Thursday, May 17, 2012

The NRA Picks its Battles Very Carefully

The Root reports

The National Rifle Association has strongly supported "Stand your ground" laws, which are in nearly 30 states, including Florida. But why has the group not been vocal about the Marissa Alexander case?

On Aug. 1, 2010, Alexander, of Jacksonville, Fla. -- then a 31-year-old mother of three with a 9-day-old baby -- fired a single warning shot into her ceiling after her husband, who had been arrested twice on domestic-battery charges, threatened her. He allegedly said, "If I can't have you, nobody going to have you." The shot hit no one.

She believed that she had the legal right to defend herself under Florida's "Stand your ground" law -- the same defense that George Zimmerman has claimed in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. But a judge decided otherwise, applying the state's 10-20-Life law, under which an assault with a firearm carries a steep penalty. Her sentence? A mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison.
What's your opinion? Is it the racism within the organization that accounts for this difficult-to-understand disparity?

What else could it be?

Please leave a comment.  


  1. "under which an assault with a firearm carries a steep penalty."

    Right, I'm sure it was the NRA that enacted this law. No. More likely it is the same cretins who believe in "one strike and you're out" type of bullshit.

  2. If the facts are as presented here and in a few other articles I have read then this is utter bullshit. The woman should not have even been charged.

    Still, there is no mention of if there was a jury trial. I can't imagine a jury convicting on this or even a grand jury voting to charge her based on what has been released. There is either more to the story than we have been told--it wouldn't be the first time the media modified the facts to infer racism for the sake of the story--or this woman has been railroaded.

  3. Congratulations, Mikeb, you were able to post this story again without bringing race into it.

    FWM is correct, this is utter bullshit.

    I am surprised, however, that FWM didn't want her telephone number.
    (just funnin ya FWM)
    orlin sellers

  4. From a post on TTAG:

    "Some guy over at reddit did some research (he backed up his posts with links to legal docs, arrest records, etc). Turns out there really is more to the story:

    1. She wasn’t isn’t in trouble for simply firing a warning shot, she’s in trouble because she used deadly force when it wasn’t justified according to the law.

    2. She did not fire the weapon into the kitchen ceiling! She was standing in the living room with her husband (and he was next to his 2 kids), she pointed the gun at his head and fired, the bullet barely missed his head, traveled through the wall and then into the ceiling the of the kitchen.

    3. Her husband’s testimony (the man she fired the gun at) was basically discounted because against the orders of the court they met up after she was arrested and discussed what he was going to say in her defense.

    4. If you still think her husband is trustworthy, he told the police after the shooting that she threatened to shoot him in the past, and his children told the prosecutor that she was screaming at them during the incident, he then testified those were all lies.

    5. After being arrested for shooting, she drove to his house (again she was not supposed to have any contact with him) and assaulted him and she was arrested again.

    6. Her defense about using stand your ground doesn’t work. When she fired the gun, he was not doing anything towards her. She had left the house, got the gun and came back, and he was in the process of leaving when she pointed the gun at him.

    Search “Marissa Alexander” for more."

    Do you defend her actions above Mike? Remember, if you say no then you are a racist.

    1. As I read more about this story it seems the real issue is evidence not supporting her statement, not so much shooting into a neighbor's home. Still, as I said below it is hard to claim imminent fear of life and "warning shot" at the same time. Just keep the gun pointed at him and fire only if you have to. That is what self-defense laws protect.

    2. Anonymous, do you believe everything you read on the internet?

    3. MikeB302000, no but I do believe the arrest record. Don't you? Maybe you don't when it doesn't back up your racist assertions.

  5. Wow, so much misinformation. Let’s start with this one:

    But why has the group not been vocal about the Marissa Alexander case?

    They haven’t been vocal about the Zimmerman case either! Where have they come out with an opinion on that matter? In fact, the gun control folks have been riding the NRA specifically for being silent on the case. So, they don’t say anything when the gun holder is half white- they are a bunch of racists, and when they don’t say anything when the gun holder is black- they a bunch of racists. They also haven’t said anything about the Daniel Akins shooting either. The NRA lobbies for strong self-defense laws, and they have been clear that not all shootings are justifiable as self-defense. They want to get good laws in place and then leave it up to the courts at that point. In light of all the recent misinformation, it is the pro-gun folks who cite all the specific examples of shootings that are not protecting as a public education campaign.

    The Rev. Al Sharpton has pledged to work on the case.

    Wait, I thought he was against Stand Your Ground laws? It is good to see him reverse course, but I am left confused.

    She believed that she had the legal right to defend herself under Florida's "Stand your ground" law -- the same defense that George Zimmerman has claimed in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

    That’s wrong. Zimmerman is not claiming he was “standing his ground”. He is claiming he was on his back with another person on top of him beating his head into the concrete. That is normal 50 state applicable self-defense. If Alexander shot under those circumstances, she probably would have been released that night with no charges.

    But let’s talk details of this case from what I know. Alexander’s big problem is that she fired a “warning shot”, and admits it. That is a big no-no. Firing a gun is only justified to prevent imminent grave bodily injury or death. Admitting that it was a warning, is an admission that she was not under immediate threat of life- she was just trying to scare the guy. Again, it is a big no-no to discharge a firearm for the purpose of intimidation, even though he surely has a history of intimidating her. Pointing the gun at him to protect her is fine, and shooting him if he charged her or tried to take the gun would also be justified.

    I am not 100% sure about this next detail, but I believe another problem is that she fired the shot into her upstairs neighbor’s home, and I believe that may be the root of the charges (not so much what she did to him, but was she did to her neighbors). This isn’t even a negligent discharge, that could be ruled an accident- it was intentional. Firing the gun into the neighbor’s home adding nothing other than endangering innocent people. He is her husband, and assuredly knows she has a gun and CCW and that it is not a toy.
    So to draw parallels to the Zimmerman case, it would be if pulled his gun at the first approach and intentionally fired it into one of the townhomes on Retreat Circle.

    Another detail of the case is that she went to the garage to retrieve her gun from her car, then came back into the house and fired it. Approaching him with a gun makes the claim murky, though given that she lived there and there may have been kids in the house could make it justified. Before you start saying “but Zimmerman approached Martin with a gun”, that is not what the defense claim is. Their claim is that he was walking back to his car when he was attacked. The judge/jury will sort out this detail that is pertinent to a self-defense claim.

    Do I think she deserves 20 years? Hell no, that is way excessive. But that is the gun control side which imposes mandatory sentences for the non-legitimate use of a gun. I think there should be a misdemeanor reckless discharge conviction for intentionally firing a gun into her neighbor’s home, and she should have her CCW revoked/suspended for a given period of time.