Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Friday, July 19, 2013
When it gets to the point where you feel awkward acknowledging, in polite company, that you’re a member of the National Rifle Association (NRA), well, maybe it’s time said organization considered compromising on some of their more fringe positions.
I thought about dropping my membership. Then, I hear some very vocal celebrity or politician advancing the most hair-brained ideas on gun control, and I send in my membership renewal. Why does it seem that on almost every position: abortion, gun control, racial issues, and politics in general, this country is becoming more and more divided? Even my closest friends, I can’t seem to have a discussion about any of the above issues without someone getting hot under the collar – often times me. I suppose that is why I cling to this blog – hoping there are others out there who might feel that I’m not necessarily some gun-toting, illiterate, red-neck.
I have more to say on these various societal issues, but the topic today is the NRA. In the most recent issue of the NRA magazine they had an advertisement for a shotgun described as “Compact Shotgun, 12 GA, Twin 7-Shot Magazines,” and “Launch a full pound of lead without stopping to reload.” (see picture above)
Now, the aforementioned weapon can only be used for one purpose and that is anti-personnel. And with devastating killing power, I might add. In case you have never seen a person shot at close range with a shotgun, it is a pretty gruesome affair. A shotgun will remove your head or blow a hole through your chest that you could drop a bowling ball through. Let me ask you, what sort of person will buy the advertised shotgun? Oh, I suppose there are a few collectors out there that might purchase the shotgun as a novelty item. But, for the most part, the people interested in said weapon are not the sort of neighbor that you would willing live next door to, at least I wouldn’t.
Doesn’t it seem that the NRA, in view of the recent shootings and strident public debate, would use just a modicum of discretion as far as who buys ads in their magazine? It’s embarrassing to me. Now, some of my more gun-friendly associates might say: ‘True, just lighten up.’ Well, that’s kind of hard to do when some nut might use the gun to clear a theater or classroom.
OK, on the lighter side, didn’t our intellectually challenged Vice President, Joe Biden, state that he told his wife that a shotgun would be very suitable in deterring an intruder, and that she could just fire through the door if necessary. Perhaps, this is exactly the gun that his wife would be looking for. And, yes, it would work as deterrence – even if there was a Bengal Tiger at the door.
Note to Wayne LaPierre, NRA Executive Vice President: Mr. LaPierre, how about giving some of your more moderate members just a little wiggle room when it comes to defending their continued membership? The ad depicted above is repulsive and indefensible.
Saturday, July 13, 2013
Yes, I am a little surprised. The deck seemed stacked against Zimmerman. And, I felt his last best hope was to establish himself on the stand, before the jury, as remorseful and sincere. His attorneys felt otherwise. Well, I was wrong about that – based on the ‘not guilty’ verdict. Although, I wish I could have heard the jury’s deliberations. I wonder how they arrived at the decision, and if they had difficulty reaching agreement.
Early on, I was convinced that the prosecution was not making their case for Murder Two. Moreover, to my mind, Zimmerman was initially ‘over-charged,’ based on political reasons that had little to do with the law. Angela Corey, aka the Pit Bull, can now retreat to her commodious and elegantly furnished dog house; where she can nervously chew the hair off her tail.
I felt the jury would split the difference on the final verdict and go with Manslaughter. I underestimated the jury. Worst of all, I may have projected a somewhat chauvinistic opinion regarding the all-female jury’s competence in evaluating the evidence. The prosecution tried desperately to portray Trayvon as a mere child (much of the media did as well); for example the widely circulated depiction of Trayvon as a young boy, rather than the young man he had become. But that tactic seemed to not impress the jury. Furthermore, women are more likely to be anti-gun – at least most women. If these women had such feelings, they seemed able to set them aside.
I think the jury made the right decision. Some in the public and the media will criticize them. I hope they, the members of the jury, will experience no untoward repercussions. Their job was extremely difficult and unenviable.
This never was about race, as so many would like to categorize it. But, it may not be over. Reportedly, Trayvon’s family and supporters will be attempting to get the Justice Department and the FBI to open a Civil Rights case. I don’t think that will fly unless the President and the Attorney General get behind the effort. Even if that should occur, they would lose again. I don’t think they would be willing to take the chance.
Regarding the President’s comment: “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon.” Not a big deal – like some would make it. But… why would he say it?
Mr. President, I think your bias is showing.
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
I suppose that I should not be second guessing George Zimmerman’s attorneys. Zimmerman, apparently on the advice of his attorney, will not testify in his own defense. I think he is making a mistake. And, I think this could very well cause him to be incarcerated for a number of years. Why?
Most jurors, in this case six ladies who reportedly knew little about the shooting of Trayvon Martin prior to them be selected as a juror, tend to rely on developed feelings consistent with their past experiences – such as raising children. They do not understand the nuances of the legal process. To them, silence is indicative of guilt. Just what the exact nature or scope of that guilt might be, they will probably be uncertain; but guilt nonetheless. To their minds, the innocent defend and explain themselves. This is, in my opinion, a very basic and understandable conclusion on the jurors’ part.
I have been waiting for the forensic evidence to be presented. Powder burns, nature of the bullet’s trajectory, blood spatter, etc. all give a definitive account of the circumstances to forensic experts. It appears that Zimmerman’s account of the incident is accurate. Young Mr. Martin was on top of Zimmerman beating the daylights out of him when Zimmerman drew his gun and fired. I think there is a strong case for self-defense. I know many will say that Zimmerman had no good reason to be following Martin; but following someone is not against the law. If it was, all PIs would be doing some serious time in jail. I’ve followed, in my career, many people. However, if I was attacked by one of those individuals, I feel that I would have had the right to defend myself – hit them with a rock, apply a choke hold, gouge their eyes, or, yes, even shoot them if I felt my life was in danger.
The Trayvon Martin shooting is a sad, and we all agree, unnecessary act. But, Trayvon bears some responsibility for his actions. This is one of those cases that has evolved into a highly publicized social issue involving: perceived racial inequality and injustice, gun rights, and just plain common sense. OK, Zimmerman shouldn’t have been doing what he was doing in following Martin. Foolish maybe, but not against the law.
Back to my original premise, the jurors will believe that the ‘good’ and ‘honest’ prosecutors wouldn’t have brought these serious charges against Zimmerman unless he has done something wrong. They will believe, in spite of the evidence presented, that there is more to the case – information that may not have been presented because of some legal technicality. Therefore, it was important, even vital, that Zimmerman take the stand and explain himself – which he will not do. In the minds of the jurors, this will confirm their suspicions.
What do I think will happen? I think Zimmerman will be convicted of a lesser charge – perhaps manslaughter. As a result, he will receive five to seven years in the penitentiary. The prosecutor will pat himself on the back. The defense attorney will pat himself on the back. The jurors will feel that they did their civic duty. And, everyone will go home – all except GZ.