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My son is 17. He is a child, MY child, and his family loves him quite a lot. He owns a hoodie or two. You might see him walking down the street. He doesn't own or have a gun and is probably just coming home from visiting his friends. He is harmless. Especially if you have a gun, you probably scare him far more than he scares you. Please don't shoot him.



That's what this comes down to.




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Head wounds tend to bleed alot - I know, I have 5 kids, all of who have fallen or smacked something or been smacked and ended up with a little cut that bleed all down their head, neck and clothes. And a broken nose - two of my boys have done that - one in hockey with an airborne puck and the other on a winter camping trip. Lot's and lot's of blood, soaking their clothes, the ice and snow. Quite a site. One ended up with a ruined jersey and for the other, well, we just threw away his shirt.


Pretty much the same for every other broken nose I've seen and head wound I've treated -- lot's of blood. Hard to miss.

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While I don't condone what Zimmerman did, I don't think it's as simplistic as some think. It wasn't just an evil white guy gunning down a black kid. Don't quite know what the full story was, but it was much more nuanced than that.


The hoody is just a silly detail that people have latched on. I think hoodies are pretty much universal these days. I (a 46 yr old white man) have hoodies, my sons have hoodies, I've suggested that our Troop buy hoodies as part of our informal uniform.

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Just read your last post.

It hurt.

I don't like guns and don't own one.

The likelihood of me shooting someone is very small.

I'm not sure when a kid stops being a kid, but like you my son is my child and no matter how old he gets that is a fact that will never change.

While I have never met your son. I'm going to guess that were he to walk toward me on a dark night? I might notice him and not feel any sort of a threat.

I wish that I could put my hand on my heart and say that was also true if a young black youth were to do the same thing.

Of course I don't harm or hurt every black youth that walks toward me, but to say that I treat black and white youths the same, would be to tell a lie.

I have walked through the capitol cities of at least ten countries many times late at night and have never ever been harmed, mugged or put upon in any way.

So why do I have these feelings of being uneasy?

I'm not proud of them.

I know that I'm being unfair. - But...

Maybe it's like my being around certain breeds of dogs?

I've never been bitten by a dog yet I tend to trust a Golden Retriever more than maybe a Pit-Bull. I believe that Pit-Bulls get a bad rap. Yet I own a Goldie.



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I don't mean to speak for Lisabob, but I don't think she see's the event as described above either. She sees it as a parent who sent their son to the local store and doesn't come home. Then finds out he's been shot dead.


I'm sympathetic to Lisa's viewpoint as a parent. It's mine. Bottom line is a kid that simply walked to the local store and was walking back to his father, and no evidence has been presented he had anything else in mind other than to return to the apartment he was visiting, until some stranger starts following him and it turns out the stranger following him has a gun. As a parent I'm thinking why is this guy following any kid who is simply walking on a walkway in a housing/condo complex with a gun?






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And then the part that keeps getting left out. Apparently only one person did the wrong thing here from most of the comments.


Are our kids the kind who would go confront the person following them, even after they weren't following them anymore? And then start the physical altercation that proceeded to a tragic end?

Or who would proceed on their way home?

Had Trayvon done the latter, we might not be talking about this.


Fact is both of them could have done different things, and that as WE HAVE ALREADY SEEN, more facts keep coming out.


How about we all start holding judgement on this until the facts are out?

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Lisa, I'm probably a lot bigger than your son, just guessing. I see him walking with a hoodie and I'm patrolling the neighborhood. I wonder what he's up to so I just follow along for a while. Maybe I confront him, maybe he confronts me. Maybe words are exchanged and someone throws a punch. If I am not armed, that broken nose that miraculously heals on the way to the station is about the worst that is going to happen, maybe a black eye (and perhaps another miracle). Most likely if I really AM suspicious and am not armed, I'm not going to confront him or even follow too closely in the first place. I'll just let the deputy check things out.


But if I'm armed, I just might pull that gun and use it. Your son, in Florida, may never have an opportunity to explain himself or defend his actions.

In Florida and perhaps other states with similar laws I might get set free.

What is the difference between the tragedy in the second case and the mistake in the first?

The prejudices, if any, are the same for both. The impulses are probably similar as well. But the behaviors are different because in one case the behavior is enabled.


In my area young men have been killed by persons who received a one finger salute and were enabled. They have been killed because they delivered a pizza late and got into an argument and the homeowner was enabled. They have been killed out of mistaken identity or road rage and the shooter was enabled. It doesn't matter that any or even all of the shooters were subsequently prosecuted and placed under Eamonn's care. It is tragedy regardless. Innocent young men are dead either way.

But it is what it is because we have chosen to be what we are...and for our society to be what it has become. These days, we are all just so enabled.

Have a nice day.

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Yah, Gunny, I'm just not sure it's worth goin' past the "facts" that are undisputed, eh? An unarmed kid with no intention other than buying a snack walked down to the corner store and was followed, chased, and eventually shot by an adult cop wannabe with a history of inappropriate confrontations.


No intervening "facts" can justify that, eh? The question is just whether it's murder or manslaughter.


The reason is that if yeh choose to stalk someone, yeh should expect to be confronted, shoved, or smacked. Followin' someone to spy on 'em is not somethin' that polite people do.


Sayin' his clothes were suspicious is like the sexist numbskulls who blame the woman for being raped. "Oh, well, if she had just dressed more like my grandmother and not like a young woman this wouldn't have happened." But as Eamonn courageously admits, we know that what was "suspicious" was a black boy in a hoodie, not a boy in a hoodie. We've been brought up by our communities and the media to have that suspicion. It's somethin' we have to fight in ourselves, and work hard to overcome.


Play this in your mind. The boy is white, a marine corps JROTC lad who has already committed to enlisting at the end of the school year. He is followed by a 28 year old black man who doesn't care for his skin color, short haircut and fatigues. If the young man confronts the fellow who was chasing him, are yeh really goin' to be upset with the lad? Or would yeh think, "That's right, approach and stand up to him!". Even if words and punches flew, is shootin' an unarmed kid OK? Especially when yeh knew it was started by doin' somethin' folks consider inappropriate, and that's followin' someone's kid around?


I know, if I'm honest with myself, that there's a part of me that views that scenario differently than the one with Trayvon. A piece of me identifies more with the JROTC lad, and is more ready to take his side. And I know it's a part of me I'm not very proud of, and that I must reject with every fiber of my being. Because if I'm to be the man I want to be, I have to defend the lad in both cases. My initial response should be shock and outrage in both cases, and if more information comes out down the road that may be tempered a bit, but not abandoned. Because the already known facts are outrageous.


And because if we excuse this in any way, it could be any one of our scouts or kids out there.




(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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Um, no. Using your example, If the kid is doing the right thing, WHY would he go and accost someone, and having asked them, maybe even courteously, why he was following him (which as far as we know someone else didn't do) he should continue on his way, understanding that if it's some hater of whatever label you want to put on it, he's not going to change his mind and an altercation isn't going to change anything.


On that note, Realizing we are relying on the living persons testimony in the real situation, the deceased didn't ask why he was following, a good citizen would understand that in a new neighborhood the neighborhood watch wouldn't know who they were and they might stick out and thus come under observation, he asked if the other "had a problem". Tone of voice is a strong part of communication and neither of us were there... So if that's were in fact followed by "you're gonna die" as reported again by the living person and this was followed by an assault, then...

Then maybe as tragic as then ending is, the youth should have done the right thing and not engaged. IF Zimmerman had disengaged - which only requires him to have ceased following on foot as he had, not to depart the area and go home, and his account describes and the investigators on the scene believe him to have been at or near the vehicle when he was accosted - then he's the innocent party here.


But that is a nice pseudo racist turn you tried to run, just making someone hate a short haired clean cut fellow doesn't change that it's hate for no reason... It isn't or should be about the stripe or brand of us versus them that causes hatred - it should be about ending the hatreds of whatever stripe. There is no right "we hate you" for what anyone is - maybe for what someone did, but not just because of who they are.


I'm not clean yet, I'm not blind to the effect others have on me, but I'm not just letting it ride and try not to be disturbed just by who people are - even when they have no problem letting it be known that they are still harboring all of those kinds of feelings.


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I'm sorry, but shooting an unarmed child at point blank range in broad daylight does not fit with my definition of "victim." Unless you are referring to the child who was shot and killed.


"a good citizen would understand that in a new neighborhood the neighborhood watch wouldn't know who they were and they might stick out and thus come under observation"


As for this, it sounds like blaming the victim to me! Since when is a child simply walking down the street enough justification for armed adults to start following him around? Are we so afraid of youth? What does that suggest about our culture? Should all of us assume that if we dare to stray into a neighborhood where not every person knows us, that we might be shot? Heck, I had better never leave my house again, and I shouldn't allow my child outside, ever. There's strangers in my neighborhood, and some of them are my neighbors. They could shoot us. Or maybe I should shoot them first, ask questions later? Stranger danger, indeed.





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pack, very good points. But then we also know that "guns don't kill people." Right?


Eamonn, what to say? Probably all of us do or have struggled with our perceptions of 'others,' if we are honest about it. As far as I can tell, that isn't limited to whites. Media sensationalism doesn't help much. But there is a difference, to my mind, between recognizing a momentary (and perhaps irrational) thought, and paranoia and taking action on ungrounded fears. As a parallel: Maybe this is not so different from the notion that courage isn't a lack of fear, but about taking the right actions even in the face of fear.




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People do kill people. Guns make it easier for us, quicker and impossible to call back once the trigger is pulled. They allow us to do it more conveniently and impersonally, effectively translating even the most fleeting thoughtless impulse into complete devastating success. I suspect Zimmerman may be reflecting on these kinds of things fairly often now. Johnny got his gun.

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Same link as previous post...


George Hall, a retired Presbyterian minister, said he was Zimmerman's neighbor for 20 years in Manassas, Va., until about 2001. Hall said Zimmerman and his brother attended church, and he wrote a recommendation for Zimmerman for a police academy in 2004.


"Their parents taught them to treat everybody with respect. I'm tired of hearing about this race thing," Hall said. "It could be an element in it ... but I never would have thought of him as being a racist. His father was in the Army and was a white American and his mother was Peruvian. That makes him 50 percent Peruvian. A lot of stuff I hear, it irks me because people are drawing their own conclusions with very little evidence."


Meza spoke only briefly over the telephone to a reporter from The Associated Press. It wasn't immediately clear if he had talked to Zimmerman since the shooting, but he said other relatives are afraid to comment publicly, even though they think he is being treated unfairly.

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" Are you even going to attempt to keep to the facts of the case? "


You mean a news story that has both sides claiming the other was at fault?



Where are "the facts" in that?


I don't know exactly what happened, but I do have some questions:


1) If Zimmerman wasn'

t arested, wy was he handcuffed and taken to the police station by the police?


2) In the video of he being taken to and at the police station, he doesn't appear to have any of the injuries he claims he recieved. What happened to them?


3) If he was a community watch member and patroling like he always does..why did he need to look at a stree sign to see where he was? Didn't he just report that to the dispatchers?


4) Speaking of dispatchers, the one he was talking to told him not to follow, yet he did anyways.

What was up with that? What was he planning on doing?


5) He is following the guy who looks so suspicious, and loses him? Really? Your watching somebody and they just suddenly dissapear? Can't be seen anywhere, but as soon as you turn around, they magically turn up right behind you?


6) Id Zimmerman is a community watch prson, and has been doing this awhile..wouldn't you think he would know what to do? Shouldn't he know that you call the dispatch, tell them what you have seen , and that's the end of it. You do not act like a LEO, you do not pursue, you do not keep going. You did your job.


Zimmerman has been doing this long enough to have either been told before not to follow or dp anything beyound reporting stuff. Why did he feel the need to act like a cop?



Now, lets also be realistic here. Anybody who is minding there own buisness starts being followed bu somebody...they will feel like they are being stalked. Especially if somebody is driving by, then parks and starts following you?


So if you feel this, wouldn't you stand your ground too?


And lets don't forget..We can't ask Martin any questions. Zimmerman took care of that.



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