Saturday, July 20, 2013

Mississippi - Worst in Life Expectancy and Health

Obama Press Conference on the Zimmerman Verdict

Department of Justice Puts Hold on the Zimmerman Evidence

George Zimmermans Gun

Washington DC - -( Although George Zimmerman was found “not guilty” by a jury of his peers in the self-defense shooting of Trayvon Martin, Attorney General Eric Holder refuses to give Zimmerman’s gun back.
The Sanford police department confirmed that the DOJ has placed a “hold” on evidence relating to the Zimmerman trial. Officers have been instructed not to return “any pieces of evidence to their owners,” including Zimmerman’s gun.
The Daily Mail suggests this is one more sign that “the criminal section of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division is seriously investigating whether civil rights charges should be filed.”
The DOJ has not said if or when it will “take custody” of the evidence being held. For now, Holder has made it clear he is “concerned about the case,” and the DOJ is examining every aspect of it to see if civil rights charges can be pursued.

Bill Moyers with Tom Diaz

Cenk Uygur Takes on Larry Elder For Attack on Rachel Jeantel

Vancouver Man Tries the "But the Vice President Said" Defense


There are some defenses that work well when you’re charged with a crime. Not a single one of them is “But the Vice President said!” Vancouver, Washington resident Jeffery Barton was arrested for discharging his gun into the air to scare of potential carjackers. When he was outside the courtroom, Barton explained himself with the following: “I did what Joe Biden told me to do. I went outside and fired my shotgun in the air.”
Law enforcement officials explained to KOIN 6 News that you can’t just fire shots into the air unless there is a legitimate self-defense concern. Barton pled not guilty to the charge, and presumably the “I was just following orders” defense won’t work here.
Barton was referring to a Facebook town hall Biden held with Parents Magazine earlier this year, in which the VP received a question about banning high-capacity magazines. This is how Biden responded to the question.
“If you want to protect yourself, get a double barrel shotgun.” Biden indicated that it’s the same thing he tells his wife. “I said, ‘Jill, if there’s ever a problem, just walk out onto the balcony, put that double-barrel shotgun and fire two blasts outside the house. I promise you whoever is coming in…’”

Friday, July 19, 2013

Bill Clinton on Mass Shootings

John Henry Spooner Guilty of 1st Degree Murder - Was He Insane?

Chicago Sun Times

A Milwaukee man was convicted Wednesday of fatally shooting his 13-year-old neighbor whom he suspected had broken into his home and stolen weapons. The trial now shifts into a second phase in which the defense will try to prove the 76-year-old defendant was mentally ill at the time of the shooting.

A jury deliberated for about an hour before finding John Henry Spooner guilty of first-degree intentional homicide. Surveillance video from Spooner’s own security cameras showed him confronting Darius Simmons in May 2012, pointing a gun at him from about 6 feet away and shooting him in the chest.

Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Calls for Ted Nugent's Removal from the NRA Board

Go here to sign the petition.


Ted Nugent has been making news for years with his angry, racist rhetoric. And throughout it all, he has sat on the National Rifle Association (NRA) Board of Directors, helping to lead the nation’s premier gun lobby organization.

In recent weeks, however, Nugent has sunk to a new low with a series of statements that are so overtly racist they call into question why the NRA is continuing to allow him to represent their organization:
  • Speaking to conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, Nugent said, “Blacks can fix the black problem tonight if they just admit they can do anything I can do…anything that any American can do if you put your heart and soul into being honest, law abiding…” He then claimed, “Racism against blacks was gone by the time I started touring the nation in the late ’60s.”
  • During a paid appearance before an association of entrepreneurs, Nugent bragged about shooting and killing 450 feral hogs with a machine gun in Texas and added, “And now if they would just take me to South Central [Los Angeles].”
  • Nugent described Trayvon Martin as a “dope smoking, racist gangsta wannabe” and said the slain teen’s parents should be sued and held “liable for the emotional pain and suffering [George] Zimmerman has been put through for the past 18 months.”
The NRA likes to bill itself as the “oldest civil rights organization in the United States.” If they want to wear that mantle it’s time for them to walk the walk and end their relationship with Ted Nugent immediately.

Tell the National Rifle Association: Enough is enough. Publicly repudiate Ted Nugent’s racist rhetoric and remove him from your Board of Directors.

11-Year-old Dead in Southwestern Illinois - No Charges

Local news reports

An 11-year-old boy from southwestern Illinois was fatally shot — on accident — by a 6-year-old friend, authorities said Wednesday.

Belleville police spokesman Mark Heffernan said the shooting happened around 11 p.m. Tuesday at a home during a family barbecue. He said that three children, including the victim, were alone upstairs in a home while adults were downstairs.

The St. Clair County Coroner's office identified the victim as Leonard J. Smith Jr.

An autopsy conducted Wednesday showed he died from a single gunshot wound to the head.

"This is obviously a very tragic situation, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the victim's family," Heffernan told the newspaper. "Those who own firearms need to ensure their firearms are secured so we don't have another tragic situation like the one we've been investigating."

In 2011, Belleville police investigated a fatal accidental shooting when a 5-year-old was shot to death by his 10-year-old brother. The boys had been playing with a shotgun inside the family's home. No charges were filed.

That's how they protect each other.  They have an investigation and then determine it was just an accident.  No charges necessary.

Dead 9-Year-old in Mississippi - No Charges for the Gun Owning Parents

Local news reports

Authorities say a 9-year-old Raymond boy died after being shot at a home in Copiah County.
Coroner Ellis Stewart identified the victim as Isaac Tervino.

Tervino was with two other children in a bedroom of the home on Highway 18 in the northwest part of the county. [Undersheriff Derrick] Cubit said the two other boys were brothers and Tervino was their cousin. The adults were reportedly in another room of the house eating.

Cubit says 1 of the other children found a gun, picked it up and fired, striking Tervino above the right eyebrow.

He says the victim was airlifted to University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson where he died.

Cubit says the shooting appears to be accidental, and no charges have been filed.

In Mississippi it doesn't even take an investigation to determine that it was an accident and no charges are required. No worries about violating anyone's right to due process there - except the dead kid and his traumatized cousins, of course.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Another statement of the concept of due process

Another statement of the concept of due process guaranteed by the US Constitution's  Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.

The Human Rights Act 1998 incorporates into English law Article 2 Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which defines the right to life as follows:

    "1. Everyone's right to life shall be protected by law. No one shall be deprived of his life intentionally save in the execution of a sentence of a court following his conviction of a crime for which this penalty is provided by law.
    2. Deprivation of life shall not be regarded as inflicted in contravention of this Article when it results from the use of force which is no more than absolutely necessary:
        (a) in defence of any person from unlawful violence;
        (b) in order to effect a lawful arrest or to prevent the escape of a person lawfully detained;
        (c) in action lawfully taken for the purpose of quelling a riot or insurrection."

The reason that "get away with murder" laws violate due process is that they sanction the extra-judicial taking of life, which contradicts 800 years of legal history.

BTW,  In Evans v United Kingdom, the Court ruled that the right to life does not extend to a human embryo.

The Fascinating Story of Black Metal Murderer Varg Vikernes

Dangerous Minds


I’d like to think the US could attempt this sort of careful diligence in apprehending our own domestic terrorists, but let’s be honest, gun-wielding psychos are a protected class in this country.

Communist Propaganda

This is scary as to how accurate this is....

Using propaganda, they can offer simple solutions to complex problems.

I have to quote:

by Paul Weber
Over the years, I have had the privilege of meeting and having discussions with people who came to America from countries known for their adherence to totalitarianism: China, Russia, and former east European satellites of the Soviet Union. When we discussed how the state managed to control public opinion under totalitarianism, these people would usually produce a weary, knowledgeable, cynical smile and point out that propaganda in those countries was really done quite incompetently. If you really want to know propaganda, they said, you need to study American propaganda technique. According to them, it is, undeniably, the best in the world.
"How can that be?" I asked, honestly puzzled.
Propaganda in those countries was too obvious, they told me. As soon as you read the first sentence you knew it was a bunch of propaganda, so you didn’t even bother to read it. If you heard a speech, you knew in the first few words that it was propaganda, and you tuned it out.
"But," I then queried, "How do you know when it’s just propaganda?"
The expatriates explained that bad propaganda uses obvious terminology that anyone can see through. Anyone hearing the phrase "capitalist running dogs", knows he’s listening to incompetent propaganda and tunes it out. Lousy propaganda, these knowledgeable but jaded individuals would tell me, appeals to an abstract theory, to a rational thesis that can be disproved. Even though communists had total control of the press, the people just tuned it out (except for those who were the most mentally defective). Most people, they assured me, just went about their lives as best they could, paid lip service to the state, and just tried to keep out of the way of the secret police. But hardly anyone really believed the stuff. The result, after many decades of suffering, was the eventual collapse of the old order once The Great Leader expired, whether his name was Brezhnev, Mao, or Tito.
American propaganda, however, is much cleverer. American propaganda, they patiently explained, relies entirely on emotional appeals. It doesn’t depend on a rational theory that can be disproved: it appeals to things no one can object to.
American propaganda had its birth, so far as I can tell, in the advertising industry. The pioneers of advertising—a truly loathsome bunch—learned early on that people would respond to purely emotional appeals. Abstract theory and logical argument do nothing to spur sales. However, appeals to sexiness, to pride of ownership, to fear of falling behind the neighbors are the stock in trade of advertising executives. A man walking down the street with beautiful women hanging on his arms is not a logical argument, but it sure sells after-shave. A woman in a business suit with a briefcase, strolling along with swaying hips, assuring us she can "bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, but never let you forget you’re a man" really sells the perfume.
Once again:

Tennessee Gun Report

Southern Beale

Yo, Dayton, TN, maybe check Snopes before you start spending your money on pro-gun billboards:


From the story:
“Hitler’s infamous quote … is probably a fraud and likely never uttered,” Harcourt wrote. “It has been the subject of much research, all of it fruitless, and has now entered the annals of urban legends.”
A 1938 Nazi government law prohibited Jews from owning guns, “but simultaneously liberalized gun restrictions for most everyone else. The law totally deregulated the sale of rifles, shotguns and ammunition,” the blog states.
Idiots. Dayton, TN was first in the news for giving us the Scopes Monkey Trial, and back in 2004 they tried to outlaw homosexuality. Looks like ignorance and stupidity still reign supreme down there. Must be something in the water.

What I find most interesting is how ignorance and stupidity often go hand in hand with gun-rights fanaticism.  One need look no further than my own little blog.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Albuquerque Cop Shot Accidentally by Fellow Officer

Local news reports

More details in an accidental shooting of an Albuquerque police officer by a fellow cop were revealed Tuesday.

Officer Scott Maher was hit in the leg when Sgt. Darcy McDermeit accidentally fired her gun Tuesday night.
The two were searching for a suspect with a rifle at a building near Old Coors and West Central.
Maher has been treated and released from the hospital.

Sergeant McDermeit, a 17-year APD officer, is on desk duty during an internal investigation.

That "desk duty" should be permanent, no question about it.

What do you think?

Holder Says Get Rid of SYG - Cox Responds Self-defense is a Fundamental Human Right - Huh?

(Credit: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)


The National Rifle Association accused the Obama Administration of politicizing Trayvon Martin’s death after Attorney General Eric Holder called for a possible end to the “Stand-Your-Ground” self-defense laws in states like Florida, where Martin was shot.

“The attorney general fails to understand that self-defense is not a concept, it’s a fundamental human right,” NRA executive director Chris Cox said in a statement. “To send a message that legitimate self-defense is to blame is unconscionable, and demonstrates once again that this administration will exploit tragedies to push their political agenda.”

In a speech on Tuesday, Holder  said that it’s time to take a “hard look” at the laws, which are currently active in at least 22 states. “[S]eparate and apart from the case that has drawn the nation’s attention, it’s time to question laws that senselessly expand the concept of self-defense and sow dangerous conflict in our neighborhoods,” Holder said.

Did you see how Cox changed the argument? Being on the wrong side of the discussion, the pro-gun fanatics always resort to smoke and mirrors - either that or blatant exaggeration and lies.

The Attorney General said we need to do away with SYG.  Cox responded that SELF-DEFENSE is a fundamental human right.

What's your opinion?  Please leave  a comment.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The case I mentioned in The Absurdity of "Get Away with Murder" Laws

Here is the original The Absurdity of "Get Away with Murder" Laws post.

The actual case:

What happened: Nine-year-old Sherdavia Jenkins was caught in the crossfire of a gunfight between two men that was possibly over drugs. The shooters were about 50 yards away from Jenkins, who was playing with a doll near the porch of her house. Darling said he feared Larose would pull a gun on him so he pulled his gun first but was acting in self-defense.
Source: The Tampa Bay Times study on Florida's Stand Your Ground Laws

The Tampa Bay Times used media reports, court records and interviews with prosecutors and attorneys to identify more than 200 “stand your ground” cases across Florida. The list, though incomplete, is the most comprehensive in the state and likely includes most fatal cases.

The Times asked questions about each conflict: Who was armed? Who started the fight? It also recorded the race, age and sex of those involved and the case outcome. Hispanics often are listed as white or black because many police agencies record only race, not ethnicity.

Critics say "stand your ground" turned Florida into the Wild West. Supporters say it has helped keep innocents out of jail. The truth of how the law has been used over the past six years was unknown until now.

Here are the results:

What follows is the most comprehensive list of "stand your ground" cases ever created. Browse by victim or defendant, by fatal or nonfatal cases. Hover over a photo to explore the basics of each case or click it for a more detailed case file. Use the buttons at right to filter by race, sex and location.

 More on Sherdavia Jenkins

"Getting away with murder"

Neighborhood Wash/Watch -- the blood stains are still there, not only in this death but in many other deaths.
Shoot First/Kill at Will/Stand Your Ground laws result, consistently, in more homicides, but not in less crime.
 From THE 16 July 2013 Minneapolis Star Tribune (by permission--got that?):

And while we're at it:

That was the students from Howard University School of Medicine, making a strong point about "get away with murder" laws..

If Only Lincoln Had a Gun

Don't forget Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis!

Just remember gun owners aren't victims!

They're usually the ones doing the killing.

Don't forget Jordan Davis!

I mean it's not hard to forget another young black man was shot in cold blood by someone who was emboldened by Florida's "get away with murder" law.

Michael David Dunn, 45, told police he shot and killed Davis at a gas station last year because he feared for his life.

And what was this life threatening situation which led to the death of Jordan Davis?


Yep, a drunken Michael Dunn had told Davis and his friends to turn down their loud music.

Dunn claims that the situation escalated and the teens began threatening him. Dunn started shooting because he thought they had a shotgun.

“It was either a barrel or a stick but, sir, they’re like we’re going to kill you and then they said, ‘you’re dead [expletive removed].’ What I should have done was put the car in reverse, but that shotgun come up or whatever it was – fight or flight – and I don’t think there was time for flight at that moment because I was going to get shot.”
Dunn fled the scene, but was arrested the next day.

So much for "standing his ground"--maybe the fact that he was drunk form being at a wedding reception might partially account for not staying on the scene?

Dunn, who faces a first-degree murder charge and three attempted murder charges, plans to invoke Florida’s controversial “Stand your ground” law in his defense.

Come on! We know that gun owners aren't victims--they are the ones doing the killing of unarmed people!

The Missing NRA response???

The Daily Kos hits the nail on the head with:

Why Isn't NRA Arguing Trayvon Martin Tragedy Could Have Been Averted if Only He Had a Gun?

Seriously!  Come on--stand your ground has nothing to do with it?

Yeah, but what if Trayvon did have a gun?  Anyway, the Daily Kos goes on:

Sometimes, silence is much more revealing than those words actually spoken. Such is the case with respect to how the NRA has responded to the George Zimmerman verdict: with virtual silence.

One might expect the NRA to respond to Trayvon Martin's death by calling upon young, black men across this country to arm themselves, since the only way to truly protect oneself from the threat of violence in this country is to own a firearm. To exercise one's Second Amendment right.

After all, that's how it's responded to any number of shootings in which white people have been killed in mass shootings.

Of course, by expect, I mean the opposite, an ironic point made by a Tweet yesterday from Anonymous:

The Daily Kos gives the following conclusion for the silence about having an armed victim in this case:
We know the reason why. For when the NRA lobbied hard for the Stand Your Ground law in Florida which allowed Zimmerman to murder a young, black youth, it did so with a vision of white 'victimhood' – and gun sales to white Americans – in mind.
Of course, the "pro-gun" side likes to point out how gun laws are racist.  I mean when the black panthers started parading around with guns, we saw a slew of gun control laws come out.

But, white guys go trotting around with assault rifles and making seditious remarks?
Yeah, it's pretty clear what's going on here?

Gun owners aren't victims--they are the ones killing people.

And more than are few are getting away with murder.

John Henry Spooner, Killer of Unarmed Black 13-Year-old to go on Trial in Wisconsin

John Henry Spooner, left; Patricia Larry, right, holds a photo of her slain son, Darius Simmons (AP)
John Henry Spooner, left; Patricia Larry, right, holds a photo of her slain son, Darius Simmons (AP)

Yahoo News further to our earlier post

In a case that bears some striking similarities to George Zimmerman's, a 76-year-old Milwaukee man is set to stand trial this week in the 2012 shooting death a 13-year-old boy he had accused of stealing from him.

Police say John Henry Spooner confronted Darius Simmons, who lived next door with his mother, as the teen took out the trash. Spooner, who is white, had suspected that Simmons, who was black, stole $3,000 worth of shotguns from him, and demanded that the sixth-grader return them. Simmons denied stealing the guns, and his mother, Patricia Larry, told Spooner to go back inside.

Instead, prosecutors say, Spooner pulled out a handgun and shot the 13-year-old in the chest from near-point blank range.

"When police arrived, Spooner was still on the sidewalk, holding the gun," according to the criminal complaint. "When told to drop the weapon, he placed it on the ground and told police, 'Yeah, I shot him.'"

Sorry, but I fail to see the similarities to the Zimmerman case. Spooner was a gun owner who believed in taking the law into his own hands, racially profiled the black kid who lived next door and killed him even though he was unarmed.

Wait, on second thought,...

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

John Oliver on the Zimmerman Verdict -- Florida - The Worst State

Lawrence O'Donnell Discusses Stand Your Ground and Its Role in the Zimmerman Verdict

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The jury instructions included an explanation of the Stand Your Ground policy. Yet, our fanatical gun-rights friends still insist SYG had nothing to do with this case.

Chicago Protest over the Zimmerman Verdict

About 150 people marched through downtown Chicago, passing city landmarks like Millenium Park and eventually gathering in Daley Plaza.

Interestingly, most of the people in this shot are white. What do you make of that?

Cudahy, Wisconsin Man Facing Criminal Charges after Shooting Cousin



26-year-old Brandon M. Kronquist is charged with Injury by negligent handing of dangerous weapon after allegedly shooting his cousin in the back. Kronquist tells police the shooting that occurred in his mobile home was completely accidental.

Cudahy police responded to reports of a shootiing on the 5900 block of S. Packard Ave. They arrived to find John Kronquist bleeding from a gunshot wound to the back.

Brandon Kronquist told officers, "it was an accident". He  initially told officers he went to put his gun on top of the refridgerator, because he didn't want to sit and eat with the gun in his pocket. He later told officers he pulled the gun out of his pocket jokingly making a quickdraw motion, and the gun went off.
According to the complaint, Kronquist appeared very disturbed and bothered by what occurred to his cousin and continually asked about the status and condition of John. He told police he felt sick about what happened and was very concerned about his cousin. 
Upon conviction for this offense, a Class I Felony, Brandon Kronquist could be fined up to $10,000 and serve up to may be fined no more than three and a half years in prison.
Wow, what could account for the seriousness with which they're handling this case? Maybe the arresting officers don't like people who live in trailers or have beards.
"Injury by negligent handing of dangerous weapon," a "Class I Felony" should be standard fare for all negligent shootings.
What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Bellevue, Washington Gun Range Accidental Shooting

Wade's Eastside Gun Shop in Bellevue, pictured in a file photo. Photo: Grant M. Haller, Seattle Post-Intelligencer / Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Wade's Eastside Gun Shop in Bellevue, pictured in a file photo. Photo: Grant M. Haller, Seattle Post-Intelligencer 


A man shot in both arms during an accidental shooting at a Bellevue gun range has sued the range and the man who shot him, claiming both failed to take appropriate care.

In a lawsuit filed July 11 against Wade’s Eastside Guns, attorneys for the man contend he was hit in the arms after a bullet fired by another Wade’s customer blew through a divider separating two shooting booths.

According to the lawsuit, the offending customer was firing a Smith & Wesson pistol that was “rather new” to him in a neighboring lane at Wade’s range. As the man raised his arms to shoot, the other customer accidentally fired through the foam lane divider.

The 9 mm bullet struck the man in the right arm, powered through it, then tore through his left arm as well, leaving him seriously injured, according to the lawsuit.

The offending shooter was certainly a lawful gun owner who may have had a concealed carry permit for all we know.  No one checks these things. That's how they keep the stats down in order to make the ridiculous claim that concealed carry permit holders are safer than cops.

The other ridiculous claim they often make, in order to make gun use seem more mainstream, is that there are more and more women involved.  Check the picture.

What's  your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Of Course, It's About Racism..

By now, I'm sure most everyone has heard about NRA hero George Zimmerman and his trial.

The racist gunloons will maintain that Trayvon Martin had it coming and Zimmerman was well within his rights to defend himself and there was no racism involved, whatsoever.

But what would have happened if it were an unarmed George Zimmerman who was shot and killled by armed Trayvon Martin?  Wonder if a gun-toting Trayvon Martin would have been acquitted?

Wonder no more.

The Trevor Dooley Case:

Danielle was shooting hoops with her father that Sunday afternoon. Dooley came from his home across the street to complain about a 14-year-old skateboarder who had gotten James' permission to use the other side of the court.An argument between Dooley and James got the attention of a married couple, Michael and Michelle Whitt, who were practicing serves on the adjacent tennis court.The bizarre nature of the dispute, they said, caused them to stop and watch. It quickly took a lethal turn.They testified last week they saw Dooley flip up his T-shirt, revealing a gun in his waistband, as he cursed James. They said Dooley then turned and headed home, but James spun him around and tried to grab the gun.The skateboarder, Spencer Arthur, also watched, stunned. He didn't see Dooley flash a gun but said he saw him pull out the weapon as he spun around.Danielle could hardly remember anything. She clutched a toy bunny named Monica as she testified. She has been in counseling for two years. She said she only remembered Dooley trying to go home."The only consistency in their testimony," defense attorney Ronald Tulin said to the jury, "was that Mr. Dooley walked away. How can you convict him of manslaughter if he's trying to walk away?"Dooley, who is 5-feet-7 and weighs 160 pounds, told jurors he had to struggle with a man 28 years younger who was 6-1 and 240 pounds. He said he pulled out the gun only after James grabbed him by the throat and began yanking him to the ground. "I had no other choice,'' he said.

The ultimate in "get away with murder" law stupidity

This headline says it all:

Defense: 'Stand your ground' should apply to intruder who killed man in apartment

A South Carolina Supreme Court order has brought a Columbia murder trial to a screeching halt after the alleged gunman's attorney argued the state's 'stand your ground' law should be invoked because his client feared for his own life after breaking into another man's apartment.

Well, he is an "otherwise law abiding citizen"--it's those pesky laws that make them criminals.

Juror B37 Says the Not-Guilty Verdict was Based on Stand Your Ground

JUROR: Right. Because of the heat of the moment and the Stand Your Ground. He had a right to defend himself. If he felt threatened that his life was going to be taken away from him or he was going to have bodily harm, he had a right. 

As I said before to the several gun-rights fanatics who kept repeating that SYG was not invoked in the trial, since it is the law of the land in Florida, it was indeed a part of the defense and certainly used by the jurors in their deliberations.

Juror B37 admitted as much.  Now we'll hear all the double-talking justifications from those gun nuts about what they said earlier.  My prediction: not a one of them will demonstrate the integrity necessary to admit they were wrong. 

Incredible Racism in the Florida Courts in Both the Alexander and the Zimmerman Cases

Marissa Alexander of Jacksonville, Fla., received a 20-years prison sentence, Friday, May 11, 2012, for firing warning shots against her allegedly abusive husband. The judge rejected a defense under Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law.
Marissa Alexander of Jacksonville, Fla., received a 20-years prison sentence, Friday, May 11, 2012, for firing warning shots against her allegedly abusive husband. The judge rejected a defense under Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law. / WETV

CBS News

Updated on July 15, 2013 to reflect more of the testimony and aftermath of the case.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Florida woman who fired warning shots against her allegedly abusive husband has been sentenced to 20 years in prison. 

Marissa Alexander of Jacksonville had said the state's "Stand Your Ground" law should apply to her because she was defending herself against her allegedly abusive husband when she fired warning shots inside her home in August 2010. She told police it was to escape a brutal beating by her husband, against whom she had already taken out a protective order.

Circuit Court Judge James Daniel handed down the sentence Friday. 

Under Florida's mandatory minimum sentencing requirements Alexander couldn't receive a lesser sentence, even though she has never been in trouble with the law before. Judge Daniel said the law did not allow for extenuating or mitigating circumstances to reduce the sentence below the 20-year minimum. 

"I really was crying in there," Marissa Alexander's 11-year-old daughter told WETV. "I didn't want to cry in court, but I just really feel hurt. I don't think this should have been happening." 

Alexander was convicted of attempted murder after she rejected a plea deal for a three-year prison sentence. She said she did not believe she did anything wrong.

She was recently denied a new trial after appealing to the judge to reconsider her case based on Florida's controversial "Stand Your Ground" law. The law states that the victim of a crime does not have to attempt to run for safety and can immediately retaliate in self-defense.

Alexander's attorney said she was clearly defending herself and should not have to spend the next two decades behind bars.

Alexander's case has drawn support from domestic abuse advocates - and comparison to the case of neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who has claimed self-defense in his fatal shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.

The NY Post Cover

Cenk Uygur on the Verdict - "No Justice"

Seattle Road Rage Incident Lands a Gun Owner in Jail

Local news reports

The incident unfolded at about 2:20 a.m. Sunday on Capitol Hill when two men got into a verbal altercation over a traffic or parking dispute near 14th Avenue and East Marion Street, said Detective Mark Jamieson.

As one of the men was on his cell phone, the other attempted to grab the cell phone out of the victim’s hand. When that was not successful, the suspect went to his car and pulled up next to the victim, pointing a handgun at him.

The victim told the suspect he was on the phone with 911. The suspect then left the area.

Police were notified and found the suspect driving in his vehicle at James Street and Interstate 5. The car was stopped and the suspect was taken into custody, Jamieson said.

The suspect told officers there was a gun inside the car and gave officers permission to search the car. A loaded .45 caliber handgun was recovered.

The 43-year-old suspect was booked into the King County Jail.

Sounds like another lawful gun owner with a concealed carry permit. The problem is because the holders of such permits are protected by privacy laws, no one knows for sure.

One thing we do know for sure is there are a lot more of those concealed carry gun nuts doing stuff like this than are reflected in the stats.

A question: why is this not a violation of due process but arresting the gun owner when his kids shoot each other with his gun is?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

The Prosecutors Speak

Monday, July 15, 2013

‘I have a nice gun. Do you guys want to take a look at it?’

This story has has all the basic components of gunloonery.

Gun in the hands of a gun-incompetent?  Check.
Desire of gunloon to show off his male enhancement gun? Check.
Alcohol involved?  Check.

Best Quote about the Zimmerman Verdict

Since George Zimmerman was acquitted, we don't have to worry about more riots, we have to worry about more Zimmermans.

Rev. Al Sharpton - "A Slap in the Face for Those That Believe in Justice"

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Louisiana has Three Times the National Average of Child Shooting Deaths

Local news reports

In December, a 13-year-old Ascension Parish boy was shot in the head, and his 14-year-old friend was arrested for killing him by accident when playing with a stolen .38 after smoking marijuana.

Within the month, three other similar shootings shook Baton Rouge — an alarming enough trend to prompt the district attorney and coroner there to issue a public health alert.

In New Orleans in June, 5-year-old Brandajah Smith's mother locked her alone in the house. Police say the kindergartner found a .38-caliber revolver stashed under a pillow, put it to her forehead and pulled the trigger.

The grim stories are not anomalies. The rate at which children are inadvertently shot to death in Louisiana is three times the American average. Between 2007 and 2011, at least 89 kids in Louisiana were killed in what is classified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the accidental discharge of weapons.

"Often times these shootings are referred to as accidental shootings. This is not correct. These are not accidents," Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar C. Moore III and Coroner William "Beau" Clark wrote in their joint statement. "They are foreseeable injuries and deaths that can occur whenever the adult owners of these firearms leave them unsecured where children and young adults can access them."

The article goes on to explain how the laws in Louisiana are so slanted towards extreme gun rights that advocates easily "killed legislative efforts to legally mandate that its citizens keep guns away from kids. During the past Legislative session, a bill requiring guns to be stored in a safe or equipped with trigger locks died without fanfare."

This is what gun rights are all about. Freedom.

Another interesting perspective comes accross in this story.  Louisiana has three times the national average of child gun deaths.  But when the biased gun nuts quote the insignificantly small numbers of deaths they include places like New Jersey where there are many times fewer incidents.

They should restrict their comments to places like Louisiana where they enjoy the kind of freedom they want with all its resultant misery.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

George Zimmerman to Get His Gun Back - "He'll Need it Even More than Before"

George Zimmerman to Get His Gun Back (ABC News)
Good Morning America - George Zimmerman to Get His Gun Back (ABC News)

Yahoo News

George Zimmerman will get his gun back now that he has been cleared of murder and his lawyer said today that Zimmerman needs the weapon "even more" than before.

Zimmerman's lawyer Mark O'Mara also practically dared the family of Trayvon Martin to file a widely expected civil suit against him, but said that Zimmerman might be filing lawsuits of his own.

O'Mara, in an exclusive interview with ABC News, suggested that Zimmerman has no regrets about carrying a gun on Feb. 26, 2012, the night he killed Martin, a teenager.

The lawyer said Zimmerman, 29, will be entitled to get his Kel Tec 9 pistol back.

"Yes, he does," O'Mara said. "The concealed weapons permit is another matter because that's a decision by another state agency and they will make that decision."

He said that Zimmerman intends to rearm himself. When asked if he would carry a gun, O'Mara said, 'Yes. [There's] even more reason now, isn't there? There are a lot of people out there who actually hate him, though they shouldn't."

The former neighborhood watch captain wears a protective vest when he goes out in public, although he didn't wear it to court, O'Mara said.

Zimmerman does not believe that having a gun caused Martin's death, his lawyer said.

"I think that he feels truly in his heart that if he did not have that weapon that night he might not be here.... [He] would have continued to get beat even though he was screaming for help."

Zimmerman's lawyer suggested that his client might want to move to another part of the country.

"If I was him I would go somewhere else," O'Mara said. He said Zimmerman will be unable to find a job. "I don't think he can work. I don't think anyone can hire him... George is a pariah," his lawyer said.

Protests Across America - "Racism is not Dead"

(Reuters) A protester blocks a train in Los Angeles Saturday after George Zimmerman was acquitted in Florida on charges of murdering Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman claimed self-defense. 

Market Watch

Protests were planned Sunday in several more cities in the wake of the acquittal Saturday of George Zimmerman on all charges in the Feb. 26, 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin in a case that triggered national debates on racial profiling and self-defense. 

Protests loomed in Boston, New York, Chicago and San Francisco, as President Obama called for calm in the wake of the emotional, controversial trial. 

The new demonstrations would follow reported protests and marches Saturday night in San Francisco; Philadelphia; Chicago; Washington, D.C.; Atlanta; Oakland, Calif., and Sanford, Fla., where the shooting occurred and where a jury acquitted Martin on murder and manslaughter charges. 

According to the Journal, some protesters in Oakland broke windows, burned flags and started small street fires. At least one police car was damaged. 
In Tallahassee, Fla., about 200 demonstrators marched carrying signs that said, ”Racism is Not Dead.” 
According to the ABC News report, police were out in force in Sanford, where a crowd of several hundred gathered outside the courthouse was loud at times but peaceful.

Obama Speaks about the Zimmerman Verdict - Between the Lines Blaming Runaway Gun Rights

 U.S. President Obama delivers statement from the East Room of the White House in Washington
U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a statement from the East Room of the White House in Washington.

Yahoo News

President Barack Obama called for calm Sunday after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, saying his death was a tragedy and that the country should seek ways to stem gun violence.

"We are a nation of laws and a jury has spoken," he said in a statement. "I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son."

The president said he was aware the Florida case has elicited strong feelings.

"And in the wake of the verdict, I know those passions may be running even higher," the president said.

Obama urged Americans work to broaden "the circle of understanding and compassion" in their communities and put some of the emotion the case has aroused into curtailing gun violence.

"We should ask ourselves if we're doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis," he said. "We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this."

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Absurdity of "Get Away with Murder" Laws

The following is an illustration of the potentially serious problems posed by changes in no-retreat laws, the "Get Away with Murder" laws:

Imagine that a nine-year-old girl is playing with her dolls outside her home. In the house next door, a known drug-dealer, Red Rock, is selling drugs when he notices a rival drug-dealer, Yellow Man, with whom he had an earlier confrontation, coming down the street.  Red Rock retrieves a semiautomatic assault rifle to defend himself. Shots are exchanged, and in the aftermath, the little girl, once playing innocently, lies dead.

Both Red Rock and Yellow Man claim self-defense through the unprecedented changes in the Castle Doctrine law. (Although Red Rock was a criminal, a “prohibited person” can possess a firearm for short periods of time in matters of self-defense. So long as Red Rock did not own the firearm nor live in the residence where the firearm was located, he could invoke a legal defense under the expanded Castle Doctrine.)

If law enforcement cannot prove that Red Rock was engaged in an unlawful activity and that his fear of imminent bodily harm was unreasonable, he could claim self-defense. Likewise, assuming Yellow Man could legally possess a weapon, he would be justified in using a firearm in self-defense. This eliminates any legal recourse, civil or criminal, for the violent death of an innocent nine-year-old girl. Because the legislature provided blanket immunity for “self-defense,” courts are faced with situations
in which a deadly defense may be legally justified, even if negligently or recklessly executed.

On the other hand, if the Castle Doctrine had not been expanded, Red Rock would have been required to retreat to anarea—such as his home—that was safe. If he had done so,then innocent bystanders would have been spared even if theconfrontation had occurred.

Would this shooting have been avoided if the Castle Doctrine were not expanded? Perhaps not, but the family of the victim would have legal remedies, and the two perpetrators could be held responsible for their actions rather than using the Castle Doctrine as a shield from the criminal and civil justice systems.

Sadly, this scenario is not fictional. It is based on a 2006 homicide case in Miami-Dade County. Source: Expansions to the Castle Doctrine

Just because he was declared "not guilty" by a jury doesn't mean he didn't do it.

I'm going to quote something I read on Gawker:

"If you want to get into a technical argument that it's only murder if it's "unlawful," and that if this trial by jury fails to produce a conviction, then the killing is not unlawful and therefore is not murder—well, presumably you also would argue that O.J. Simpson did not murder his wife. But why are you trying to make the argument at all? Why do you want to believe that an armed man shooting and killing an unarmed 17-year-old boy is lawful? What makes you think this way?"

BTW, what about the right to due process of law which was denied to Trayvon Martin?  Didn't he have rights?

Of course, we need to see more of the absurdities of "get away with murder" laws come to light and then there will be a revolt against your "Pro-gun" silliness.

Seriously, an unarmed person goes to the store and buys something. He is then accosted on the street by an armed person who kills him. Then, the person who kills him claims self-defence.

Isn't that obviously a ridiculous proposition?

One cannot exceed the reasonable amount of force necessary to stop the threat without becoming the aggressor.  That is how self-defence is supposed to work under the rule of law.

CSGV Statement by Ladd Everitt

July 14, 2013

Ladd Everitt, (202) 701-7171,

Washington, DC—There can be no doubt after the Not Guilty verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman that murder has now been legalized in half of the 50 states.

The traditional presumption in the law—from the advent of the Hebrew Bible through the creation of Roman law, English common law, and American law—has been that if you could spare human life, it was incumbent upon you to do so. With the “Stand  Your Ground” law, the National Rifle Association (NRA) and its partners in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) have turned 3,000 years of jurisprudence on its head. Now you can provoke a fight, and if losing that fight, kill the person you attacked.

Turning the other cheek is supposed to be a sacred virtue. But by removing the duty to retreat from a confrontation in public when one can safely do so, the “Stand Your Ground” law allowed George Zimmerman to stalk and kill an unarmed teenager and walk away a free man. That’s a tragedy, because there can be no doubt that Zimmerman could have avoided a confrontation with Trayvon Martin on the evening of February 26, 2012.

The NRA’s law represents a dangerous and unprecedented escalation in the use of force in the public space, allowing individuals to kill when they merely fear “great bodily harm” (i.e., a fistfight, shoving match, etc.). The concept of responding with proportional force has been obliterated. In this case, the “harm” done to Zimmerman, by whatever source, was so minor that EMTs didn’t even offer him treatment minutes after the shooting.

Americans should also question why Zimmerman was allowed to carry a loaded gun in public in the first place. He has been previously arrested for assaulting a police officer and placed under a restraining order for a domestic battery involving a former fiancee. Again, Zimmerman had the NRA to thank. Their “Shall Issue” law in Florida awards concealed carry permits to individuals with minimal screening/training and removes any discretion law enforcement might have in approving applicants.

The message to would-be killers is now clear. You need not fear carrying your gun in public, or using it. If you do, just make sure you are the only one remaining to testify about the nature of the confrontation in question.

As much as the gruesome mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, the acquittal of George Zimmerman is confirmation that the American promise of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” will continue to be squandered until the NRA’s pernicious stranglehold on our legislatures is broken. Lawmakers in states with “Stand Your Ground” laws should immediately repeal these cancerous blights on American values, law and tradition.

Geraldo Rivera Predicted It

But what a racist blabbermouth. He had the jurors put themselves in the position of female residents of the complex who were afraid for their safety.  He had them put themselves in Zimmerman's position getting the worst of the fight. The only person not considered is the one who ended up dead.  No one was put un Trayvon Martin's place, who happened to be walking home in a place where he had every right to be when Zimmerman initiated the confrontation.

According to Rivera, the Martin parents did "the best they could with this kid."  What a condescending, racist idiot.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

In Texas Women's Rights vs. Gun Rights

Embedded image permalink

Missouri to Teach Gun Safety to First Graders

Local CBS

Missouri schools will be encouraged to teach first-graders a gun safety course sponsored by the National Rifle Association as a result of legislation signed Friday by Gov. Jay Nixon. 

The Missouri measure stops short of mandating the Eddie Eagle Gunsafe Program. But by putting it in state law, Missouri is providing one of the stronger state-sanctioned endorsements of a firearms safety course which the NRA says is taught to about 1 million children annually. 

The gun safety legislation signed by Nixon also transfers the duties of issuing identification cards for concealed gun permits to local sheriffs instead of driver’s license clerks. That change was prompted by concerns that the licensing agency’s procedures had infringed on people’s privacy rights. 

Nixon noted the change in concealed-carry permits not the elementary school gun-safety program while announcing he was signing the legislation.

Demonstrators at the Zimmerman Trial

James Evan Muhammad, of the New Black Panther Party, demonstrates in front of the Seminole County Courthouse while the jury deliberates in the trial of George Zimmerman, Friday, July 12, 2013, in Sanford, Fla. Zimmerman has been charged in the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
James Evan Muhammad, of the New Black Panther Party, demonstrates in front of the Seminole County Courthouse while the jury deliberates in the trial of George Zimmerman, Friday, July 12, 2013, in Sanford, Fla. Zimmerman has been charged in the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Colorado 18-Year-old Dies from Accidental Gun Shot to the Head - Family Learns about it on Facebook

Local news reports

Michael Bailey died at Parkview Medical Center after being shot about 11:40 p.m. Monday in the 100 block of Creston Drive. Both police and the coroner said the shooting was “tragic” and accidental. 

What happened after the shooting also was a nightmare, the family said. Mother Veronica Eitemiller said her son went to a neighboring party with a gun he was given by his great-grandfather. 

She said the family thought the gun wasn’t functional but “it was kids partying and doing what they shouldn’t had been doing.” 

Police say drugs and alcohol were possible factors. 

Stepfather Dale Eitemiller said the incident happened at a house around the corner from where they live. 

Police did not contact the victim’s family at home; requests by the family for information at Parkview were unsuccessful; and response from the coroner was slow, the mother said. 

The Eitemillers said their youngest child had learned of the shooting after seeing “RIP” posts for Bailey on Facebook.

Reactions to the Zimmerman Verdict


'Not guilty' a backward time warp: The real question at the heart of this case is whether, by virtue of the mere color of his skin and the wearing of a hoodie, a person is dangerous. Yes, said the jury. Yes he is.

Dangerous enough to kill. Martin wasn't allowed to stand his ground against an adult man who followed him first in a car, and then by foot. His sentence for doing so?


The racists will crow, they've been crowing for weeks, and will talk about how Martin got what he deserved, how Zimmerman was justified. Any opinions to the contrary will be minefields of comments so ugly, so wrong as to make any sane person question the direction of humanity.

Saturday, the hideous past of segregation and racial violence was born anew, fitting like an old pair of shoes, still warm from their previous wearing. In a modern society, it should not be OK for an adult to follow a child home from the store in the dark, first in a car, then on foot. It should not be OK for him to shoot him dead.

But our society is getting less and less modern. And my fear for my friends — real people with real families — is overwhelming. 

— Isa-Lee Wolf

The Zimmerman Verdict was Wrong - Here's Why

The New York Times

Manslaughter, which under Florida law is typically added as a lesser charge if either side requests it, was a lower bar. Jurors needed to decide only that Mr. Zimmerman put himself in a situation that culminated in Mr. Martin’s death. 

But because of Florida’s laws, prosecutors had to persuade jurors beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Zimmerman did not act in self-defense. A shortage of evidence in the case made that a high hurdle, legal experts said.  

"Jurors needed to decide only that Mr. Zimmerman put himself in a situation that culminated in Mr. Martin’s death."

How could they possibly not have agreed that Zimmerman "put himself in a situation that culminated in Martin's death?"

To me this is proof that the verdict was the wrong one. It should have been not guilty of Murder 2 but guilty of manslaughter.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

George Zimmerman Not Guilty - Not Even of Manslaughter