The verdict of the Zimmerman trial is disconcerting at best and just flat-out tragic at worst. Though the problem lies not so much with the verdict; or even with Zimmerman’s actions. The problem lies entirely in a law that allows civilians to decide to use deadly force just on the perception of danger. No one actually has to prove their life was in danger anymore. In fact, in the Florida law the mere perception of possible bodily harm is enough to use deadly force.
This is an issue that goes way beyond race and is more imbedded in our wild west, gun-crazy culture. However, race cannot be ignored. I shudder to think how many men I could get away with killing simply because I am a diminutive white girl. Racism still exists, and it is not buried as deep as some may think. Regardless of the situation, does anyone think that I would have any real difficulty convincing a jury that I felt threatened by a big black man? Warning to all large, intimidating-looking men…it is now OK to kill you if we are paranoid.
We need to tear the doors open on this discussion. The whole thing. Between the crazy ass laws in Texas (essentially outlawing a medical procedure) and Iowa (direct gubernatorial approval for health care decisions). The Stand Your Ground laws in several states giving citizens the unfettered right to use deadly force. The repeal of the Voting Rights Act. It seems as though while we took a step forward with the DOMA repeal we have also jumped three huge fracking steps back.
No facts, no numbers…this is just an expression of mourning for a trend that I had, perhaps naïvely, hopped was on a downturn. I am so disappointed in the upholding of this law that I honestly don’t know what to say about it. I do, however, have one request. To conservatives: You say abortion is wrong and should be illegal. You argue for the sanctity of life and claim that no man has the right to decide a life is not worth living. On that basis alone, how can you support a law that gives man the right to be judge, jury and executioner? Do you seriously not see the disconnect here?
And to anticipate your argument supporting the right to choose and disparaging Stand Your Ground is not the same thing. Life, complete with a soul and all that entails, begins at the first breath. Yes, I loved my babies before they were born but nowhere near as much as I did the moment I held them. If liberals supported post-birth abortion and/or euthanasia you might have a case. Instead, explain to me, how it is OK to take a life because someone looks ‘suspicious’ but it is not OK to get an abortion.