Thursday, July 18, 2013

From The Sidelines of Common Sense

It's been an unusual couple of weeks considering all the emotions that seem to be swarming around the Zimmerman and Martin case. Emotions can be a dangerous thing and for the most part, I've stayed on the sidelines watching this disastrous media and now racial frenzy.

I think emotions and race relations aside, my opinion on the matter is a bit more cut and dry than the rest of America and has very little to do with justice but just good old common sense.

There are two topics I would like to cover on this piece and they are:

1. Fear

2. Guns

First let's discuss fear. There will be very few women that can relate to this story as most women I know haven't really been in a knock down drag out physical fight. I'm sure there are a few of you perhaps but I'm talking about a down home outside the bar fight that involved fists flying.

It was in a summer of my high school years when a young man approached me outside of a club and before I could get two words out of my mouth, he hit me twice in the jaw. (Yes there was a woman involved.) It happened so fast that the rest of the fight was more or less a blur and I have no recollection of movement, what I was doing or any sense of coordination. I do remember grabbing him by the head and hitting him underneath but this only lasted until a bouncer came running out of the club and broke us up. Fear, anger and adrenaline managed to take over my entire body leaving me with little control of my own actions. All I could do was hold on and try not to fall down. It damn sure wasn't like what you see in the movies. You know, where the guy is some sort of martial arts expert and within three moves the bad guy has a broken leg and a dislocated jaw. This is the kind of crap the entertainment world feeds us as if two guys are actually in control and fighting is some sort of glorified art form. It isn't.

In consideration of fear, which will bring up another point of this piece, I'll tell you another story that everyone can relate to. A few years ago, I was in a drugstore on the corner of Mockingbird Lane and Central picking up a birthday card for my wife. I was in the back of the store where all the greeting cards were when yelling broke out up front. Looking around the greeting cards, I saw a man yelling and screaming at the clerk. "I'll kill all of you! You'll do what I say!" He was obviously homeless and raging back and forth at the counter which put the fear of God in all of us in the store. We had no idea what to do and I felt absolutely helpless with nothing to defend myself with. Then all of a sudden I heard screaming and the air became so thick with a burning sensation that I could barely see and breathe. Unbeknownst to me, the clerk had let go of an entire can of pepper spray and even though I was at least 20 yards away, it was all I could do to get the hell out of there. I can't imagine what the homeless man was feeling as he took it straight in the face.

My take on all of this, the case, Zimmerman and the Martin boy is that both of them were out of control due to their own emotions. And emotions like fear, anger and a good shot of adrenaline are a deadly combination when a gun is involved.

Which brings up Mr. Zimmerman as we're all supposed to believe that it's perfectly acceptable for an untrained guy to carry around a firearm. It's the American way right? Now before you go beating me down as some liberal who's against guns, think again. What rubs me the wrong way is our society is perfectly fine with giving a guy who has no training the responsibility of keeping the peace with a gun. And that's just plain stupid.

Some of you reading this may know a cop or a soldier. These men and women are trained to handle guns and under large amounts of stress. All the while controlling their fear and emotions and even trained, it's not easy. They suffer from all kinds of emotional damage if by chance duty leads them into taking another human being's life so to say it's fine to arm up a civilian would beg the question, are you really prepared to take another man's life?

The moral of this story lies within my own experience in the drugstore which is simple and most importantly, it works. There are several ways to render a man helpless without killing him. Pepper spray, mace and my new favorite, the taser.

So before you plan on pretending to be Joe Badass with a handgun, ask yourself this question. Am I really ready to kill another human being? And if not, what other alternatives are there that would aid in taking a man down.

Problem solved brothers and sisters.



  1. Being ex-law-enforcement your right. I had the option twice take a life but thought before. and both were at gun point and would have been completely justifiable.
    As I've stated on my opinion where this has all really comes down to is a civilian tired of gangs, drug dealers, and other thugs. He did go overboard with taking a life. Should he have gotten out of his car??? There was a robbery weeks prior to a young lady and I think that's what broke the camel's back. So in was I hate to say that TM paid for someone else's crime.
    I think the whole thing really comes down to taking our streets back. The law can only do so much and there hands are tied. So now it comes down to us (parents) and it starts at home with teaching you kids right and wrong. You listen to them and spend time with them. Get involved with there school, talk and get involved.
    Now the racial part that's where Sharpton and Jackson come in. They want to keep it going by prey on the weak.

  2. Late to the post, Laws and judgement of circumstance have little or nothing to do with emotions like you witnessed in the drug store or in the bar over a woman.
    Yet with the existence of ANY preemptive law, we as citizens become another manifestation of our continued march toward dysfunction as those wholly functioning societies of the days past with respect too most things are too costly and fair to continue as parameters for this modern society because of expediency. Yes even, blues harps are now routinely modeled by machines.
    Time is money.

    The right to trial by peers; in today's America, damn near impossible. Both sides, plaintiff and defense, will tell you you'll get maximum sentences for you if you ask for a jury trial. So in the speed up world we have a shoot the burglar law morphing into a stand your ground law and now comes the moral issue. The issue is due process, even in life.

    The thing is in every instance most people will not allow someone else to hurt them without response, (even in Holts example in the bar fight, he aptly attempted to guard against attack.)
    Furthermore, I could maintain that your intent was to stop the damage in that instance; at that moment; and in doing so, every circumstance Holt describes about this scene is unique unto itself, thus showing us that people will do what is necessary to stop harm from being done. That is what law is for, unique set of circumstance to deal with dispute.

    Yet by breaking the traditional law standard the ridiculous gets a front seat and gives those who survive such instances the final say on how it went down.
    However, in real life no one thinks of the outcome of a momentary action to protect themselves or loved ones as an weighted factor of Law as an excuse for in inaction, non action or force becoming violence against another. Mostly it just doesn't happen is some what sad state of affairs when law weights said issue that EACH event has there own circumstance unique to those conditions that spawned the disagreement to begin with.

    For too long, laws have changed to become weighted toward the privileged against the perceived enemies of those in society that make the laws according to social morays and standards with over time more and more preemptive than real.

    I dare say more laws to protect us from possible harm is like someone buying a hand gun to use for protection without knowing what or better who they are protecting, that is to say, just to have a gun.
    Some may think our societal ills are solved by bloodshed. But I would say to that What about education of both sides of the equation. Find something in common.
    Changing mindsets about hating others despite their different socioeconomic standings is to me what "coloring box blogs" attraction and is a theme in this blog again and again. And laws such as stand your ground perpetuate our still cavemen brains about time to kill scenarios that continue useless the right to carnage to our own without regard to circumstance and "those people". Be a more little white lies. Time to step up and be something we can all be proud of as a people for we can ill afford those times again when hate was what we do.