Debate Magazine

Trayvon Matin - One Year Ago Today

Posted on the 26 February 2013 by Doggone
Racist George Zimmerman, who accused EVERY male black teen he saw in his neighborhood of being a criminal, regardless of the reality, and who made his black neighbors uncomfortable with his racism, shot and killed Trayvon Martin on this day last year.
Zimmerman stalked and harassed a teenage minding his own business, got into a confrontation with him that he - Zimmerman - instigated, and then shot him.
One life taken from Trayvon Martin, other lives including his own ruined, by George Zimmerman, who has tried to take advantage of this to live extravagantly, but is now running out of money. Again.
This is the reason that shoot first laws are bad; they have resulted over and over in citizen vigilantes making themselves judge and jury and executioners too many times, and have removed the accountability.  There is no need for shoot first laws; there are no lines of people who were being arrested for having justifiably shot themselves in self-defense; our self-defense laws were, if anything, too lenient already.  Castle doctrine has evolved in the United States very differently than in every other country in the world, where the history of such laws always - ALWAYS - require, quite properly, that shoot first be a last resort, not the first resort; this includes a duty to retreat, as it should here in the United States.
Instead, we not only give excessive latitude to shooting people at home, we arm people who are badly trained, not evaluated for mental, physical or emotional fitness, not trained in the legal distinctions of what is and is not allowed, and we turn them loose on our streets unsupervised - and don't hold them properly accountable. Those who are the victims of wrongful shootings cannot sue; those who are the survivors of wrongful shooting deaths cannot sue, because shooters are not liable, not required to have the same resources for liability as duly authorized law enforcement.
So many of the things that are wrong with shoot first laws are clear in the Trayvon Martin murder.
I can only hope that George Zimmerman's case results in more of these laws, ALL OF THEM DRAFTED FROM CORRUPT ALEC MODEL LEGISLATION funded by the NRA, instead of being drafted by legislators in each state, being rejected or repealed.  NOWHERE have these laws resulted in less crime; EVERYWHERE they have passed they have resulted in more shootings, homicides that should not have happened.

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