Stand your ground

The Trayvon Martin shooting is a truly tragic event. More than anything it’s a tragedy that Trayvon lost his life, but it is also a tragedy that in the past month this has become a national issue about race and not about the laws we have in place that allowed George Zimmerman to feel empowered. The “Stand Your Ground Law”, applicable in 24 states including Florida, is where a person that feels threatened is not required to back down. The wording of this law includes “meet force with force”. As Americans we have the freedom to make our own decisions, which makes part of this law redundant. As humans, our decision is “fight or flight”. This law takes away a critical part of our decision making process, and that part is the repercussions. Under this law “threat” is so vague, and you are given the right to be violent whenever you are threatened. Thus, repercussions like jail time are essentially thrown out the window. Compound this with another Florida state law that it is legal to carry a concealed weapon, and this result is exactly what I would expect. Anyone in these 24 states could have a gun. So, any quick move to a pocket, into a car glove box, purse, boot, jacket, these could be perceived threats. Shoot ’em. Zimmerman is an Asshole. He is not an officer of the law, he was a neighborhood watch leader and he should have done just that, watch. But if you allow him to carry a weapon and react however he sees fit when threatened, meeting “force with force”, someone with an overblown sense of authority now has the laws tipping in their favor, and that makes for a scary world.