Sun Mar 25, 2012, 11:20 AM
JHB (23,103 posts)
TYT: Larry Pratt says Shooter Should Get Off on a Technicality
On The Young Turks show on Current TV:
Cenk interviews Larry Pratt, executive director of the Gun Owners of America, about the shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman. Pratt contends that Zimmerman was attacked by Martin and acted in self-defense.http://current.com/shows/the-young-turks/videos/gun-advocate-to-cenk-if-you-jump-on-top-of-me-count-on-it-im-gonna-shoot-you-part-1
ON EDIT: Crooks & Liars has a version without the ads and in one piece:
Cenk is a little over the top here for my taste, which lets Pratt almost look like the reasonable one (almost. He's so far gone that nothing can help).
The real zingers that Cenk never hones in on here is pointing out that Pratt is arguing for the very thing his entire movement has used to condemn liberals as "soft on crime": letting the accused go free "on a technicality", and that Pratt's argument also goes against everything ever said about not "second guessing" police in brutality/excessive force cases.
Pratt argues (based on one account. Others differ, but for the sake of argument we'll just go with Pratt's version for now) that once the encounter became physical (a fight), Treyvon should have run once he gained an advantage over Zimmerman instead of punching him. with Zimmerman now on the defensive, he was justified in pulling his gun and shooting Martin. Pratt underscores this point with his "count on it, I'm gonna shoot you" line in Cenk's hypothietical recreation of the incident between him and Pratt.
Now, the entire "liberals are soft on crime" meme comes from efforts to force police to actually follow the rules about due process, collection of evidence, etc. so that people didn't go to jail for crimes they didn't commit. This occasionally resulted in cases being thrown out because improperly-collected evidence could not be admitted, improper interrogations, etc., which outraged a lot of people for "violent criminals getting off on a technicality". It's what gave birth to the entire vigilante-movie genre of the 70's -- Dirty Harry, Death Wish, etc. -- and the RW in general and gun-promotion lobby in particular relies heavily on it.
Further, we're supposed to be very lenient about excessive force cases because we are "not there, making the call in the heat of the moment" where there just isn't time to rationally evaluate things and make sure all boxes on the proper procedure checklist are followed completely. This is for peace officers trained in the use of force in potentially violent confrontations.
So here is Pratt, who has spent his career humping the leg of the "got off on a technicality" meme, arguing for exactly the thing he's supposed to be against. And to do it, his justification is that an untrained teenager going about his normal business and suddenly finding himself in a physical confrontation should dot every "i" and cross every "t" about when he should break off, in an even more extreme version of what gets called "micromanagment" and "Monday morning quarterbacking" when applied to holding trained police officers accountable.
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