George Zimmerman is neither hero nor victim and should not be treated as or thought of as such. It is incidents like these that shine an unjust eye on gun owners and those who believe they have a right to defend themselves. While this issue is not directly related to prepping, it is related to firearms and personal defense, which I believe prepping encompasses. One should be prepared to defend their family, home and personal artifacts in any scenario. In a situation where we are in survival mode and someone unlawfully enters our home to take our supplies, or worse, our lives, we should be able to stand our ground and defend ourselves and family. With these laws in place, when order is restored, we can be justified in the actions we took to protect ourselves. As such, this is why we as preppers should care about this case.
The Florida Law (Chapter 776.013) that is being used as the defense in this incident is being unfairly attacked and mischaracterized by those who are either anti-gun or have ulterior motives. The law is also being incorrectly applied to George Zimmerman as a defense. The law begins with “Home protection; use of deadly force; presumption of fear of death or great bodily harm.” The law’s primary focus is on forceable entrance into a “dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle,” which Trayvon Martin was not engaged in. The law does have a provision that covers being attacked outside of these locations and having “no duty to retreat.” This is the provision that is the focus of ridicule and what Zimmerman is using as his defense. What’s at issue is Zimmerman’s actions leading up to the shooting. This appears to be a case of vigilantism where Zimmerman felt “these assholes always get away.” The fact that Zimmerman was unprovoked when he exited his vehicle to follow Martin shows this law does not apply as a defense. The law is clear when deadly force is considered justified. While we are not given all of the information, as the investigation is still ongoing, and we only have one view of what transpired, important information was released to the public. The 911 tapes show that the operator instructed Zimmerman not to engage Martin. Being told not to follow Martin and Martin ending up dead leaves many questions unanswered.
We cannot make Zimmerman into a hero for supposedly standing his ground. From what we know, him standing his ground was after he blatantly disregarded orders not to engage, then chased an unarmed, panicking teenager. How do I know he was panicking? He saw someone in a car staring him down and he ran away. He felt he was in danger and took flight. That is the behavior of someone who is panicking; fearing for their life. That fact alone shows Martin was not the aggressor. If Martin after that point confronted Zimmerman, Martin was the one who was standing his ground. The only difference is that Martin was not armed.
The NRA and all those who support gun rights and castle doctrines should distance themselves from Zimmerman. Supporting the law does not mean we should blindly and unjustly apply it to situations where it clearly doesn’t fit. When these rights that we hold dear are abused, we need to come forward and say that is not what we are for. Zimmerman made a mistake and should be held accountable for it. He may have felt that he was in danger, but he willfully put himself in that situation. All gun owners, gun rights activists, and shooters know that we are responsible for where our bullets end up. If we miss our target and hit an innocent bystander, we are held accountable. George Zimmerman needs to man-up and take responsibility for his mistake.