Friday, July 19, 2013

Attack on the 2nd Amendment

There is a group of citizens that are, on the down low, and possibly inadvertently, trying to assault your Second Amendment rights.

A person named Shirley Bells has created a petition on the Causes website called "NO gun rights for Zimmerman!"  This petition is calling for George Zimmerman to have his gun rights taken away from him, even though he has NEVER been convicted of a felony.

Their argument in the petition is based on a Huffington Post article that I can't seem to find, but I did find a similar article on speaking about George Zimmermans "criminal records." This was submitted by an Anchor for Allvoices out of New York City. Link

This article is very clear on the fact that none of the charges ended up in convictions. Here is a
breakdown of the "criminal" behavior that is listed in the article.

The first listed one was a "resisting officer with violence" and "battery of a law enforcement officer" charge that he was apparently arrested on.  The next sentence in the article starts out with an interesting comment "Due to his desperate attempts" which is not even explained anywhere.  But in the end, the charge was reduced to "resisting officer without violence" and then even that was dropped, as reported on the site for him "enter[ing] an alcohol education program."

The second one listed isn't even a criminal report, but a report about George and his ex-fiance, Veronica Zuazo, who ended up filing dueling restraining orders and nothing more was heard about this. The site reports that her restraining order alleged domestic violence, but it doesn't indicate what his alleged.  A blatant attempt to say that this was one sided, but since both restraining orders were granted, there had to be something both ways or the court wouldn't issue both restraining orders.

The third one, again, is not really a criminal matter.  It was a speeding ticket that he was issued and that was then dropped when the citing officer filed to show up to court.

So, let's analyze this some, and this is speculation since we don't have the court records or documents to back up the story, but let's take a try.  The first two incidents happened in 2005.  That means that George Zimmerman would have been about 21 years old at the time.  Let's take a guess that Mr. Zimmerman was drinking heavily and was walking through the neighborhood on his way home.  A police officer sees someone walking erratically down the street and approaches them from behind, not getting any reaction to their calls to stop.  They reach out and take the shoulder of the person, who in their inebriated state, turn around and try to push the person away and inadvertently strike the person.  After they get oriented, they realize this person is a police officer.  Guess what?  You just committed the office of "resisting officer with violence" and "battery of a law enforcement officer." How many young folks do we know, that after they turn 21, seem to go on a binge for awhile and some end up in this same situation and end up in the same trouble, but in all other respects and, more often then not, become fully functional productive members of society.

Now, on to the second situation.  Taking into consideration the reported incident above, and this incident also being from 2005, the fact that George was able to have the "resisting officer" charge dropped was because he qualified for diversion into alcohol awareness training.  Since there were no criminal charges reported with the restraining order incident between he and his ex-fiance, I would have to conclude that this was more than likely a situation where he (and maybe she, though I am not implying anything by that) was drinking and a fight got started.  They chose in the end that the better route was to not see each other again and they ended up doing this via a legal sanction process known as a restraining order.  Both requested them and both got granted.

The third situation is common enough.  You get a speeding ticket for a few miles an hour over the limit, and in the jurisdictions where it is required even for a traffic ticket for the officer to appear, this didn't happen in this case.  I think we may all know or have heard of someone who got out of a ticket because the officer didn't show up.  Not all jurisdictions require the officer to appear, but many do.  So, unless there were extenuating circumstances, such as a major crime or riot going on in his town the day of his hearing, the ticket probably wasn't that severe.  When an officer issues a big ticket for major over-speeding or reckless behavior, they tend to show up to make sure the ticket doesn't get thrown out.  When it is a small ticket, if they are even somewhat busy, they may forget or have never planned to appear anyways.  Sometimes, I think, they issue these small tickets and make you go to court like this just to try and reinforce the point of what could happen if you keep doing this or doing it more egregiously - the same as "I am telling your father" and your father gives you a stern talking to about the situation.

In summary, we have three incidents.  Of the three, I am most concerned about the second one.  The domestic violence situation.  Though I would like more information on this, for obvious reason these types of cases are often not publicly documented well, and since no criminal charges were filed, the prosecutor's office apparently didn't feel it was warranted, especially since both filed restraining orders and got them.  The first situation is so common, I don't even want to think how many 21-year olds have charges like this brought against them, especially in college towns, each year.  No worries there either in my opinion.

Do I even need to say anything about the third? Trying to use a speeding ticket to say someone is dirty?  If that was enough to declare someone dirty then probably 20% of the population who have never been arrested would have to be added to that population, I think many of us have gotten minor tickets like this and these are definitely not criminal matters.

In conclusion, if these people had there way, just being accused of what could be charged as a felony and potentially even just a speeding ticket would be enough to restrict your Second Amendment rights to own a firearm.  What do you think of that people?  I know this petition won't get far or do anything, but I am concerned that there are over 16,000 people that have already signed this.  The man was found not guilty of the crimes he was prosecuted for, leave the man alone.

Amendment Guy
Twitter @amendment_guy

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