Most of the post-Zimmerman verdict commentary I've seen, at least in the professional media (both left and right), has agreed there was reasonable doubt according to the evidence actually presented in the actual trial, since there obviously was. But most of this commentary has also claimed Zimmerman acted inappropriately. A typical example of this line of thought is from this article
in Slate by William Saletan. The general criticisms of Zimmerman's behavior that night argue he never should have gotten out of his car, never should have followed Trayvon, or indeed, never should have thought Trayvon was doing anything suspicious enough to warrant calling the police. These criticisms are wrong and demonstrate the larger pussification of America
According to the left, no American should ever act in self defense. All threats should be addressed by calling the police and acting as passively as possible towards any aggressors until the police arrive. According to the right, at least in theory, we are all free Americans with the right to enjoy our liberties against lawbreakers. People who are acting suspiciously should be confronted by any free American male, asked their business, and if no satisfactory answer is given, appropriately followed and reported to the police. This is how crime is prevented
. Thugs should most definitely not have free reign to wander around preparing to commit crimes. Is it dangerous to do this? Of course. But this is why we have the Second Amendment.
This brings up the key issue in the Zimmerman case: that fateful night, was Trayvon acting suspiciously enough to warrant Zimmerman following him and calling the police? Most definitely yes
. Accordingly, it was right, just and good for Zimmerman to call the police and follow Trayvon to accurately report his location and monitor his activities.
According to Zimmerman's call to the police
, "This guy looks like he's up to no good, or he's on drugs or something. It's raining and he's just walking around, looking about." After identifying Trayvon's race and clothing, after being asked by the police to do so, Zimmerman has this exchange: Dispatcher: "OK, he's just walking around the area..." Zimmerman: "...looking at all the houses."
Now, we in the outside world know that Trayvon was an accomplished burglar
, but that evidence never made it in the trial, and Zimmerman wouldn't have known about Trayvon's criminal history (although, arguably, he and the rest of the neighborhood watch team and HOA leadership should have been told by Trayvon's father about Trayvon's history of fighting, drug use and school suspensions when Trayvon moved into Trayvon's father's girlfriend's house). Instead, we have only what Zimmerman observed about Trayvon's behavior
. Note that absolutely nothing in the transcript of Zimmerman's phone call to the police indicates Zimmerman thought Trayvon was suspicious either (1) because he was black, or (2) because he was wearing a hoodie. Trayvon was suspicious because of his behavior
, i.e., wandering around in the rain looking at houses rather than quickly and directly walking home.
Under these circumstances, Mr. Saletan's article argues Zimmerman's "Mistake No. 1 was inferring that Martin was a burglar."
This was not a mistake of the "factually inaccurate" type. Trayvon's behavior that night most definitely suggested he was a burglar.
According to Saletan, "Mistake No. 2 was pursuing Martin on foot." So instead of following someone acting like a burglar, and possibly preventing another Olivia Bertalan-type "hot" burglary
, according to Saletan (and most of the rest of the MSM) Zimmerman should have sat in his car, lost sight of Trayvon and let the crime happen. Pussification, pure and simple.
Finally, according to Saletan, "Mistake No. 3 was Zimmerman’s utter failure to imagine how his behavior looked to Martin."
Wrong! It is Trayvon
who should have known he was acting suspiciously. It is Trayvon
who should have acted politely when confronted by any resident of the gated community seeing him wandering around in the rain looking at houses rather than walking directly and diligently back to his father's girlfriend's house. It is Trayvon who should have politely explained himself to Zimmerman, and should have known that politely explaining himself - as a new "resident" - to his neighbors, when he was walking around outside in the rain, was the appropriate and civilized thing to do. Instead, Trayvon's warped gang/thug culture brain decided to sucker punch Zimmerman.
Had Trayvon appreciated and abided by the customs and behaviors of civilized men, Zimmerman never would have shot him. Zimmerman did abide by the customs and traditions of civilized men - he protected his family and his neighborhood from a stranger who was objectively acting like a burglar.
Saletan ends his article with this line: "And the next time you see somebody who looks like a punk or a pervert, hold your fire.
" Wrong again. Obviously, you don't shoot first and ask questions later, but you do act like an American, a civilized man, and confront people acting suspiciously in your neighborhood. Your neighbors should expect this of you, and you should expect this of them. When you
are acting suspiciously, you should act like an American, a civilized man, acknowledge that your behavior might look suspicious, and explain yourself politely if confronted.
We know Trayvon was a drug user
with a history of violent crime and burglary. We know - and the statistics amply support this - that Trayvon was highly likely to commit more crimes of violence in his "new" neighborhood. Perhaps if Trayvon had been arrested for any of his previous crimes, instead of having those crimes covered up to fraudulently manipulate a school's crime statistics
, perhaps if his parents had taught him better, he never would have encountered George Zimmerman. But Trayvon made all the mistakes that night. Zimmerman is a hero who took up the burden of defending his neighbors when the police proved ineffective. He happened to stop Trayvon's budding crime career. While it is a tragedy that Trayvon died so young and now does not have the opportunity to turn his life around, the statistics predict he wouldn't have, and would have victimized more innocent people. Had Zimmerman been black (wait, he is black
), you never would have heard of this case, just like you've never heard of the beating death of Joshua Chellew