I’ve remained relatively quiet on the Zimmerman – Martin case, and that may surprise those who know I am a strong advocate for the 2nd Amendment and refusing to be a victim of crime.
When I first heard about this case, I will admit that based on the media’s initial account it sounded like a “bad shoot.” That means unjustifiable as self-defense. We 2nd Amendment supporters refer to a Defensive Gun Use (DGU) as a “good shoot.” My first impression was that Zimmerman used poor judgment and was involved in a “bad shoot.”
Yet, I’ve chosen to stand by for more information rather than jump on the bandwagon of “public outrage.” That’s not my style, anyway.
One thing I found curious was the delay from the incident to the sudden prominence in the news and popular culture. Where was Al Sharpton the day after Trayvon died? The week after? Two weeks after? Why did it take a MONTH for this to suddenly come to a boil?
I do not believe it was any accident that the angelic photos of Trayvon Martin put out by the media were several years old. Apparently, this “kid” was 6′ 2″ tall. They also focused on the fact that he was unarmed (irrelevant). They focused on the 911 operator telling Zimmerman,
“We don’t need you to do that (follow Martin)” (also legally irrelevant). The media repeatedly mentioned that the neighborhood watch group had a rule against being armed (also irrelevant). There is no law against approaching someone or talking to them. And, Zimmerman was legally armed. The ONLY thing that matters is whether Zimmerman can claim legal self-defense. Period. There ARE criteria to make that determination. And, I expect the facts will come out and make clear whether this was justified or not.
Uh… Wait a minute…
As more information has been “leaked” or possibly even fabricated by the media (I just don’t know), my initial concerns about a “bad shoot” have changed. It’s entirely possible that Zimmerman WAS justified. I’m not saying he was. I’m not saying he wasn’t. And, none of us should be jumping to either conclusion.
New photos of the two have emerged, each portraying the subjects quite differently than the original photos.
Yelling “movie” in a crowded firehouse.
What is frightening is that the media and “opinion leaders” like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Spike Lee, and Roseanne Barr are COMPLICIT in inciting a nation-wide LYNCH MOB. They are yelling “Justice!” But, what they want is REVENGE. And, they want it now. This is truly dangerous and grossly irresponsible behavior by these influential people.
The cult of personality
These celebrities and politicians are DANCING IN TRAYVON’S BLOOD to advance their own twisted agendas, including self-aggrandizement. How that is not obvious to even a casual observer is stunning to me. But, it’s a basic human need to feel significant in this world. Sadly, there are a LOT of people who have no other way to feel significant. So, they join a mob. They join a “cause celebre” to stake their claim on the moral high ground, even though it lacks ANY sort of foundation based in fact or verified truths.
I sell the things you need to be.
I’m the smiling face on your TV.
I’m the cult of personality.
I exploit you. You still love me.
I tell you one and one makes three.
I’m the cult of personality.
– Living Colour
You have the right to…
Maybe Zimmerman’s actions are indefensible. Maybe not. There’s a reason the police didn’t arrest him. The police WILL arrest anyone if there’s ANY reason to do so. It’s what they do. It’s their JOB. Then they let it get sorted out in court. So, I can’t help at least thinking, “There must be a number of reasons why the police did not arrest Zimmerman.”
But, we are a country of LAW, guided by the Constitution. And, we need to let the LAW take it’s course. We should not try this case in the media or popular culture. Let the FACTS come out and let our system work.
I am concerned about what might happen if Zimmerman is determined to have acted within his legal rights. Already riotous behavior is cropping up around the country. A large group of Trayvon Martin “supporters” ransacked a Walgreens in Miami. “Supporters,” my ass. See video below:
Options, options, options.
That all said, I will render some opinions about this based on what I’ve heard and read so far. I concede that it’s entirely possible Zimmerman was impertinent in his actions. I also believe that it’s possible he was attacked unprovoked. If he was being beaten and having his head slammed on the ground, that’s potentially lethal. Armed self-defense IS justifiable in that situation.
Zimmerman may have been over-zealous. Maybe not. But, as one who is licensed to carry a concealed weapon, and like most similarly licensed people, I have thought very carefully about how I might handle a variety of possible confrontational scenarios.
I have written many times here on the blog about Situational Awareness. I believe the very front line of self-defense is AVOIDANCE. I will avoid those situations by being situationally aware. I will make every effort to foresee confrontations and steer clear of them before they happen.
Secondly, I have considered that every possible physical confrontation may NOT require the use of lethal force, and I may not be able to avoid every scenario. They say, “If the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” I don’t want lethal force to be my only tool. If I’m confronted by a drunk looking for a fight (as opposed to a violent criminal), and I can’t get away or use my “verbal judo,” I’d like to have other options besides lethal force. But, at my age, I have zero interest in going “mano a mano” (fist fighting or martial arts). The obvious choice, in my opinion is Pepper Spray… up to a point.
Having intermediate options eliminates the all-or-nothing proposition for lethal force used in self-defense .
If Zimmerman had been carrying pepper spray (and I have no clue whether he was or not), he might have been able to stop the alleged attack easily and safely (for all involved).
When I committed myself to exercising my 2nd Amendment rights (and refusing to be a victim), I decided that lethal weapons would not be my only option. Carrying pepper spray provides for a “force continuum.“
A “force continuum” for a law-abiding citizen might go like this: avoidance / escape –> verbal de-escalation –> walk away (try escape again) –> H2H (hand to hand / martial arts – if trained and practiced) –> pepper spray –> lethal force (ONLY if you are in danger of serious bodily harm or your life is threatened).
Let cooler heads prevail.
So far, the lesson from the Zimmerman – Martin incident is that acting or speaking out brashly before having ANY of the FACTS is dangerous and could lead to more violence or precipitate even more tragedy.
If you make the decision to be accountable for your own safety, consider having a “force continuum” at your disposal rather than just a “hammer and seeing everything as a nail.” But, again…. avoidance is always the best and safest option.
Be safe out there, and be smart, Dental Warriors.