Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Posts Tagged ‘NRA’

Yes, “Stand Your Ground” Law Played A Role In Trayvon Martin’s Killing And Aftermath

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 15, 2013

Media Matters has the details:

In fact, Florida’s self-defense laws set the framework by which Zimmerman was tried, setting the standard by which the jury would have to determine if Martin’s death resulted from the justifiable use of force. Indeed, the jury instructions in the case specifically mention that “If George Zimmerman was not engaged in an unlawful activity and was attacked in anyplace where he had a right to be, he had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground” and use deadly force. 

From the instructions

In deciding whether George Zimmerman was justified in the use of deadly force, you must judge him by the circumstances by which he was surrounded at the time the force was used. The danger facing George Zimmerman need not have been actual; however, to justify the use of deadly force, the appearance of danger must have been so real that a reasonably cautious and prudent person under the same circumstances would have believed that the danger could be avoided only through the use of that force. Based upon appearances, George Zimmerman must have actually believed that the danger was real.

If George Zimmerman was not engaged in an unlawful activity and was attacked in anyplace where he had a right to be, he had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he reasonably believed that it was necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

Former State Sen. Dan Gelber, who was a leading opponent of Stand Your Ground’s enactment, noted on his blog that those instructions differed widely from the instruction that would have been read to a jury before that law took effect. At that time, jury instructions would have stated:

“The defendant cannot justify the use of force likely to cause death or great bodily harm unless he used every reasonable means within his power and consistent with his own safety to avoid the danger before resorting to that force.

The fact that the defendant was wrongfully attacked cannot justify his use of force likely to cause death or great bodily harm if by retreating he could have avoided the need to use that force.”

Florida’s Stand Your Ground law also had ramifications on the case before the trial began and will continue now that it has concluded.

By the way, the SYG laws also will likely keep Trayvon’s family from getting justice even in a civil court:

Attorneys for Mr. Martin’s family said they are considering filing a civil lawsuit against Mr. Zimmerman, though they haven’t made a decision. “We’re still trying to make sense of the verdict in the criminal case,” said Benjamin Crump, a lawyer for the family. “We’ll be talking about our options going forward in the coming days.”

Such a case would face high hurdles, legal observers say. Mr. Zimmerman can seek immunity from civil lawsuits under Florida’s so-called Stand Your Ground law–something his attorney said he planned to do. “In effect, there will be no civil suits,” said Tamara Lave, a University of Miami law professor. “If there is a civil suit filed, it will be dismissed, and future ones will be barred.”

But of course that’s exactly why ALEC and their NRA pals pushed these SYG laws.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Mentally Ill Mother-Killer Can Amass AK-47s, Thanks To The NRA

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 20, 2013

This is the sort of thing Wayne LaPierre fights to achieve, whether he knows it or not:

They knew the Delano house far too well. It was where Christian Philip Oberender, then 14 years old, had murdered his mother in a shotgun ambush in the family rec room in 1995.

Now, 18 years later, Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson was sending his deputies back to the home where Oberender still lives. Just two days earlier, Olson had scanned the day’s shift reports and froze when he tripped over Oberender’s name. A scan of a Facebook page then showed firearms spread out like a child’s trophies on a bed inside the home, along with notes about the Newtown, Conn., gunman who shot 20 children to death.

What Olson’s deputies found in the home was chilling: 13 guns, including semi-automatic rifles, an AK-47, a Tommy gun, assorted shotguns and handguns, including a .50-caliber Desert Eagle.

Even more disturbing was the letter Oberender had written recently to his late mother, Mary: “I am so homicide,” it said in broken sentences. “I think about killing all the time. The monster want out. He only been out one time and someone die.”

Today, Oberender sits in a Carver County jail cell on a charge of being a felon in possession of firearms. And Olson, who investigated the 1995 murder as a young detective, finds his investigators at the center of a case that exposes the dangerous loopholes in the nation’s gun laws and Minnesota’s system of criminal background checks.

Even though Oberender killed his mother with a firearm, even though he was committed to the state hospital in St. Peter as mentally ill and dangerous more than a decade ago, he was able to obtain a permit to purchase firearms last May. That piece of paper gave Oberender, now 32, the ability to walk into any licensed Minnesota retailer and buy any assault weapon or pistol on the rack.

How could this happen? In part because efforts to do things such as make gun purchasers provide fingerprints or SSNs were turned back by an NRA-cowed state legislature:

In Minnesota, a person seeking a permit to purchase an assault weapon or pistol must submit an application to the local police or sheriff’s department. There, the background check process begins with a query of the BCA’s system. If no disqualifications show up — such as a violent criminal record or mental illness commitment — the permit is granted.

No state permit is required to purchase a long rifle or a shotgun in Minnesota. Buyers going to a licensed retailer must pass a federal background check at the counter — but those records can also be incomplete because they are supplied to the FBI by state agencies.

Minnesota’s gun laws don’t require an applicant to provide a fingerprint or a Social Security number to verify identity.

“This was one of our concerns during the ‘Conceal and Carry’ debate in Legislature 10 years ago and it was beaten down like everything else,” said Heather Martens, executive director of Protect Minnesota, a gun violence prevention organization.

Martens said Oberender’s case highlights the reluctance of lawmakers to tighten gun laws because they fear being accused of infringing on individual rights. “Public schoolteachers have to go through a complete background check, even including a fingerprint,” Martens said. “For buyers of assault weapons and pistols, law enforcement currently has only seven days to verify the person’s identity and criminal history — otherwise, a permit is automatically granted. We should at least allow police enough time to verify the person’s identity.”

Sickening.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

 
%d bloggers like this: