Column was basically spot-on
My compliments to a right-wing, gun-toting, life member of the NRA for the first article I have read that is basically spot-on regarding a weapons owner's responsibility. My personal opinion of the NRA and its membership aside, I agree with your point that a weapons holder needs to avoid situations that can and do result in nonessential conflict. I am of the opinion that the vast majority of the NRA's membership does not understand or accept your view. At least your column indicates that some reason does escape the black hole of the NRA.
Michael Bobbitt, Henderson, NC
Guilty of reckless endangerment
I believe Rich Lowry's opinion, "Zimmerman trial was a 'wannabe' morality play" in the July 14 Gazette missed a much larger issue here, and that is the issue on whether we should allow or encourage vigilante justice in America, where one person is allowed to actively engage the population and become judge and jury all in well fell swoop, because that is essentially what resulted here, whether intentional or not.
I also disagree with s conclusion that "If Mr. Martin had been shot by another black person, no one would have cared." This is a ridiculous assertion regarding the inherent morality of our society in general, and is by its very nature a racist assertion.
I'd like to see Zimmerman charged with reckless endangerment, as he was clearly the cause of Martin's death as a result of his blatant, arbitrary and unjustifiable decision to disregard police instructions to not engage and to stay in his car. He instead chose to heedlessly engage Martin. This resulted in Martin's death, intentional or not. July Fourth reminds us that the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as stated in our Declaration of Independence is the very foundation for our Constitution and resultant laws of the land. We put these laws in place with designated officers of the law who are trained to uphold these laws to achieve a civilized approach to enforcement that guarantees individual liberties while ensuring "public safety," first and foremost. Some people would rather disregard this established system and pursue their own "personal" methods of enforcement, which in this instance included carrying a gun and physically engaging a "suspicious person" after being advised not to.
Let's review how a "reckless endangerment" offense is defined: A person commits the crime of reckless endangerment if the person recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another person. "Reckless" conduct is conduct that exhibits a culpable disregard of foreseeable consequences to others from the act or omission involved. The accused need not intentionally cause a resulting harm. The ultimate question is whether, under all the circumstances, the accused's conduct was of that heedless nature that made it actually or imminently dangerous to the rights or safety of others. Recent trial testimony seems to clearly point to this offense, and it's very unfortunate that this charge was not already made by the prosecution, given that Mr. Zimmerman's conduct was clearly was "heedless" given the fact that the police instructed him not to engage and to remain in his car.
So let's not be so quick to disregard the value of any human life. Zimmerman and anyone else taking the law into their own hands should never be rewarded with a free pass to heedlessly engage and harm others in this so completely unjustifiable manner. Civil liberties transcend race, as they are in place to benefit all of us, and no less so for Martin. I'm one of the many people still hoping to see some justice for Martin's needlessly tragic death.
Wayne Wallace, Colorado Springs
To further inflame the masses
The debate over the George Zimmerman verdict will be going on for some time, but the trial (or at least the media coverage of the trial including the events leading up to the trial) did prove one thing beyond a reasonable doubt: the blatant liberal bias of the mainstream media to the point of using dishonety to advance their liberal agenda.
Even before Zimmerman's arrest, the mainstream liberal media presented us with repeated playings of Zimmerman's recorded 911 call doctored to make him come off as a racist. They coined the term "white Hispanic" to enhance the race angle of a white on black hate crime.
The evidence of mainstream media liberal bias and dishonesty is irrefutable, the prosecution rests, there is no defense for bias and dishonesty in simply reporting the news, the jury is back, the verdict is in. Guilty as charged.
Bill Schaffner, Colorado Springs
Overwhelming trial evidence
Kerry McKillip-Humphrey has reached national celebrity. When I read his/her (not sure of gender) letter, I thought, what a clueless, uninformed opinion of the Martin/Zimmerman case. Then I tuned in the Mike Rosen radio program on KOA 850, which is heard regionally on the radio and nationally on the Internet. He was dissecting Zimmerman case letters to the editor in the Denver Post and then, to my surprise, the McKillip-Humphrey letter in The Gazette - apparently, because it was so, as Rosen put it, "incredibly ignorant." He pointed out all of the, as he put it, "stupid" statements, such as, "the stalking death of an unarmed, smaller child." Martin (the "child") was a pot smoking, school suspended street thug, and much bigger than Zimmerman, smashing his nose and beating his head on concrete. If this is "America's child", we're all in a lot of trouble. And then, "the appeal of a ludicrous decision by the jury". There is no appeal of a prosecution case under the double jeopardy clause in the Constitution. Apparently, McKillip-Humphrey didn't see any of the overwhelming trial evidence that acquitted Zimmerman or never heard of double jeopardy.
Jim Anderson, Colorado Springs