It is tragic when violent incidents occur due to mistakes, misjudgments and fear. On Feb. 26, 2012 at approximately 7:15 PM, a Neighborhood Watch volunteer George Zimmerman, shot and killed 17 year old Trayvon Martin at the gated community – Retreat at Twin Lakes, in Sanford, Florida.
Prior to pursuing Martin, Zimmerman placed a 911 call to report a “suspicious person” lurking in the community. While en route to the scene, police received reports of “gun shots” in the area. Upon arrival, the police found Martin laying on the ground, face down, without movement. After resuscitation processes were attempted, Martin was declared dead.
The occurrence drew national attention because Martin is a black male and Zimmerman is a white male. Cries of racism were forthcoming from just about every news media organization in the country. Yet, there is no evidence to suggest this terrible incident was caused by a “racist” George Zimmerman who purposely shot and killed Martin because he is black.
The real issue here is determining whether Zimmerman, who pursued Martin in his capacity as a Neighborhood Watch volunteer, acted in justifiable self-defense. The public, enthralled by a captivating race war, is focusing its attention on the wrong issue. By doing so, the heart of the matter becomes lost and the public does not receive real facts, but instead, hysterical accusations based on zero proof.
What a grand jury and subsequent judge and jury rightly ought to suspect is whether Zimmerman believed his own life was in danger when he pulled the trigger, and not so much whether Zimmerman was motivated by an unlikely scenario of a deep seeded and unknown proclivity for hatred towards black people.
Anti-gun advocates are now targeting Florida’s “stand your ground” law, saying that statute should “go to trial,” as well. Well, not really. Stand your ground laws did not kill Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman did. Relying on the Second Amendment, stand your ground laws act proactively to protect innocent individuals from prosecution, who, while acting in self defense, commit an alleged crime involving a firearm.
For example; On March 23, 2012 in West Tisbury, Massachusetts, a 63 year old Cynthia Bloomquist shot and killed her estranged 64 year old husband, Kenneth Bloomquist, after she was violently attacked by him. Evidence at the scene clearly suggests Mrs. Bloomquist was reacting in self defense, and prosecutors will not pursue charges against her. Good. That is why stand your ground laws exist.
Florida statute defines “Use of force in defense of person,” as follows:
776.012—A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if:
He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to: (1) prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony.
The United States Supreme Court has ruled that stand your ground laws are fair and Constitutional, but the gun-control media wants those laws changed, and they cover this tragic incident from that perspective.
Seeking gun control by any means, the media are quick to blame the instrument of force or the innocent bystander or laws put it place to protect our Second Amendment right, each time a tragic incident occurs involving a firearm, rather than blaming the culprit, if indeed there is one.
Sometimes bad things happen to innocent people by accident, and it is no one’s fault. Sometimes bad things happen to innocent people on purpose, and the perpetrator should be punished.
However, in the case involving the tragic death of Trayvon Martin, our Constitution is clear: George Zimmerman is innocent until proven guilty; and for the purpose of accuracy, the news media should start their reporting there. So far, they have done nothing of the sort.