In most human conflicts the question is asked, "Whose rights are being violated?"
I like to go farther back in time, biblically speaking, and ask: "Who cast the first stone?"
In America we have always "enjoyed" the right to bear arms, use force, if necessary, and this goes back to the first stone thrown at the outset of the American Revolution. This happened on the evening of March 5th, 1770 on King's Street in front of the Custom's House in Boston.
That fabled stone, encased in ice, was thrown by a bunch of rabble rousers, as they were called by the King. They were actually patriots who were soon to resist taxation and, amazingly, overthrow the British government that ruled them.
But who got hurt in that first encounter? And who died?
The men who were injured by snowballs, iceballs and rocks were British infantrymen, Lobsterbacks they were called, hirelings of the empire, but nonetheless innocent of any real crime other than guarding a building which they were assigned to watch over.
Who was killed?
One of the first Boston citizens to die in the Custom's House encounter was a man named Crispus Attucks. A black man. The English soldiers got away without serious injury. Attucks became a symbol of colonial rights, and his death was significant. He was a free black who was also part Amerindian. And he was both dead and "dead to rights", the people said. As a martyr no one questioned his pedigree -- who or what he was at birth meant little or nothing to the patriots. He was a fallen soldier in the fight for freedom from tyranny shot dead by two bullets from a British musket.
What really happened?
A revolution happened. After which it became law that a citizen of the U.S., could stand ground, if need be, and protect himself against the threats of the State, the government. Upon this rests the question: Who cast the first stone?
The lobsterbacks? They had the guns. And they were ready to use them. The people with the iceballs? They were ready to use them too. To this day no one knows who cast the first stone in Boston, which, it might be said, was cast in the mind not the gun or the hand. We do know that the lobsterbacks were exonerated. It was none other than John Adams who defended the British soldiers successfully and somehow convinced a jury to acquit his clients.
And it is that way today in Florida.
So who cast the stone in Sanford and who had the gun? Who is the martyr and who is the murderer? Who is alive and who is dead?