Stand your ground

By Devon Everett / Staff Writer

By Devon Everett / Staff Writer

Self-defense apparently means different things to different people. To George Zimmerman, it means that he can shoot an unarmed black kid and get away with it because of the kid’s appearance.

Trayvon Martin was only 17 at the time of the incident. He was temporarily staying in the same gated community that George Zimmerman, a multi-racial Hispanic American and coordinator of the neighborhood watch, was living.

Zimmerman left his vehicle while still on the phone with the police dispatcher to confront Martin. After the phone call concluded, there was an altercation that ended with Zimmerman shooting Martin once in the chest.

The “Stand-Your-Ground” law of Florida states that a person may justifiably use force in self-defense when there is reasonable belief of an unlawful threat, without an obligation to retreat first. This basically means that you can do anything up to killing someone in “self-defense”, and don’t have to have proof that what you did was justified.

This whole story so far is a textbook-style case of racial profiling.

The second amendment grants us the right to bear arms, but the law grants us restrictions on using them.

“The Stand Your Ground law basically allows people to do this type of action and claim self-defense without any basis of judgment. As is said, “When you assume, you make an ass out of you and me.” Well, you can’t make an ass out of a dead man.

Supposedly, law has decreased crime rates in the states that have adopted it. For those states that passed the laws, the violent crime rate did fall from 446.42 per 100,000 residents in 2004 to 431.34 per 100,000 residents in 2009, while those that did not pass them rose from 398.53 to 398.62 over that same timespan. This does seem to indicate some support for this law.

The property crime rate fell by 14.5 percent among the 19 “Stand Your Ground” law states, but also for those not passing such laws (31 states plus DC).

A 10.95 percent reduction occurred among states not passing such “Stand Your Ground” laws.

Well, when you let anyone brandish a weapon and allow them to claim self-defense, of course crime rates are going to drop.

I bet our forefathers are turning over in their graves right about now.

Trayvon Martin was just your average kid. Today’s current trends are influencing kids to eschew violence, gangs, and image for shuffling, dubsteb, and being yourself.

Some of these kids may use drugs, but they aren’t hurting anybody.

Which raises the question:

What was Trayvon Martin doing that intimidated George Zimmerman?

“I felt he was suspicious because it was raining,” Zimmerman said to NBC News. “He was, cutting in-between houses, and he was walking very leisurely for the weather. … It didn’t look like he was a resident that went to check their mail and got caught in the rain and was hurrying back home. He didn’t look like a fitness fanatic that would train in the rain.”

When Sean Hannity of NBC News asked if Zimmerman was threatened by him when he was on the phone with the police dispatcher, he replied, “No, not really.”

So should Zimmerman be tried to the fullest extent of the law? Most definitely. He ended a life. Does it not say in the Bible, “Thou Shalt Not Kill?”

There is a huge difference between a citizen’s arrest and pulling the trigger on an unarmed man.

Maybe if both people were armed, it would be justified, but this particular case is reason enough for the “Stand-your-ground” law to deserve serious revision.

There was a fight between Zimmerman and Martin, but it is unclear who started it.

Zimmerman may have been the one that started the fight and he may have even been losing. But he had already called the cops.

He should have just let the police do their job instead of taking the law into his own hands.

If Zimmerman wouldn’t have run outside of his car in pursuit of Martin, the whole scenario may have been prevented.

He wouldn’t have gotten into a fistfight, and he wouldn’t have killed a man.

This just proves that some people lack common sense.

People like George Zimmerman need to be made examples of. Because the hard way is the only way people like him know how to learn.

This whole scenario was easily preventable. Zimmerman did not need to engage Martin; he chose to pursue him.

There was a clear breach in Zimmerman’s judgment: However, no drug or alcohol tests were conducted at the time.

Martin Luther King fought so all races can be treated equally and fairly.

This case is solid proof that some people are taking one step in the wrong direction.

So what should be done to prevent this scenario from occurring again?

First, the “Stand Your Ground” law should be revised for clarity so that people don’t exploit loopholes.

Next, the public needs to be aware of cases like this one, so other people don’t make the same mistake Zimmerman did.

George Zimmerman’s trial date was on Oct. 3, 2012 at 8:30 a.m.

There’s a thin line between upholding the second amendment and the sixth commandment.

And once you cross that line, there’s no turning back.