Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The "Open Season on Black Kids" Law



Evidently, Florida simply cannot bring itself to find anyone who kills a young black male guilty of murder. All you have to do is declare that you were frightened and Florida juries find that such a sympathetic charge that they give you an automatic free pass.

If I truly believed Michael Dunn was afraid, I might even be able to relate in a way. I'd probably be wary of a car full of rowdy black teenagers playing loud rap music which, according to his gutless girlfriend, Dunn called "thug music".  (Being an old rock and roll girl, I also find rap unpleasant to listen to). Heck, I'd be a little nervous of a car full of rowdy white teenagers playing loud rap music.

But if that were the case, I'd react as most nervous people do. I'd ignore them or avoid them. If I was really frightened, I might even go on down the road to the next convenience station and get away from them altogether. What I definitely wouldn't do is confront them. Michael Dunn declared that Jordan Kelly said something like, "I'll kill you" after he ordered the boys to turn down their music. He swore he saw Jordan Kelly with a weapon (turns out, there was no weapon). So what did he do? He rolled down his window and said, "are you talking to me?" Then he took out his own gun and fired into Kelly's SUV.

Isn't that what you're do if you were terrified? Yeah, sure you would.

Then you'd fire several more shots into the vehicle and calmly drive away to a motel and order a pizza. You wouldn't call 911 to report the "incident". You wouldn't be curious if you'd killed or wounded someone. You'd be so sure of yourself that you'd assume you were perfectly within your rights.

And Florida would agree with you regarding the murder charge because their Stand Your Ground law allows you to justify killing someone if you can make even the slightest case for self-defense no matter how bogus it may seem to normal people who don't go around with a gun looking for excuses to use it.

This "loud music" case was even more egregious than the Trayvon Martin case but it didn't garner nearly the attention. On Facebook, Zimmerman versus Trayvon called forth hundreds of posts. Us lefties, of course, were almost 100 percent with Trayvon's family. But the conservative types were vociferous in their support of George Zimmerman, who was just trying to be a community protector and solid citizen. They labeled Trayvon a thug (there's that word again), a druggie, a thief. Meanwhile, they attached a halo firmly to Zimmerman's head.

So why didn't they come out in the same kind of full-throated defense of Michael Dunn this time around? Was it because even they realized there was no "public-spirited" spin that could justify Dunn's actions? Was it because Zimmerman has let them down and proven them so wrong with his multiple speeding tickets, domestic violence accusations, appearing proudly at the gun manufacturer's plant that produced his Trayvon-killing weapon in a display of total crassness?

Usually when you Google any controversial topic, the first cites that pop up are the myriad ones from conservative sites - Breitbart and RedState and (well, I forget the rest but there are a ton of them) but oddly, in this case, that's not the way it is. I went looking for right-wing analysis of the case and couldn't find any.

Not to fear though, the N.R.A. is actively working to expand Florida's Stand Your Ground law. Yes, unbelievably, they want to make it even easier to kill with impunity...even though 26 children and teenagers, and 134 individuals have died in Florida with the perpetrators using the Stand Your Ground defense since its inception. (Twenty states now have such laws).

Of course, the new proposed law has some euphemistic name but since the N.R.A. and their backers are so sure of themselves, I don't know why they don't have the guts to just call it what it is - "The Open Season on Black Kids Law."  

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