Monday, August 19, 2013

Cowboy Immunity

The most disturbing trend in the United States these days is the extent to which a, "Stand Your Ground" law is being exploited.  Take, for example, this story from South Carolina where a man named Shannon Scott and his lawyer, Tim Rutherford, are arguing that Scott should not be prosecuted for the murder of an  innocent, 17 year-old bystander, Darrell Niles.

Back in April of 2010, Shannon Scott's daughter called him as she and her friends were on their way home from clubbing.  His daughter claimed that they were being followed by another carload of teens, which Scott referred to as, "woman thugs."  Scott then met his daughter and her friends outside his home, where he told them to, "Go inside and lie down on the kitchen floor."  Armed with a .38 caliber pistol, Scott arbitrarily shot and killed Niles, who was sitting in his car across the street.

It has not been established if there was any other gunfire that night simply because there was so much conflicting testimony.  However, according to the police report, Scott fired first.

Too bad poor Darrell Niles can't tell his side of the story.  And to me, this story goes way beyond Trayvon Martin because we're not talking about some idiot picking a fight with the victim and then shooting the victim when the idiot is losing the fight.  We're talking about giving people like this gun nut** the capability of shooting first, and then hiding behind a defense like, "I was scared for my life!"  It is horrifying what this guy and his attorney are trying to do.  Because if they are successful in their argument, this case will broaden the, "Stand Your Ground" law to the point that anyone with a gun can fire without reasonable cause, with as many bullets as they want, without ever thinking twice about where and in whom those bullets might land.

Here's the part that mortifies me:
"When someone like Scott, in fear for his life, shoots his gun, '...they cannot be expected to shoot straight always because they are not supposed to have their life in jeopardy,' Rutherford said."
Excuse me???  You're damn right I expect someone who is taking the law into their own hands to shoot straight.  And furthermore, I don't care if you feel your life is in jeopardy.  If you take an innocent life simply because you're a trigger happy ego maniac, then your rights are forfeit.

Again, from the article:
"It’s terrible, but Darrell Niles, a 17-year-old innocent bystander, just got in the way, they said. 
'He simply ended up being in the wrong place at the wrong time,' Rutherford said."
Got in the way?  Wrong place at the wrong time?  Boy, I'll say.  "Wrong time" takes on a whole new meaning: young Darrell was in the wrong state in a time where rampant fear and paranoia are coupled with a obsessive gun culture.

** Anyone that has a sign in his window that reads, "Fight Crime - Shoot First" qualifies as a gun nut.

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