Hometown Security

Sorry for the hiatus.  I took another vacation to the big city, and I’m just now getting back into the rut…..I mean routine…..of my life.

One of the biggest topics on the news in the past few days is the story about the unarmed teenager who was shot in Florida by a neighborhood watch captain.  Trayvon Martin was walking home from getting candy–yes, really, candy–and apparently wandered into the local neighborhood DMZ.

The neighborhood watch captain, George Zimmerman, thought the boy had drugs.  He called emergency services, then followed the teenager.  No one knows exactly what happened, but the presumption is there was some sort of confrontation.  One thing that everyone does know is how the story ended: Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin and killed him.

To say the shit is hitting the fan would be one of the most fantastic understatements in the history of the universe.  For starters, the local police in that neighborhood didn’t exactly handle the situation the way everyone thinks they should have.  They sent a narcotics detective instead of a homicide detective, for example.  I won’t go into everything else.  All of this is just filler.  What this post is really about is my opinion of this situation (as if you didn’t know that already.)

My opinion is that the whole thing stinks.  Big time.

I have never, ever, ever had much appreciation for the whole neighborhood watch concept.  The basic purpose of it is that if you see something suspicious, you call emergency services to notify the police and then they come and handle it. Cause that’s, you know, their job.  Instead, what happens is that you get some puffed up power-tripping law enforcement wanna-be with a gun trotting around your neighborhood.  I don’t know about you, but that personally doesn’t make me feel any safer.  In fact, it makes me feel afraid to even take out my dog for a pee in the evening.

Zimmerman said when he called 911 that he thought the teen had drugs.  (As an aside, the 911 dispatcher told Zimmerman NOT to follow the teenager.)  He was carrying a bag of some sort.  Well, I guess that’s the standard drug carrying satchel–a 7-11 bag.  It’s the go-to accessory for the modern heroine addict.

Also, the teen was wearing a hoodie.

Oh, did I mention Trayvon was black?

I guess Mr. Zimmerman had little choice, right?  I mean, a black teenager wearing a hoodie and carrying a convenience store bag through a neighborhood he didn’t live in?

On the other hand, it was raining, so I guess Trayvon wanted to keep his head dry.  Also, he didn’t have drugs in his bag.  He had candy, and he was carrying a bottle of tea.  He was alone and walking through that neighborhood because that was the way for him to get back home.  He wasn’t even loitering.  He was walking and talking on his cell phone.  Zimmerman, who has probably had a hard-on to bust someone since he started his “job,” saw a perfect opportunity.  I have no doubt that Trayvon may have even mouthed off to Zimmerman when he confronted him, as would many teenagers, I’m sure.  Is running your mouth grounds for shooting?  If so, you’d better enjoy this post, because I doubt I’ll last the week.

By far the most disturbing fact is that George Zimmerman is still a free man.  I’m sorry–I don’t care how decorated a neighborhood watchman he is, George Zimmerman needs to be held accountable for this crime.

Around here, we don’t have neighborhood watch, because, well, we don’t have neighborhoods.  And yes, we all have guns.  I’ve written about it before.  I’ve even hinted as to what would happen if someone broke into my home.  However, I don’t feel compelled to arm myself and patrol the neighborhood.  I have been around people like Zimmerman, though.  We have them here, too.  Oh yes.  It’s almost always a guy, and usually the one who was picked on in school for being a “wimp.”  They actually wear a pistol on their hip everywhere they go.  Really.

What is that point of that?  To prove what a big, macho man you are, I guess.  Look at me–I’m not a wimp, I’m a badass!  And if you walk through my neighborhood with candy and tea, I’m going to shoot you! Especially if you’re black!

So I, along with the rest of the country, await the next phase of this story.  I hope our justice system has the courage to do the right thing.  In all seriousness, there is a family who had to bury their son, not because he did something wrong, but because he wanted some candy and some tea, and because he wanted to keep his head dry.  Somebody has to answer for it.




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