From an op-ed in the Orlando-Sentinel:
Prodded by their NRA masters, lawmakers waved off those predictions as exaggerations. Then they overwhelmingly passed a bill that took the “castle doctrine” to infinity and beyond. The “castle doctrine” used to mean you could use deadly force if someone attacked you in your home. “Stand your ground” not only absolved the homeowner of any obligation to retreat, it extended that concept outside the home.
[...] Gov. Jeb Bush couldn’t sign the bill fast enough.
Seven years later, those warnings so casually dismissed by Bush and the Legislature are taking shape.
In fact, the number of justifiable homicides has significantly increased since the law went into effect, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
From 2000 to 2005, an average of 13 killings by private citizens were deemed justified each year. Between 2006 and 2010 that average increased to 36 killings per year. The highest was in 2009 at 45.
We’re not members of the N.R.A., though my husband has been a gun expert for decades.
I encouraged my husband to get a concealed carry permit many years ago because of where his business took him, out into areas where police were nowhere in sight and he was virtually alone in the dead of night.
Reading the reports, it’s clear Zimmerman’s actions were premeditated. It’s also clear that Zimmerman went hunting even after being told not to pursue. There is no answer to date of what made Trayvon Martin look “real suspicious” to Zimmerman, except one thing, he was black, which is in the 911 tape clearly. That alone is worthy of invoking a hate crime allegation, yet Florida officials have dragged their feet.
Very late last night, because public anger had risen so high, the Justice Dept. announced a full investigation of the murder of Trayvon Martin.
That’s when Florida’s law enforcement, who’d been loping along on their “investigation,” decided to get involved. From the Miami Herald:
A grand jury will look into the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, Seminole County State Attorney Norm Wolfinger said Tuesday.
[...] Wolfinger’s statement followed a decision late Monday by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and the FBI to investigate the killing of the Miami Gardens teenager by a neighborhood watch volunteer.
Reasonable people can disagree about concealed carry permits.
Reasonable people, however, should agree that a gun is the ultimate power against an unarmed person.
Trayvon Martin posed no imminent threat to Zimmerman.
Imminent threat is the issue when carrying a concealed weapon and you decide to draw it. You must have probable cause, as my husband reiterated to me when we were discussing this case, which was just one of the things the instructor covered in the mandated concealed carry class Mark took.
What proves further felonious intent of Zimmerman is his pursuit of Trayvon Martin even after the 911 operator told him to stand down.
All Mark could say is “that guy is toast.”
It’s telling it took Florida’s law enforcement this long to figure that out.
Video via Think Progress, the remarkable track by Jasiri X.