Soap Box:  George Zimmerman revisited:  gun lovers just as confused as the gun haters

February 8, 2017

I was cruising the Internet when I came upon an article complaining about another article:

Apparently a Teen Vogue writer mischaracterized George Zimmerman as a racist murderer, and the author at decided to counter it with his own mischaracterizations of George Zimmerman and the event that happened.  And reading through the comments, itís obvious that many pro-gun commenters donít have a clue about really happened, and are just making up things.  Theyíre just as bad as the anti-gun people with their falsehoods.

As a side note, has a lot of potential.  Itís generally on top the news.  But the writers are so biased and actually wrong on so many things that I wouldnít use it as a source of information.  And it has way too many ads and pop-ups.  The author and the commenters portrayed Zimmerman as old and frail, attacked from behind, attacked at his truck, etc.  They even got the racial angle wrong, blaming the media for the ďwhite HispanicĒ label when it was actually Zimmermanís father that introduced that term.  Instead of addressing each place where Teen Vogue and got it wrong, Iíll just lay out what happened as shown by the call Zimmerman made to the police, AND his reenactment with police the very next day (without a lawyer by the way).

Trayvon Martin was staying at the housing complex, with his dad and dadís girlfriend, because he had gotten in trouble at school.  He had stayed there a few times before, so knew the area.  He was wearing a hoodie on a rainy night, and went to the store for snacks.  On his return, he used a well-known and well used cut through between the buildings, to shorten his walking path.  Thatís where Zimmerman, on his way to the store, saw him.  Because of previous break-ins, and given how Martin looked, Zimmerman thought he was up to no good.  Martin wasnít walking on the sidewalk, but across yards.  Did Zimmerman profile him?  Probably.  Was Zimmerman racist?  No way to know.  Martin fit the description of other criminals, so naturally Zimmerman suspected the worst.  Zimmerman called the non-emergency number for the police. 

As Zimmerman talked to the operator, and followed (in his truck), Martin took notice of Zimmerman following him.  Zimmerman actually drove past Martin, and parked.  Martin walked by the truck.  Zimmerman resumed following him and Martin disappeared behind some buildings.  Zimmerman parked nearby.  Note, Martin at this time could have gone straight home.  Behind those buildings was a sidewalk that lead directly to his house.

As Zimmerman sat there in his truck, talking to the police operator, Martin reemerged from behind the buildings and approached Zimmermanís truck.  Why didnít he just go home?  Donít know.  He actually circled Zimmermanís truck, and pulled at his waistband, probably pretending to be armed.  This is all while Zimmerman is on the phone to the police operator, and describing it.  Then Martin took off running, again behind the buildings.  And again, Martin could have simply followed that sidewalk directly to his house.

Zimmerman got out of his truck, in an attempt to follow Martin and to see where he went.  He did not have sight of Martin, nor did he know where he was.  When the operator asked Zimmerman if he was following Martin, the operator told Zimmerman they didnít need him to do that, to which Zimmerman said okay, and slowed his pace.  At this point Zimmerman was part of the way along a sidewalk that formed a T with the one that led to Martinís house.  Given all Zimmerman could see was the back of the buildings, he continued on this path to the other side in order to see the building numbers.  He told the operator where the police could meet him and got off the phone.  On the return to his truck, near where the sidewalks make a T behind the buildings, Martin initiated contact with Zimmerman asking him if he had a problem.  So this makes the second time Martin came back to engage Zimmerman instead of just going home.  And Martin was coming from the direction that his house was in.  Thereís some speculation that he went all the way home, then returned.   While I donít know, I donít believe that to be the case because I think that would be too much running for Martin.  I speculate that Martin made it part way, then looked back to see Zimmerman walking by as he went to the other side to see the house numbers.  Martin turned around and went back toward the T intersection of the sidewalks.  Perhaps he thought Zimmerman wouldnít be back and didnít expect to encounter him as he returned to his truck.  Donít know.  This is all speculation on my part.  Anyway, in response to Martinís question of whether Zimmerman had a problem, Zimmerman said no and reached for his cell phone.  As he did, Martin punched him, knocking Zimmerman down.  Martin got on top of Zimmerman and started beating him.

Some people say Zimmerman started the fight.  We only have Zimmermanís version, so we donít know for sure.  We do know that only Zimmerman had injuries from being hit, so his version seems likely.  What we do know is that Zimmerman was on the ground, Martin was on top of him, and Martin was hitting him.  Zimmerman was calling for help.  The evidence shows this, and the witnesses confirm it.  Even if Zimmerman did start the fight, heís now in a position of where he canít retreat, and he has a reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury.  Zimmerman said Martin saw his firearm and tried to get it.  Donít know if thatís an embellishment or not, but itís moot given even if it didnít happen, everything else going on at that time gives Zimmerman the legal right to use deadly force for self-defense.   Zimmerman shoots Martin to stop the attack.

Thatís it.  Zimmerman wasnít old and frail.  Zimmerman didnít get attacked from behind (though it seems he was sucker punched).  Zimmerman didnít go after Martin because of racism.  Zimmerman didnít keep following Martin when told not to.  Zimmerman didnít bring a gun to a fistfight.  Zimmerman was knocked to the ground, had an assailant on top of him thus he couldnít retreat, and fearing for his life he pulled and fired his firearm.  It was a good shoot.  It was a legitimate case of self-defense.  Thereís no need for those that support Zimmerman to embellish or make up things that didnít happen.  End of story.

Jeff Polston

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