The recent shooting death of an unarmed black teenager in Florida brings up a couple of issues in our society. First is the very long-standing issue of how young black males in this country are treated and the second involves the “stand your ground law” which means that you can use deadly force on an individual without walking away from a confrontation if you believe a threat is being made to yourself or someone else.
As a middle-aged white guy, I certainly agree that young black males get mistreated in this country. It is unfortunate because there are many fine young black men in this country who could make a positive impact in our society. However, when you look at a police report or read a newspaper article about a crime, the majority of the criminals are young black males. Statistics do not lie. So when people see a group of young black males dressed up like a bunch of gang bangers, they naturally become suspicious and will not treat them with open arms. It is sad but the truth. A small sample of a particular group, young black males gives the whole group a bad name. I assume that is what happened to Trayvon Martin. Some young black guy walking through a neighborhood with a hood up invoked someone to take action and unfortunately, the confrontation ended up in the shooting death of Martin.
The “stand your ground law” is legal in Florida and raises another issue about the rights of the shooter and was he actually acting in self-defense. I have very mixed feelings about this law but for the most part, I oppose it. If someone breaks into my house and wants to harm my family, am I going to retreat and run away? Heck no!! I am going to defend my family and property as best and safe as I can. If I end up shooting some criminal because he was going to harm a family member then so be it. However, where do you draw the line in this law? Suppose I am driving on the freeway and somebody gives me a bad gesture and I give one back. Then he takes out a gun and shoots at me. During the police questioning, the individual claims self-defense. I did not have any weapon on me at the time. Imagine the headache that many prosecuting attorneys will go through with this law? This law certainly comes to light in the Martin case. I mean how are you going to charge this guy and prove this was not about self-defense. What is going to stop other people from going out and doing the same thing not because they are protecting themselves from harm but because they simply do not like young black males?
It is very sad that an incident like this had to take the life of a young man. Everyday, people of all races are victims of crimes not just young black kids wearing hoods. I can understand why many people are upset that the shooter did not get charged. Hopefully more facts will emerge about this case so the truth will be known. I cannot base my opinion until more facts are clear. But to kill an unarmed teenager is very disturbing and could set the stage for future acts of violence against innocent people.