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Is it too early to joke about the Lincoln assassination?: Political Discussion
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Jul 15th 2013

There is far more justification in that scenario than in the Zimmerman case. Martin's only error was apparently looking like someone Zimmerman thought might be a prowler. If Zimmerman had just remained in his car nothing would have happened.

Jul 15th 2013

Martin's only error was apparently looking like someone Zimmerman thought might be a prowler.

So I'm taking that to mean that you don't believe that Martin attacked Zimmerman? Or do you mean that Martin was justified in attacking someone who was following him?

Jul 15th 2013

I mean that there was absolutely no reason for Zimmerman to get out of his truck and follow Martin towards the condo where he was staying. I think Martin was perfectly justified in confronting someone who was following him.

Jul 15th 2013

Zimmerman to get out of his truck and follow Martin

Agreed, it was idiotic.

Martin, however, crossed "idiotic" and went to "illegal" when he attacked Zimmerman.

We had a case here in Rochester two years ago that was strikingly similar, yet didn't get the same national attention. A street had had a rash of car break-ins, and a white homeowner looked out one night and saw some black teenagers breaking into cars. He told his wife to call 911, then went out to confront them with a pistol. What we know is that he shot one of them to death. He claims they all ran when confronted, but one teenager came at him, and he was forced to shoot. The local conservative radio talk shows supported the homeowner, and the only people that seemed really upset were the friends and family of the dead boy. But there were no appearances by Jesse and Al, and there was an investigation, the homeowner was arrested but found not guilty after a trial.

Jul 15th 2013

Oh, I got that wrong...it was a black homeowner and a white teenager. Does that matter?

Jul 15th 2013

A homeowner going out to confront a gang of kids has a lot more justification than a random neighborhood watch Rambo-wannabe. I still think they would be better off with a camera than a gun though. Get the police to do their jobs. The best case scenario is that the kids run off and find a new neighborhood to prowl. We've seen what the worst case is.

Jul 15th 2013

I still think they would be better off with a camera than a gun though. Get the police to do their jobs.

I struggle with this, I really do. When people cower in their homes and call the police, instead of confronting criminals, the criminals are emboldened. They really are. Some neighborhoods are considered easy targets because of this line of reasoning. When they know that homeowners have guns and will confront them, crime goes way down. This is why you don't have a lot of home break-ins out in the country.

On the other hand, we don't want people shooting teenagers who are just breaking into cars. Or provoking fights with innocent people who just "look like they are up to no good."

So how do we strike fear in the hearts of would be criminals, yet protect them (yes, they do deserve protection) from vigilantes? That's a tough one.

Jul 15th 2013

When they know that homeowners have guns and will confront them, crime goes way down. This is why you don't have a lot of home break-ins out in the country.

I'm not sure this is a proven correlation. There are very few actual cases where a homeowner has actually scared off an intruder and so I'm not sure that they consider that as something they need to be concerned about. I think an active neighborhood watch program, minus armed idiots like Zimmerman, would be the best deterrent.

Jul 15th 2013

There are very few actual cases where a homeowner has actually scared off an intruder and so I'm not sure that they consider that as something they need to be concerned about

It only takes a few cases to get the message out. Criminals know not to break into farm houses because they will probably get shot.

It's often cited that the highest crime areas are also the areas where guns are illegal, but I truly don't know if that's because of the deterrence factor, or something else. They should do a test...take a section of Chicago and allow people to legally arm themselves, and see what happens. It really couldn't get much worse.

Jul 15th 2013

There are very few actual cases where a homeowner has actually scared off an intruder

What do you base this on? I just did a Yahoo search for "armed homeowner scares off intruder". Seems to happen quite a bit.

Jul 15th 2013

He never sees those stories on MSNBC or CNN, is what he means.

Jul 15th 2013

While I'm sure there are a number of incidents where this occurred, I don't think it makes up a very large percentage of the total incidents and I don't think criminals spend a lot of time researching it. Do you imagine some car prowler picks out the neighborhood they are going to operate in and does a Google search on armed homeowners defending their property? I imagine burglars don't break into farmhouses because they're miles out in the country and difficult to approach, not because there are well-armed farmers just waiting to blow them away. This country is awash in 750 million firearms, but that search pulled up a handful of home defenses over years. We have plenty of armed civilians, but I don't see it having some huge effect on crime.

Jul 15th 2013

My impression of the whole incident is that it was Barney Fife meets Travis Bickle in the whole "neighborhood watch" that George Zimmerman embodied. And the sad thing is that, no matter how the verdict went, you have two lives ruined (Martin's is over literally, while Zimmerman's is over figuratively, though I'm not inclined to feel sorry for him). Even sadder is the way that some in the media will use this to justify their position (either side, really. I can't take the left-wing no-gun yabbos on this one any more than the right-wing "Dirty Harry" wannabes).

Jul 15th 2013

Get the police to do their jobs.

Seriously. Dwight Schrute got into a fight with someone who lived in the neighborhood. He was a volunteer. It doesn't matter who started the fight. He was the adult in the situation. He could have stopped the fight.

Seriously. If he hadn't pushed so for a fight, he wouldn't have gotten a fight.

This is why you don't have a lot of home break-ins out in the country.

I think it might also to do with the fact that there are fewer homes in the country.

I imagine burglars don't break into farmhouses because they're miles out in the country and difficult to approach, not because there are well-armed farmers just waiting to blow them away.

Yes. And, at least in my region, there are a lot more elderly folks living in those farm houses. If anything, they'd be considered easy targets, guns or not.

We have plenty of armed civilians, but I don't see it having some huge effect on crime.

Yes. Crime won't stop, just because guns.

Jul 31st 2013

Carlos Danger is in the news again...

Aug 29th 2013 edited

The irony of President Obama talking about bombing Syria on the anniversary of MLK, Jr.'s speech kinda floored me the other day.

I'm old enough to remember the actual speech, and it was one of those things that, even as a kid, you realize you're seeing something historic.

This is why you don't have a lot of home break-ins out in the country.

One of the reasons we don't get burgled out here in the country is that everybody assumes you're armed. It's safer to burgle in the city. And it uses less gas.

Aug 29th 2013

One of the reasons we don't get burgled out here in the country is that everybody assumes you're armed. It's safer to burgle in the city. And it uses less gas.

I think we went over this earlier.

bombing Syria

Worst.Idea.Since.2003

Aug 30th 2013

It is very interesting to me that England, who we broke away from in 1776 because we thought the people should rule the government and not the other way around, that England just voted against war, even though the government wants it. Meanwhile, it looks like our decision to go to war will rest with the executive branch, even though most Americans are against it, and will not be voted on by Congress.

I'm not sure where I stand. On the one hand, I think the Syrian rebels will remember who was on their side when they eventually come to power. And Assad is a dick. On the other hand, we'd be basically arming Al-Qaeda, who is the biggest group against Assad. And there was a lot more evidence of Iraqi WMDs than there is in Syria. And why is it against international norms to gas your own people, but not to bomb them or shoot them?

I'm kind of leaning towards the war. I need to dig up all Senator Obama's speeches from 2004 to talk me out of it.

Aug 30th 2013

It is very interesting to me that England, who we broke away from in 1776 because we thought the people should rule the government and not the other way around, that England just voted against war, even though the government wants it.

Maybe the PM wanted it, but most of Parliament didn't.

Aug 30th 2013

I should have said "the leader of the government". I guess Britain's monarch doesn't have the kind of power that America's monarch does.

Aug 30th 2013

Regardless of the dickishness of the two sides in that conflict, we have no business getting in between them. The rebels won't recognize us as their benefactors as they didn't after the Russians left Afghanistan back in the early 90's or Libya two years ago, only they will be better armed. And if all we do is launch a few cruise missiles into Syria, we will just manage to entrench Assad's support while probably killing a few innocent civilians. This war is going to go on for 10 years with or without us and it's time we realize that bombing people isn't exactly winning us friends.

Aug 30th 2013 edited

So you're in favor of assassinations, then? :-)

I'm of the opinion that the genesis of a lot of the "Arab Spring" is just the openness of society, brought about in large part by the internet. Gone are the days when the people will listen to an autocratic leader or religious leader and do whatever they say. Our government has openness and "power of the people" built in to it, so we've enjoyed these freedoms for 200 years. These other governments do not...but they were able to control the population in pre-internet days. Now that's getting more difficult.

So, I believe the Middle East will become more democratic, more free, and less religious over the decades. This will not happen without a lot of strife, as we see happening in Egypt. But just because the Islamic Brotherhood grabbed temporary power in the resulting vaccum, it doesn't mean they are going to hang on to power. The direction of change is evident.

Whether we get involved or not, I feel the situation will get better under it's own power. DC is right about that. We just really want to make sure we support the winning side. Well, I shouldn't say "the winning side"...I should say "the right side" (which will eventually win).

Supporting the right side doesn't neccesarily mean missiles and bombs. But I'm not sure what else we can do.

Aug 30th 2013

I have a hard time keeping up with international news. So, kudos to those who can actually follow it. With all this talk of rebels, I can't help but think of it as Star Wars.

it's time we realize that bombing people isn't exactly winning us friends.

Yeppers.

Aug 30th 2013

So, I believe the Middle East will become more democratic, more free, and less religious over the decades. This will not happen without a lot of strife, as we see happening in Egypt. But just because the Islamic Brotherhood grabbed temporary power in the resulting vaccum, it doesn't mean they are going to hang on to power. The direction of change is evident.

I agree, but what we need to realize is that there isn't much we can do about it including knowing which side to support. Just this week I read a report that there is a conspiracy theory in Egypt that Obama is supporting the Muslim Brotherhood to prevent democracy from taking hold. Here at home he is accused of supporting the military by not taking away their money. As Jinx said, the time when we could back some autocratic leader who could maintain control through intimidation is over and we need to stop believing we can wave a magic wand to fix things.

Aug 30th 2013

So you're in favor of assassinations, then? :-)

I know you're joking, but on one level, I mean, isn't it better to do a little killing than a lot?

Aug 30th 2013

including knowing which side to support

No, I'm NOT saying that. We should always support the RIGHT side, which to us is the free, democratic side which supports human rights. It shouldn't matter if 1 person in the country supports that...WE should support that person.

Over time, I believe freedom and democracy will win...so we will end up on the "winning side". But the "winning side" should not be our criteria.

Aug 30th 2013 edited

I know you're joking, but on one level, I mean, isn't it better to do a little killing than a lot?

You're referring to the Little Red Riding Hood Theory of global diplomacy and espionage, wherein just the right amount of assassination gets the job done.

Seriously, it's never been clearer that both sides in a conflict are the bad guys. Usually you can see the political upside in picking a bad fight, but I don't even see that here. We should stick to meaningless pronouncements of condemnation and move on. It's a tragedy, but there's nothing we can do but make it worse.

Aug 30th 2013

We should always support the RIGHT side, which to us is the free, democratic side which supports human rights.

They all claim to support these things, but very few of them do. Which side of the Syrian conflict matches this description? It's entirely possible that the Al Qaeda faction in Syria will evolve into a democratic organization, but I'm not willing to give them the surface-to-air missiles to find out. Or how about Egypt? And even if we back the right side that always leaves the losers blaming us.

Aug 30th 2013

It's a tragedy, but there's nothing we can do but make it worse.

The only way to end a fight is to stop fighting.

Don't you folks have brothers, too? That's usually how I learn my lessons. :-)

Aug 30th 2013

The only way to end a fight is to stop fighting.

That only works if you're already in the fight. If you're a spectator, jumping into the fray is not the way to initiate peace talks. Anyone listen to Kerry just now? Sounds like we're about to put some cruise missiles to use.

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