- ‘Tis the Season: London florist creates $4.6 million Christmas wreath
- No tailgating allowed at Super Bowl XLVIII
- Pentagon to transport African troops to Central African Republic
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend’s shopping jumps to his death
- Ukraine leader to talk with protesters; Washington urges caution
- Pope Francis: A nun saved my life
- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sci-fi world to spy on gamers
- Sarah Palin to host the outdoors show ‘Amazing America’
LAMBRO: Making a case for Trayvon Martin
The polarizing debate over race and politics begins
Florida legislators say that the state’s “stand your ground” law cannot be a defense for anyone to pursue someone else. State Rep. Dennis Baxley says, “There’s nothing in this statute that authorizes you to pursue and confront people.” Florida state Sen. Durrell Peadon, a sponsor of the law, flatly says Mr. Zimmerman “has no protection under my law.”
The president addressed this issue in his remarks last week. “I just ask people to consider if Trayvon Martin was of age and armed, could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk? And do we actually think that he would have been justified in shooting Mr. Zimmerman, who had followed him in a car, because he felt threatened.”
Stand your ground laws are needed, but do they apply to Mr. Zimmerman’s case? Florida’s law — similar to the ones enacted in more than 20 states — says individuals may use deadly force if “he or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another.”
The law does allow people in certain instances to pursue and confront others, and those provisions may be in need of tightening. Did Mr. Zimmerman think such force was “necessary to prevent [his] imminent death or great bodily hard to himself”?
The medical examiner who looked at Mr. Zimmerman’s head wounds testified that neither they, nor the bloody nose he got from Trayvon’s blows, were “life-threatening.”
Besides, in this altercation, Mr. Zimmerman, who insisted he feared for his life, clearly had the upper hand: his gun.
He could have pulled out his gun during the wrestling match, stopped the fight, and called 911 for the police. But what would he have said? “I was following Trayvon, and he jumped me”?
With his gun trained on Trayvon, he could have left the scene and gone to the police to report what happened. He could have fired into his leg or his shoulder to subdue him. He had several defensive advantages over this unarmed, frightened youth, but he chose only one.
Mr. Zimmerman pressed the barrel of his gun into Trayvon’s chest just over his heart, pulled the trigger and killed him, because, as the prosecution said, he wanted to.
Donald Lambro is a syndicated columnist and contributor to The Washington Times.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
By Tom Fitton
New photos confirm the attack's coordination and its cover-up
Get Breaking Alerts
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu backs out of Nelson Mandela funeral
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a 'wealthy white men' racist word
- Satanists petition for statue at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- MILLER: Brady Campaign says Colorado recalls due to NRA, not grassroots opposition to gun control
- Ted Cruz sees legal landmines ahead for Obamacare