Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter 2 Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 4 (6 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   45 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

Vigilantism Killed Trayvon Martin

By       Message Daniel Vasey     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Funny 3   Must Read 2   Supported 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 7/20/13

- Advertisement -

Let me offer my two cents on the shooting of Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of George Zimmerman. My one special qualification is that I've taken part in a watch in a neighborhood far more crime-ridden than Zimmerman's Twin Lakes. They had seven or eight break-ins among 260 units? Not so bad.

   I lived four years in a Third World country, in a fenced neighborhood under siege, where steel bars guarded windows, where I had reinforced the doors of our house and took several parts of our car inside at night to prevent its being stolen. Despite the many precautions, the house was burgled once, and another time I picked broken glass off my little daughter, who went on sleeping after a thrown rock shattered the window by her bed.  

   As break-ins became more frequent, we chipped in and hired night guards to walk along the chain-link fence that surrounded the neighborhood. We took shifts with the patrols just in case they had friends on the other side.

   We were not vigilantes. If we saw trouble, we alerted the neighbors and called the police. Never did we follow anyone, even though we often saw real threats. If we had followed, there would have been trouble and possibly deaths. We dialogued with people in the nearby settlement where most of the would-be burglars appeared to live. We did not carry guns. Our efforts did not eliminate crime, but did reduce it.

   The watch group in Mr. Zimmerman's neighborhood has similar policies, but he was on his own that night. Acting on instinct he decided that Trayvon Martin was looking around too much and walking the wrong path. Whether or not race played a part, there is something very wrong in his assertion to a police dispatcher, made with reference to Martin, "These a**holes they always get away."

   With no good reason Zimmerman was convinced, wrongly and tragically as it turns out, that Martin was a criminal and only George Zimmerman could head off trouble.

- Advertisement -

  From http://www.flickr.com/photos/7278633@N04/9296077925/: Florida's Stand Your Ground Law
Florida's Stand Your Ground Law by The Eyes Of New York
The enemy is vigilantism, the spread of the idea that Americans should take unilateral and violent action in protecting themselves and their families. Crime is down, few Americans will ever experience terrorism, but more citizens are going out armed every year. Laws are encouraging the trend by passing stand-your-ground laws. Zimmerman believed he could do the job of protecting better than the police.

   Despite what Zimmerman's backers claim, Florida's law has everything to do with his going free. Zimmerman's side argued self-defense, but without SYG, self-defense absolves the threatened person only if he or she had no opportunity to retreat. Zimmerman did the opposite.

    SYG laws are extensions of castle laws, only now any armed person takes a portable castle with them. In Florida they can take risks and enjoy the same legal protection that police have. While police have to pursue suspects, the George Zimmermans of this world do not. The police have training, the George Zimmermans of this world do not.

   African-Americans should not be out in the streets over the Zimmerman verdict, everyone should be, not out of solidarity, but to protest laws that reinforce the miasma of hate and fear spreading across America.

- Advertisement -

 

- Advertisement -

Funny 3   Must Read 2   Supported 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

Dan Vasey is a home brewer and reformed academic, living in Australia and retired from teaching after stints in Colorado, Papua New Guinea and Iowa. An anthropologist and human ecologist, his research specialty has been population and agriculture. (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


Go To Commenting

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.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

When American Business Fights a Higher Minimum Wage, It's a Tragedy of the Commons

Energy: Romney's Deceptions, Misleading Claims and Outright Lies

Vigilantism Killed Trayvon Martin

Vote Absentee and Forget About ID

How Technologies Go Bad: Nukes and Genetically-Modified Crops

E.T. Versus Old-Time Religion: No Showdown Soon