Daniel Adkins Jr,? Another Trayvon Martin? Has the stand “your ground laws” created a perceived license to kill?
The issues surrounding the shooting of Trayvon Martin filled the media for weeks. In addition, it filled the conversations of people on facebook, linked in, twitter and in coffee shops everywhere. I personally had several conversations with associates, friends and people who randomly discovered I was an attorney, about the situation. In all honesty I had mixed feelings about the issue. I think that a person should not have to flee from an attack and risk being attacked in flight where they are less able to defend themselves as someone is attacking from behind. However, Zimmerman rightfully or wrongly created the interaction with Trayvon Martin, by following him even after he was advised by dispatch that he should stop. Under California Law an initial aggressor can only claim self defense if they clearly communicate to the other party that they would like to cease fighting and retreat. California Law further does not allow for the creation of the need to use of self defense, self defense cannot be contrived. Clearly, Tray’von Martin and Daniel Adkins Jr. were not in California they were in Florida and Arizona respectively. However, both of these cases create a growing concern that the stand your ground laws are being used as a swords to initiate conflict. Would Zimmerman had followed Trayvon Martin if he did not have a gun? Would Zimmerman have refused to stop following Trayvon Martin if he did not believe he could shoot Tray’von Martin if he felt threatened?
I know I have several friends that are gun rights advocates who will contrast these situations with the numerous situations where gun owners stop robberies and crimes in process. However, Trayvon was not a robber, and he is now gone forever.
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