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What did Travon Martin do wrong? Perhaps, he did not run away

To The Daily Sun,
The acquittal of George Zimmerman has implications for New Hampshire that are subtle but potentially profound.
On July 14, a Florida jury found George Zimmerman, an armed adult, not guilty of murder or manslaughter in the killing of Travon Martin, an unarmed teenager. In essence, the jury said prosecutors failed to prove Zimmerman was not reasonably defending himself when he fatally shot Martin.
From the beginning, charges and denials of racism overwhelmed chattering-class objectivity. In the aftermath, those same undercurrents swamped analyses of fact. Moreover, they drove out consideration of the sociologic and legal implications beyond race.
Rudiments of the case were never in dispute. Zimmerman, on neighborhood-watch patrol, suspected Martin was strolling through his community up to no good. He got out of his car, followed Martin and called 9-1-1 to report the suspicious character. Shortly thereafter, there was a confrontation. Zimmerman shot Martin.
At the time of the shooting, testimony and evidence indicated (but did not conclusively prove) Martin was kneeling atop Zimmerman hitting him. One of them was yelling. It was unclear who or why. Was it for help subduing an attacker or a stalker? Was it fear of severe bodily injury? (A snippet of audio sounded like fear.)
Prosecutors tried to prove Zimmerman initiated the confrontation and killed Martin with malice and forethought (murder). They also convinced the judge to allow the jury to consider manslaughter — an unjustified killing without malice or forethought. In the end, the jury seemed to agree with the defense; Zimmerman was probably defending himself.
The likely scenario — although speculative on my part — is that Martin initiated the confrontation. Once he recognized someone was following him, he had a choice: ignore it, run away, hide or confront. If no one had died, would a jury have convicted Martin of assault, or would it have excused his actions as self-defense? Was Martin attacking, defending or standing ground?
Instead of solely concentrating on race, perhaps a gender perspective could have been revealing. If a woman confronts a stalker in the dark, does the stalker have the right to kill her if she gets the best of him?
In the aftermath of the verdict, an oft-asked question was, "What did Travon Martin do wrong?" Perhaps the answer is he did not run away.
It is a strange answer. Florida, like New Hampshire, specifically authorizes civilians to use force, including deadly force, when threatened even when there are options. Both states offer protections for those using force to counter perceived threats. (Does that encourage civilian to use force?)
Is it reasonable for a 17-year-old to feel threatened when he or she is alone and stalked in the dark? Do "stand-your-ground" provisions of law apply; that is, is it reasonable for the teen to use force to counter the threat? Is the ensuing confrontation, then, a continuation of the stalk or a new threat authorizing the stalker to use deadly force?
In May, in light of the Zimmerman case, the state Legislature thought to reassess N.H.'s stand-your-ground law. Nothing came of it. In explaining the state Senate's decision to table reconsideration, a state senator said, "Since (the bill was enacted two years ago) we've had no problems, no vigilante behavior and no questionable actions. We trust our citizens to interpret the law and behave appropriately."
The senator, of course, was paraphrasing Abraham Lincoln. You can trust all the people all the time. No one need be a double-oh to have license to kill. Chances N.H. will be a national spectacle are nil.
Robert Moran

Last Updated on Monday, 15 July 2013 10:46

Hits: 514

Travon Martin knew he was stronger, so he attacked Zimmerman

To The Daily Sun,
That case is quite simple: If Travon Martin had not attacked Zimmerman he would still be alive today! Simple as that. But Martin knew he was much stronger, so attacked and attempted to kill Zimmerman with brute force. He ignored Zimmerman's gun, at his peril! This has nothing to do with race, other than Martin, a very strong young person, just knew he could destroy Zimmerman, for no reason.
Those who try to make this a race issue show gross ignorance or stupidity, since race had nothing to do with it!
Jack Stephenson

Last Updated on Monday, 15 July 2013 10:42

Hits: 400

Gilmanton School District doesn't need its own superintendent

To The Daily Sun,
The building which houses SAU 79, Gilmanton School District, is up for sale. It is used for the superintendent's office, staff and equipment. Soon, all of the above will be looking for a new home and asking the taxpayers to foot the cost. Since the present population at the Gilmanton School exceeds the recommended capacity, the School Board will come to us to ask for other accommodations.
Since 2012, the superintendent has reduced his position from full time to only two days a week. The question is do we need a superintendent at all?
An easy fix for this upcoming problem would be to dissolve the SAU and hire a school administrator to work out of the Gilmanton School and to continue the financial administrator's contract with Gilmanton but not necessarily supply an office for this position.
What we have is a School Board that has relied upon their superintendents for much too long to do their job and have become nothing more than a "Rubber Stamp Board". Case in point is a recent debacle regarding the replacement of the school's underground fuel oil storage tank (see School Board Minutes for July 9, 2013). This project was brought to them for approval, they did not do any research into it, approved and spent money for it, then realized they couldn't get that money back once they found that the project wasn't to be done. This ended with the expenditure of nearly $18,000 of surplus funds for a" project to nowhere".
This sort of abuse has been going on for much too long without true oversight. The N.H. Department of Education has no oversight of our budget. The N.H. Department of Revenue has no authority to tell the School Board how to budget or spend. Only we, the taxpayers, have that authority but we are not using it.
It is time to reduce the budget by ridding the town of the SAU and to begin to force our elected School Board to become responsible fiscal agents.
Our town must begin to make time to look into School Board decisions and expenditures with a curious eye instead of giving them a blank check. Remember YOU are holding the purse, not the School Board, so only YOU can tighten those purse strings and make them accountable.
Remember, it's YOUR MONEY.
Elena Ball
Gilmanton Iron Works

Last Updated on Friday, 12 July 2013 08:14

Hits: 531

Meredith Emergency Food Pantry in desperate need of donations

To The Daily Sun,
The Meredith Emergency Food Pantry is in desperate need of our community's help! Due to the monthly increase of needy families we are finding it very difficult to keep up with the demands. Our supply of nonperishable items and finances are at an all time low.
We would like to thank the entire community, businesses, churches ,schools, organizations, bank and individuals who have continued to support us. We realize times are very hard right now but we still need everyone's help and support. No donation is too small. Every little bit helps. So we are asking you once again to help us! So we can help others in need.
Donations may be dropped off at the Meredith Emergency Food Pantry at 147 Main Street Meredith N.H. 03253. Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM till 4:30 PM. Thank you again for your past support.
Paul Rowley, Director
Meredith Emergency Food Pantry

Last Updated on Friday, 12 July 2013 08:05

Hits: 686

Need finanicial help to attend National Young Leaders Conference

To The Daily Sun,
My name is Samantha Sapier. I'm about to start my sophomore year, at Laconia High School. I was recently nominated to attend the, "National Young Leaders Conference" (NYLC), in Washington D.C. I was nominated because my school career has already proven that, I'm a strong leader and I have the skills and capabilities for this event. Because of my academic achievements, they found me on a college admissions site, and they sent me a nomination letter in the mail. I have achieved honor roll status since my sixth grade year in 2009. I was presented the "Principal's award for Academic Excellence", for achieving a GPA of 3.47 during my career at the Laconia Middle School. This year, I received a medal for Academic Excellence in Accelerated English, and I also achieved high honors with distinction. My curriculum consists of mostly "honors" courses. I am currently an intern with the New Hampshire JAG Program (Jobs for American Graduates), ETS (Educational Talent Search), and the New Hampshire Scholars.
From July 28 to August 5, if given this privilege, I will be staying at the "Besthesda, Marriott Hotel", with students from all over the country with similar achievements. We will be attending conferences and workshops to improve our leadership and communication skills. One of the simulations we are preparing for is, the "If I Were President simulation." My peers and I, will adopt the role as president and his advisors during a crisis. We will conspire, to devise a solution that will bring an immediate just end, to the emulation.
From my understanding, we will later present our ideas to the actual president. In addition, we will get to meet the House of Representatives, visit museums and monuments, China Town, and have a "photo opportunity" in front of the White House.
This is a marvelous and inimitable opportunity, and I am looking forward to attending. This trip unfortunately falls below my family's budget. The cost of tuition is almost two thousand dollars. This does not include plane tickets, transportation fees, seven off-site meals, and money for necessities and souvenirs. I am still trying to acquire, a "business/casual" wardrobe for this trip.
Without the support, efforts, and ideas of my family and friends, who devoted their time in helping me reach my goals, this opportunity wouldn't be so close to success. We've managed to raise $700 through fundraising and generous donations. Any donations or contributions would be greatly accepted and appreciated, in my quest to strengthen my skills and prepare for my future. To those willing to make a donation, in return, I would be highly honored to share my outlook and illustrate my experiences in Washington D.C. I can be reached by phone at 273-2200 or by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Thank you for your time and consideration.
Samantha M. Sapier

Last Updated on Friday, 12 July 2013 07:53

Hits: 434

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