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My Dad, Myself and Trayvon

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The primary argument of the folks who support the Zimmerman verdict is that Zimmerman had no choice; he had a gun but he was apparently confronted by Trayvon Martin, battered, and acted in self- defense. I am not arguing here. I just want to tell the story (although I did tell it before).

My dad who died recently as a distinguished scientist (some people called him a genius) was a troubled and unstable teenager in 1946 when his family returned from the Siberian evacuation to their native city in western Russia which had been liberated in 1943 from the two years of German occupation. My dad started attending the all-boys school (they had those at the times). Food was scarce and the kids at school received rolls of bread from the government. Some kids did not eat their rolls but tried to take those home because they had younger siblings who were hungry too. But the school was surrounded by gangs of homeless kids, teenagers mostly, who received nothing and practically starved. Those gangs regularly mugged the younger schoolboys and tool the rolls.

The older boys at school were the children of the war- tough, cruel, difficult and very handy. They decided to confront the gangs and on one day a huge fight broke out between the parties. It involved hundreds of teenagers, many armed, (firearms were not used but knives and pipes were common) and lasted for many hours. The teachers and local militia (the police equivalent) could not take control. The city authorities addressed the military commandant and he dispatched a regular regiment with an order to RESTORE ORDER BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.

The soldiers of the regiment were coming home. They had just survived the most deadly war of all and many of them were wounded before. They were returning back to the country destroyed, to hunger and famine and to the news that most of their families had perished. We cannot even talk PTSD here; it was black rage which possessed them and that rage was fully justified. They were fully armed and had heavy weapons.

The easiest way to put an end to the fight with no risk to the soldiers was to fire a volley of high- caliber machine-gun fire over the heads. That might injure or even kill the spectators around but it would have worked. Instead the regiment divided into two groups. One of them- armed - surrounded the area; another one-unarmed- divided into several teams, each targeting a specific fighting group. In a matter of minutes the first group fired a rifle volley into the air while the second group penetrated the fight, rounding up the most violent and dispersing the others. The leaders of the gangs were immediately arrested and the school boys- pushed back and secured in the school. No kid, soldier or anyone turned up injured. After an investigation the homeless kids were sent to special colonies for the homeless children and the militia post was erected in front of the school.

If those soldiers had used a deadly force, my dad could be killed. I then would not be born. My son would not be born.
My dad, when he told me that story, mused that maybe those soldiers behaved that way because for them those kids were their children- all of them. They did not come back alive to shoot at their own kids.

This is to those who consider the usage of the deadly force against our own kids. Some people say I am a child of a miracle. I don't think so.


The writer is 57 years old, semi- retired engineer, PhD, PE, CEM. I write fiction on a regular basis and I am also 10 years on OEN.

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

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Mostof us never stop to think of the huge odds aga... by Paul Repstock on Wednesday, Jul 31, 2013 at 11:34:08 PM
Thanks for sharing this. "This is to those who con... by Ezili Danto on Thursday, Aug 1, 2013 at 3:30:20 PM
And when in doubt, it's best not to shoot children... by William Boardman on Friday, Aug 2, 2013 at 1:13:45 PM
always find a way not to doubt. Only strong have d... by Mark Sashine on Friday, Aug 2, 2013 at 1:41:33 PM
Seriously. I just added your comment as a quote in... by Rob Kall on Friday, Aug 2, 2013 at 2:26:45 PM
The Trayvon Martin case was very close to my feeli... by Mark Sashine on Friday, Aug 2, 2013 at 4:57:30 PM
You'll be less inclined to use it. Kinda like nuke... by Daniel Geery on Friday, Aug 2, 2013 at 5:53:33 PM
Thanks for sharing this story.... by Robert De Filippis on Thursday, Aug 8, 2013 at 3:08:28 PM
Well done, Mark!... by Michael David Morrissey on Wednesday, Aug 14, 2013 at 2:15:41 AM