I’ve been pretty mum on the Zimmerman topic for a lot of reasons but mainly because I think the whole case is a shade of gray and that no one knows all the facts.
I certainly don’t know all the facts in the Zimmerman trial and it seems like no one really knows all the facts; not Zimmerman, not the prosecution and especially everyone ignorantly commenting on it. Here is what I do know:
- Zimmerman had the right to carry a gun.
- Zimmerman was on the bottom, getting beaten up (to whatever debatable degree) by Martin.
- Zimmerman pulled a gun and shot Martin.
I wear hoodies all the time and ignorant people look at me funny. I grew up poor and in semi-poor neighborhoods and I used to work in the ghetto. I know that some people over react.
I don’t think Trayvon Martin was this innocent young man that the media is trying to make him out to be. I also don’t think he was some sort of criminal, looking to kill or rob rich people. He was a run-of-the-mill urban teenager. He probably smoked weed and drank on weekends and played video games and ate candy and loved his parents and had friends and all the things a typical teenager does today.
That’s the thing I think people don’t want to believe, that Trayvon was an average kid. Not an angel and not the devil, but just average.
I also think that Zimmerman’s supporters blindly support him because they fear that this is a gun rights issue. It isn’t. If anything, Zimmerman has tainted the whole gun rights debate. It’s sad but I see how all the gun rights folks have stacked behind Zimmerman out of fear that a conviction for him is a conviction against all gun owners. It isn’t. Far from it.
Here’s what I think of Zimmerman; he’s a fucking idiot.
There are two types of suspicious people; does that you irrationally fear and those that are actually plotting something. Usually it’s hard to figure out but more times than not, it’s your irrational fear talking. Martin wasn’t breaking into a house or committing a crime, so what was Zimmerman’s issue?
I personally own guns and I’ve pulled one out on more than one occasion. Never on someone walking down the street with a hoodie, not even the one time a sketchy looking man opened my side-gate and walked into my backyard (but I did take the safety off).
If I see a ‘suspicious’ guy walking down the street and he’s not doing me any harm, I usually let it go. It’s probably nothing. If it looks really bad, I’ll text my neighbors and give them a heads up and then call the cops and let them handle it (for a lot of different reasons). I don’t grab my gun, open my door and start following the suspect. That’s probably the stupidest thing you can do. You’re just looking for trouble.
Now, I have no idea what happened once Zimmerman started to follow Martin (and again, it seems like no one actually knows what happened here) but here’s a good, rational guess. Zimmerman followed Martin and Martin noticed and started to walk faster or try to avoid Zimmerman. Martin was probably scared that a man was following him. Zimmerman doesn’t look like the friendliest man, either. If Martin noticed the gun (IF), then compound how scared or uneasy he felt. Zimmerman probably saw this and his confirmation bias went off the charts. At this point he was probably 100% sure Martin was up to no good. I don’t know what happened next but a physical altercation broke out. I think the story I read was that martin asked Zimmerman to stop following and probably even tried to scare him off or physically intimidate him.
If you’ve ever been in a fight, you know that they aren’t scripted like movies. They are ugly and chaotic. People are wrestling around, throwing punches and probably missing. One second Martin was probably on top and another second it was probably Zimmerman and then reversed again. That’s how street fights usually go.
At a certain point Zimmerman decided that he was getting beat up and when you’re getting beat up, you don’t know how far it will go and just how badly you’re hurt. Trust me, I’ve been there. The second your mind realizes that you are no longer in control or have a chance, it hits panic mode. Usually this leads to surrender or begging or doing some crazy shit, like biting or eye poking or even going for the genitals. Or, if you have a gun, pulling it. It’s the brain going into caveman auto-pilot. It just wants to survive and will do whatever it takes.
Zimmerman probably didn’t even realize he pulled the gun until he had pulled the trigger.
All the evidence, both physical and eye witness, says that Martin was on top, Zimmerman was getting either punched or pushed into the ground and Martin was leaning over him when he shot. The burns on the shirt are consistent with point blank shots while the entry wound is one that is just a little further from the barrel. This means that Martin’s shirt was hanging down at a distance from his own body, meaning that he had to be hovering over the gun.
Now, all of this only matters if we figure out where the entire incident started. Did Martin attack Zimmerman? Was it illegal for Zimmerman to chase Martin with the intent to shoot Martin? Did Zimmerman have an intent to shoot Martin? Does the Stand Your Ground law apply if the ‘suspect’ is trying to walk away? Does the case start from the point Zimmerman set foot after Martin or does it start when Martin and Zimmerman got into a fight. Does it matter who started the fight? Does chasing someone qualify as instigating the situation?
I’m sure there are legal answers to some of these, but there’s just too much gray area and too many unknowns in the case to prove Zimmerman guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. And that’s the key to the case and to all court cases. It has to be air tight or else the defendant walks. Burden is on the prosecution, always.
Do I think Zimmerman is wrong? Yes. He should have never chased Martin. Do I think shooting Martin as justified? I can see why it was and I can also see why it wasn’t.
Why don’t I think this case is important? First of all, I think it’s important anytime someone loses their life, and it’s tragic but it’s not the most important topic in America right now. There are many murders every single day. Chicago has had something like 70 murders in the past month.
But more importantly, the media is completely hung up on this case because it’s filled with race and race-baiting and guns and old vs young and all types of social and racial stereotypes that they can pump into the public’s feeble minds and get them to tune in.
People have nearly forgotten that the NSA is listening to all our phone calls and tracking your GPS and collecting your internet history and reading your texts and emails. It’s like people don’t care and perhaps even worse than that, they don’t mind.
Zimmerman can be found innocent or guilty in this case and it will all come down to just how good the lawyers are. In a vacuum, Zimmerman should walk. Not because he’s innocent, I don’t know what he is, but because there isn’t enough evidence to convict him.
This is exactly what the government and the Obama administration wants and needs right now. A race-charged distraction that can emotionally enslave our attention and trap our minds from processing all the bullshit that will really impact us, like the economy, the upcoming wars in Syria and Iran and Africa and the giant police state that we are living in.