First of all, I am not being compensated in any way for this piece, nor is it anyone’s opinion by my own. I know that most people will not agree with it – and I respect that – but feel that I want to comment on these issues.
My heart is saddened that a teenager died, and I want to cry with his mother and father and hold them up in prayer. I think they know and understand that stuff happens in this world that isn’t always fair. Just look around. And in this case, certainly Trayvon life was just really beginning.
Kudo’s to the 6 jurors who were able to cut through the misinformation in the media for all these months and still hold onto their integrity and decide this case based on the evidence presented to them.
Shame on Al Sharpton and all the others who tried to influence their decision with demonstrations and other inappropriate behavior just to stir up the people of this country.
Kudo’s to the lawyers on both sides who found 6 people who could look past all of that to the facts of the case and decide without the pressure of all of that misinformation.
From the start of this unfortunate event (and I do mean that sincerely), and all along the way from the tapes of the 911 call which were “edited” before the news outlets even started playing them, to the end with rallies and other things — this wasn’t about race and it wasn’t about guns.
In the end — because of the way the events unfolded — the way both “players” in this drama presented themselves, acted and interacted — it really was about being in a situation and making a decision about how to defend yourself. Trayvon could acted differently, George could have acted differently, but neither of them did. They did as their personalities directed them that fateful day and they ended up in a fight that ended in a death.
From the beginning the Florida Prosecutor was correct in not arresting George Zimmerman. He weighed the case and determined that there wasn’t a reason for it. Both self defense and the Florida Stand Your Ground Law were on George’s side –but Al Sharpton had other ideas. Ideas about pushing all the buttons he had available to him to make it about race and about guns and about all the things it was never about from the start. He purposely and willfully incited people across this country with misinformation. Information that was specifically designed to incite strong feelings for poor Trayvon, and hatred for George Zimmerman, while he pursued his agenda, got TV time and recognition for pushing his view of justice.
But still a young boy died that day. That part will never go away. I honestly don’t think anyone ever wants that to happen.
I have a concealed carry license, and I have taken at least 8 gun courses, including some in tactical training. I wasn’t fond of guns from a young age — and my dad was a pistol champion. But there came a time in my own personal life, that I had several individuals try to break into my home and I thought I needed to know and learn and carry for my own self defense. The courses were sometimes hard, and there were tests both in shooting accuracy and in knowledge of the laws regarding firearms. There was training on how to try to disarm another person and what to do if someone tries to disarm you. One of the things that sticks out in my mind (because they drilled it into us) is that if you shoot anyone be prepared to be arrested, charged and having to pay a minimum of $250,000. But the directive always was, if you are in fear for your life (and that “line” will differ for everyone) and you feel the need to use your firearm, shoot to kill.
As a woman, we were instructed that could shoot a man coming at us at a distance of probably 5 ft – 10 ft, with or without a weapon and still conclude we were in fear of our life and that we had shot in self defense. You cannot wait for someone to be in an actual physical confrontation with you, or to have wounded you first before you shoot… It’s not “if you are harmed you can harm back” – it is if you fear for your own life.
With men, it’s a little different, most of them can hold their own (or think they can) even in a bit of a physical confrontation, but no one says you have to let someone hit you, knock you down, bang your head on the ground before you shoot them in self defense. You just don’t know what the other person is capable of – and if they too have a weapon (knife, gun, etc) that they plan on using on you.
This really is just basic information. Each case of self defense is different. It needs to be weighed on it’s own scale to determine the outcome. However, if someone of any color, of any gender, or any size or nationality, or even any age, were beating my head on the ground, I might feel the fear at some point that would cause me to use my weapon. You might prefer that I didn’t because that person is young, or of a certain color, or certainly could not have killed me – but they are attacking me, and I do have a right to defend myself. If you aren’t there, you don’t know, you don’t feel the emotions, or know the actual extent of it — therefore you cannot be judge and jury.