America in 2012: Gun down an unarmed teenager, claim it was self defence, and it’s legal!
I’m having hard time understanding the Trayvon Martin shooting. A 250 pound wanna-be cop confronted a skinny black teenager on a junk food run, shoots him dead, claims it was self-defence, and under Florida law … the shooter isn’t tested for alcohol or drugs, let alone charged with a crime? If Zimmerman had run Trayvon over with his car, he’d be in serious legal trouble, but because he used a gun, it’s a justifiable shooting? An honour killing as it were. The mind reels, this is 2012, not 1950.
There’s so many things wrong with this case that I don’t even know where to begin. That’s never stopped me before, so he goes. First of all, this “stand your ground” law is a great example of the sort of unneeded, pandering the people’s worst instincts, politically inspired law that creates more problems than it solves. And since it didn’t solve any problems since it was already legal to defend yourself, all it does was create problems. That’s pretty much what our state and federal legislators have been doing the past few decades, passing pandering to the masses crap like this instead of governing the country.
The racist tinges to this are disgusting as well. Let’s see, a few years back a black professor was arrested in his own home for disorderly conduct. I guess he’s lucky the cop didn’t just shoot him. Here a white wanna-be cop shoots someone dead on the street, and no arrest so far. Granted it’s a bit of a stretch comparing the two incidents, but there very much is a pattern where the presumption of guilt is automatically on the black person. I wonder how many black people have shot someone down in the streets in Florida, and successfully used the “stand your ground” law to avoid arrest ad prosecution? I couldn’t find any in my admittedly brief internet search.
I am also outraged over how little outrage there is over this. At least there’s some, but one would think there would be far more a ground swell of anger over this. I guess people are pretty beaten down and numb these days, but still. On the other hand, I’m glad no one rioted, that never helps.
Lastly, and the point that I have been meaning to make for a long time, is that we in the west get all outraged over so called “honour killings” in the Muslim world, which many see as proof positive that Islam is a “primitive” religion,” or whatever other prejudices about Arabs and Muslims they want to believe … but the same crimes in the USA aren’t evidence of our cultural or religious inferiority? And by the same crimes, I mean men killing their wives, kids, girlfriends … and feeling completely justified about it. Women are raped and murdered in the USA at rates which should make us ashamed, yet most Americans are convinced that our culture is “better” than most, or all, other cultures. Granted, again, not strictly a fair comparison, but the point remains that violence against women is a serious problem in the USA, so claims that our foreign policy is about protecting women” ring a little hollow since we cant even protect the women in the USA.
In any event, all the facts in this case may not be out yet, but from what I know so far, sure sounds like cold blooded murder committed under the aegis of a brain-dead law. How the hell was this guy even allowed to run around with a gun? From everything I’ve read he was a nut bar. Oh well, since were on the topic of violence against women, next, Ted Bundy, always a fun topic.
(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It’s a grey scale screen shot of Harry Callahan, “hero” of the Dirty Harry movies. It’s not being used for profit. I chose it because I think this movie was when the USA started getting herded into a shoot first, think later attitude … where anything goes if you’re the good guys. This movie and Rambo were the beginning of a long dark slide for the country, where now our government can even kill Americans with impunity, cause, you know, they’re the good guys. Yeah, right.)