How is Mason1972's example worse than the Zimmerman shooting?

In another thread, Mason1972 posted this rather unsettling post:

Resoundingly, we all proceeded to agree that this was a horrible tragedy rather than an example of positive gun news. I’m very proud of the gun supporters in that thread who hastened to condemn this police shooting of an innocent civilian.

And yet, some of these same people defended Zimmerman when he murdered Trayvon Martin. Please explain to me how the Zimmerman killing is more justified than this one, considering:

[li]Neither Martin nor the victim in this case were committing any crimes.[/li][li]Martin was unarmed, and posed no threat to Zimmerman. The homeowner in this case was armed, and ignoring police instructions. While he did this because he was mostly deaf, the police had no way of knowing this.[/li][li]Zimmerman is a civilian who was explicitly told by Dispatch not to follow Trayvon Martin. This police officer was responding to an actual crime that was being committed.[/li][/ul]

I’m very much hoping you guys can provide a reasonable explanation for why you’d be totally fine with Trayvon Martin being shot (or at least, unwilling to criticize Zimmerman’s actions) while this other case is a tragedy. I’d like to hope that there’s more going on here than the race of the victims.

EDITED TO ADD: I realize I didn’t explicitly state my point of view. I consider both cases to be terrible tragedies. The Trayvon Martin case was worse, as the victim was unarmed, and should have resulted in Zimmerman’s imprisonment for the rest of his life for murder in the first degree (he followed Trayvon Martin and attacked him, for no reason other than Martin’s race making him “suspicious” in Zimmerman’s eye. Since he assaulted Martin, committing a felony, and then proceeded to kill him, then this should count as felony murder, even if Zimmerman wasn’t specifically plotting to kill the kid.)

This case, meanwhile, is an undisputed tragedy. The homeowner should not have been shot, but the police officer who shot him was acting as a reasonable person would when confronted by a possible armed assailant at the scene of a crime who is ignoring police instructions. Add that to the list of reasons not to own a gun.

Cite that there are people condemning that shooting while defending Zimmerman?

I’m with enalzi. You are making a huge assumption that is totally unsupported and, I believe, completely in error. So, I have no idea to whom you are referring when you say, “you guys”.

The Martin situation qualifies as “tragic” in my mind because he was stalked and murdered, and the perp was, somehow, exonerated. The only thing “tragic” about this other situation is that it is a tragedy that anyone could be that stupid. Holding a gun and failing to follow police instructions is tantamount to “suicide by cop”. I really can’t envision how one could NOT be shot under those circumstances. In fact, I think it would qualify for a “Darwin Award”.

Jasmine, I agree completely with your assessment of the two cases.

As for a cite – I guess my problem is more with the fact that people are acting like Mason1972’s position is so abhorrent and unprecedented, including people who supported Zimmerman; but Mason1972’s position isn’t any crazier than supporting Zimmerman, because there were far more reasons for the cops to shoot this guy then there were for Zimmerman to shoot Trayvon Martin.

So maybe my problem isn’t so much with people who are condemning the shooting itself as it is with people who are condemning Mason1972’s position while holding a much more abhorrent position themselves.

I can try. Whether or not it will work this time, vs. the tens of thousands of posts in multiple threads about the Zimmerman shooting, remains to be seen.

Basically, your first two bullet points are incorrect insofar as they refer to Martin, and your third is irrelevant.

When Martin was shot, as far as the evidence can determine he was sitting on Zimmerman’s chest bashing his head on the ground, after attacking him and knocking him to the ground. Which is a crime, and which also posed a threat, to say the least, to Zimmerman.

The police NEN dispatcher does not have the legal authority to order anyone not to follow anyone else, except where following someone would constitute a crime, which it did not in that case. So her saying “we don’t need you to do that” does not affect the legal status of the shooting. Whether or not it was a good idea or not to follow him is a different issue, and in any case, Zimmerman (according to his contemporaneous utterances and the testimony of Dee Dee) was not following Martin. Martin and Zimmerman had lost sight of each other, and Martin was right by his father’s girlfriend’s condo, when Martin doubled back, found Zimmerman, and attacked him when Zimmerman asked him what he was doing.

Both shootings were tragic, no doubt, but the circumstances were rather different.


Again, do you have a cite of people condemning Mason while supporting Zimmerman?

Look one post up from yours. Maybe I was premature in posting the thread without a specific example in mind, but one came in on its own, so it’s not like I was crazy to believe it would happen.

I’ll address your comment when I have a little more time, Shodan. I wholeheartedly disagree but, for what it’s worth, thank you for your response.

Wait…the septuagenarian? The guy with severe hearing problems? The guy who had just fired a handgun in close quarters, which is easily enough to temporarily deafen even someone with ears that work right? That guy should have expected to die when he didn’t immediately hear and parse police shouting? That guy is a Darwin candidate???

You don’t have the facts right. It wasn’t “murder”. This is how wells get poisoned.

Wrong. Martin was committing assault and battery.

Wrong again. Martin was on top of Zimmerman and beating him, and had tried to take Zimmerman’s gun.

Gee, why do you suppose he did that, huh? Did something happen just before that, maybe? :rolleyes:

I mean, essentially you are asking for people to defend something that hasn’t happened, and then cite the fact that people came into your thread to answer your question as proof that it happened.

I don’t know which “he” you’re referring to here, but nothing happened which justified (at least in the eyes of the law) Martin in attacking Zimmerman.

People were criticizing Mason1972 for saying what he said in that gun thread because it was so obviously wrong to celebrate the death of an innocent and praise the cop who killed him. These same people praised Zimmerman. So maybe they didn’t specifically use the magic words you’re looking for, but they do have the opinion that Zimmerman was justified while this cop was not. That opinion is what I want to debate here, and while I didn’t have any “cite” of people expressing this opinion in plain terms, it was pretty clear they held that opinion.

“In the eyes of the law”. :rolleyes: That’s where you defend Stand Your Ground, right? And not Zimmerman’s stalking and threatening of Martin, and brandishing his Good Guy weapon.

A reminder of the facts.

Zimmerman was found not guilty. People of color were on the jury.

I could see why you would try to make a (bad, inaccurate, wrong) case for “stalking”, but at which point in the timeline did Zimmerman either “threaten” Martin or “brandish” his weapon? Or is that just a figment of your imagination?

That’s one way of looking at it.

Another way of looking at it is that Martin found himself being pursued by a stranger with a gun and he Stood His Ground and defended himself.

For those playing along at home, my first two bullet points were:

[li]Neither Martin nor the victim in this case were committing any crimes.[/li][li]Martin was unarmed, and posed no threat to Zimmerman. The homeowner in this case was armed, and ignoring police instructions. While he did this because he was mostly deaf, the police had no way of knowing this.[/li][/ul]

So, Shodan, what crime was Trayvon Martin committing? Possession of Skittles? Walking While Black? Hoodie in the Third Degree? Ignoring the instructions of a fat asshole who thinks he’s a cop?

Are you claiming he was armed? Or do you take issue with my statement that he “posed no threat” to Zimmerman? Because if that’s the part you don’t like, then by your own logic, Zimmerman was posing a threat to Trayvon. A much worse threat, because he was armed. Therefore, Trayvon Martin would have been justified in killing Zimmerman, his armed assailant, in self defense, could he have done so.

This happened AFTER Zimmerman stalked him, then pulled a gun on him. Stalking and brandishing a weapon often fall afoul of any of a number of laws, although I don’t know if Florida has any of those and I don’t frankly care enough to look it up. Point is – put yourself in Trayvon’s situation. You’re walking down the street at night when a strange man starts stalking you, then corners you and pulls out a gun. In what possible world would any action you take against this madman NOT self defense?

Why are you bringing up the legal status of the shooting? I’m asking you about the MORAL status of the shooting. We’ve already established that in Florida, it is legal to kill unarmed black people after threatening and stalking them when they exercise their right to self-defense. You might consider the law in Florida fine and dandy. I consider it barbaric. But I’m not here to talk to you about the law – I’m asking about morality.

I agree that he wasn’t being especially negligent in this case. But at the same time, neither was the cop. How was the cop supposed to know that he’s deaf, rather than purposefully ignoring the cop? And the victim raised a flashlight and pointed it at the cop. People have been shot for much less.

By that logic, Zimmerman committed murder. Neither of them was ever convicted, so if you are going to call what Martin did “assault and battery” anyways, then I’ll call what Zimmerman did murder.

Remember, I’m asking you about MORALITY, not LEGALITY. You are being followed through the night by a strange man. You are committing no crime. You lose this man, but suddenly come upon him again and he demands to know what you are doing. He’s got a hand in his pocket in a pretty threatening manner. He is not law enforcement – he’s just a fat asshole who is fondling his gun while demanding to know why you’re walking around out in public. And again, a few minutes ago, he was following you around.

Are you honestly telling me that you wouldn’t fear for your life, just like Trayvon Martin did? You wouldn’t try to defend yourself?

Nobody is asking about the eyes of the law. Zimmerman stalked Martin with a gun simply because of Martin’s race. When they ran into each other again, he demanded to know why Martin was… walking around in public. In what possible world is Martin not right to fear for his life and take any steps necessary to defend himself?

There are several problems with your theory. First off, he wasn’t “being pursued” by Zimmerman anymore. He’d lost him, and was home. He then chose to go back and start a fight, which he lost.

Secondly, “stand your ground”, and use of force in self defense in general, is only a legal option for someone who (in Florida statute) “reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against such other’s imminent use of unlawful force.” You’ve got no evidence that Zimmerman was threatening “imminent use of unlawful force”.

I can’t be the only one who’s beyond thrilled that we finally have a thread in which to discuss the Martin/Zimmerman incident, can I?

(Also, apologies for the nitpick, but it’s “Manson.” Helter Skelter, not Humbert Humbert.)