It's hard to pick the worst part of the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case, but I have to give my nod to Florida's Stand Your Ground law, which essentially legalizes murder if you claim it was self-defense afterward. I mean, with the witness or witnesses dead, who's gonna testify that it wasn't?
Yet this return to the discredited dictum of "might makes right" is popular in certain quarters -- which only proves (if it really needs proving) that when fear comes in the door, everything else -- including common sense -- goes out the window.
Zimmerman's defenders love to cite Martin's punching Zimmerman's lights out as justification for shooting an unarmed kid. Yet they never seem to care how the fight got started in the first place. Unless you can buy Martin's yanking Zimmerman out of his car, everything points to Zimmerman starting the fight -- and then pulling a gun when it turned out he'd bitten off more than he could chew.
So by every known standard of decency, the wrong guy lost the fight. The real American -- minding his own business and willing to defend that right when challenged by an armed bully -- is dead, while the bully lives on, exonerated by an insane law.
Bullies, of course, are cowards, and "Cowards die a thousand deaths while the valiant die but once." So Trayvon Martin is dead -- once -- while Zimmerman faces a lifetime of waking in cold sweats and looking over his shoulder. What a shame.
But Zimmerman, by all accounts, felt Americans were losing their basic rights to groups of armed thugs. What he doesn't seem to realize is that he, too, is one of those armed thugs -- or that some of us fear an armed thug who's beyond the law more than we fear one who isn't.
Jeffrey A. Brown