First, my heart goes out to Trayvon Martin and his family. In my eyes, I don’t think killing anyone could be justifiable. And certainly, if I were George Zimmerman I would not have carried a gun or followed Trayvon Martin.
When I first followed the case, just like in the OJ Simpson case, I had little doubt that the killer was guilty. How could anyone just shoot a 17-year-old (regardless of his race) who was weaponless? And Zimmerman also was the one that pursued Martin.
After the trial, the jury’s decision and further research into the case, I no longer feel the case was that black and white.
If I had been George Zimmerman, would I have stayed in the car after the 911 operator told me to?
If I had been George Zimmerman, would I have been carrying a gun?
If I had been George Zimmerman, had a gun and been beaten by Trayvon Martin, would I have shot Trayvon Martin?
If I had been Trayvon Martin, would I have picked a fight with George Zimmerman?
I would not have been the right juror on the case as I was a victim of two violent crimes. Once in Oakland while I was walking back from getting cigarettes with my girlfriend, I was punched and kicked in the back by two African American teenagers. Then years later in Orange County, I was gay bashed walking out of a friend’s party by a few random guys.
I’m glad I have never attributed my traumatic events to race, but I could easily have if I weren’t educated enough. I’ve come to the conclusion that America is a violent society. I honestly don’t worry being confronted with violence other than in America, not in Canada or in Hong Kong even if I were walking home at 3am in the morning.
In 1992, the world was outraged when the killer of 16-year-old Yoshihiro Hattari was acquitted by self-defense laws. Two decades later, nothing has really changed. Both Hatorri and Martin’s cases point to the much more categorical issue of violence in America. Guns, fighting and bullying are ingrained in American culture.
Last night, while two friends and I were walking on Hollywood Blvd., we witnessed a flock of African American teenagers looting a store and trying to start a riot. How would rioting in California help protest the Trayvon Martin case?
“Some people take the case very personally,” said my friend who was a lawyer.
Then I thought… If I had been George Zimmerman and I didn’t have a gun with me, would I have gotten out of the car to follow Trayvon Martin?
If it had been illegal for George Zimmerman to carry a gun, he would probably not have carried a gun or shot Trayvon Martin. And if it had been illegal for Zimmerman to carry a gun and he still had done what he did, then he would have been guilty without a reasonable doubt.