1. George Zimmerman said the local law enforcement agency is holding his passport and is making it difficult to get it back. Why can’t he just apply to the State Department for a replacement passport, as he is not presently charged with any crime?

    I wish Mas would have asked George his advise on joining a neighborhood watch group. If I gain anything from George’s experience it is never to join a neighborhood watch group, that involves patrolling and potential confrontation with a bad guy(s). Just too much that can go wrong.

    My other big take away is to spend whatever you can afford to live in a neighborhood, that does not need a neighborhood watch group. If that involves cut backs in spending on entertainment, clothing, newer car, whatever it is worth the sacrifice.

  2. Due to the nature of my employment I have attended numerous safety related seminars and training events. One thing that is stressed, and is clearly evident in any life situation is that any event that takes place is not one single occurrence taking place in a vacuum. There are always several steps that lead up to the final event, be it a work place personal injury accident, a road rage incident….or a shooting. If you take away any single step in the process, the final event does not happen.

    George Zimmerman had several opportunities to alter the final outcome of his situation. But he pressed ahead, never deviating from the course of events that led up to the shooting. While he has been properly adjudicated not guilty (which is a very different thing from being innocent), he still is responsible for taking a life, which is a very serious thing.

    A quick aside:
    I was surprised to learn that Lt. Colonel Oliver North is opposed to the death penalty. But his reasoning is understandable after you hear why. He said, and I paraphrase,

    “I have been responsible for taking human lives, both up close and personal, and by calling in air and artillery strikes that took many lives. Those experiences changed my outlook on the taking of any life.”

    Col. North told of going through the pack of a North Vietnamese soldier who, as Col. North said, “Had he been a little quicker on the trigger, it would have been him going through my pack.”

    Thoughts that should be considered by anyone who chooses to go into society armed. Take advantage of the knowledge of the weight that Col. North carries if you decide to carry a weapon. That weight you carry on your hip can be a comfort, but it can also be a terrible burden.

    So George Zimmerman must carry that burden with him the rest of his life as well. It remains to be seen how he handles that responsibility. Subsequent events, if the sensationalist oriented news media can be believed, do not bode well for Mr. Zimmerman.

    Having said all that, and were it I in place of Mr. Zimmerman, and the events leading up to the shooting being the same with me on my back having my head pounded into the sidewalk, the cops would have arrived to find a very dead assailant surrounded by empty shell casings and my pistol with the slide locked back over an empty magazine.

    In that, perhaps Mr. Zimmerman helped his case by firing only once.

  3. Michael, having spoken with George as recently as yesterday, I see it differently than you do. When the dispatcher asked “where did he go,” Zimmerman obligingly went looking. Shortly thereafter, he was basically ambushed. The reality doesn’t support the faulty reasoning that was part of the “It was Zimmerman’s fault” media meme.

  4. @MichaelJT

    While the point that you made in your post is valid in that any conflict arises from a “chain of events” and that there was a chain of actions that Zimmerman made that ultimately led to the shooting; the reverse is also true.

    Martin made decisions that also contributed to the “chain of events” that ended in his death. One could pick apart Martin’s actions, as the news media did to Zimmerman, and easily argue that “if only” Martin had made some other decision as some point in time, then the shooting would not have happened. For example, there is a good deal of evidence to suggest that it was Martin who doubled-back and confronted Zimmerman. The opposite meme, sold by the media, that Zimmerman “ran down” a fleet-footed seventeen year old and then ruthlessly executed him just does not pass the logical “smell” test.

    What people don’t get is that the chain of events is beside the point. The main legal criteria is: was the person who employed deadly force under threat of death or grave bodily injury at the time? There is good evidence to suggest that Zimmerman was, indeed, under such a threat. The jury must have felt that this was largely valid because they did not return a guilty verdict.

  5. Musings of the mind. We as human beings live in a world of ebb and flow of interactions with others daily, and sometimes direct intersections where our lives collide. What leads us to these collisions? Every action on our part can affect when, where, and with whom those collisions occur.

    Consider this scenario. You’re late for work and accelerate your car to “beat the light” at an intersection you would have slowed and stopped for the day before. You did not actually run a red light, you just pushed your luck to beat a “cold yellow light”. No harm, no foul. At the next intersection you have a solid green light, proceeding into the intersection, only to be broadsided by an 18 wheeler running the red light. Who is at fault? Are you to be found guilty for the collision because you wouldn’t have even been there to have a wreck had you been more careful at the previous intersection and stopped?
    Did you set in motion the events that ended in tragedy?

    Let’s continue this exercise. You had a legal, full, container of gas in your trunk as a precaution against running out of gas. This spare gas explodes, engulfing the cab of the 18 wheeler, killing the driver, while you were able by some miracle, to escape. Should you be held accountable for his death? After all, a case can tenuously be made that you, your car, and that dangerous can of gas should not have been there at all.

    Pardon my ramblings.

  6. The transcript I have reads:

    Zimmerman: No, you go in, straight through the entrance, and then you make a left– you go straight in, don’t turn, and make a left. Shit, he’s running.

    Dispatcher: He’s running? Which way is he running?

    GZ witnessed TM running, he certainly could have conveyed the direction of travel without following TM. I do not see any implication that the dispatcher wanted GZ to go looking for TM.

    At the same time, I also believe that GZ was under no legal obligation not to follow TM.

  7. @jack76590: Zimmerman was not acting as part of a neighborhood watch or patrol at the time of this occurrence. He was, as I recall, a member or organizer of such a patrol in his neighborhood, but he was entirely acting on his own initiative in this instance.

    Most law enforcement departments will instruct the participants in any “citizens on patrol” or neighborhood watch groups which they officially recognize to never leave their vehicles or homes or to attempt to follow, pursue, confront, or detain a person who they have seen acting suspiciously or, indeed, who they have actually seen commit a criminal act. They should only watch and call from safety. Many, if not most, will also require that participants patrolling in vehicles not be armed. All that is, doubtless, intended to help limit their liability, but limiting their liability would not be needed if there was no risk inherent in those activities.

  8. MichaelJT,

    You did a very good job presenting your case for the gravity of taking a human life. I am for the death penalty, but sometimes I shrink back from my stance when I hear that still, in our modern age, mistakes are made and innocent people end up on death row.

    Nevertheless I have a real hatred for evil people. There are 7 billion people on this planet. Human beings are not an endangered species. If we could eliminate mass murderers, serial killers, first-degree murderers, terrorists, child molesters and rapists, we would improve the world. Charities are praised for helping people, but eliminating the wicked would be even more beneficial to the world than feeding the poor.

    Do you remember NYC before Rudolph Giuliani? Violent criminals used to go to prison for a few years, then get let out to commit more violence on even more innocent people. That was really sick. A huge miscarriage of justice.

  9. I’ve listened to both of these new podcasts. Good stuff, and great to hear you folks back. Regardless of one’s opinion or bias – you can always count on ProArms to present a factually grounded and balanced show.