I’ve gotten a lot of questions about the Travyon Martin killing down in Florida. Today, I’m going to discuss that incident, along with how it relates to what I wrote about last week (jumping on top of a dumpster to escape a pack of dogs.)
First off, it seems there are still a lot of facts that we don’t know. When I first heard about the incident, it appeared Zimmerman (the shooter) made the wrong decision and I thought he was definitely going to jail.
But yesterday, I was reading about how Martin had pushed him to the ground and had tried to take the gun. Supposedly, Zimmerman was bleeding and had bruises to prove it and another eyewitness saw Martin push Zimmerman to the ground. I also found out that even though Martin was only 17 years old, he was 6’3” and a pretty big guy.
Now, if Martin did try and take the gun from Zimmerman and Zimmerman was in fear for his life, then I believe he was justified in shooting Martin. However, if Zimmerman simply chased Martin down and shot him for no good reason, then obviously he should go to jail.
Again, I think there are still a lot of facts to come out and we don’t know the full story.
But here’s what I do know: Zimmerman could have walked away. He didn’t have to follow Martin and he could have listened to the dispatcher who told him not to follow the boy.
In other words, if you’re so worried about a suspicious person that you feel the need to call the police on them, then you should not follow them and you should wait for the police to come and do their job. I’m sure if you asked Zimmerman today if he wishes he had waited, he would no doubt answer “yes.”
The problem is, there are a lot of people (men) in this country who are insecure and feel the need to act tough. When I wrote last week about how I ran from the dogs, I had a few people use inappropriate language to discuss how they felt I reacted to the situation.
Yes, I realize I could have faced the dogs and they might have backed down, but why would I take that chance when a better option would be to get on top of a dumpster? I am highly confident in my abilities to defend myself, but any day of the week I will get out of a situation (if it’s an option) so that I don’t have to put those abilities to the test.
The fact is, all of us are human and have “macho” urges we need to learn how to resist.
If you see a suspicious person, don’t try and be a hero and go confront them. If somebody flips you the middle finger on the highway, you have to force yourself not to yell at them and flip them off in response.
I realize this isn’t easy. Trust me, when someone cuts me off in traffic, I would love to give them a piece of my mind too. But I remind myself that I’m carrying a gun and that I need to act responsibly and let it go.
I guess what I’m really trying to say this week is to have self-discipline… to not be a hero… and to be secure with yourself so you don’t feel the need to show others (and yourself) how tough you are. Had Zimmerman shown self-discipline and let the police do their jobs, a 17-year-old boy may not have lost his life.