A Writer's 21st Century Memoir.

The Trayvon Martin Case and Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law

I hope by now everyone has heard about Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black 17-year-old, who was shot and killed a month ago by Neighborhood Watchmen, George Zimmerman. The currently nationally recognized case has thousands of individuals upset at the fact that Zimmerman was not arrested and was instead just asked to move out of his townhouse.

The controversy has highlighted a lot of racial tension that possibly took place between Zimmerman and Martin, as well as the Sanford Florida police’s handling of the situation in justifying Zimmerman’s act under Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.

Obviously many are outraged and say that Zimmerman’s actions do not apply to this law, others say this law is outdated and should be tossed out, and some curious people agree with the Florida police’s initial conclusion and believe that Zimmerman’s actions were indeed justified under the law; I believe, however, that we should keep the law, but that this incredibly insane act on Zimmerman’s part should not be justified under this law.

Here are some of the facts

Trayvon Martin was a 17-year-old unarmed black male who was walking back to his father’s home inside a gated community with just a bag of Skittles and some iced-tea when he was shot on Feb. 26.

The gunman, neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman, has not been charged in the shooting and has said he shot the teen in self-defense. “Zimmerman’s statement,” according to Norton Bonaparte, Sanford’s city manager, who has defended the police department’s decision, “was that he had lost sight of Trayvon and was returning to his truck to meet the police officer when he says he was attacked by Trayvon.”

There were a few witnesses, including Martin’s girlfriend, who was speaking with him on the phone during the time, who heard screams for help and Martin’s body lying in the middle of the street after a gun shot was heard.

There was a 9-1-1 call placed by Zimmerman in which he was asked to stand down. A barely audible racial slur was recorded before the shooting, and the Sanford Police justified the shooting of Martin under Florida’s Stand Your Ground law which allows citizens to defend themselves from clear and oppressing dangers from individual(s) who may pose a threat to one’s life via the means of a registered/licensed firearm or other weapon. This includes justifiable homicides in Florida and 16 other states who have adopted similar legislation, mostly centered in Southern and Midwestern regions, and which has been heavily advocated by the National Rifle Association.

The thing is, I actually want to be able to protect myself if someone is entering into my house with a deadly weapon either trying to kill of seriously injure or rape me. I normally hate violence and confrontation, but if it’s between my life and this person who seriously wants me dead, I want to have the right to be able to defend myself, and if the ONLY way I can do this is to end their life, then I don’t want to have to go to jail because some crazed individual was going to kill me.

What I don’t agree with is the situation where Trayvon Martin was shot and killed while only holding some skittles and some tea. When has any kid ever killed someone with candy and a beverage while walking home to their parent’s home?

I am glad that there is some investigation going on into the case from the FBI, and that the general assumptions made by the Sanford Florida police that Zimmerman was completely innocent are being looked into. That’s really all I wanted a few weeks ago, and I’m glad that it is happening now.

How do you feel about Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law, and do you agree with the Sanford Florida police? Leave your comments below.

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