Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Liberty Alert: Firearms Kill People!

Recent news regarding a FL teenager killed by a neighborhood watch 'supervisor' has diverted my attention to violence friendly laws in multiple states across the United States. In this particular instance, Trayvon Martin, a 17 year old black teenager was standing around in his friend's neighborhood while on the cell phone while another male - George Zimmerman- came from behind and shot him with his handgun. It is worth mentioning that the 'other male' was Hispanic in ethnicity (so it isn't considered a typical racist crime) and was fulfilling his responsibility by keeping his eyes open around the neighborhood looking for 'suspicious' activities. He first called 911 expressing his concerns regarding this suspicious teenager in a neighbor's yard and even when told not to follow the victim outside, did so and after a short scuffle, ended up shooting Trayvon killing him on the spot.

Keeping the race drama out of it (as suggested by some media), Zimmerman was never taken into custody because under FL self-defense law, aka Stand Your Ground law, it makes it rather simple to attack a potential 'attacker' if you 'reasonably' believe that you have to act in force to protect yourself. Specifically it states: "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 or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony."

Rather open to interpretation. Aside from the fact that self defense homicides have gone up 300% since this Stand Your Ground law was passed, it is baffling that such incidents are not worthy enough to debate or change the necessity of having lenient gun laws, such as those present in over a quarter of the states in this country that don't require a license to carry a firearm and about a dozen that don't require a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

No matter what this attacker's intentions were, there is no denying the fact that the gun made it easy for him to commit this murder and use 'force' in a deadly and effective way. There are people who will perhaps find other ways to kill, no matter how strict the gun laws are, but simplifying the process to gain access to a firearm is detrimental to society and communities as a whole.

The so-called red aka Republican aka conservative states take pride in the second amendment and chirp songs on liberty, but what is often overlooked is that 'this' liberty and freedom acts out as self-serving and self-centered and does not usually serve interests of society and people as a whole. Isn't it time we frown upon using firearms and violence as a means to resolve a conflict? The children in our society surely think that guns make pains go away. Let's get real with guns, they kill people, or at least, make it terribly easy to do so. Almost 70% of homicides (2006-2010) across the country were committed due to firearms - smoking gun - is it not?

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