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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

not guilty, but not free

Blurb: George Zimmerman may have been found not guilty, but he
will never be a free man.

I was sitting in my recliner while my son took a shower. Like
millions of other people, I was anxiously awaiting the verdict in
the George Zimmerman murder trial. I saw the headline and let out
an ear-splitting, "No way!"

Joseph jumped out of the shower, wrapped himself in a towel and
came running to find out what was wrong.

I told him, "George Zimmerman was found not guilty."

Joseph said, "That makes no sense." As usual the child was right.

Now I'm going to talk about my views and my opinions. You don't
have to agree with me. You don't have to flame me and tell me
how stupid I am. You don't even have to read this blog. I just
want the chance to have my say.

I call them Trayvon and Zimmerman. I use Trayvon's first name
because he was just a kid. Maybe he wasn't an angel, but he was
only 17 years old. I can picture him walking home in the dark
with his iced tea and skittles, while trying to escape from the
rain. It's something I would have done. It's something Joseph
might do now. Who ever knew that Skittles could be deadly?

No matter what the jury says, no matter what anyone else may
think, Zimmerman is a killer. He pulled the trigger on that gun
and shot an unarmed teenager. That is something he has to live
with the rest of his life. I hope that as he celebrates his
victory, he remembers the sound of that gun shot and the spray of
blood as Trayvon died.

Was Trayvon the aggressor? Was Zimmerman in danger of death? No
one will ever know for sure. Only two people were there. One is
dead and can't tell his side of the story.

Was Zimmerman guilty of racial profiling? I tend to doubt it. He
knew that a black man was a suspect in recent robberies in the
area. He saw a black man walking in the dark that night. I can
understand why he was suspicious. I'd even say he was right to
call the police.

In my opinion, it all boils down to this -- Zimmerman was told to
stay in his car. He did not. Had he listened to those directions,
Trayvon would be alive today.

Florida has this law that allows people to stand their ground and
fight back. I recognized that the truth doesn't matter here. It's
all about perception. Zimmerman claims he thought Trayvon would
kill him. Even if the fight wasn't that bad, what Zimmerman felt
at that moment is the most important aspect of the case. I have a
feeling that's why he was acquitted.

So, congratulations, George Zimmerman. You are not guilty, but
you will never be a free man.

Zimmerman is one of the most hated figures in American society
right now. He'll never fit back into his old life-style. As his
brother was quoted in the news, "He will always be looking over
his shoulder."

I hope that two things will happen in regards to this case.
First, Trayvon's family should file a civil suit against
Zimmerman. There is certainly enough evidence to prove
Zimmerman's guilt in civil court. He won't go to jail, but he
will pay heavily and be officially declared at fault for
Trayvon's death.

Second, I hope that this tragic story will lead to changes in
Florida's gun laws that made it okay for Zimmerman to shoot an
unarmed boy. Even better, perhaps it will lead the way to tougher
gun-control laws on the federal level. This country has seen too
much death lately. It needs to stop now.

Last night, citizens of Kent participated in a peaceful protest
in honor of Trayvon Martin. They came together, not to argue, but
to remember a life that ended too soon. I was unable to attend,
but I am proud of my community. We need to focus on Trayvon and
changing laws so this won't happen to our children. Let's forget
about Zimmerman. He faces a life-time of problems. Not guilty,
but not free.

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