Obvious answer: George Zimmerman.
If you watched the new media, circling this case like vultures over a carcass, and you blindly believe everything they reported, then you are probably one of the people who ripped down a fence so you could loot a Wal-Mart… in Trayvon’s memory, of course.
Fortunately, as Canadians, we can watch American news programs happily feed their audience everything they want to hear, and ignore, over-look, or just not bother mentioning the things that matter. So, I thought I’d give my perspective on things. If you prefer to watch Fox News or want to watch more jury members get their 15 minutes of fame, then don’t bother reading any further.
Still with me?
George Zimmerman was just some guy. Maybe his ego was a little inflated by being named program coordinator of the Twin Lakes’ Neighborhood Watch. But with a recent rash of break-ins, including an arrest by the local police, Zimmerman thought he was doing a good thing.
Trayvon Martin was just some teenager, probably like millions of other teens across America and Canada. According to his english teacher, he was a good, cheerful student. But having personally observed teens, I know they aren’t all angels, even if the parents can only see them in that light.
Two things went wrong that night. 1. Zimmerman was allowed to carry a gun, as suggested by a friend. 2. Martin shouldn’t have confronted Zimmerman.
If you’ve seen teens, some of them can be bold, even aggressive. They mouth off without thinking, do stupid stuff that, if they live long enough, would make their older selves shake their head in disbelief. It a self-centered sense of entitlement, that makes them think they can mouth-off at whoever they want, mock whoever they want, and do whatever they want. Martin may have been poking around an empty building, he may have “looked” suspicious. But in truth, he was just being a kid. But when he felt threatened, he got scared. Some scared people turn that fear into anger and do stuff they might not normally do. Like attacking someone. If have no idea who the person is that you are about t et into a fight or confrontation with, you are asking for serious trouble. Unfortunately that night, trouble is what Martin got.
Zimmerman had a licence to carry a gun. The only reason he wore one was he was advised to do so after a pit bull had been reported loose. This despite the fact that members of the Neighborhood Watch are discouraged from carrying a gun. When faced with an attacking Martin, Zimmerman, after getting an initial beat-down, drew his gun and fired.
This is where the “Stand-Your Ground” law comes in. This supposed “self-defense law” gives the individual the right to use reasonable force to defend themselves, without any requirement to evade or retreat from a dangerous situation. In short, instead of scaring off the person with a gun shot in the air, you can shoot them instead. It gets better. Under these legal concepts, a person is justified in using deadly force in certain situations. This would allow the “stand your ground” law to be used as defense, or immunity, to criminal charges and civil suit. So, as long as you can convince the jury that you felt threatened, you are totally within your rights to shoot someone.
They also call it the “Line in the Sand” or “No Duty to Retreat” law. Personally, I like the name “Shoot First” law. By the way, this is a law, not only in Florida. There are other versions of this law in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas (BIG SHOCK!), Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Other states, like Iowa, Virginia, and Washington have considered “stand-your-ground” laws of their own.
Hope you don’t threaten someone in one of those states, cause you could be gunned down too!
Only in America, a First World nation with Third World gun laws.
It breaks down to this…
If teens didn’t have that sense of entitlement, if they had better role-models or a more strict home environment, maybe Martin would never have approached Zimmerman. Instead of feeling racially profiled, or embracing his anger, if he had just walked away and went back to his father’s fiancée’s house, he’d be alive. If he hadn’t embraced the negativity, then he wouldn’t have come to such a negative end.
But, more importantly, if Zimmerman didn’t have a gun on him, Martin wouldn’t have been killed. If the “Stand-Your Ground” law didn’t exist, if gun laws were more strict, a law-abiding citizen such as Zimmerman, a man who had aspirations to be a judge, wouldn’t have had a gun on him. Martin would be alive.
In a trial, there must be no doubt of a person’s guilt. Zimmerman killed Martin. But according to the “Stand-Your Ground” law, he was defending himself. If you’ve watched enough Discovery channel or forensics shows, you know it doesn’t take much to kill someone by slamming their head into the ground.
Speaking of TV, the majority of America had already condemned Zimmerman, thanks to the supposed “news programming”. They did everything they could to fuel the race card. Despite the fact that in early 2011, Zimmerman participated in a citizen forum at the Sanford City Hall, to protest the beating of a black homeless man by the son of a white Sanford police officer. If Zimmerman hated anything, it was teens. Honestly, I can relate. But for CNN, Fox News, and the rest of them, honesty doesn’t sell. Reality is only good when it’s “their” reality.
Their broadcasts help fuel all the racially charged protests, marches, and riots. Most of them wanted Zimmerman brought for a public execution. This isn’t the 19th century folks! But thanks to folks like Spike Lee, Zimmerman may yet be found dead, or someone who looks like him, I doubt most of them care, so long as a white guy gets what he deserves. Oh wait, Zimmerman is Hispanic.
There have been a few rays of light. They have come from those who actually see where the fault is, with the utterly ridiculous “Stand-Your-Ground” law. But with mentality that many American’s have, they’ll probably pry that law from their cold-dead hands.
If you think I’m pro-Zimmerman, I’m not. Zimmerman was an idiot. He was part of a Neighborhood Watch in a gated community, not some big-time crime area, or in the big city. Common sense should have told him that strapping a gun to his hip only bring more trouble. But he didn’t have common sense. He had a self-inflated ego. He thought he was a cop. He was not, and now he never will be. People won’t forget this. His life is ruined, because he was a coward. Only a coward pulls a gun on an unarmed person.
If you think I’m anti-Martin, I’m not. No parent should bury their child. Trayvon Martin could have had a brilliant future. Being taken so senselessly, so abruptly, for such a stupid thing and reason… nothing I can say can match what his parent’s feel. Nothing anyone can say will make the shock and hurt of it go away. Their lives will be marred by this event. The only hope of finding any kind of solace, is to do something positive, to make changes, so that no one else has to suffer like they have.
The one good thing to come out of this, for me, is that it makes me very, VERY glad, that I don’t live in America. I love a lot of the stuff from there, a lot of the people are great, but it’s the idiots that make everyone else look bad.