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Stand Your Ground


With the unjustifiable death, or murder really, of Trayvon Martin countless Americans have been introduced to the Castle Doctrine which in some states is known as the Stand Your Ground Law or Make My Day Law. To say these laws are vague and don’t really define anything would be an extreme understatement. See the law dates all the way back to 1628 when an English jurist Sir Edward Coke. Since its inception the Castle Law has been renamed and has many restrictions added and taken away from it until the law has become the laws we have now in the United States.

The law originally granted people to protect themselves and their homes from intrusion even if it meant the possibility “justifiable” homicide. That was the original Castle Doctrine, the later drafter Make My Day law extended out to ones car or means of transportation. The name of the law is a reference to the line uttered by the character Harry Callahan, played by Clint Eastwood, in the movie Sudden Impact. The later drafted Stand Your Ground Law or No Duty To Retreat Law not only extends to outside your home or car but also any where you have a right to be. So, let’s say I am in Delaware just walking down the street and I see an assailant walking towards me. If I feel endangered I have not only the right to defend myself but also if need be the right to commit “justifiable” homicide.

Some groups like the NRA and other gun-rights groups will argue the Stand Your Ground Law only defends people defending their homes. Other groups like the Brady Campaign and additional gun control groups claim that the law will eventually lead to innocent people being hurt and killed. There are a few examples of the Stand Your Ground Law being taken to the extreme. One example is in 2007 a cops son ruthlessly attacked one man while the victims back was to the assailant then the assailant stormed off and attacked a homeless who was just standing there, the homeless man was literally just in the wrong place at the wrong time. The cops son claimed the Stand Your Ground as his reason to attack the two men. The most recent and probably more atrocious case was the death of seventeen year old Trayvon Martin. George Zimmerman  shot and killed the young teenager without really any reason. George Zimmerman was told by the 911 operators not to follow Martin but did anyways. When the police arrived on the scene  they found that Trayvon Martin was visiting his father and only had skittles, an Arizona Iced Tea, and cell phone on his person.

In both cases there were three victims one white male and two black males. Also, in both cases there was no arrest made at the scene of the crime. So, why did these two assailants get to go home while one victim was severely injured, another victim hospitalized, and the final victims life taken. Well it’s because in both cases the assailants claimed the Stand Your Ground Law as their defense and the police took it as there was no need to arrest the two attackers. It’s mind boggling that they were able to claim this law as their defense though, because in both cases there was some kind of evidence that proved both assailants were unprovoked. In the case of Jonathan Collison, the cops son, there was video tape of him viciously attacking both victims unprovoked. In the case of George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman was recorded saying he saw Trayvon Martin and began following him. Provided with that information how does a police officer not make an arrest. There’s another interesting fact, in both cases the managing police officer at the crime scene was the same man.

A lot of people have been claiming an air racism in the cases. I am definitely the last person to jump to that conclusion however, in this case it is unavoidable. Whether it’s police ignoring to arrest the assailants or the assailants attacking black men for no reason, especially in the case of Trayvon Martin. George Zimmerman had no reason to believe Trayvon Martin was a criminal and he had no reason to be carrying a gun when patrolling for neighborhood watch. I mean it’s the neighborhood watch, your job is described in the title you watch the neighborhood nothing more nothing less. Zimmerman’s acts of vigilantism were caked in racism. Going after a young man simply because he’s black there was no other reason Zimmerman had to follow Martin. The racism was actually heard in a 911 call.

I am one year older than Trayvon Martin, I have dealt with racism on numerous accounts. I have been called a nigger during lacrosse games. I have had women and men clench their belongings when I have entered an elevator. I have been stopped by police walking home after football practice. And I have grown accustom to all those things but, after hearing the story of Trayvon Martin the racial profiling really needs to stop. I mean Trayvon Martin was seventeen and rather small, one-hundred-forty pounds, and he was perceived as a threat to a man a decade older than him and at least one hundred pounds heavier. So there are definite racist sentiments. I know racism will always exist but we need to try harder to stop it but we need to stop being so politically correct about things to.

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