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“I am struck by misdirected focus and placement of blame in the Trayvon Martin case. Racism, profiling, a wanna-be cop, or the actions of a young man (who may or may not have been using drugs) were not the primary causes of this needless death. That is not to say that racism and profiling don’t exist; they do, and they are ugly and offensive. But a child is dead today, and a man, whether eventually proved guilty or innocent, will carry the scars of having been accused of this death for the rest of his life. Why? The instrument of tragedy, as in so many other cases of avoidable loss of life, lies clearly at the door of America’s sophomorically absurd love affair with guns — having them, carrying them, and feeling creepily empowered by them . . .

“Had this same set of circumstances occurred with no gun present, the worst scenario would have been an incident of fisticuffs, resulting in both people enduring mild to moderate bodily harm. But until everyday American citizens get over pretending they live in the Wild Wild West era of this country’s development, a child is dead and a man’s life destroyed.” – Virginia Franklin, Lathrup Village [letter to the editor via]

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  1. So without the guns, we are all going to just have little Victorain era style boxing matches that conform to Queensbury Rules? I bet she has a couple of Unicorns grazing under rainbows in the backyard.

  2. And without a gun, it may have been a man dead and a child’s life destroyed.

    Do people still really think that just because someone’s unarmed they’re unable to present a deadly threat? A 4 year old has the strength to kill an unconscious Heavyweight Champion. A lucky strike to the jaw or a good hit when your head is down on the ground will knock you out, no matter how much bigger you are than your attacker.

    And then, if that attacker is bigger than the attacked, game over. Barring a massive difference in training, the much larger combatant will win decisively.

    • I agree completely. But one wonders if Zimmerman would have gotten out of his car if he had not been armed.

      • Who knows, but I’m not particularly impressed by Zimmerman’s decision making skills in the first place.

        Luckily, the relevant question is “Did Zimmerman break the law by exiting his car?”

  3. If the two of them had squared off and actually FOUGHT, this dizzy woman would have a point. But that’s not what happened. This was an assault. Sucker punches are especially dangerous, because if someone’s knocked unconscious and bounces their head off the pavement, death can ensue.

    This woman is an idiot.

    • Yep, sucker punches are nasty. Back home there was a scuffle between friends. We thought the fight was over when the dude who was down got up and ran at the victor. Struck him in the side of the head and he fell and severed his brainstem on the sidewalk curb. He died instantly. They were both drunk but one still died.

  4. I have not shot anybody in 47 years, even then I shot at the bush the target was hiding behind. Been in a lot of fist fights, some people you just can’t outrun. Never shot nobody over them. But, that was some years ago. This thing in Fla is just another media circus, with the clowns out in full force. As always, trial by press.

  5. Just a thought here – If zimmerman had not had a gun, would he still have gotten out of his car and approached Martin or did the fact that he was armed give him more bravado than he would normally have had?

    I am not in favor of taking guns away from folks, but people should generally apply the same rules to a situation whether they are armed or not – if you would not do something unarmed, you should not necessarily decide to do it just because you are. The gun is there to protect you when doing what you normally do. It is not there to empower you to act provocatively or stupidly.

    The exact circumstances of what happened between zimmerman and martin is something we will likely never know, but we can be fairly certain that the conflict would never have happened, had zimmerman chosen to remain in his car.

    • He may have, he may not have. It could be that he was just trying to be a good witness and not lose sight of someone he thought might be about to commit a crime. He apparently thought that Martin might be this other guy who had committed a string of burglaries in the neighborhood. It’s possible Zimmerman intended to follow so if he tried to break into another house, he’d be able to call 911 immediately.

  6. What happened in the Zimmerman/Martin case is simply part of the cost of living in a free society. You can either accept certain risks and live free, or you can remove those risks and live under government oppression and the illusion of safety.

    I’d rather die on my feet than live on my knees.

  7. We don’t have all the facts about what happened in Florida so that specific case will play out. However, just a suggestion for those that would offer any violence to someone: if you don’t want to get shot, don’t be violent. Walk away. Don’t assault, even a little. It always amazes me when someone argues that a response to violence should be “proportionate” as if the person assaulting you deserves to be granted a “fair fight.” Every fight is an existential threat. Google “fist fight death fatality manslaughter” to see the numbers. When I received my carry permit I made a decision that I would never shoot someone over pride or property. Nothing could be said about me, my mom, sister, wife, etc. that would be worth the other guy dying and me living with the consequences. Nothing I own either. Now if someone offers violence and actually attempts to assault me or someone in my charge, my weapon will be drawn and used if the bad guy doesn’t stop.

    So maybe we need a PSA on TV that reminds would be assaulters: If you don’t want to get shot, don’t assault anyone… even just a little.

    • Agreed.
      All the lamenting over “if only Zimmerman had not gotten out of his car” has to be balanced by “if only Martin didn’t sucker-punch Zimmerman”.
      Which is the real act of aggression; keeping a suspected burglar in sight, or punching someone who was “eyeballing” you?

        • You’re right; we’ll probably never know what actually happened. But on the one hand we have Zimmerman’s account of the events, which is consistent with the other evidence. On the other hand we have nothing but completely unsupported and flagrantly racist insistence that Zimmerman must be guilty.

  8. Oh’ yes Virgina, and money for every nanny state program you desire grows on magical trees set deep in the California Redwood forests watched over by little winged elves.

    • Hey Aharon those winged elves are supposed to be cleaning my house today! They don’t have time to deal with her drivel…

  9. BTW, did you all read about the crazy naked guy in Florida who was eating the face of a man he knocked down? It supposedly took at least six bullets fired by a cop to get the zombie off the fallen man. If there was ever a reason for carrying a gun and the stand your ground laws in Florida…

    • That’s racist. A Zombie would never be able to successfully invoke stand your ground after shooting a living person.

  10. Mr. Martin might have been beaten to death or permantely been injured if he had not had a gun. or it could have just ended in fist fight. Who can know.

  11. Wow…what an utter moron. So many red flags right off the bat, like calling Martin a “child” or the ever-infamous and ever-idiotic Wild West analogy. What a brainwashed fool with a pathetic inability to see the stretches of reality.

    I could write an essay explaining why this person is laughably wrong and should never procreate in order to help maintain the dignity of human intelligence, but people above have hit the major points just fine. And idiocy like this isn’t worth my time, or the time of anyone with half a brain’s worth of competency.

  12. I always love it when people who know nothing about us tell us how we feel. Well, allow me to return the favor. Virginia, you feel like an idiot.

    • No dude it has been studied and statistically speaking we either get creepy, horny, or angry around guns. I love my range boners.

      • I thought I was the only one that got those. 😉 It’s to the point that I have to back out of the range stall. I can’t just turn around.

  13. 1) Once a boy is old enough to possess a driver’s license (not the “learner” type) and/or is 6′ or taller he is no longer young enough to be called a child. Refer to him as what he is – a young man.

    2) This likely wouldn’t have happened if Zimmerman stayed in his car. Know what, though? Dollars to donuts the last house that got burgled in that community is the last house that gets burgled in that community. Also, bad decision or not, Zimmerman was well within his rights to do what he did, as was Martin (presumably). Sometimes nobody does something blatantly and overtly illegal but **** still happens – that’s called life, folks, and it’s a reality we all need to accept more regularly. No amount of paternalistic government involvement can cure us of that fundamental issue.

    3) Go ahead and call Zimmerman a nimrod if you want, or a dolt, or a fool, or almost any number of other things – that’s your right under the First Amendment, just like it was his right under the Second Amendment (and Florida’s individual expression of it, enshrined in its own state constitution) to carry a concealed firearm wherever he so chose (with a few “standard” restrictions).

    Folks like Franklin need to understand that rights are not the same as privileges – the most commonly touted example of the latter being the freedom to drive – and as such are not subject to the same limitations. Case in point: I can’t think of a person I know who agrees with the Westboro Baptist Church’s speech or their tactics. I can think of many people I know, myself included, who would prefer that they just stopped talking and spreading their “message.” Unfortunately, the First Amendment protects their hate-fueled ramblings, for better or worse, like it or not. Individual passions and preferences matter not one whit in this regard, just like they don’t – or shouldn’t – when it comes to Second Amendment rights.

    4) This could really fit into (3) above but I felt like making it a separate point.

    Pearl-clutching Franklin opines “until everyday American citizens get over pretending they live in the Wild Wild West era of this country’s development, a child is dead and a man’s life destroyed.” (Emphasis mine.)

    I’d like to offer my rebuttal to that: Ms. Franklin (I presume you’re a woman based on your name – could be wrong, though), I would like to think of myself, more or less, as an “everyday American citizen.” Your letter expresses a hope for folks like me to “get over pretending [we] live in the Wild Wild West era of this country’s development.” (For my purposes today I’m going to call the “Wild Wild West era” any time before the 20th Century.) Hope no more; your wish has been granted! Since the day I was born I’ve never harbored a desire to be in or return to those times – or any time before the 70s, really – for two very simple reasons: first, since my earliest memory I’ve been quite fond of researching and learning about history, so I know a little bit about the time period you referenced. Second, and probably most important – the color of my skin. In the era at issue I, as a negro (or one of many other disparaging terms), would not have had the same privileges most folks might expect today – shucks, for most of the period I could’ve been legally kept as a slave! I assure you most wholeheartedly, ma’am, that I have never, ever, pretended I was in or wished to be part of that time period. I do, however, very much appreciate the modern liberties I possess, such as the right to own a firearm for lawful self-defense. As I’m sure you’re aware there are still very ugly racial incidents that plague this wonderful country – James Byrd, Jr. was murdered when I was a child and the murder of Anthony Hill took place two years ago. Based on my sex and ethnicity I’m at a statistically higher risk of being the victim of violent crime, to boot. Would you prefer I remain unarmed? If so, why?

    5) Based on what we know – particularly Zimmerman’s injury report and Martin’s autopsy report – there wouldn’t just have been a little brawl if Zimmerman hadn’t been armed; rather, Zimmerman would probably be buried and Martin would be on trial for his murder. We can’t know for certain what else may or may not have transpired if a gun weren’t involved and frankly I don’t think it matters.

    • I was 6’2″ at 15, and I was no more a man than my daughter is. I was a tall, immature teen, not a man.

      • Opinions may vary and perhaps my standard was a bit lenient. I’d still take issue with calling the 17-year-old, 6′ Martin a “child,” though.

        • Seventeen is old enough to enlist. No Drill Instructor never called us “boys” — “girls” when we were not performing to standard, but never “boys” or “children”.

    • The use of language is shaped to one’s polemic: When the Revered Sharpton is presenting an award to a 14-year-old boy for achievement at a ghetto school, he calls the boy “this fine young man.” When he’s talking about a man who was killed in a needless head-smashing fight, he calls the man “this boy.” It’s that simple.

    • Speaking also as a male and a minority, the statistical likelihood for my violent demise makes me very leery of rich, white folk screaming for the curtailment of “privileges” to self defense. Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, but he won’t deliver in my neighborhood because he’s afraid of getting mugged.

      Until that reality sinks in, stop pretending that it is misplaced bravado or desire to “live in the wild west” rather than a simple desire to preserve life and limb on a day-to-day basis that motivates “people like me” to seek the protection of arms.

  14. Someone should take her to night of UFC fighting. First row. Up front. Wet, bloody, bone breaking violence. Then ask her how she thinks these episodes might end with no referee, in an uncontrolled, rage filled incident. Mild to moderate bodily harm?? Some people either simply refuse to see reality, or they’ve been sheltered from it their whole lives. There are plenty of people training every day for this type of fighting. How would she like to defend herself against just such an aggressor, in, say, a road rage incident??

    No we don’t live in the old wild west. It’s worse now.

  15. She also conveniently overlooks the fact that guns are only one type of weapon that might appear in a street fight. Rocks, tree branches, pavement…wherever people are fighting there is probably something nearby that could inflict lethal damage.

    “Some people either simply refuse to see reality, or they’ve been sheltered from it their whole lives.” I vote for the latter based on the incredible naivete of her comments.

  16. While today’s youth may be more unlearned, immature, needy, and unaccountable than previous generations anyone who has passed beyond puberty is an adult. TM may have been a young adult man yet he was one. Becoming legally privileged and responsible in different ways at age 18 0r 21 years old is simply an artificial legal standard established in America.

  17. “Had this same set of circumstances occurred with no gun present, the
    worst scenario would have been an incident of fisticuffs, resulting in
    both people enduring mild to moderate bodily harm.”

    Clearly this woman has never been in a fight before because she doesnt seem to grasp the potential damage two adult (in a physical sense) men can do to one another when slamming each other’s heads into solid pavement. Maybe Person A  would have been satisfied with giving Person B a solid beating, or maybe one of them would have smashed the others head into a curb and made a squishy mess. 

    Sounds like Virginia’s only knowledge of fistfights comes from TV where stuntmen take huge hits and shake it off with a shrug. In the real world when someone hits you Really hard in face you are  F&*%ed.

    The point that, had Zimmerman not been armed, he might not have gotten out of the car Could be valid, but who knows.

  18. I used to box. Give me two or three good swings with out gloves on, and there sure isn’t going to be “Mild to moderate” body damage. With gloves on you can still knock out and even kill another opponent in the ring. With out someone there to pull you off…Forget about it.

    Give some one one or two good fights with out anyone there to referee, and we’ll see how apt they are to depend on unarmed prowess to defend themselves.

  19. The words “over-educated shithead” come to mind.

    Kindly tell me what publication employs this moron so that I can put it on my “Must Miss” list.


  20. Since in Virginia’s world, physical violence only ever results in mild to moderate injuries, I’m guessing that she is also against women trying to defend themselves against rape. And home owners should not be afraid of looting mobs during catastrophies. After all, it’s only gonna be a couple of bruises and a fat lip right? Her head is so far buried in the sand, that only her toes are sticking out.

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