Letter: Stand your ground
The one who had a right to evoke Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law was Trayvon Martin, not George Zimmerman. Despite the fact that Zimmerman was ordered by police not to proceed, he stalked an unarmed black teenager with his car and then on foot. But the difference was that Zimmerman had a gun.
According to Jelani Cobb, director of the Institute of African-American Studies at the University of Connecticut who had been covering the trial for TheNewYorker.com (“PBS News Hour” 7/15/13), Zimmerman had called the police on 46 others in the past six years during his so-called Neighborhood Watch patrols. Each person cited was also black. Zimmerman’s concern for blacks walking in his neighborhood persisted despite the fact that 20 percent of residents in that gated community were black, so the sight of a black person in the neighborhood should not have been a cause for concern.
As Zimmerman stalked Trayvon that night, the teen was justified in feeling his life was threatened. It was Trayvon who had a right to defend himself, and he did so — man to man. It was George Zimmerman who created the confrontation with the confidence that he could shoot to kill, if need be. Zimmerman was not the poor victim defending himself, but the perpetrator.