Bill Maher Blames Democrats For Trayvon Martin Shooting

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Bill Maher argued that the Trayvon Martin shooting is cautionary tale for Democrats about the consequences of lying down and giving the right whatever they want.

Here is the video:

Maher said,

Now we can go on and on about hoodies and the neighborhood watch guy who looks like Chaz Bono, but it’s not really a discussion until you save some blame for the liberal politicians who unconditionally surrendered in the fight for sensible gun laws. When are they going to stand their ground?


This is a cautionary tale about what happens when the Democrats lay down on an issue and let the right get whatever they want. You get insanity. Arming panicky untrained vigilantes like George Zimmerman and telling them that it’s okay to shoot whenever they’re afraid is like dumping all the Milk Bones on the floor and telling your dog, just eat when you’re hungry. Stand your ground, guns in bars, guns in church, guns in the classroom, where does it end? Why not guns in the delivery room? What if my fetus is armed and comes out firing? Also, I think we should have a use or lose it law. Where at least once every six months you have to shoot someone. After all, isn’t that want gun nuts really want, to shoot someone? Otherwise, what’s the point of collecting something that just sits on the shelf? I mean I collect rare Ming Dynasty opium pipes, but I use them


Maher’s usage of the Trayvon Martin shooting as a cautionary tale dredged up an old canard that some progressives like to use to attack their own party. A minority loves to suggest that Democrats are weaklings who roll over and give the Republicans whatever they want. It makes those who engage in the behavior feel tough and like they are taking a stand. The problem is that in this case it is wrong.

The reason why Stand Your Ground passed in 2005 was that Republicans controlled both the legislature and the governor. Democrats couldn’t stop the bill in 2005. They tried, but they didn’t have the votes. The only person who the power to stop the bill after the Republican dominated legislature passed it was Jeb Bush, and he chose not to. (If any one person deserves blame for the passage of Stand Your Ground in Florida, it’s former Gov. Jeb Bush).

It wasn’t a matter of Democrats being weak, as much as it was voters giving the Republican Party virtually unlimited power to do what they wanted. It is not as if Democrats stood around with their hands in their pockets. They warned about the dangerous consequences of this legislation, but they were voted down and ignored.

It is also a faulty argument to blame the legislation more than the man. Stand Your Ground is the reason why George Zimmerman has not been arrested, but the law did not enable the commission of a crime. Zimmerman could have been armed with a knife or a bat. It would not have mattered what kind of weapon he had as long as his intent was the same.

Maher’s premise that Stand Your Ground laws create an environment where people like George Zimmerman feel like they have the right to kill is a sound one. One of the consequences of these types of laws is that they essentially give people the green light to shoot first, but where Maher has chosen to place his blame is a bit misguided.

Stand Your Ground laws might not only give some people the perception that they have a right to kill, but more importantly for the Trayvon Martin case, these laws can be easily misapplied in order to deny justice. Debating whether or not Stand Your Ground armed George Zimmerman is a distraction.

What Stand Your Ground has done is deny justice to a seventeen year old victim. The real cautionary tale here is that vaguely written laws designed to appease special interest groups do have life and death consequences. When poorly written laws are misapplied for the sake of cover, they not only deny justice, but they also allow a killer to walk free.

What happened to Trayvon Martin is a cautionary tale for all Americans about race, justice, political special interests, and the unintended consequences of uninformed voting.

15 Replies to “Bill Maher Blames Democrats For Trayvon Martin Shooting”

  1. My opinion on the stand your ground law is simply that ALEC and the NRA are fostering a society that lives in fear and confusion. All the ALEC bills on Womens rights, then telling people its ok to kill if your dick is short and hundreds of other bills meant to simply keep us in decay to help the corps that are ALEC members to gather in power and more money

    The Dems need to stand up to this BS gun laws. No its not alright to tell people to shoot on sight. Its not even what Jebus would do.

  2. That is exactly the problem. The Sanford police chose, or were told to, let Zimmerman go because he couldn’t be charged; as a result, evidence was not preserved or even destroyed, and Zimmerman is probably unprosecutable. I can guarantee you that if I had killed my loony neighbor for trying to kill me in my own driveway, I’d have gotten no such considerate treatment.

  3. I am perhaps giving Mr. Maher the benefit of the doubt, but it seems to me that even though he is wrong on the facts of this particular case, he is right on the general situation. Democrats DO roll over much to easily.

    During the last session of Congress, did the Democrats, even once, make the obstructionists in Congress actually do the work to filibuster? They did not. All the reactionaries had to do was threaten to and the Democrats rolled over.

    Did Obama even try for universal coverage? He did not. He undermined his own bargaining position by giving it away before the bargaining even began.

    I could extend this list of Democratic spinelessness practically endlessly, but I will leave that to others.

    I believe that Mr. Maher’s point is that Democratic office holders at virtually all levels of government have, until a few fought back against the Walker subterfuge in Wisconsin just a few months ago, almost silently stood aside while the extremists to undermine and rescind common sense regulation of all types.

    The result? Poisonous spinach. Exploding gas mains. Economic destruction. Ineffective vaccines. A ballooning deficit.

    There is no doubt that far-right extremists actually DID the damage, but all through the last administration Democrats paved the road on which they drove our country toward this destruction.

  4. This is total B.S. I can gun down any unarmed person I want and as long as I say “he attacked me”, then the cops have to make my word for it? Doh! Case closed! It’s like having a get out of jail free card and whipping it out every time I want to murder someone. Watta bunch of crap!

    If that was my kid that was gunned down for just walking home….hell, I don’t know if I could control myself.

  5. As I wrote here, regardless of which way you look at it, this particular case is one where the SYG law failed.

    First, if what we’ve been led to believe is true, Mr Zimmerman might have thought he could invoke a Stand Your Ground self-defense claim, something which may have emboldened his reckless behavior that led to the killing. But this protection would have evaporated because he had been the one stalking and then in pursuit with a firearm.

    If anyone had a case for standing their ground, it would be the lawfully behaving kid (at the time) being pursued by the guy with a gun. When he apparently confronted his armed stalker/pursuer, he was indeed the one behaving legally and standing his ground in the face of a deadly threat.

    And that got him killed.

    Either way, the law failed miserably in this particular situation.

  6. How is he right when the Dems were in the minority? Bill would never be elected since he’s unelectable. He’s ignorant and full of blather – precisely what we don’t need!

    We NEED people who can be elected, who are savvy about policy not just politics, and Bill is precisely the airhead whom we should not have in office. He’s intellectually lazy, and that’s where the Dems get blamed since we’ve had far too many of that type who give Dems a very bad name. Enough already. Give us smart, intelligent people for public office, not stars who think being a ‘personality’ makes them fit for office. It may be quite the reverse.

  7. You clearly never worked for passage of legislation. The meme that one can pound the bully pulpit and demand votes is a total canard – that has NEVER happened. Oh, I’ve been told LBJ did it on passage of the Civil Rights Act. Nope. Every Southern Dem voted NO including Al Gore Senior. Never happened.

    Officials are responsible to one and only one base – their constituents. When the issue of health care came up, the progressive community of House and Senate consisted of – and is now LESS than – 14.9% of the Congress. That was 85 individuals. Might – MIGHT – have added another 15 or so, but it takes 216 in the House and 51 in the Senate (60 for cloture) and single payer people came NOWHERE near that vote. Why spend time on ideology instead of success? Could YOU have gotten the other 167 votes? Oh? Realllly? We know it wasn’t possible because many of us TRIED.

    The failed meme of “Dems roll” is so wrong – they did not. What makes you think they never made Reeps “stand and deliver” on the filibuster? Reid did, and it worked sometimes. The rules of the Senate DO need revision, and going back to a form that requires direct presence for it is good. But there were not even the votes FOR that – it’s too long a tradition that both sides do not wish to lose.

    These simplistic analyses of “shoulda-coulda-woulda” are always from people who never walked the walk. Spend one month in a capitol somewhere and see how far you get. No it’s NOT all about money – it’s about convincing legislators of the high quality of your bill.

    Frankly too many liberals and progressives don’t even freaking know what is IN their pet projects to be able to discuss fiscal responsibility or even long term outcomes, benefits, problems. As one who has pursued single payer in CA for years, I am horrified at the outright MISINFORMATION its own advocates spew – and often do so contradicting one another – making it impossible to discuss it with conservatives who have reasonable concerns as well as those who have ideological ones.

    Either walk the walk and see how weak progressives are in their sense of entitlement – we have the ONLY answer even if we can’t explain it – or stop pounding your REAL allies who have obtained significant policy goals. You have no idea what you’re talking about, and rant is not reason.

  8. Guns don’t kill people. Privileged racists kill people and the courts sanction it. Had Trayvon done this – stalked and shot Zimmerman – he’d be in jail, and no SYG law would have protected him. It’s a white person’s law, period. That’s what it was designed for – to protect “fearful” white people from “predatory” people of color. It’s not a law. It’s license to kill people of color, period.

  9. He’s a comedian, but having said that, he’s right. We need to have legislation that stands up for those of us who do not want to be dodging bullets at WalMart.
    We need good regulations and we need them enforced.

  10. I WAS that lawfully behaving kid being pursued by someone with a gun one time.

    Luckily, I knew the woods and how to ‘vanish’, and the thugs (a car full) didn’t. (It also was the second or third time it had happened.)

    When I called the cops about defending myself after that incident, and asked about carrying a pistol… they sent a deputy out to arrest me, and if my landlord hadn’t told them (1) I hadn’t taken my pistol out of the house that day, and (2) I had permission to carry it around the property as desired, I would have gone to jail… maybe worse.

    I had to give up jogging for exercise because of it. I was told by the police that the only time I wouldn’t go to prison for shooting someone is if I could PROVE (1) the person intended to kill me, (2) they were carrying a weapon and ready to kill when I shot them, (3) I had no way to escape whatsoever – no window to dive through, nothing, and (4) it was in my home.

    I’ve heard the same from them a few times. They do not want people defending themselves, as they say: “Do not take the law into your own hands!” They’ve even said that if someone broke into your house and was stealing your most prized possession, that you are supposed to let them take it rather than risk going to prison for murder (and they’d rather you retreat without confronting the crook and call them… but as I’ve learned, calling them is generally useless if not dangerous).

    You’re even supposed to let someone take your car if they try to force their way into it.

    Their own words. That is, until “Stand your ground” was passed.

  11. I’m sorry, but I agree with him. And, the NRA is strictly a political arm for those who favor fascism. They do not look after the best interests of their ignorant membership. They oppose preservation of wilderness because it’s the “RIGHT” thing to do and hunters need wilderness.

  12. I agree wholeheartedly about the unintended, and certainly unanticipated, consequences of uninformed voting. This law has most likely been abused more times than any of us know, in order to justify fatal and non-fatal shootings that were every bit as indefensible as George Zimmerman’s fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin. The police department is every bit as culpable, as is the state attorney who involved himself in order to let Zimmerman walk. The department has a pattern of egregious behavior, especially toward African-Americans, and the SYG law was a convenient excuse for them to hide behind in their obstruction of justice. I agree with Maher only to the extent that Democratic politicians need to fight with the same fire and vigor that GOP ones do.

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