Thursday, March 22, 2012

Treyvon Martin...Consequences

So I'm a mom with 2 kids. Both boys. This case is bothering me on a number of levels, particularly since I live in Illinois, and am of the opinion that WE are the only state left with our heads screwed on correctly ... at least where "concealed carry" comes in! We are the only state left which doesn't authorize this, though the gun nuts are pushing really hard and I'm afraid that it'll eventually pass.

We do have a version of the "stand your ground" thing because if you shoot someone breaking into your house, it's usually considered "justified." You just can't carry your Glock to the local Jewel and blast away when someone steals your parking spot because you felt "threatened" when their car pulled in ahead of yours.

I'm truly not being ridiculous. This Zimmerman nut job was specifically told that he didn't need to follow the young Martin boy. Yet he continued to do so. And this story has a line in there that says that the dispatcher's statement "Ok, you don't need to do that [follow him]..." was not a lawful order. 'Scuse me. The "neighborhood watch handbook" specifically states (in that same story and in bold print) that watch volunteers are not to follow or confront a suspect. They are merely to watch and report.

This story

comments about the many protests. Questions about why this guy wasn't arrested are flying fast as bullets. There are witnesses who are complaining that police literally didn't want to hear from them. The story would've faded until the national media got hold of it. Thank goodness. I was talking to my mom about this and she was bowled over. She didn't realize that Treyvon was shot IN FEBRUARY. It's nearly the end of March. It's reprehensible that it takes virtually a national protest to get this investigated, because apparently, all the police chief needed to do was hear "Oh, Stand Your Ground law" and he threw up his hands and said OK, we're done here. End of story. No further need to look anywhere else.

Is anyone else scared witless about this? This seriously means that in some states, you can be shot because someone else feels threatened by you. You don't even have to be doing anything.

Look, I'm a 54-year-old, silver-haired overweight white woman. I'm probably, overall, more of a threat to Zimmerman than Treyvon ever was. I'm menopausal, tired and really, really cranky. And I carry knitting needles. And a purse that weighs about 15 lbs. You don't want to mess with me.

All kidding aside, in some states, something I theoretically might do could theoretically make someone afraid and that person would have a perfect right to shoot me. Even though the most menacing thing I have in my purse are car keys and a small canister of mace (for loose dogs with no manners).

Apparently, Zimmerman didn't realize that black people do live in his gated community. He must not have heard that in a community meeting, huh?

Another reason this bothers me is because this young boy is merely guilty of "walking while black" - he was in the neighborhood visiting his girlfriend, whose father lives there. I listened to the 911 tapes last night. Zimmerman clearly has some sort of John Wayne fantasy or "superman" hero thing going on here. He was bound and determined to follow this kid, and did so in spite of being directed to discontinue.

Here's the biggest reason this bothers me. I have 2 boys. They wear hoodies. They're olive-skinned and in summertime have quite the tans, while me? I'm a pale Polish gal. They don't even look like me in the summertime, even though we share some facial features. They wear their pants a lot lower than I would like, in spite of repeated reminders. Yeah, there's a belt there, but favorite phrase is, "I diapered it - I don't want to look at it now."

So. My darker-than-me kids might well be walking in a neighborhood at night, which they like to do. They walk and just socialize with friends (they're in their late and early 20s - several years apart), and often just walk to relieve stress. They have on hoodies and baggy pants. They could look "other" to someone who isn't familiar with them. And I have a serious nagging feeling that one of my kids could get shot for "walking with hoodie."

If this Martin boy was my kid, I don't know that I'd be as graceful as his parents are. I do know that I categorically would make sure Zimmerman never had another peaceful day as long as he lived. I'd also take on the entire police force and whatever passes for a State's Attorney in that town or county.

This boy is guilty of nothing. The man who felt threatened? Guilty of so many things; mainly stupidity and racism. And he's lawfully armed and dangerous. What a combination.

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