Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Trayvon Matin - One Year Ago Today

Racist George Zimmerman, who accused EVERY male black teen he saw in his neighborhood of being a criminal, regardless of the reality, and who made his black neighbors uncomfortable with his racism, shot and killed Trayvon Martin on this day last year.

Zimmerman stalked and harassed a teenager minding his own business, got into a confrontation with him that he - Zimmerman - instigated, and then shot him.  Trayvon Martin was a good kid, a student who earned good grades, who played sports, who had a bright future ahead of him going to college.

One life taken from Trayvon Martin, other lives including his own ruined, by George Zimmerman, who has tried to take advantage of this to live extravagantly, but is now running out of money. Again.

This is the reason that shoot first laws are bad; they have resulted over and over in citizen vigilantes making themselves judge and jury and executioners too many times, and have removed the accountability.  There is no need for shoot first laws; there are no lines of people who were being arrested for having justifiably shot themselves in self-defense; our self-defense laws were, if anything, too lenient already.  Castle doctrine has evolved in the United States very differently than in every other country in the world, where the history of such laws always - ALWAYS - require, quite properly, that shoot first be a last resort, not the first resort; this includes a duty to retreat, as it should here in the United States.

Instead, we not only give excessive latitude to shooting people at home, we arm people who are badly trained, not evaluated for mental, physical or emotional fitness, not trained in the legal distinctions of what is and is not allowed, and we turn them loose on our streets unsupervised - and don't hold them properly accountable. Those who are the victims of wrongful shootings cannot sue; those who are the survivors of wrongful shooting deaths cannot sue, because shooters are not liable, not required to have the same resources for liability as duly authorized law enforcement.

So many of the things that are wrong with shoot first laws are clear in the Trayvon Martin murder.

I can only hope that George Zimmerman's case results in more of these laws, ALL OF THEM DRAFTED FROM CORRUPT ALEC MODEL LEGISLATION funded by the NRA, instead of being drafted by legislators in each state, being rejected or repealed.  NOWHERE have these laws resulted in less crime; EVERYWHERE they have passed they have resulted in more shootings, homicides that should not have happened.


  1. But aren't we chartering dangerous territories DG? Innocent until proven guilty?
    My biggest issue with the post is this. Until trial starts, we can not be 100% positive that Martin was "Minding his own business".
    However, I have little doubt that the color of his skin is the reason he is dead. So I guess I'm as guilty as you.

  2. We don't seem to be arguing over whether or not Zimmerman shot Martin - he admits he did.

    Zimmerman claims that after stalking Martin, after pursuing him as a criminal when he was not doing anything wrong, that there was a confrontation which devolved into a fist fight, where Zimmerman was losing.

    Had the tables been turned, had it been a black teen following and then chasing Zimmerman, I don't think anyone would blame Zimmerman for being threatened, and for shooting in self-defense if a fight broke out as a result of such a pursuit.

    Even Zimmerman acknowledges the fight, if unwillingly, that the fight broke out because of the pursuit. Then we have Zimmerman and his wife lying about their financial circumstances and trying funny business with the money donated to them -- money which they appear to have been using to live rather extravagantly btw, and not using for his defense.

    If George Zimmerman is acquitted, it will not be because he did not shoot a black teen whom he harassed and threatened, it will be because the legislators in Florida passed the law drafted by the NRA to allow people to behave the way Zimmerman did - to initiate conflicts because they have a gun, in situations where they are in the wrong, and get away with it.

    The right wingers and the gun huggers are trying to paint Martin as a gangster, as a bad kid, because he was kicked out of school over a baggie with what may or may not have been marijuana, that may or may not even have been his - the contents were never tested, and the baggie was found in a public area where a number of people had been.

    The reality is that Trayvon Martin was not a thug, did not belong to a gang, and was found with such a tiny trace amount of marijuana in his body that in no way was he under the influence of any illegal substance.

    He played sports, he was a good student, he was well liked by his teachers and the school staff. There are lots of white kids who have been in trouble for similar minor things. He was not convicted of any crime, had no criminal record, he was ambitious and hard working, and he had a good chance for success in college ahead of him.

    I can write about the circumstances of the event; innocent until proven guilty is for juries - there is zero chance I will be on that jury. Since I'm not on that jury, I can change my opinion, and correct what I write if it turns out to be in error.

    But at this point there does not seem to be much dispute about the facts, only disagreement of whether it is ok for George Zimmerman to have stalked and harassed and then shot Trayvon Martin but not for that to be ok the other way around.

    Rather, what I am indicting is a racist double standard, as much as George Zimmerman.