German Journalist Covering Kaarma Trial Questions Montana’s ‘Gun Culture’ [YouTube]
Interest in the Markus Kaarma murder trial in Missoula reaches far past the borders of Missoula, Montana and the United States.
Nalan Sipar is a journalist for the public television network Deutsche Welle (German Wave) in Missoula to cover the trial.
"As it happens, seven months ago I was in Germany, and as I am also from Turkey, (as was the victim, German exchange student Diren Dede), I was very interested in this trial," Sipar said. "We got in touch with his parents and learned that they would be in Missoula, as well. So, on Deutsche Welle, we will be covering the story both in German and in English."
Sipar questions, as many Europeans do, the American concept that led to what is known as 'The Castle Doctrine', in which using deadly force in protecting one's property is legal.
"The question is, how could this happen? How do people here in the states have the right like the Castle Doctrine, to shoot and kill a young person?," she asked. "I think we have different meanings on how to protect our property and how to protect our family.We have very different opinions on such topics. It just looks so peaceful here, with big houses and big gardens and people seem to be well off. I cannot understand why people are so afraid. As I was in the trial this morning, I understood how important it is that a person's property has to be protected by himself."
I think in Europe, many people cannot understand why so many American people insist on having so many guns to defend themselves by themselves," she said. "If the jury says Mr. Kaarma is not guilty, I think many people in Europe will say, but he killed someone. They will say that Americans are crazy about their guns and their security. They are dangerous, and think in a different way than we."
The trial continues Tuesday morning with continued jury selection.