btw, made to William Saletan’s /Slate/ piece of the other day.)

  4. The current day SELF DEFENSE kit bag of force spectrum MUST include a camera of some sort (classic stand alone/cellphone/go pro etc).
    Don’t leave home without it !

    • Have an instant upload to something that is not your cell phone. When the police get involved your cell phone will no longer be “your” cell phone. The GZ case should show you all you need to know about whether the state will give you a fair trial. (They will give you a fair hanging)

      • and we know that some members of the prosecution are not above withholding or destroying evidence to help their case.
        Dropbox app, apple photo stream, a good buddy, facebook or twitter even! There are tons of ways to get a photo in the wind in really short order.

  5. “…dispassionately look at the facts of the Zimmerman case and concluded in a matter of moments that it was a classic “back against the wall” self-defense case.”

    Y’know, the line above got me thinking. Lots of people have used the “what if the races were reversed” line, but nobody has, that I’ve seen, said, “what if you completely removed race from the equation?” Try it. Tell yourself the story of what happened, but instead of “George Zimmerman” or “white Hispanic” use “man #1” and instead of “Trayvon Martin” or “young black boy” or “black teenager” use “man #2.” Feel free to describe what they did, but leave out details like “hoodie” that might cause someone to draw a racial conclusion. All you know is “man #1” and “man #2.” Ignore the ghetto talk, ignore the “lean” or “drank.” Ignore the extraneous bullshit.

    Man #1 sees man #2 behaving in a way that seems “off.”
    Man #1 calls police, and exits his vehicle to see if he can tell where man #2 went, and to provide police with an accurate location.
    Police advise man #1 not to follow man #2, and man #1 heeds that advice.
    Man #2 attacks man #1, and during the course of the altercation gains the upper hand, to the point that man #1 fears for his life.
    Man #1 shoots man #2 to stop the attack.

    If I presented you with that scenario, and that scenario was supported by (or at worst not undermined by) the evidence available, devoid of racial or emotional overtones, how would you not see that shooting as self defense?

    • I agree with you except your 4th point. The only person who knows who attacked whom is Zimmerman because no one saw the start of the fight except Zimmerman, and he seems to have a stake in which way it started.

      • We’ve had this argument, and I’m not having it again. I realize that the only remaining eyewitness to the start of the fight is Zimmerman. I also realize there is zero evidence to disprove his version of events. Innocent until proven guilty.

        • You left out the fact that Zimmerman was the only one who sustained injuries before the shooting (other than the wounds to Martin’s knuckles).

          In a Zimmerman-started-the-physical altercation scenario, the physical evidence shows that the very worst Zimmerman could have done was to shove Martin — in other words, an action that was not violent enough to leave a mark or bruise on Martin’s body. In that scenario, Martin escalated the violence by beating the crap out of Zimmerman. Throughout, Zimmerman was still unable to do anything to Martin that would result in a mark on Martin’s body. And in that scenario, it is still the inescapable conclusion that Martin was responsible for his own death.

          Matt (and Bruce), this is way beyond innocent-until-proven-guilty. The only reasonable explanations all point to a legitimate case of self-defense.

    • hoodie equals race how? I wasn’t aware hooded sweat shirts were race exclusive… guess i gotta return all of those “north face” hoodies to cabelas so the black people can have them back.

      • To some people, yes, hoodie equals race. Especially now. That’s why I said “like “hoodie” that might cause someone to draw a racial conclusion.

        Insert whatever term you want. My point was, if there is a term in the narrative (hoodie, saggy pants, do-rag, shaved head) that causes a racial conclusion, exclude it.

      • Hoodie = Race how? Agreed

        Farmers and tradesmen have worn hooded sweatshirts for decades for simple warmth long before dipstick wanna be’s in big cities thought to make it some sort of gang attire in the middle of the summer like in LA, DC, HotLanta, Chitown (aka Chiraq).

        But fortunately for us normal citizens in present day, few gangsters display Pioneer Seed Corn, Company logos, and or Glitter on their WORK Hoodie’s!

        Glitter in sight, Fire Free, Fire at Will

        • I like how you agreed with Crashbear, but completely ignored my response explaining what I meant. If “hoodie” isn’t a racial dog whistle for you, then think of something that is. And then remove it, and anything that looks like it, from the narrative.

        • just for reference, I wear hoodies all the time. and I am a middle aged white woman who coaches 11yo kids on ponies at mounted games competitions.

          this is not to discount that for some people hoodie = a specific race – but that isn’t the whole story across the board 🙂

          but I agree with Matt. a dispassionate recital of the sequence of events leaving out all of the “emotion charged” adverbs, subjects, verbs and adjectives shows that this was a cut and dry case.

          personally I read it all that way by default: I filter out all of the emotion charged rhetoric always because it impedes my ability to see the truth.

          most people probably need to be reminded to do that.

        • Pioneer Seed Corn hoodies?!

          Dear gods, I believe you just engendered a new multimillion-dollar gangsta fashion meme. It’ll be worn by all the Michael Pollan/Alice Waters hipster foodies who are Proponents Of Relocalizing The Urban Food System.

          Look for it on the runway.
          forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3547326

          Or Zazzle. Prolly cheaper.
          http://www.zazzle.com/gangsta+clothing

    • Well Stevie Wonder does not “see” it that way. He has stated that he will not perform in Florida or any SYG state until they change their laws. More stupidity for the MSM to grab onto I mean who better than Stevie Wonder who can’t even see his own ground much less stand it.

    • The jurors apparently said that, and considered the evidence as to who did what and why, not who did what to an X-color guy.

      The lesson the prosecution wanted to teach, at the behest of the DoJ, FLE, et al, is “we’re the gov’t, and we’re here to help.” “Help me?” “No, not you, chump. Help the guys who sent us here.”

  6. Sorry. Not fully buying it. When push came to shove, Zimmerman’s shooting was probably within the law, but he could have stayed in his car, not confronted Martin and no one would have died. This is what prevents this from being a textbook case.

    Plus everyone assumes Martin attacked Zimmerman first. What if it was the other way around and Zimmerman put hands on Martin first? There was only one surviving witness and he is hardly going to be objective. Sure,Martin was a punk, but so was Zimmerman. He had a record that should have included a felony conviction, but was plea bargained down.

    I’m not saying I’m right, just that my version is possible.

    • Again, another person who doesn’t know the facts. After Zimmerman got out of the car and talked to Martin, they BOTH WALKED AWAY in different directions. THAT was when Zimmerman called the police and Martin snuck up on him and attacked him. The “argument” did not cause the fight, Martin wanting to attack someone to show how tough he was caused it. All Martin had to do was keep walking home instead of turning around and sneaking up on a man to attack him.

      • And you were there that night, so you can verify that story is the absolute truth, yes? Shame you were not available to the defense. Could have saved Zimmerman some court time.

        Again, not saying it went down the way I described. Only that it’s a possibility.

    • Even if Zimmerman put hands to Martin first, the evidence also supports a “regained innocence” narrative for Zimmerman, in that Martin showed no injuries other than the gunshot and injuries to his fists, and he was clearly preventing Zimmerman from disengaging.

      The evidence points to Zimmerman losing sight of Martin and heading back to his car and then Martin coming back to find Zimmerman. If instead of doing that, Martin had run home, which was seconds away at that point, then he wouldn’t have died that night.

      • That depends on the state. In some states, if you initiate the conflict, you cannot later claim stand your ground protection irrespective of what transpires.

        The shoot may still be legal, but it won’t fall under stand your ground.

    • “He had a record that should have included a felony conviction, but was plea bargained down.”

      Several plain-clothes police officers (that he says did not identify themselves as such) hauled his underage looking friend out of a bar. He grabbed one by the shoulder and basically said, “Hey, what the hell are you doing?” He was arrested for felony assaulting a police officer, a dramatic overcharge which was immediately knocked down to a misdemeanor, and was then wiped completely from his record following a pretrial diversion to some sort of anger management class. That’s hardly “plea-bargained down.” As a general rule, police and prosecutors are not in the habit of ever reducing charges on anything involving assaulting a police officer; they generally tend to push for the maximum the law allows, and a cherry on top. Thus, the fact that this got knocked down so far so fast speaks volumes. Saying his record “should have included a felony conviction” is just bullshit.

      • Well stated, Matt. Was just about to post similar. Not saying GZ doesn’t have anything else neg in his background but that incident was clearly trumped up by the cops and overcharging out of spite, to give excuse to haul him and his pal downtown that night. Heck here in Raleigh the RPD does same thing almost every time with traffic stops: they charge “resist, obstruct and delay” as an added charge to almost every speeding and traffic citation. Thereby when it comes time to negotiate a plea down with the Wake County ADA running disposition court that day, they can hit you with the added ROD and offer to drop that one only. Voila, instant guilty plea on the speeding charge and full fine assessment and collected.

      • Matt, I stand corrected. Thank you for that. What about the charges of domestic abuse? Is there any truth to those or is that also a bunch of BS?

        • He had a restraining order against him from a previous girlfriend. She also had a restraining order against her from him. Being that I have had friends that have requested restraining orders for “crazy” ex’s, they aren’t hard to get and mean absolutely nothing. You give a decent enough story for them to give a reason for someone not to be within 25 yards of you and bam, done. What you should note is that 25 yards isn’t that far and you could be at the same house and not break that restraining order. If it was a true violence issue, they usually have a much higher distance of restraint.

        • The only thing I know, honestly, is that the restraining orders were mutually obtained (her against him and him against her) and mutually dropped. I have no idea what the circumstances were, i.e. was she a “crazy ex,” was it warranted, was it just a strategic thing?

          I do know that the FBI interviewed the ex-girlfriend in question during their civil rights investigation, and she had nothing bad to say about the guy.

    • Zimmerman is a short, fat, meek man with a desk job. If he had any history whatsoever of physical altercations or aggression the prosecution would have trotted it out. They couldn’t.

      Trayvon was a six foot tall athlete dripping in testosterone without an ounce of fat on him. He had 5 inches on Zimmerman. He probably had 20 lbs of muscle mass on him too. He did have a history of starting fights. He liked to hit people in the nose and make them bleed.

      Zimmerman swung first? Not only is there no evidence whatsoever that he did, the notion that he would just isn’t plausible. Zimmerman didn’t have a snowballs’ chance in a fist fight and both of them would have known that at first glance.

      Relatively speaking, I’d as well swing first on Chuck Liddell.

      • Zimmerman didn’t have a chance in a fist fight…and that’s part of why the beating ensued when Martin could simply have walked away.

        The same mentality has been used on the street against vulnerable-appearing people for a very long time.

        http://www.salon.com/2000/03/14/pistol/

        (bearing in mind the factual problems with the story–like the advisability of “shooting over their head” or the distortions of the Mathew Shepard reporting)

    • I’m glad to see a more reasonable opinion here.

      This can only be viewed as a “clear-cut case of self-defense” if viewed through the narrowest scope. But even then, it’s questionable. Perhaps TM saw the holster or the gun on GZ and was trying to KO the guy before he had a chance to use the gun on him. If only we could ask TM what he was thinking at the time… except he’s dead.

      GZ made a long string of bad decisions that brought this situation to a head. He could have listened to the instruction not to follow but he didn’t. He could have followed neighborhood watch training and not engage, but didn’t. He could have minded his own business and not bothered the innocent kid walking home but he didn’t. Sure, maybe TM over-reacted and made some bad decisions of his own, but that’s what kids do. The one adult was the instigator, and the only one who walked away from the encounter. If it weren’t for GZ, TM would most likely be alive today.

      That’s the problem with SYG laws and guns in general… they embolden people to do things they wouldn’t otherwise do, creating tense situations that wouldn’t otherwise occur. According to testimony, GZ was some sort of lazy slob who could barely get himself off the couch. Would he stick his nose in other people’s business without his little friend?

      This whole case stinks. GZ should spend some time in a cell to think about his decisions that night.

      • Talk about “narrow scope.” Wow.

        “Perhaps TM saw the holster or the gun on GZ and was trying to KO the guy before he had a chance to use the gun on him.”

        A holstered weapon is not legally considered a threat, implicit or explicit. Therefore “trying to KO the guy before…” is unprovoked Aggravated Assault, and as such, GZ is within his rights to defend himself.

        “If only we could ask TM what he was thinking at the time… except he’s dead.”

        Nice emotional appeal, but bullshit nonetheless. Based on the theory in your immediately preceding sentence, TM is dead because he made assumptions.

        “He could have listened to the instruction not to follow but he didn’t.”

        He did. He was returning to his truck when attacked. Before you yell, “You don’t know that!” let me just go ahead and invite you to provide evidence it’s not true.

        “He could have followed neighborhood watch training and not engage, but didn’t.”

        His statement, with no evidence to controvert it, was that he was not attempting to engage with TM, he was looking for where he went (at a distance), and failing that, looking for an address to relay to police. He was not trying to apprehend TM. Once again, if there is evidence to disprove any of that, please provide it.

        “Sure, maybe TM over-reacted and made some bad decisions of his own, but that’s what kids do.”

        Ya think? And when kids do those things, if they rise to the level of criminal behavior, y’know, like Agg Assault, they get punished for them, often as adults.

        “The one adult was the instigator, and the only one who walked away from the encounter.”

        Yep, he instigated it by hitting himself in the face, when he could have just gone home. Why would you hit yourself in the face? And yes, he walked away from the encounter. Being better prepared is not a crime.

        “If it weren’t for GZ, TM would most likely be alive today.”

        And if it weren’t for GZ’s Kel-tec, TM might be the only one.

        “That’s the problem with SYG laws…”

        Yeah, they let people avoid that pesky Monday morning quarterbacking of “Why didn’t you run?” “Detached reflection cannot be expected in the face of an upraised knife.”

        “Would he stick his nose in other people’s business without his little friend?”

        This question had an entire post devoted to it, and my answer, at least, is yes. He was involved with neighborhood watch and neighborhood activism long before he owned a gun. He bought the gun on advice of law enforcement because of some dangerous dogs in the area.

        “GZ should spend some time in a cell to think about his decisions that night.”

        So, you would have him locked up for nothing more than making questionable (but not illegal) decisions? Thought crime, here we come.

        • “A holstered weapon is not legally considered a threat, implicit or explicit. Therefore “trying to KO the guy before…” is unprovoked Aggravated Assault, and as such, GZ is within his rights to defend himself.”

          Doesn’t matter. TM *may* have felt his life was in danger because of a “reasonable belief of an unlawful threat” (the gun) and responded with overwhelming force of his own. He *may* have been standing his own ground.

          Now you might disagree that a holstered weapon should be considered such a threat, but it’s not your state of mind that is the issue.

          “Yep, he instigated it by hitting himself in the face, when he could have just gone home. Why would you hit yourself in the face? And yes, he walked away from the encounter. Being better prepared is not a crime.”

          I’m not sure why this is so hard for people to understand: GZ started the chain of events that led to the shooting. No GZ, no scuffle, no shooting, no media circus, and TM is alive and well. TM was not doing anything illegal and had ever right to be where he was without being hassled by some wannabe cop. That is the gross injustice.

          “So, you would have him locked up for nothing more than making questionable (but not illegal) decisions? Thought crime, here we come.”

          No. I would have him locked up for killing a kid because he ignored neighborhood watch training (“Don’t engage; don’t carry a gun.”) and common sense (the most likely reason a person is walking through a neighborhood is because he lives there). GZ can make as many questionable decisions as he wants as long as doesn’t end up killing and hurting others.

        • “Now you might disagree that a holstered weapon should be considered such a threat, but it’s not your state of mind that is the issue.”

          Ah but it is the issue. Because if TM was on trial for Aggravated Assault, the question would be can a holstered firearm reasonably be considered a threat that allows the use of overwhelming force in response. And I don’t think it can. It doesn’t pass the “reasonable man” test.

          No. I would have him locked up for killing a kid because he ignored neighborhood watch training (“Don’t engage; don’t carry a gun.”) (not a crime-Matt) and common sense (the most likely reason a person is walking through a neighborhood is because he lives there)(also not a crime-Matt). GZ can make as many questionable decisions as he wants as long as doesn’t end up killing and hurting others.

          So, again, you want him locked up for making questionable decisions. Because a jury found the actual killing to not be unlawful, likely due to self-defense. So you don’t want him locked up for killing, you want him locked up for all the other stuff, i.e. his bad decisions. Sorry, no bueno.

  7. Yea, you can pretty much convince a jury of public educated Americans to vote “yes” to anything.

  8. Sadly, as the Zimmerman case has taught us, the best course of action is to stay away from black people because IF one of them decides to attack you, the media, society, and government will decide that you deserved to die simply because of the race of your attacker. I’m sure Martin Luther King Jr. would be SO proud of what blacks have done with the rights he helped them achieve….

      • Don’t be a dick. He’s talking about the law of unintended consequences. When every situation involving a “white” “aggressor” and a black “victim” is turned into a racial incident with requisite race-mongers and riots, there are going to be unintended yet highly predictable consequences.

        (Note to TTAG moderator: if you’re going to moderate my direct insult, you’d better moderate @Grande’s indirect insult.)

        • Splashman, did you just try to tattle on me to a moderator? Lulz.

          Anywho, let’s not be intellectually dishonest here. Which “blacks” is Dr. King purportedly not proud of? All blacks? Some blacks? Blacks that like long walks on the beach? Blacks who become president? If you refuse to see the sweeping race-based generalizations and separatist notions littered throughout Totenglocke’s post, then this conversation is over.

  9. When a violent criminal attacks a victim and the victim prevails, it seems like the victim has absolutely nothing to gain and everything to lose if they stay at the scene or contact law enforcement. Why should the victim stay at the crime scene or contact law enforcement? My question is totally serious.

    • Yeah, I think leaving the scene of the crime without contacting the police is the best course of action. Never let something like possible eyewitnesses, dna evidence, ballistic evidence, or any of that keep you around. It’s better to look like you’re running from the scene of a murder, rather than calling the police to report an assault that resulted in a DGU.

    • IMO, the ONLY reason to stay at the scene (and SFTU) is that if you leave the scene it will be immediately assumed that you are or at least felt that you were guilty of something.

      In this age of cell phone and other video/surveillance cameras every damn place you cannot be certain that no record was made of he event or that the authorities will not find you. Much better to wait at the scene, if it is safe to do so, or at the very least take yourself immediately to the nearest police facility an report what just happened, then STFU.

      I’m no legal expert, but that seems logical to me.

    • Because he/she is a law abiding citizen, and knew the laws BEFORE carrying a weapon and then using it in a defensive manner. We can all see ourselves being GZ, but I’d rather be GZ than TM. If GZ had run from that scene? puuuuleezzze. He’d be doing life.

  10. A couple of observations. I believe the Trayvon fancied himself a tough guy and enjoyed fighting. I’m sure he’d won his fair share. Until he got the upper hand on a man with a gun. You might be tough, but you’re no match for a 9mm hollow point. I think most of the people who should reflect on that are convinced that GZ gunned Trayvon down in cold blood though, so the lesson is lost on them.

    On Piers Boregan the other night, Rachel Jeantel explained why “cracka” wasn’t a racial slur, because to them it meant a cop or security guard. So Trayvon noticed a “cop or security guard” following him so he managed to double around to engage in a fistfight with said “cop or security guard”. So there you have it, Trayvon was not a racist, he was just a thug that liked to attack cops and security guards.

  11. As the George Zimmerman case proves, even the most noble and legitimate use of deadly force …

    Wait, what? This case is “the most”?? No. The Zimmerman case is NOT the case of self defense that any of us should be proud to point to. It’s marginal, at best. I’m sure we can find more noble examples.

  12. Guns may save lives, and a gun may have saved GZ’s life, but you know what would have saved his life AND saved him a whole lot of trouble? Better judgment.

    The more the gun community makes GZ a saint and the epitome of gun ownership, the more we damage our credibility. Remember that whole discussion TTAG had about attracting more female gun owners, more gun owners who are members of ethnic and racial communities other than white? Propping up GZ as our self-defense mascot kills that effort.

    • He may well NOT be a saint or even a mascot, but too many people tried to turn him into a martyr and that should not be allowed to stand.

      Every CCW carrier in America looks to his incident to learn what they can and cannot expect should they ever be in this or a similar situation. It can and does reinforce our need to be vigilant and careful in where we are and what we do and how we act.

      I fail to see where someone actively engaged in neighborhood watch such as GZ would not have done pretty much the same thing under those circumstances and GZ did not confront Martin with aggression or a brandished firearm, he only tried to determine who he was and what he was doing. If Martin didn’t like that all he had to do was tell GZ to F!ck off and turn for his residence. Seems very unlikely anything further would have transpired since GZ was not out looking or trouble (unlike Martin), but looking to prevent trouble.

    • From the above-referenced Ted Nugent article:

      “So this guy’s neighborhood has been burglarized off and on and the residents are very concerned for their safety and well-being. Neighbors agree to upkick their vigilance and overall level of awareness to watch out for each other and keep an eye out for suspicious individuals and behavior. It could be considered by an official designation such as “Neighborhood Watch”, but officially labeled or not, it is the purest form of Americans watching out for each other and being good neighbors.

      So far so good.

      So George Zimmerman sees what he believes is a suspicious individual in suspicious circumstances, and intelligently and responsibly pays attention and calls 9-1-1 to report what he sees to the officials. This gesture is proof positive he was not looking to do anyone harm or break any laws, but rather perform the fundamental responsibility of a neighbor who cares.

      Doing nothing illegal or improper, he follows the individual while answering all the questions from the 9-1-1 operator to the best of his ability, keeping an eye on the individual so the authorities can hopefully intercept and determine exactly what is going on.”

    • from the above-referenced article:

      “So this guy’s neighborhood has been burglarized off and on and the residents are very concerned for their safety and well-being. Neighbors agree to upkick their vigilance and overall level of awareness to watch out for each other and keep an eye out for suspicious individuals and behavior. It could be considered by an official designation such as “Neighborhood Watch”, but officially labeled or not, it is the purest form of Americans watching out for each other and being good neighbors.

      So far so good.

      So George Zimmerman sees what he believes is a suspicious individual in suspicious circumstances, and intelligently and responsibly pays attention and calls 9-1-1 to report what he sees to the officials. This gesture is proof positive he was not looking to do anyone harm or break any laws, but rather perform the fundamental responsibility of a neighbor who cares.

      Doing nothing illegal or improper, he follows the individual while answering all the questions from the 9-1-1 operator to the best of his ability, keeping an eye on the individual so the authorities can hopefully intercept and determine exactly what is going on.”

      • mina, if you happen to be posting from a mobile device, and you get the message that your comment “failed to post,” just ignore it, at least until you refresh the page and verify. That message is wrong 99% of the time.

        • no I was sitting on the patio by the pool with the windows to the kitchen closed and my wireless connection is very very teeny tiny.

          the post showed up only after I posted it twice. then when I refreshed two minutes later it was duplicated.

          I think it has to do with the external links on this site and the fact that the page wasn’t completely loaded when I posted my comment.

          in any event it just seems to be a timing thing when I sit out by the pool 🙂 I bet I could get them in triplicate if I add tequila!

          … but THANKS!!

        • Nah, you’re right. A really tenuous internet connection is the <1% when that message is correct. I have had it happen to me, twice, I think. But I've gotten the message in error about 500 times, probably.

    • “For reasons unknown, though I will comment on momentarily, after expressing racism and hostility on the phone to a friend in response to being followed, the suspect now changes course and turns towards George and immediately initiates a hostile verbal confrontation that quickly escalate to a violent physical assault. Within seconds, the suspect has overwhelmed George, has gained the advantage on top, pinning George to the ground, and further escalates the assault to deadly force by smashing George’s face, breaking his nose, and violently slamming his skull onto the concrete with all his youthful athleticism.

      George screams frantically for help as Trayvon Martin pummels his face and head furiously, inflicting damaging and potentially life threatening wounds. Fearing for his life and about to lose consciousness at the hands of an enraged, violent attacker, George Zimmerman does what anyone who wishes to live would do, and he reaches for his concealed handgun, firing a single shot to neutralize the deadly force being wreaked upon him.

      This represents the purest form of self-defense there is. It is exactly why people who believe in good over evil carry a gun to protect themselves from the well documented violence that plagues our country, in order to save our lives from a life threatening attack. Period.

      Based on all evidence available to them, the professional law enforcement officers did not hold George Zimmerman on charges later that night. They saw it for what it was: cut and dried self-defense.”

    • I don’t see the gun community making Zimmerman a saint or a mascot, but if we’re honest about what the evidence points, his actions are not actually unreasonable. Again, had Martin just proceeded home, then nothing becomes of this at all.

  13. “Doing nothing illegal or improper, he follows the individual while answering all the questions from the 9-1-1 operator to the best of his ability, keeping an eye on the individual so the authorities can hopefully intercept and determine exactly what is going on.

    For reasons unknown, though I will comment on momentarily, after expressing racism and hostility on the phone to a friend in response to being followed, the suspect now changes course and turns towards George and immediately initiates a hostile verbal confrontation that quickly escalate to a violent physical assault. Within seconds, the suspect has overwhelmed George, has gained the advantage on top, pinning George to the ground, and further escalates the assault to deadly force by smashing George’s face, breaking his nose, and violently slamming his skull onto the concrete with all his youthful athleticism.

    George screams frantically for help as Trayvon Martin pummels his face and head furiously, inflicting damaging and potentially life threatening wounds. Fearing for his life and about to lose consciousness at the hands of an enraged, violent attacker, George Zimmerman does what anyone who wishes to live would do, and he reaches for his concealed handgun, firing a single shot to neutralize the deadly force being wreaked upon him.

    This represents the purest form of self-defense there is. It is exactly why people who believe in good over evil carry a gun to protect themselves from the well documented violence that plagues our country, in order to save our lives from a life threatening attack. Period.”

    • Everyone seems to be missing the fact that Trayvon Martin waited until George Zimmerman hung up from the Police dispatcher before he confronted and attacked him.

  14. One purpose, if not the main purpose, for the Democrat-Media Complex’s push on this case was to discourage and delegitimize self-defense. We’ll see whether it worked if people start allowing themselves to be beaten to a cabbage to avoid prosecution. Even with the grief, I bet Zimmerman’s glad to still be able to feed himself.

    Whether they intended it or just can’t help themselves out of habit, the other result was to pit races against each other. Then it turned out Zimmerman was Hispanic. Wonder how long before the Left realizes they’re pitting two of their supposed constituent groups against each other. If they don’t stop, it means they can’t help themselves.

  15. Who is that picture, above, of? He doesn’t look anything like the court pix of Mr. Zimmerman, nor like the pic of Mr. Martin at age 14.

    Could somebody please enlighten me?

    • That’s Zimmerman, a few pounds lighter, with a busted nose and a bloody scalp. The nose came from Martin’s fists and the scalp from the sidewalk Martin was pounding Zimmerman’s head into.

        • Thanks for this. I’ve been keeping out of the discussion because I don’t know squat about the situation/incident, and now I realize I knew even less than that!

          “It is better to keep one’s mouth shut and be thought ignorant than to open it and remove all doubt.” 🙂

    • I have been saying the same thing myself. I was once on the Board of Directors of a home owners association, and with that experience, I am pretty sure that insurance companies are already planning to hike premiums on HOAs, which means association fees will probably skyrocket across the country. Personally, I made the decision after this case that the personal liability of being on a neighborhood watch is too great for me. Sorry to say this. Until I move out of the blue state I live in, I further doubt I will come to the rescue of strangers in the event of an active shooter, for I know that even if I do everything right according to the law, I will probably be destroyed by the same forces that are destroying Zimmerman.

  16. Of the six female jurors: Three thought he was not guilty, two chuckleheads believed him to be guilty of manslaughter…..and one stupid, crazy, bitch thought GZ guilty of murder.
    You REALLY don’t want to be tried by your peers.

    • That was the first vote, before they understood the applicable laws. Then they applied the law, and came to the right conclusion. That’s how the system is supposed to work, and they do not deserve your abuse.

      • Even a rudimentary glance at the particulars (let alone a first vote) would demand a not guilty vote. The three guilty voters (particularly the 2nd degree MURDER chick) do indeed deserve my abuse.

    • No, I’m fine with being tried by my peers. My peers have masters degrees and make decisions based on facts and logic. However, a jury is made up only of those too stupid to come up with an excuse to not serve jury duty.

    • Whatever Pat is smoking, please share.

      The misogyny and hatred for trial by jury/the common law institutions of our republic you can keep to yourself. We get enough of that from other sources.

      • Hey, the system is broken. GZ got the best defense money could buy and he still barely made it out of there (and his trials aint over yet). The state and libtard (democrat) media did their best to destroy a mans life. Jury selection is a scam where they ferret out the average joe and put people who fit THEIR narrative, in place. How in Gods name could you get two manslaughters and a MURDER on the first vote?
        Of course, I am happy GZ was found not guilty, though, you must admit, this circus should never have taken place at all (which is why I am angry). Now we are forced to listen to the libtard media and pundits talk about…….stand your effing ground laws (back to the gun-grabbing talk)?

  17. This is a good debate because the consensus is, because people who believe in gun rights are disagreeing about something, debating that they have a responsibility when you carry a gun to use good judgement.

    The letter of the law and the spirit of the law are really just means of enforcing natural law.

    I personally don’t give a damm what happens to Zimmerman. He killed a child and he initiated the flow of events with his bad judgement and he won’t man up. He wont admit that he tempted fate because he had a gun in condition one topped off and acting as a community watch commander, He read the rule book and then forgot about it.

    He makes gun owners look like crap. As a gun owner myself I look to my elders who were the elite of responsible citizens, who despite odious ATF rules followed them, followed range protocols amd used restraint when there were guns and living things in proximity. I learned the second amendment was protecting my home and fufilling my public militia responsibilty if called, then all the other stuff that is argued to our detriment today.

    We need to think and not rush to the gun afficianado’s defense every time. We need to share what we know with people who are afraid of us and think guns will shoot them if touched. We may think jury of peers but we are not united. We look down our nose and resent people who don’t understand that a gun is a tool and great souce of enjoyment. And we need to be more responsible than the other unarmed guy, if that isn’t obvious we are being very selfish.

    • Trayvon Martin was a child?

      Good heavens. Exactly when in your book does adolescence, never mind adulthood, begin, and with what set of volitional choices?

      In the ghetto where I grew up, it was a given that the #1 rite of passage to adulthood was an act of seriously disproportionate violence against an individual.

      That is not what civilized people’s law says in this republic, but don’t you think you are heaving the milky-teated bodice of THE CHILLLLLDRUNNNNNNN a bit heavily here?

      If a large violent person comes at you with a ton of attitude and fists flying, are we supposed to stop and card them?

      PS–You desperately misspelled “aficionado.”

      • You obviously did not understand my point which had nothing to do with your response. So what is your point ? Are you mad he got off like every sensible person should be ?

      • “Heaving the milky-teated bodice of THE CHILLLLLDRUNNNNNNN” a bit heavily”
        Not bad, if I do say so myself.

    • He did not kill a child you silly libtard. The 6’3″ manchild lost his temper and brought a knuckle sandwich to a lead buffet.

  18. Keep in mind that the one juror who spoke up said half went into deliberations wanting to “find him guilty of something.” And a lot of the deliberation time was spent trying to do exactly that.

    • Keep in mind that this juror said this on Anderson Cooper 360, and with an early promise of a book contract. Which I understand has been withdrawn.

      Still, the point that even those wanting to find Zimmerman guilty were swayed by the facts as they were presented will be of more interest to rational people than emotional ones.

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