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Posted by seafan in General Discussion
Mon Mar 19th 2012, 11:33 PM
This tragic news comes on the anniversary of the day George W. Bush unleashed the fires of hell on innocent Iraqis on March 19, 2003.

Jeb Bush facilitated the death of this young 17 year old boy named Trayvon Martin.

In 2005, Governor Jeb Bush signed the infamous "Stand Your Ground" law.

Trayvon Martin
AP Photo/HO, Martin Family Photos (via CSM)

Patrik Jonsson writes at the Christian Science Monitor:

March 16, 2012

For many tuning in across the nation, the shooting late last month in Florida of an unarmed black teenager by a suspicious neighborhood watch captain looks like a racially motivated murder.


The shooting also presents a tragic snapshot of so-called "Stand Your Ground" laws, what critics call “license-to-murder.”

Such laws eliminate the English Law concept of a “duty to retreat” from dangerous situations outside the home. Without that, an armed citizen has no obligation to stand down in the face of a threat.

The problem, as the Martin case highlights, is that making the duty to retreat "totally irrelevant," as Stetson University law professor Robert Batey has said, means the law gives prosecutors fewer factors to consider when determining self-defense, including, potentially, the extent to which a person claiming self-defense may have aggravated the situation.


“Even if you have suspicions about what motivated this, and you think there was a racial element and no justification for this shooting, the fact is he had no obligation to retreat under the law,” (former federal prosecutor Jeffrey Bellin, a law professor at Southern Methodist University, in Dallas) notes. “If prosecutors don't have the evidence to disprove the claim of self-defense, they won't be able to win.”


The shooter is now claiming "self-defense".

George Zimmerman mug shot from a 2005 arrest. Courtesy Orange County Jail
(via Mother Jones)

So far, not much has happened to Zimmerman.

According to Mother Jones, Zimmerman has a prior arrest record. In 2005, Zimmerman was arrested for "resisting arrest with violence and battery on a law enforcement officer". Those charges were subsequently dropped.

Mother Jones:


Zimmerman may have benefited from some of the broadest firearms and self-defense regulations in the nation. In 1987, then-Gov. Bob Martinez (R) signed Florida's concealed-carry provision into law, which "liberalized the restrictions that previously hindered the citizens of Florida from obtaining concealed weapons permits," according to one legal analyst. This trendsetting "shall-issue" statute triggered a wave of gun-carry laws in other states. (Critics said at the time that Florida would become "Dodge City.") Permit holders are also exempted from the mandatory state waiting period on handgun purchases.

Even though felons and other violent offenders are barred from getting a weapons permit, a 2007 investigation by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel found that licenses had been mistakenly issued to 1,400 felons and hundreds more applicants with warrants, domestic abuse injunctions, or gun violations. (More than 410,000 Floridians have been issued concealed weapons permits.) Since then, Florida also passed a law permitting residents to keep guns in their cars at work, against employers' wishes. The state also nearly allowed guns on college campuses last year, until an influential Republican lawmaker fought the bill after his close friend's daughter was killed by an AK-47 brandished at a Florida State University fraternity party.

Florida also makes it easy to plead self-defense in a killing. Under then-Gov. Jeb Bush, the state in 2005 passed a broad "stand your ground" law, which allows Florida residents to use deadly force against a threat without attempting to back down from the situation. (More stringent self-defense laws state that gun owners have "a duty to retreat" before resorting to killing.) In championing the law, former NRA president and longtime Florida gun lobbyist Marion Hammer said: "Through time, in this country, what I like to call bleeding-heart criminal coddlers want you to give a criminal an even break, so that when you're attacked, you're supposed to turn around and run, rather than standing your ground and protecting yourself and your family and your property."

Again, the Sunshine State was the trendsetter: 17 states have since passed "stand your ground" laws, which critics call a "license to kill" or a "shoot first" law. The law has been unpopular with law enforcement officers in Florida, since it makes it much more difficult to charge shooters with a crime and has regularly confounded juries in murder cases; many Orlando-area cops reportedly have given up investigating "self-defense" cases as a result, referring them to the overloaded state Attorney's Office for action. A 2010 study by the Tampa Bay Times found that "justifiable homicides" had tripled in the state since the law went into effect.


Another destructive legacy Jeb Bush and his fellow Republicans orchestrated in Florida.

Rest in peace, Trayvon Martin.

There was another young 14 year old boy in Florida named Martin, who was beaten and suffocated at a juvenile boot camp when Jeb Bush was governor.

Martin Lee Anderson
(Mari Darr-welch / AP)

Martin's parents were desperate for someone to be held accountable for their son's brutal death and deeply angered by the lack of expeditious investigation into the tragedy. They had tried unsuccessfully to meet with Governor Jeb Bush. There was always some excuse given by the governor's office.

Jeb Bush had to be shamed into finally meeting with them.

Rest in peace, Martin Lee Anderson.

So far, Jeb Bush has not publicly commented on Trayvon Martin's brutal death. But, he is scheduled for an MSNBC town hall meeting on education this Thursday in Tampa, with Reverend Al Sharpton. Maybe someone will ask Jeb about the effects of the lax gun law he signed in 2005 that may allow the killer of Trayvon Martin to go free, by claiming "self defense".

The tragedy of the Bush Family legacy is by no means limited to the catastrophic years of George W. Bush.

The actions of this one family will haunt this country far into the future.

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