It appears the George Zimmerman will be headed to court to answer for the killing of Trayvon Martin. This is a good thing. It would appear that a charge of First Degree Murder is off the table, but based on what I've read about the case, I am not particularly bothered by this. I've seen no reason to believe that there was any premeditation on the part of Zimmerman and, while I believe that race has been a clear factor throughout this case, I do not believe that he pursued and shot Martin solely because he was Black. Obviously I don't know EVERYTHING about the case (as one frequent commenter will no doubt remind me) but based on what I DO know a lesser charger (Murder-2, for example?) would seem appropriate.
What was NOT appropriate, and what I am happy to see being resolved, was for Martin to continue to go uncharged, based on a self-defense claim that was never subjected to examination in trial or by a jury of his peers. And this is a claim that, even given Florida's "Stand Your Ground" / ("Kill-at-Will") statute is undermined by two facts which are not in dispute, even by Zimmerman himself:
1) Martin was unarmed.
2) Zimmerman left the safety of his car to PURSUE Martin, and did so against the advice of the Police on the 9-1-1 call.
Standing you're ground =/= pursuing someone, and pursuing someone certainly =/= an act of self defense. Ultimately this case may be decided on how the "Stand Your Ground" / (Kill-at-Will) law is interpreted by the Jugge, Lawyers and Jury.
If Zimmerman is found guilty, then it will serve a s precedent to others who would follow Zimmerman's example. It will come to resemble more "Stand you ground" and less "Kill-at-will." It doesn't address ALL the concerns in this ALEC / NRA conceived monstrosity of a legal technicality, but clarifying that HUNTING SOMEONE DOWN is, in fact, still against the law in this Country, and in the State of Florida, can only be a GOOD THING.
If he is found innocent?
Hoo-buy... Well, first of all, I hope that the inevitable and richly deserved and justified public outcry will remain non-violent and non-destructive. Considering what has been presented of this case by the media, to the public? I am too optimistic about this point. (Just being realistic here.) But once the populace realizes that the Liberals' long-held concerns about these kinds of laws are VALID? And that HUNTING SOMEONE DOWN is, in fact, actually LEGAL in some parts of the Country? I have to believe that the repeal, or at least a significant re-work, of the law will become a matter of complete inevitablilty.
I would say that is also a good thing, but I can find no comfort in the fact that a young man had to die to bring attention to a stupid law that makes a death like this one inevitable.
And, for the record, I very much support the Second Amendment, and gun OWNERSHIP rights. This is no more about the Second Amendment that a citizen's boycott of Rush Limbaugh's corporate sponsors is about the First Amendment. This is NOT an issue of gun OWNERSHIP, it is an issue of gun USAGE. So while I despise guns on a personal level, I fully cherrish the fact that my choice of owning one remains my own to make, and thus I fully support the Rights of Americans (violent felons and the mentally ill excepted) to OWN guns. I do not however support ANYONE'S right to pursue and gun down an unarmed person with one.