Justice and Gun Rights, Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman

Unless you've been living in a cave for the last week or so, undoubtedly you heard about the case of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman.  I heard about it through an email petition on behalf of Martin's parents seeking justice for their son's murder, but I didn't know the full details so I didn't bother signing it.  Then it just escalated from there, becoming an issue of race, class and MSM bias.  I couldn't help but follow on the story because EVERYONE was commenting on it, looking at it from both sides and seeing where justice had failed and what not. 

So after remaining mum on the topic, this is what I think happened.  Pardon some errors, this is all pure speculation as I do not know all of the details. 

George Zimmerman is part of a neighborhood watch program.  Trayvon Martin was visiting some friends or family from out of town.  Martin had walked to a corner store and picked up an ice tea and some skittles and was talking to a female friend on the phone on the way back.  Zimmerman was driving along, seeing a 6'2" black kid that he was unfamiliar with walking down the street of his neighborhood. 

And this is where a big fat misunderstanding starts to happen.  In a responsible situation, Zimmerman could have just went straight up to Martin and asked him who he was and what he was doing without being confrontational about it.  Martin could easily explain who he was visiting and what he was doing, if Zimmerman had any questions about it, he could have kept an eye on the kid until he reached the house he was staying at.  No bloodshed would have happened.  Unfortunately, it didn't turn out that way.

Zimmerman decided to call 911 to report suspicious activity on a strange kid walking down the street, knowing nothing about the kid.  Meanwhile, Martin notices some guy is following him and relates this to his friend on the phone.  She tells him to get out of there, run or something.  he throws his hood over his head, kind of a defensive posture in my mind suggesting he wants to be left alone.  Whatever action he did, it made him look suspicious to Zimmerman.  Zimmerman, meanwhile, wants to engage the kid in a sort of vigilante nonsense and the police specifically tell him not to engage the kid.  Zimmerman assumes since the cops aren't there that they don't have a good handle on the situation and decides to take matters into his own hands.  Martin is already suspicious of Zimmerman and wondering why he is following him, likely feeling threatened himself. 

Whatever happens at this point escelates the situation.  Zimmerman likely confronted Martin.  Martin, being a seventeen year old kid, probably got defensive.  Both saw the other as a threat, even though there was no threat there to begin with.  I don't know about you, but teens can be volatile, and Martin was likely already on edge, Zimmerman said something to him that got his blood going and Martin likely defended himself by jumping on Zimmerman. At this point, Zimmerman was in a self defense situation and shot the kid. 

Conclusion, both did actions to escelate the situation to the point where it ended where it did.  I don't think Zimmerman went into that situation with the intent to murder Martin, but that's what happened.  Poor judgment and suspicion lead to a tragic incident that could have completely been avoided if the two of them communicated better.  Is Zimmerman guilty?  Hell yeah he is.  Is Martin?  He is not without fault, but he didn't deserve to die, he shouldn't have been shot, and there is that window of time before Zimmerman shot Martin that we do not know for certain what happened. 

The issue of controversy is that Zimmerman was not arrested due to the Florida Stand Your Ground law which provided a loophole that let him off the hook.  Zimmerman was in deed defending himself at that point.  The problem?  So was Trayvon Martin.  The further problem was that Zimmerman was armed with a gun while Martin was armed with an iced tea and a bag of skittles, as well as his fists.  In a case like this, the gun will always win. 

Apparently Zimmerman is feeling a lot of guilt for what happened, as he is still free, but the public outcry on this case while everyone is jumping to conclusions is probably putting a lot of pressure on him.  He should turn himself in most likely, since the New Black Panthers has issued a bounty on his head for $10,000.  Do I think this was a hate crime?  No, Zimmerman over reacted to a percieved threat that wasn't a threat at all, he saw a stranger on the street that looked suspicious and took matters into his own hands.  He instigated it and used poor judgment.  He should have known better.  He should also choose his words a little wiser next time as well, because goon sounds a lot like coon over the phone. 

This case has been getting a lot of attention and people are crying foul that other cases that were serious are not getting half the attention that this one is.  There was an issue of a white kid getting set on fire by two black kids, which was definitely racially motivated.  There was also another case where a white couple was raped and brutalized by a gang of black people, who were later arrested.  To me, they are both horrific and unnecessary, but its not the issue of media under reporting earlier cases, where justice was met because the guilty were arrested.  The case with Martin and Zimmerman is that Zimmerman killed a kid and was released by the police of any wrong doing.  The precedent to me is what this will do and how it will be used against the second ammendment.  Because for every Zimmerman/Martin case, there is the other side where somebody who is actually evil wants to do harm to another.  Channon Christian and Chris Newsom would be alive today if they had a gun to defend themselves.  Zimmerman should have known better and not taken the matter into his own hands, especially since he had a gun.  I am an avid defender of gun rights, but that doesn't give you a license to take the law into your own hands.  The Stand Your Ground law is a great law in my opinion, it has been misused here.

Of course, to bring Politics into it all, President Obama had to weigh in, suggesting that if he had a son, he would look like Trayvon Martin.  *le sigh*  Why does Obama have to always insert himself into every situation he weighs in on?  The issue was tragic and should have never occurred, but it doesn't matter who Trayvon looks like, if Trayvon had been a Irish kid with red hair and freckles, does that mean Obama wouldn't care because he wouldn't look like Obama's son?  The concern was he was an innocent kid in the wrong place at the wrong time.  I think the issue is communication here, and an incident could have been completely avoided if Zimmerman hadn't decided to play vigilante. 


Patrick said...

It appears, from information coming out today, there was a little matter of Zimmerman getting punched and having his head bashed on the sidewalk. But your story is plausible, as is that Trayvon just turned on Zimmerman and was the aggressor. From what I am able to gather about Zimmerman, his physical conditioning would not lend himself to being very adept at hand-to-hand fighting.

Kami said...

Well, Zimmerman was following the kid and Martin was likely feeling harrassed. Martin was also a teenager, there is a lot of speculation in this story, I think both sides are at fault for escalating it to the point that it ended up. Martin was not originally a threat, how Zimmerman was acting made him a threat.

Chad said...

Travon was kicked out of school for 10 days for possession of illegal drugs. There's more and more evidence he was a small time drug dealer too.
He was then staying with his dad and was unknown in the area, just the kind of thing neighborhood watch is supposed to notice.

Anonymous said...

You forgot the witness that talked to police saying Zimmerman was screaming for help. Sounds more and more like Zimmerman confronted Martin and Martin over-reacted. If Zimmerman was losing a fight and felt his life was in danger from a much larger and violent person (bloody nose, wound on the back of his head), he may well have been justified in using deadly force as his only alternative.

Desert Rat said...

This is starting to remind me a lot of the Duke University lacrosse rape case. A lot of people are jumping to conclusions without sufficient evidence.

Risawn said...

Exactly, the more i'm finding out, the more it looks like Zimmerman was justified in his actions