Wild West meets Florida
If I understand the Florida "stand your ground" law correctly, if Trayvon Martin had been carrying a gun, he would have been perfectly justified in shooting George Zimmerman, just as Zimmerman claims to have been justified in shooting Martin ("Debating 'castle' doctrine," Tuesday). Martin's life obviously was in danger.
So, if two armed individuals confront each other in Florida and each feels threatened, each person is justified in killing the other one? This sounds a bit like Dodge City to me. The law seems to back the man who can draw quickest and shoot straightest. Is it just me or is this crazy?
Scott Washburn, Philadelphia, email@example.com
Sad truth about new gun laws
African Americans must realize the sad truth. Old white men are passing draconian gun laws to protect their own. Florida adopted an NRA-backed gun law called "stand your ground" to make it easier for citizens to kill you if you're perceived as a threat to their survival. To many of these folks, any black face is intimidating. So any vigilante confronting you can murder you, even if you get the upper hand and don't possess a firearm.
Therefore, it would be in your best interest to avoid any armed "security" personnel who are self-anointed crime-stoppers. Treat the police and their civil proxies with much deference. Copping an attitude will just set you up for an easy kill.
Anthony J. Frascino, Swedesboro, firstname.lastname@example.org
What were teen's rights?
In all the talk about the tragedy in Florida, I have not heard this question asked: Did the youngster being followed by a stranger at night in the rain, under the "stand your ground law," have the right to stand his ground?
Arthur Matthews, former police homicide commander, Philadelphia
No national coverage of Neary
Who is Kevin Neary ("Shot and paralyzed in body but not spirit," Monday)? I watch all the Sunday morning news shows, and I don't remember any segment devoted to him. I read national publications and don't remember any stories about him. I checked the network news shows and saw no stories about him. Why? No marches to stop the violence against innocent people like Neary. No Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton pronouncements. President Obama also failed to comment.
To tell you the truth, I didn't know the story of Neary until Melissa Dribben's heartbreaking, front-page story about this courageous man. Contrast this to the race-baiting antics surrounding the Trayvon Martin shooting.
Andrew J. Anderson, Marlton
Tragedy, guns, and health care
How sad that a promising young life is so severely injured, creating a lifelong disability because of the availability of guns. I have great empathy for Kevin Neary, his family and friends, and their continuing crisis.
And I wonder how much easier it could have been to face such a devastating injury and lifelong health problem if the Affordable Care Act had been in force and all healthy young people like Neary were obliged to have health-care insurance.
Sandy Brown , Philadelphia
Repeat a lie often enough and ...
Thank you for setting the record straight on the "birther" issue ("'Birther' movement needs to die," Friday).
The lies about President Obama's citizenship are among many that the uninformed circulate, especially by e-mail, including that he is a Muslim, that he is not patriotic, that he canceled prayer day, ad nauseam. As the Nazi propagandists pointed out, if you repeat a lie often enough, people will start to believe it.
We all need to be more aware of the commandment to not bear false witness.