The murder of Trayvon Martin has nothing to do with the doctrine of “stand your ground.”
For anyone who doesn’t know what “stand your ground” is: it is a legal doctrine stating that someone who has a legal permit to carry a concealed weapon has no obligation to run away if they are attacked in a location they are legally permitted to be in. This doctrine is not universal across all 50 states. It is, thankfully, the law in South Carolina, where I legally hold a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
Unfortunately, the media, and many of my fellow liberals, seem to be targeting the “stand your ground” law as if it was somehow responsible for Trayvon’s murder. It wasn’t.
What George Zimmerman did was not “stand your ground.” He chased a child down and shot him in the chest. It was fucking murder and it disgusts me that we’re still talking about this and he still hasn’t been arrested.
There’s nothing to debate about. It’s a clear as night and day as to what happened:
Zimmerman, a self appointed captain of neighborhood watch (who intimidated and scared his neighbors) saw a “suspicious” looking person in his gated community. By “suspicious” he means black. (Because clearly, all black people are criminals and none of them can afford to live in his private community, so obviously the kid was suspicious.) Zimmerman then called the police to report him. Meanwhile he was following Trayvon.
Rule # 1 of carrying a concealed handgun: AVOID BAD SITUATIONS.
Zimmerman went looking for trouble. His motivation was clearly racial as he was heard using slurs like “coon” on the phone to 9-11! In the 9-11 calls made by neighbors after Zimmerman approached Trayvon with his gun, you can hear Trayvon screaming for help in the background. The screaming suddenly stops after the sound of a gunshot.
The police department, that has a history of racism, sends a narcotics detective out to the scene first, instead of a homicide detective. When Zimmerman tells them that Trayvon attacked him and broke his nose, they took his word for it, because hey, he’s
white a great guy! Nevermind the fact that Zimmerman showed no signs of being hurt, and when you break your nose, there’s blood EVERYWHERE. Nevermind the fact that a 17 year old kid was dead on the ground with a can of ice tea and a bag of skittles. The fucking racist police officers let him go. To make matters worse, they then intimidated the witnesses. The people who heard Trayvon screaming for his life came forward to say so. The police said “No, you heard Zimmerman screaming for help.” What. The. Fuck.
As I’m writing this, the murderer is still free, and a child is still dead, and hopefully people are waking up to the reality that justice is America is a joke.
The moment Zimmerman went after Trayvon was the moment he crossed the line. People who don’t carry weapons with them, who haven’t taken the required safety classes, don’t understand the mindset those classes are supposed to instill in you.
Having a license to carry a gun is not a license to kill.
Your use of force needs to be proportional to the force being used against you. If someone punches you, you can’t pull out your gun and kill them. You need to be in immediate threat of death for you to reasonable be able to pull your weapon.
You need to avoid dangerous situations at all cost, but should you find yourself in one, you have the inalienable right to defend yourself.
Zimmerman disregarded all of this when he went after Trayvon and murdered him because he was black. Attempting to use this tragedy as a vehicle to advance anti-self defense causes is inappropriate, especially when the doctrine you’re attacking has nothing to do with the tragedy.
Look, carrying a gun can be equated to wearing a seat belt. You don’t wear the seat belt because you hope or want to get into a crash, you’d like to avoid that at all costs; you wear it in case. That’s the same mindset behind carrying a concealed weapon.
Unfortunately people like Zimmerman exist. They always have and always will. The best we can do is prosecute them to the full extent of the law; however, attempting to reduce us all to unarmed and helpless bunny rabbits, crying into the phone to 9-11 while people are dying, hoping that the police (who are several minutes away at best) get there in time is not the answer.