I promise- this will be the only thing I write about George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin. If you don't want to read EVEN MORE about it, I won't be offended, promise.
For those of you who are still reading, I present an excerpt from Florida law:
A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or ...she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.
A person who uses force as permitted in s. 776.012, s. 776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force
A law enforcement agency may use standard procedures for investigating the use of force as described in subsection (1), but the agency may not arrest the person for using force unless it determines that there is probable cause that the force that was used was unlawful.
... And a translation:
George Zimmerman was doing nothing illegal when he originally saw a person acting suspiciously in his neighborhood. He'd had previous circumstances where he had called the police and they hadn't responded in time to apprehend, so he followed. Once he confronted the suspicious individual, he had no obligation to leave the area, but rather had every right to investigate (especially considering that he was entrusted with that very task by the neighborhood watch.. which had been surprisingly active) and defend himself against any threat of bodily injury.
Trayvon was first acting suspicious (because he was paranoid?.. hm.. maybe it was the pot the coroner found in his system, or maybe it was that drink in his pocket, often used to make lean (see definition #5), later acting antagonistic, threatening both physical harm and death.
George Zimmerman had every legal right to use whatever force he felt necessary to protect himself from that assault. As the police agreed when they released George after five hours of questioning- it was inappropriate to arrest him. During that five hours of questioning, Mr Zimmerman didn't ask to be drug tested and law enforcement didn't see any indication that a drug test was needed, so none was done.
And that's where things should have ended- a tragic incident and a funeral. Lesson learned- don't act suspicious, don't do stupid things to feel anxiety, and bad stuff won't happen.
Instead, various national personalities called it a hate crime, claimed that because George Zimmerman was a race different from his assailant that it was simply a foregone conclusion that Zimm MUST hate blacks (completely ignoring his heritage, business associations, and other community volunteer activities), and declared that justice had not been done.
George Zimmerman was then wrongfully arrested, wrongfully tried, and still acquitted. Justice was served AGAIN.
I agree that it is tragic that the boy had to die, but just like those who foolishly choose to go hiking alone, indulge in unprotected sex, and other foolhardy actions, an unwillingness to acknowledge his own foolishness is a deliberate act of ignorance. The greatest tragedy was that a kid that was already troubled, already in the process of ruining his life, will never have a chance to fix it.
Rather than "honor" him by enacting more-restricting firearm laws (which would be contrary to the Second Amendment), let us begin again to teach our children and youth the dangers of drugs and the wisdom of staying in school. Teach youth the art of courtesy and respect. Teach children to be obedient to parents and teachers. Teach youth to address their elders with honor and deference. Let us be their models and be examples of manners and politeness.