May 10 2012

Concealed Weapons Are Not License To Play Cop

Published by at 11:27 am under All General Discussions,Trayvon Martin Case

A lot of my readers do not understand why I have such confidence in the fact George Zimmerman was rightly charged in the death of Trayvon Martin. Most of their angst is due to the fact they let politics enter into their thinking and – whether they admit it or not – they don’t want Al Sharpton to be even partially right on this. So they defend the indefensible.

Personally I could care less about Sharpton. Whether he is right or wrong has no bearing on this. What does matter is how the incident played out and what are the laws when it comes to concealed weapons and the right to stand your ground.

Some background is in order, because I am not naive to these kinds of situations. I have had a gun pulled on me, and one threatened to be pulled on me. A passenger in my car pulled a knife on some guys harassing us late at night, and I hung out on the wrong side of the tracks at times. Sadly these kinds of incidents are not unknown to me.

There are two kinds of gun owners: (1) the quiet and serious type and (2) the show-offs covering up for their insecurity. Zimmerman strikes me as the latter. Zimmerman has a history of using excessive force in his role as bouncer – on a woman yet. That is not the act of a confident and in control person.

The guy who pulled the gun on me was a classic gun-toting idiot with delusions of grandeur.

The picture above is a loose representation of my encounter with the insecure, show-off types. I was in my car and – get this – merging onto a highway (Rt 66 in Northern Virginia). There was one other vehicle on the highway within site. It was a pickup truck and he was in the right lane – the lane I needed to merge into. My timing was perfect. I came down the ramp a little ahead of him and started to accelerate.

Then the idiot in the truck started to accelerate, too. I was driving a Pontiac Trans Am – so I accelerated even more and got onto the empty highway in front of this upstanding citizen.

Apparently, my getting in front was too much for this guy. Like Zimmerman when he ‘snapped as a bouncer and threw a woman against the wall, this guy felt the empty two lane highway was not big enough for the two of us (as I recall it was a Sunday morning when this happened). So “Joe Good Citizen” comes right up on my bumper. I tapped the brakes to warn him off with the lights – not slowing down at all.

And the fool was caught off guard! He hits his breaks way too hard and starts to lose control of the car (he already had lost control of his temper). He does recover, but now he is really pissed. I moved to the left lane and the guy pulled up on my right – now with his gun out and pointed at me.

I was not really panicked but more amused, so I simply hit my breaks, swung in behind him and took down his license plate. I then turned him into the police who went to visit our foolish gunslinger. He claimed the gun fell off the seat and he simply picked it up – never brandishing it. The cops did not buy it and he was charged.

I tried to make the court hearing, but did not make it. I have no idea what happened, but this fool went from full on arrogant to blabbering apologist in 2 seconds when the real law showed up. And he was making up all sorts of BS the entire time.

Today in Florida he would have committed what is called Assault with a Deadly Weapon. If the gun had fired and I died, it would be manslaughter – or worse.

Here is one of thousands of like incidents that occur all over the country all year:

Jeffrey Craig Hatcher also was charged with two counts each of felony aggravated assault and terroristic threats in connection with the incident shortly before 4:30 p.m.

The 48-year-old Hatcher told the deputy he is a security guard who carries a firearm as part of his job, and that the gun was in the center console of the Tahoe. The deputy retrieved a .38-caliber Smith and Wesson revolver and a guard’s badge.

The two men in the Chevy accused Hatcher of pointing a chrome revolver at them, but Hatcher denied displaying a gun, the incident report said. Hatcher told deputies that he had tried to pass the other car, but it would not let him pass. He was placed under arrest.

This guy has some legal reason to have a gun on him outside the home, and he was correctly arrested for misusing it. These incidents involved just the threat of a gun, and the punishment is harsh. Use it and things get much worse. Kill someone and you are in deep trouble. So you better have a bullet-proof excuse – or else.

I grew up around guns. I like using them and have been trained since a wee lad on what to do and not do. I proudly live in a state that allows concealed weapons, one that also has severe punishments for misuse of those weapons by civilians. I believe in both the right and responsibility. I have low tolerance for fools with guns – they play right into the gun control zealots hands.

Also, my family has its shares of law enforcement members. From police chief, mayor, state and federal prosecutor, judge and US congressman we have a deep understanding of where those lines of legal behavior are. More than most.

Here is a very, very important statement from the government of Florida regarding concealed weapons and why Zimmerman is in the trouble he is in:

To carry a concealed firearm is to take on an immense responsibility.  It is very important to understand that a license to carry a concealed weapon does not give the license holder discretionary authority to use that weapon.  It is my sincere hope that you will never find it necessary to use your weapon in self-defense; however, if circumstances require you to do so, you should know that the law will protect you only if your actions in using deadly force have been consistent with the law.

Emphasis mine. Zimmerman has no right to use the weapon – even in self defense. Yes, he can try the self defense angle, but it is not a given it will work. And most likely it will not work in this case.

First off, Zimmerman was not in a defensive position through most of the event. He was not being attacked by Martin, who was walking through the neighborhood eating candy and talking on the phone. This fact cannot be dismissed or ignored. When the incident began Zimmerman was not in danger. He put himself into the situation against the wishes of Martin.

Zimmerman was not in a self defense situation when he got out of his car – armed – and tried to chase down Martin. At this point in the sequence of events, it is Martin who is in the self defense position because he is the one being chased by an armed man.  Zimmerman has no authority to go after someone armed. None.

The threat is real in Martin’s mind and backed up apparently by testimony of the girlfriend on the phone. Zimmerman has no “right to stand” from here on – but Martin does.

Martin tries to flee, Zimmerman continues to chase for many minutes and against police direction. Zimmerman is also angry at  Martin without any hard evidence – it is all a state of mind for Zimmerman.

This is the law as applied equally to Zimmerman and Martin. When the physical conflict finally occurs, Zimmerman has been chasing and Martin has been fleeing. The encounter could have been avoided if Zimmerman stayed in his truck, waited for police and followed their directions. Remember the warning above:

if circumstances require you to do so, you should know that the law will protect you only if your actions in using deadly force have been consistent with the law.

Zimmerman’s actions up to the confrontation are not consistent with self defense. You cannot create a conflict and then claim the conflict threatened you.

I now want to point to this part of the Florida statutes:

790.10 Improper exhibition of dangerous weapons or firearms.—If any person having or carrying any dirk, sword, sword cane, firearm, electric weapon or device, or other weapon shall, in the presence of one or more persons, exhibit the same in a rude, careless, angry, or threatening manner, not in necessary self-defense, the person so offending shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

This is also a very key statute. Zimmerman cannot use the fact he is armed to detain or question Martin. He cannot use the threat of a gun to detain Martin. There must be some evidence that has pushed the prosecutor to go from manslaughter to 2nd degree murder. And my hunch is that extra evidence is the fact Zimmerman brandished the gun to try and alpha-male Martin.

I also have serious doubts that the gun was in Zimmerman’s waist band when he pulled it – being on his back and pinned down by Martin. Take that for what it is worth, but to pull a gun under such conditions is really hard.

The gun could have been pulled, which then created the physical altercation as Martin used his right to stand. It would explain a scenario where Martin is screaming for help, even though he is winning the physical battle. It would also explain why Martin was being so hard on Zimmerman. The presence of a gun would make bashing Zimmerman unconscious a smart and prudent plan of defense.

What we don’t know is if the presence of the gun was made known prior to the physical altercation. And this is where the testimony of Trayvon’s girlfriend is probably the key. If Zimmerman let it be known he was armed, then the self defense claim goes all the way to Martin and Zimmerman is in serious trouble.

He cannot use self defense when he makes the threat of harm.

I will end this with some sage advice from someone on Free Republic:


Draw it solely in preparation to protect yourself or an innocent third party from the wrongful and criminal activities of another.


A criminal adversary must have or reasonably appear to have:

A. The ABILITY to inflict serious bodily injury. He is armed or reasonably appears to be armed.

B. The OPPORTUNITY to inflict serious bodily harm. He is positioned to harm you with his weapon, and,

C. His INTENT (hostile actions or words) indicates that he means to place you in jeopardy – to do you serious or fatal physical harm.

You cannot be wrong on these matters when the weapon discharges. There has to be a real threat, not one in your head. It will be impossible for Zimmerman (who was armed) to claim Martin was a threat at any time before the final, physical altercation – which Zimmerman instigated by following Martin.

One last item. People don’t understand how Zimmerman and Martin finally connected up after Zimmerman lost Martin (who was between the buildings) as Zimmerman walked over to the far parking lot. Minutes went by and they should have not re-engaged.

Except Martin probably hung out outside his house, and when the coast appeared to be clear, went back to walking and talking to his girlfriend. Zimmerman was on his way back to his truck after losing Martin. That is how they fatefully met the last time. But that will not save Zimmerman from his responsibilities as the armed person, nor his many opportunities to avoid conflict.

If he only stayed in or with his truck – as directed by police. And that is the essence of this case.

57 responses so far

57 Responses to “Concealed Weapons Are Not License To Play Cop”

  1. AJStrata says:

    See Marsh, this is why you folks are hoot.

    Did someone say ‘play dead’ or did I say he could have ‘backed off’ by giving in and asking for a truce?

    Pray you are not a lawyer….

  2. AJStrata says:


    They are not off base. They are the reason Zimmerman has not hope. When he had a decision point to instigate are hold back, he instigated. He instigated when he got out of the truck. He instigated when he armed himself. He instigated if he removed any trigger lock or loaded the round in the barrel. He instigated when he defied police guidance to not pursue. He instigated when instead of backing off he confronted Martin (1 or 2 times). He showed a mindset to instigate when he said “these bleeps always get away” – thus judging and convicting on nothing more than clothing.

    These are all decision points that could give Zimmerman some room to claim self defense if he made the right decision because he would NOT be the instigator. Sadly, they all point to ‘instigator’.

    Now, add to the fact there is more evidence coming (and no, it is not on global warming or Obama’s BC or Cheney’s evil 9-11 plot). *IF* that evidence includes indications the gun was pulled prior to the physical altercation (which is what I believe they have – no issue making that clear), then he is the instigator because he drew a weapon.

    Just drawing the weapon is Aggravated Assault.

    It is not off base when it is the primary reason Zimmerman is in trouble. If he was not the CLEAR instigator he would not be charged.

  3. AJStrata says:

    RT, you are confused all right.

    No, you cannot be armed (loaded gun ready to fire) in your vehicle. The gun must be stowed. Again, your assumptions run right by reality.

    Zimmerman had to un-safety (i.e., remove the required trigger lock) and load the gun – or else he was in violation of CCP rules.

    None of you asked how a gun that is supposed to be safey stored for transportation in the vehicle could be in a ready to fire configuration so Zimmerman could pull it from his waist band and fire!

    None of you. A proper CCP configuration is UNABLE to fire when in public…..

  4. lurker9876 says:

    I don’t remember reading that Trayvon was on “self defense” against Zimmerman.

    I thought concealed gun permit allows people to carry their handguns in a concealed way? I haven’t heard of these specific rules other than CHL allowance.

  5. lurker9876 says:

    HHHmmm…hhhmmm…I hadn’t heard about safety storage for transportation by law. I don’t think that your CCP configuration applies for Texas.

  6. Marsh says:

    “Even while losing the fight he could have ‘backed off’ by simply GOING LIMP, covering up and begging for mercy.”

    GOING LIMP = playing dead.

    “Just drawing the weapon is Aggravated Assault.”



    “If he was not the CLEAR instigator he would not be charged.”

    Let’s just pretend for a minute that your assertion is true here. Zimmerman was the CLEAR instigator, but did not commit a FELONY while he was instigating…

    The law still supports his use of deadly force!

    776.041?Use of force by aggressor.—The justification described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who:

    (1)?Is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of, a forcible felony; or
    (2)?Initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself,


    (a)?Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or
    (b)?In good faith, the person withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force.

    2a clearly applies.

  7. jwb says:

    “…By FL law Zimmerman is NOT allowed to bring his gun out of his truck with safety off, etc. He is NOT in mortal danger and neither is a 3rd party. Therefore he is NOT allowed to be armed. Let me say this again – while acting in a capacity of neighborhood watch he is NOT legally allowed to use the gun. He should not even have it…”

    Zimmerman had his CCW license. According to Florida law, he can carry his gun, loaded, safety off, etc. He was allowed to be armed at that place and time. Anyone who has taken a concealed weapons course (required for obtaining a permit in most venues) learns that actually using a firearm for defense is the last thing one has to do…and having ones head pounded into the ground certainly comes close to the point where that may be the final option to save one from harm.

    In this country, one is considered innocent until proven guilty.

  8. Redteam says:

    “No, you cannot be armed (loaded gun ready to fire) in your vehicle. The gun must be stowed. ”
    and we’re talking Florida here? So if you’re confronted with someone pointing a gun at you while you’re seated in your car, you have to locate your stowed weapon, find the key to unlock the trigger lock, find your ammunition, load it into the weapon, then remove the safety. By that time you would be dead, so the next step in the process (point it and pull trigger) would be unnecessary.

    “Zimmerman had to un-safety (i.e., remove the required trigger lock) and load the gun – or else he was in violation of CCP rules.”
    Perry is still looking for that requirement in the Florida law. I’ve heard he even has Paul Drake looking for that one.

    “None of you asked how a gun that is supposed to be safey stored for transportation in the vehicle could be in a ready to fire configuration so Zimmerman could pull it from his waist band and fire! ”
    That’s because it hasn’t occurred to anyone to think that you are required to carry a concealed weapon so stowed and ‘safety-fied that it would be impossible to use.

    “A proper CCP configuration is UNABLE to fire when in public…..”
    So, you’re saying that the CCP permit in Florida requires you to have a concealed weapon that cannot be fired? what, except at a firing range or something. Why would anyone carry a weapon that couldn’t be fired? I’m pretty sure that even Perry Mason couldn’t provide a link to that little requirement.

    I’m sure glad I can be considered an amateur Perry Mason because if I had more legal training than I do, I might be inclined to ask why a state would pass a CCP law that does not allow you to carry a concealed weapon. I’m submitting, based on my extensive ‘silliness in logic’ training that a firearm that can’t be fired is not a ‘weapon’.

  9. AJStrata says:


    I don’t make the laws…

    “A person traveling by private conveyance when the weapon is securely encased or in a public conveyance when the weapon is securely encased and not in the person’s manual possession;”

    “POSSESSION IN PRIVATE CONVEYANCE.—Notwithstanding subsection (2), it is lawful and is not a violation of s. 790.01 for a person 18 years of age or older to possess a concealed firearm or other weapon for self-defense or other lawful purpose within the interior of a private conveyance, without a license, if the firearm or other weapon is securely encased or is otherwise not readily accessible for immediate use. Nothing herein contained prohibits the carrying of a legal firearm other than a handgun anywhere in a private conveyance when such firearm is being carried for a lawful use. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to authorize the carrying of a concealed firearm or other weapon on the person. This subsection shall be liberally construed in favor of the lawful use, ownership, and possession of firearms and other weapons, including lawful self-defense as provided in s. 776.012.”

    The difference here is you cannot grab the gun and go after someone who is on public property or a public area. The gun is for self defense.

  10. AJStrata says:


    He can carry it loaded and safety off in his home. He can carry a loaded rifle hunting.

    He cannot (and neither can police or security guards – duh) carry it safety off in public areas with lots of people.

    Come on, are you actually familiar with safe use of a gun or not?? You think you can run around with a loaded gun and safety off where police are not even allowed to? The rules are, in public there should not be a round in the chamber (at least that is how I would carry a weapon safely). A well trained person can pull, un-safety and load the chamber quickly.

    Delusional. You people sound like wannabe Wyatt Earps sometimes.

  11. AJStrata says:



    Dude, Did you miss the part where I said the 2nd Murder charge indicates CLEAR evidence of the weapon being drawn? And no, you would not put another lesser charge in the mix if your case is strong. You don’t want to give the jury or judge a way to feel sorry for the instigator and lessen the punishment.

    Prosecution 101. Thanks for supporting my argument (albeit unwittingly)

  12. Ankharan says:

    While my comment has not much to do with the Zimmerman case here it is.

    The very FEW doing the dumb stuff like pulling out their weapons blah, blah, blah, who are legal CWP owners are not a reason, never have been a reason, to punish the whole of us that do not. Keep in mind the entire reason the evolution of the law of needing a darn CWP to carry a weapon in public, concealed, is because someone thought it was okay to punish/regulate everyone because of a small percentage of yahoos that can’t control themselves for one reason or another. Getting really tired of people pushing their “safety” over “liberty” and taking away my rights, my ability to defend myself and my family, and prevent the government from evolving into exactly what it has evolved into. Not a nation of laws but a nanny state of ever growing government power gained from one group paying/bribing the officials for passing laws that frankly diminish or take away my rights and abilities to defend my rights. If.. I break the law. I BROKE IT, not someone else. Punish me, not the entire nation. Zimmerman was wrong from the get-go. He had NO reason or right to detain or question Trevon. None. You, as a private citizen have no right to arrest, (arrest as defined by impeding/preventing the egress) of another person who is not breaking the law. Trevon was not breaking the law when Zimmerman started his crap. He might have been thinking/contemplating it but that is his business. Until he does… hands off. That simple. All Zimmerman had the authority to do was follow Trevon, record Trevon if he felt he was doing something illegal, and of course, call the cops. He even had the right to talk to Trevon. Trevon had the right to walk way or tell him to bugger off. In the end, Zmmerman was wrong for pushing something beyond what it should have been pushed too. Was Trevon raping anyone? Beating anyone and making comments like he was going to kill them? Harming national security? Murdering anyone? Brandishing a deadly weapon? Those.. are the ONLY reasons Zimmerman has available to use as reasons to arrest/impede Trevon’s egress/progress. Not stealing. Not drug dealing. Not drug using. Not pissing in the street. Not screaming at the top of his lungs or playing loud music.

  13. AJStrata says:


    I agree with you 100% – that the few fools give fodder to those who want to remove gun ownership. That is why I am so hard on Zimmerman, because his stupid vigilante actions and impatience have given the anti-gun crowd one more reason to convince everyone to ban guns.

    Those of us who support gun ownership need zero tolerance on misuse. No matter what the politics in the media.

  14. Marsh says:

    If he had chased TM w/ his gun drawn, he would have been charged w/ an additional felony.

    So all your fantasizing about his having waved around his gun while chasing TM is pure bull.

  15. Marsh says:

    “All Zimmerman had the authority to do was follow Trevon, record Trevon if he felt he was doing something illegal, and of course, call the cops. He even had the right to talk to Trevon”

    And that is why after a 2 week investigation, the SPD determined there was no cause for arrest.

    Again, the police chief said: “The best evidence we have is the testimony of George Zimmerman, and he says the decedent was the primary aggressor in the whole event,” Serino told the Sentinel March 16. “Everything I have is adding up to what he says.””

    The decedent was the primary aggressor in the whole event. EVERYTHING I have is adding up to what he says.

    The state admitted at the bail hearing that they had nothing to contradict Zimmerman’s account that TM began the fight. Or to contradict his account that he had stopped following TM when the beat down began.

  16. jwb says:

    AJ…READ the Concealed Carry Law. Most states have very similar laws with some differences. For example, in MI and other states, one carrying under a permit must inform LEOs of possession (example: traffic stops), but in others there is no requirement. Previous cited link provides information on all states.

    You are citing the legal requirements for carry in a vehicle WITHOUT having a concealed weapons permit. Those requirements concern legal transport of a weapon, but do not apply to those holding the required CPL. Restrictions concerning concealed carry mostly focus on places NOT allowed such as schools, government buildings and such.

    Under the FL concealed carry law, Zimmerman was NOT in violation under your premises: “He cannot (and neither can police or security guards – duh) carry it safety off in public areas with lots of people.”

    Some of your comments seem to indicate that you are not quite familiar with handguns. For example, the Glock does not have an external safety that can be taken “on” or “off”. In all states that allow concealed carry, one can carry with the firearm in condition one: loaded with round in the chamber. The only truly functional safety for any firearm is keeping ones finger off the trigger.

    Perhaps you should take a concealed weapons course for your state and get a better understanding of the law…what/how and where one can carry legally. Courses vary widely in quality, but all should provide a background of good safety practices and most states require a section on the legal aspects of possessing and using a firearm.

    It is obvious that your confusion about gun laws has colored your judgment here. Zimmerman has not yet had his day in court and you have already convicted him based upon the same sort of story (data?/facts?)that the media has convicted us of causing gorbal warming.

  17. Layman says:

    What JWB just said!

    A CCP allows you to do things that a person cannot do without it. In my State I carry concealed, with permit. My weapon is holstered and the safety is on. In a pinch, I can draw it and disarm the safety in a single fluid movement. I transport it in the open on the seat next to me which is legal in my State (in a holder so it does not slide around). When I leave the car the weapon is holstered under my jacket.

    The entire point of me having the permit is to be able to protect myself in an emergency situation. It defeats the purpose if I have to transport it locked up with a trigger guard on.

    AJ: Quit comparing apples to oranges.