I was going to give my sister a call around 8 pm tonight to help her out with her computer but ended up grabbing a few extra hours at work. Oh well, it's probably for the best since that's my nephews bath time. I can't claim to be the most responsible uncle ever but even I know if you drop a computer into a bathtub full of toddlers it will wreck the harddrive. :-p
Speaking of children who live in Florida I've been following the Trayvon Martin case, and considering just how confused, racially explosive, and legally convoluted it is I'm not going to make any statements about it. I figure with Spike Lee tweeting the wrong house address for Zimmerman, the New Black Panther Party putting a bounty on his head, and Geraldo Rivera revealing the true killer to be a sweater, there really isn't anything I can do to make this even more horrifyingly insane than it already is. However, there is one thing I will say and it is this:
Please, please, PLEASE, repeal these stupid, ridiculous, reckless and dangerous "Stand Your Ground" laws and do it now. I accept that it is unlikely that the shooter will ever be charged, since even after confronting the victim he could still claim "I felt threatened by this person I confronted" but do we need to repeat this? Both people had a right to go for a walk in that area, so this is definitely the type of scenario that reasonably can be expected to occur again. Restore the duty to retreat, and help force angry, armed people to back down first, and shoot second, instead of flipping a coin. Doing that will NOT remove people's right to defend themselves in their own homes, or to use lethal force as a last resort in an incredibly dire situation. It will however make people less likely to shoot first, and even maybe to think before playing cop.
I realize I am going to get some flak for saying that, especially since I am a Canadian, and a liberal, but frankly, I don't care. I have two young nephews who right now live in a state where it's possibly legally acceptable to confront unarmed people who are not committing crimes, and then shoot them if they react poorly to this while wearing athletic gear. Right now my eldest nephew is three, and not threatening to anyone, but in ten years, when he's close to six feet and 150+ pounds, full of testosterone and youthful invincibility, someone could very well decide he is, and under the current law, kill him.
That is NOT acceptable to me, and it is NOT a point for debate. It's just not.
You want even one tear stained silver lining from this mess? Change the law, now.