Home > Uncategorized > Thoughts on the Martin/Zimmerman Tragedy

Thoughts on the Martin/Zimmerman Tragedy

March 31st, 2012
Marketing Advertising Blog — VuManhThang.Com

I’m a gun collector and shooter, an advocate of Second Amendment rights, a Endowment Member of the National Rifle Association and a life member of Gun Owners of America. Therefore, most people assume I probably come down on the side of George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch guy who killed a 17 year old teenager, claiming self-defense. Actually, I do not. But I will say this, the rush to judgment by those looking to play the race card and make political hay of this situation, on either side of the “aisle” is deeply disgusting to me.

We do not know precisely what happened that night, but we do know that Zimmerman was a man who felt a responsibility to protect his gated community in light of burglaries and crime. A commendable position to take. No argument there. And he saw an unknown person walking around at night. And here is where it gets dice, because he was armed. When you armed your level of accountability and responsibility sky rockets. Zimmerman totally failed in this regard, and this is the reason why Martin is dead.

Zimmerman violated the key and most critical common sense rule armed citizens are taught: the use of a firearm in self-defense is only the truly last resort. Now, you may say, “But Zimmerman was being physically attacked by Martin, he had no choice.” Perhaps not, at that point, but…his, literally, fatal error was choosing to ignore the police department’s instruction to NOT pursue, to NOT follow, to let the police handle it. Zimmerman’s own duty was to observe and report, not follow, track down and stalk a person whom he had concerns about.

This was no emergency.

Nobody’s life was in danger. Martin was not physically attacking somebody. He was not committing a crime. His only “crime” was walking around at night in a hoodie, to get a bottle of tea and skittles during a baseketball game half-time break.

Zimmerman made the foolish and ultimately deadly decision to disregard police instructions and as a result, Martin is dead. Zimmerman had no reason to pursue and follow Martin, precipitating the events that led to Martin’s killing. Period. End of story.

The rest? I honestly at this point don’t think anyone should be trying to jump to conclusions beyond these facts. But, none of this would have happened had Zimmerman followed the police department’s instructions and simply leave well enough alone. He had no legitimate reason or just cause to do more than report and observe.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!
Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Anonymous
    March 31st, 2012 at 12:03 | #1

    I don’t know about a rush to judgement. This all happened a good month ago.
    But, I agree with you. Whatever happened probably would not have if the man with the gun had simply called 911 and left.

  2. MeToo
    March 31st, 2012 at 14:16 | #2

    The pictured stone with its caption reminds me that not long ago I was in discussion with a woman. She responded to something I said with, “That’s just “common sense.”" I told her that the point was that it is, “not so common.”

    I will not put Zimmerman on trial in the “court of public opinion.” I will make some observations based solely upon some things I have seen and heard and postulate a *possible scenario*.

    Have you seen some fictional programing where there is a character who desperately wants to be a “super hero” to wipe out crime in his neighborhood, the city, maybe even the world … but really doesn’t have the skill sets for even a modest attempt? Then comes the complication of differentiating between reality and fiction. Some folks are not adept at that. It is like “Hollywood Physics.” Hollywood Physics disobeys most, if not all, the laws of physics, Newtonian or other. The problem is that some folks think that the Hollywood stuff is real. It is like a “tailgater” on the highway who is going 60 mph 6 ft. behind another vehicle and believes that they will not hit the other vehicle if it suddenly applies their brakes. I may be very wrong here, but Mr. Z. may be one of those well intentioned folks who lives in a partly fictional world so that he can be a “do gooder” for humanity, perhaps get a little recognition too. But, is more of a “Barney Fife” in reality. I have seen people like this just about everywhere I have ever been. Well intentioned, but dangerous if not managed properly. That may be the situation we have seen with deadly results. Young Mr. Martin may have contributed as well to some degree. In any event, the situation was not diffused before things went out of control.

    That said, the media has not helped the situation on multiple levels along with allowing those who make profit from discord routinely, some over decades, by “inciting … even to riot” while pretending to be for “rights.” “Responsibility,” to include Scriptural injunctions is just not part of their vocabulary or actions no matter if they call themselves “Reverend” or not.

    Many in our present culture classify themselves as “victims” of this or that. But, “culpability” is often unheard of. They follow “leaders” who reinforce the former and make promises that they can’t keep. Shades of “1917″ and other periods in more recent times are often forgotten … if ever realized or remembered. Just give me because I deserve it. People who have followed these false leaders all to often do get it in the end but not what they expected.

    God help us!

  3. March 31st, 2012 at 14:22 | #3

    The best firearms training course I ever took (2 day defensive hand gun) spent more time teaching & training for safety, & educating & training us for the irrevocable consequences of deadly force events (stressing how not to be trapped in that situation in the first place) than it did teaching accurate shooting. IMHO, safety & restraint are essential pre-requisites to qualifying oneself for being armed. By God’s grace I hope to never be in a life-or-death situation with any of my deadly weapons. But if I am, I will act decisively in self defense or defense of another, knowing ahead of time what it will cost, even if I am completely “justified.” It ought to be very difficult, emotionally & mentally, to choose to take another human’s life. It is sometimes necessary.

  4. March 31st, 2012 at 17:51 | #4

    Rev. McCain,
    You make a very good point that this was not an emergency. The mentality of “Stop him before he possibly, maybe, likely?, commits a crime!” is the attitude gun-control advocates have. The foolishness goes both ways. People either want the government to do something that is outside of its jurisdiction in order to stop people from maybe committing a crime, or they want to take things into their own hands, not allowing the authorities to do their job and enforce justice.

    It is the same idea that we should preemptively punish, imprison, bomb, or invade those who we perceive may commit a crime.

  5. jim claybourn
    March 31st, 2012 at 17:51 | #5

    I think you are making a rash judgement yourself here, pastor. :

    “Zimmerman violated the key and most critical common sense rule armed citizens are taught: the use of a firearm in self-defense is only the truly last resort. Now, you may say, “But Zimmerman was being physically attacked by Martin, he had no choice.” Perhaps not, at that point, but…his, literally, fatal error was choosing to ignore the police department’s instruction to NOT pursue, to NOT follow, to let the police handle it. Zimmerman’s own duty was to observe and report, not follow, track down and stalk a person whom he had concerns about.”

    I think that another witness has come forward and said that Zimmerman WAS following police requests and was returning to his car when he was attacked by Martin. After getting his nose broken and his head pounded on the ground several times, maybe shooting WAS his last option.

    • March 31st, 2012 at 19:21 | #6

      Yes, after he had already been following him and then started chasing him. Martin then confronted him and by all accounts, assaulted him. Then Zimmerman killed him. Point is that Martin went looking for trouble, and found it. And Martin is dead.

  6. Glenn S
    March 31st, 2012 at 21:41 | #7

    If you are speaking in the hypothetical of Z’s alleged errors, I agree. But since this is an actual event, until properly investigated and charged, we gun owners should not be too quick to draw conclusions. Here is another right we prize in this county; innocent until proven guilty. I can’t condemn the gun owner yet. I see a BIG RED FLAG; the cops released him from custody without charges, very uncharacteristic of law enforcement.

  7. Pat Offenberger
    March 31st, 2012 at 21:45 | #8

    I’m sorry, I disagree with your claims.

    “We do not know precisely what happened that night, but we do know that Zimmerman was a man who felt a responsibility to protect his gated community in light of burglaries and crime. A commendable position to take. No argument there. And he saw an unknown person walking around at night. And here is where it gets dice, because he was armed. When you armed your level of accountability and responsibility sky rockets. Zimmerman totally failed in this regard, and this is the reason why Martin is dead.”

    You’re taking it at face value the claims that Zimmerman was actively doing his neighborhood watch activities the evening in question. What I’ve read is he was returning from the grocery store when he first saw Martin.

    Granted, your level of responsibility rises when you’re armed, and you’re not supposed to be the aggressor in a confrontation. According to his account, he asked Martin what he was doing there, and satisfied with the answer, turned to walk away. While walking away, he was struck hard enough to be dropped to the ground.

    “Zimmerman violated the key and most critical common sense rule armed citizens are taught: the use of a firearm in self-defense is only the truly last resort. Now, you may say, “But Zimmerman was being physically attacked by Martin, he had no choice.” Perhaps not, at that point, but…his, literally, fatal error was choosing to ignore the police department’s instruction to NOT pursue, to NOT follow, to let the police handle it. Zimmerman’s own duty was to observe and report, not follow, track down and stalk a person whom he had concerns about.”

    This statement truly is illogical IMHO. A police call center person told him “we don’t need you to do that.” A call center person is not a police officer, there may be a officer present in the call center, but unless they’re requested to come to the phone, they generally don’t speak to callers. The statement made to him is hardly an “order” or “instruction”, rather a comment made by the dispatcher, and has no force of law. It’s about the same as me telling you to cease breathing, you can and will ignore it, and are certainly in your rights to do so.

    And, again, you’re buying into media coverage (and assumptions), trying to bring assumptions into the discussion as facts. If you listen to the tape of the 911 call, you could hear Zimmerman breathing hard up TO the point the dispatcher told him “we don’t need you to do that.” Nearly immediately, his breathing returns to normal. What is logical to me is he ceased following him at that point. Adding the “track down and stalk” comments makes it sound more like you’re an MSNBC reporter than a person who truly wishes to allow this to run it’s course through the justice system.

    You hang so much on an assumption it happened like this: Zimmerman followed/stalked him, and dispatched him with a shot from close range for no apparent reason.

    The fact remains, Zimmerman says he had quit following him, and then Martin came around where he was. He asked him what he was doing there, a perfectly legal question to anyone in any neighborhood nationwide. Satisfied with the answer, he turned to walk away, and was struck from behind, knocking him to the ground. He says Martin then got on top of him, trying to get the gun away from him, and failing to do so, began beating his head into the sidewalk.

    If you’re trying to be unbiased on this, allow the system to work. A Grand Jury has been empaneled to hear the evidence in the case. IF the DA has sufficient evidence to prove this is anything other than what Zimmerman said happened, he’ll be charged. Florida law says if the person who shot to defend their life says it was self defense, the prosecutor has to prove to “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the shooting wasn’t an actual self defense situation.

    On the Federal charges sure to come along, of Zimmerman “violating Martin’s civil rights”, well, we know how those things work. We’ll get even more yelling and screaming of racism from the race baiters running the show currently. And if the Federal charges don’t stick, we’ll likely see them stir it up to riots.

    You may not feel getting your head bashed in is lethal force, you ain’t never hit your head real hard. It hurts like all get out, unless it flat knocks you out. If that happens, you ain’t gonna enjoy coming back to!

    • April 1st, 2012 at 16:36 | #9

      You miss the point of my blog post. Zimmerman precipitated the events that led to his getting attacked and Martin getting shot. He should simply have left well enough alone, called it in to the cops and not pursued or followed the guy, period.

  8. Mitchell Jon MacKay
    April 1st, 2012 at 07:17 | #10

    Thus far this scenario appears to be innuendo and out of context reports, rush to judgment and lynch-mob assassination. Still we find no accurate and complete report of what actually happened. Prior to Stand Your Ground implementation this case would wind through the judicial process inaccurately and pejoratively as many inmates and defense attorneys would attest. The rational approach should be to find the facts before extrapolating the outcome but the media seems content to thwart that. This may be another bellwether instance clarifying racial interactions though it can be mediated through simply reporting the facts and not the theories, “expert witnesses” et al. Voice recognition is junk science and techno-babel. Just the facts, ma’am.

  9. April 1st, 2012 at 15:06 | #11

    After having been a police officer for over 33 years, I can say that this incident was a true comedy of errors (and I don’t mean funny). First of all neighborhood watch folks are supposed to be “the eyes and the ears of the police”. They are supposed to observed and call the police only. Zimmerman should have hung back a safe distance and used his cell phone to call in information to the police. If he was not armed, he probably would have done what he was supposed to. But having been armed, he became braver and more aggressive. That was the first problem. Then, we have to consider the various steps of the use of force. The bottom line of using force is verbal (yelling at someone), next step is putting your hands on someone, next step is using non-lethal force such as the use of a baton or pepper spray, and the highest step is using deadly force as in a pistol. Only police officers can jump from the lowest level to the highest level instantly and they still have to prove that the situation warranted it. Private citizens, as in neighborhood watch people, don’t have the legal power to jump directly from no use of force to the highest use of force like Zimmermann did to protect himself. When he finally goes to court, he will have to prove that it was necessary to go to the highest level of force (handgun) considering that the kid
    apparently had no weapon. Private citizens can only use an “equal level of force” to protect themselves. They cannot jump to the highlest level instantly like a police officer can.
    Now if the kid had a knife or gun and was threatening to kill Zimmermann, Zimmermann could legally use an equal ammount of force and use a gun to protect himself. However, if the kid was hitting him with the bag of candy, Zimmermann cannot legally shoot him. How Zimmermann ever walked away from this incident without being booked is literally baffling to me. In NY where I was a cop, there is no way he would have gotten away with this. I beleive that he will be arrested at some point, and he will not be able to defend himself
    against his use of deadly force. An arrest was warranted, whether he is guilty or innocent depends upon the jury.

  10. Tom Moeller
    April 1st, 2012 at 21:29 | #12

    @ptmccain

    Zimmerman was where he belonged. Zimmerman followed Martin. Did not contact. Stopped following.
    Martin was not where he belonged. Contacted Zimmerman. Assaulted Zimmerman.

    Zimmerman did not precipitate anything. Your conclusion is wrong headed.

    • April 2nd, 2012 at 09:57 | #13

      Martin was not where he belonged? Where did you get that idea? Zimmerman should have have followed Martin, period. That’s the job of the police.

  11. Bill Clausen
    April 2nd, 2012 at 03:37 | #14

    I agree with the author. As a security guard, the first thing I learned was “observe and report”.

  12. Richard
    April 2nd, 2012 at 10:05 | #15

    This is a really thoughtful article from “The American Spectator” on the case I commend to you: http://spectator.org/archives/2012/03/29/count-me-out-on-trayvon-martin
    I appreciate your remarks, Pastor McCain.

  13. Tom Moeller
    April 2nd, 2012 at 10:35 | #16

    You are correct re: Martin didn’t belong. My error.
    Where is your criticism of Martin approaching a stranger at night?

    I am former police and Zimmerman was observing. Wasn’t necessary to continue after calling the police but maybe he felt he actions were still in keeping with safe practices. You weren’t there. I am sure you have experianced or known of a reasonable situation going bad against all reason. Here Martin escalated by coming to Zimmerman. That was not prudent.

  14. Glenn S
    April 5th, 2012 at 21:32 | #17

    Here’s an important lesson we take from this tragety: make 911 your wittness. Do not disconnect from the 911 center after you request help. Keep them on the phone until the police are in control of the situation and you are well out of danger. The recording will provide solid evidence of your innocence, even if you must defend yourself.

Comments are closed.