Civil Rights Vs Gun Rights
A new poll on the Trayvon Martin shooting may be stronger evidence that Americans support gun rights than a stark divide exists between races.
The Ipsos Poll, commissioned by Reuters, found that 91 percent of blacks agree that black teen Trayon Martin was “an innocent who was unjustly killed” by white George Zimmerman. Only 35 percent of whites agreed.
What does it mean? The question asked whether Martin was “an innocent who was unjustly killed….”
That raised fears of urban class war that has led to an expansion of gun rights, even though the years have been replete with school massacres and people settling grudges with guns. People being polled no doubt could imagine a circumstance when they could fear for the lives of loved ones or even themselves. Recent polls show support for gun rights rising into in the mid-80s, compared with 68 percent in 1991, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Based on a basic argument that they could pull a gun and resolve such an event with fewer casualties just has not been proven to be the case, even in Arizona - one of the most heavily armed states in the nation.
Now in many states people are able to carry concealed weapons in parks and universities, places that traditionally havens of peace. Laws like Florida’s “Stand Your Ground,” legislation have strong majority support.
The Ipsos Poll reflects, too, that blacks still remember the civil rights march days, and a series of killings of blacks in recent months stokes the flames. But that is being translated into a difference between whites and blacks that may not be that large.
Only 16 percent of whites said Martin’s death was justified. Forty-eight percent said they neither agreed nor disagreed. Independent voters were much less enthusiastic than Republicans.
For the case to have its most impact on race in national elections, the trial would have to be conducted before November’s vote. Some legal commentators say that is unlikely. In strict liability crimes, such as manslaughter or murder, a defendant does not need to have intended to break the law. Thus a jury in New Jersey convicted a college student of causing the suicide of his gay roommate although they did not believe it was ever his intention.
The difference in the Florida case is whether Zimmerman could have had what is called a “guilty mind” when he likely knew that the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law empowered people to use force based on their judgment of being threatened.