I’m seeing a lot of babbling about George Zimmerman defending himself.
What I’m hearing very little of is Trayvon Martin’s right to self defense.
Trayvon didn’t know Zimmerman. He didn’t know why Zimmerman was following him. He didn’t know why Zimmerman had a gun. All he knew, was that this strange man was following him, for God knows what reason, to do who knows what.
From what I can piece together, this seventeen year old boy tried to deescalate the situation. “Why are you following me?”
When that didn’t work, he tried to remove himself from the situation and get to safety. He tried to run away.
Trayvon was backed into a metaphorical corner here. Deescalation didn’t work. Flight* didn’t work. All that he had left was Fight*. Self-defense.
(Fight or Flight, you know, the two instinctual responses to a threat?)
Trayvon showed more sense than this grown-ass man. He waited to use physical confrontation until the very last, after all other options were exhausted.
Now, I don’t believe for a second Zimmerman’s accounting. I don’t believe for a second that Trayvon attacked him. I believe Trayvon fought back. To defend himself, from this strange, grown-ass man that was following him home in the dark. With a gun.
Zimmerman should not own a gun. He has shown that he has no sense. He has no respect for his weapon, and no respect and caution in the face of the power a gun gave him.
The power to take a life.
Responsible gun owners know that the mere presence of a gun escalates a situation. Responsible gun owners know that you don’t exhibit threatening behavior to another (perceived, in this case. Zimmerman thought Trayvon was carrying.) gun owner. That’s a good way to start a shootout. Responsible gun owners don’t look for a fight. Responsible gun owners avoid it. Responsible gun owners don’t want to use their weapon. At all.
When Trayvon tried to deescalate the situation, Zimmerman kept escalating it.
Zimmerman was the threat. Zimmerman was the instigator. Zimmerman was the attacker.
Trayvon was exercising his right to self-defense.
Zimmerman is a murderer.