“In neither case were Zimmerman or Dunn’s claim of fear ever justified by a qualified analyst.”
Clearly it took a group of legislators with dimly lit minds and no concept of the short-term/long-term consequences, to concocting and enacting a vigilante-styled law onto the already shaky framework of legal ordinances of the United States of America.
I’m referring to The Stand Your Ground Law, a self-defense statute that in essence states an individual has the right to use deadly force to defend themselves — without any requirement to evade or retreat — against what they may perceive to be a perilous situation. It’s a law that bases itself on the intangible, immaterial, impalpable, unsubstantiated fear that one person may have of another for any number of reasons.
Fear is an emotion that functions as a protectant from threats, both real and imaginary, from our surroundings. It can arise from any number of sources or situations including the unknown, a loss of freedom, pain, ridicule, rejection, phobias, hatred, you name it. Non-corporeal and intangible in and of itself, fear manages to trigger a physiological, followed by a physical, reaction known as flight or fight, a trait found in all manner of God’s creatures.
Also known as ‘acute stress response’, fight-or-flight was first researched in the 1920s by an American physiologist named Walter Cannon. In his research, Cannon came to realize that in the human body, a series of rapidly occurring chain reactions take place that assist in mobilizing the body’s resources to help deal with threatening circumstances. Here’s the science behind it:
“In response to acute stress, the body’s sympathetic nervous system is activated due to the sudden release of hormones. The sympathetic nervous systems stimulates the adrenal glands triggering the release of catecholamines, which include adrenaline and noradrenaline. This results in an increase in heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rate. After the threat is gone, it takes between 20 to 60 minutes for the body to return to its pre-arousal levels.” – About.comPsychology
The instance and magnitude of fear is relative, dependent on who you’re talking to. One man’s fear could be another man’s exhilarating adventure.
If the states that have passed the Stand Your Ground law (Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Utah) intend to dispense justice based on a person’s emotional state during which a crime has been committed, especially when someone is murdered, than shouldn’t there be licensed, medical professionals on hand to assess the validity of their statements and whether such emotions were rational or irrational, depending on the circumstances?
If logic and facts are to rule in a court of law, then I think so.
Psychologists, psychiatrist and physiologists should be called upon during each SYG case to determine whether there is sufficient cause for a person to feel that they were in a life or death situation. There may be other overriding issues such as cowardice, phobias or hate clouding their judgement.
Two of the most recent and well-known SYG cases have been the George Zimmerman and Michael Dunn trials. In neither case were Zimmerman or Dunn’s claim that they feared for their lives ever justified by a qualified analyst. No doubt that if the incompetent Florida state attorneys in both cases were to have focused their jurors’ attention more on the difference between preying and being preyed upon, the verdicts may have had a much different outcome.
In the Zimmerman (28 y.o.) and Dunn (47 y.o.) cases, both older men were the aggressors, documentation being that they both approached and later pursued their younger victims, Trayvon Martin (17 y.o.) and Jordan Davis (17 y.o.). Pursuing is not the action of a victim, its one of a stalker. Both defendants carried weapons — guns — and their victims?; a bag of skittles, a can of soda and a boombox.
So let’s call a spade a spade shall we? The Stand Your Ground Law is vigilantism, pure and simple. Lawmakers in these states want a return to the Wild, Wild West where the sheriff was predominantly the judge, jury and the executioner in most cases. A time when real men took the law into their own hands and dispensed justice where they saw fit. Men like Dunn and Zimmerman are frightened cowards who fear — not for their safety — but that they actually don’t have the power and authority that some sectors of our society have told them they ought to have over certain individuals in this country. This realization comes as a big blow to their “pride”, so they seek out ways to attain that promised power, with their intense anger, their hatred and their guns.
Folks ought to be careful of what they ask for…