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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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Opinion Sampler: Zimmerman case gives neighborhood watch, and gun rights, a bad name ...

Neighborhood watch: Florida case not a good example — Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

It matters what things are called. Mere words can set standards and expectations for what happens after an idea or an enterprise is launched. If, that is, people pay attention.

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Thus it should be stressed from time to time that the programs, official and not, that involve everyday people stepping up to help prevent crime in their homes and streets are called neighborhood watch.

Watch. Not pursue. Not confront. Not take the law, and a deadly weapon, into one’s own hands and do, probably wrongly, something that even trained police officers might have trouble doing perfectly.

All this comes to mind after the verdict in the Florida trial of George Zimmerman, the man who was accused — and, eventually, acquitted — of murder after he shot and killed an unarmed teenager named Trayvon Martin. ...

... As reported in Sunday’s Tribune, such efforts have been shown to make a mark in reducing crime in some Salt Lake City neighborhoods, the East Liberty Park neighborhood prime among them. With no collateral damage. ...

Right-wing gun nuts shoudn't praise Zimmerman — Wayne Laugesen | The Colorado Springs Gazette

As a right wing, gun-toting, life member of the NRA, I am saddened and depressed about the death of Trayvon Martin - a story most of us would know nothing about, but for the media's attempt to concoct a hate crime.

Furthermore, this right-wing gun nut does not stand with George Zimmerman. Nor do I consider Martin a street thug responsible for his own death, as is argued by some fellow conservatives on talk radio. ...

... Mostly, while carrying concealed, one must actively avoid conflict. Any responsible person with concealed-carry privileges hopes to go through life never having to draw the gun on anything but a target at a range. Wearing the gun means one avoids arguments with a spouse, a neighbor or some belligerent drunk who stumbles from a bar. The gun means the user walks away from conflicts to avoid using it for anything other than stopping an aggressive and harmful attack, on self or others, that cannot be resolved in some better manner.

Zimmerman should have minded his own business on the night of Feb. 26, 2012. A teenager wandering a neighborhood - even one who looks like he might be on drugs - is not a crime. ...

What if Liberty Valance had been unarmed? — Kevin Horrigan | St. Louis Post-Dispatch

... "Any of you boys ever shoot an unarmed man?"

"Hell, no," says John Wayne. "Wasn’t part of the code. ...

Want to honor Trayvon? Help a kid succeed — Ginger Rutland | Sacramento Bee

... What worries me most about the outsized reaction to the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin case is that it will plant in the heads of too many young black men and women the mistaken notion that they are not in control of their own destinies. ...

Forget a ‘national conversation’ on race. Try local instead — Yael T. Abouhalkah | Kansas City Star

... It’s a way to avoid the easy way out, without having to go to the despicable message boards found on media outlets these days, the ones where people on all sides of racial issues hurl bigoted insults at each other. ...

The greatest threat to black youths — Joseph Perkins | Orange County Register

... But the real, unspoken reason that the black community screams (and protests) bloody murder over the rare white-on-black – or even rarer white-Hispanic-on-black murder – is to cover up the black community's dirty little secret. That is: Those of us who are black have a far, far greater chance of being killed by another black than by someone outside our race. ...

The problem with turning Zimmerman trial into a morality play — Tim Rutten | Los Angeles Daily News

... Justice and social equity are the concerns of those who have taken to the streets or the cyber town hall of social media in the week since the verdict. However, events in the courtroom are not directly dictated by those ultimate considerations, but by the criminal code of the jurisdiction in which a case is tried. Justice and the law, unfortunately, are not perfectly synonymous -- and however much we wish otherwise -- never will be. ...

Black males need our help — Arizona Republic Editorial

President Barack Obama spoke some truths Friday about race like no other president before him could. He spoke from experience.

If you appreciate American history, pause for a moment and absorb that reality. If you care about the future of a nation that will continue to struggle with racial issues, stop and absorb that reality.

This moment, no matter your experience, demands a level of commitment to a social issue we haven’t seen in decades. The president was especially on point with his remarks about the Trayvon Martin story in calling attention to the plight of young Black males. Unfortunately, he didn’t tell fellow countrymen anything we didn’t already know — and that in itself is a national damnation. ...

Zimmerman helped 4 out of wrecked SUV — AP/sltrib.com

ORLANDO, Fla. • George Zimmerman helped rescue four people from an overturned vehicle in central Florida last week, just days after he was cleared of all charges in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, officials said Monday. ...

Secret juries out of place in American justice — Des Moines Register Editorial

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