Tuesday, May 22, 2012

No justice in Florida teen’s slaying

No justice in Florida teen’s slaying

(My Clovis News Journal column for April 20, 2012)

One recent "big national news" story where I seem to differ with a lot of libertarians is the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin shooting.

I have seen the prevailing voices shift support behind whichever of the two the latest reports seem to vindicate. I continue to support both, and neither. Which is to say I support truth and liberty, wherever that may lead.

None of us were there, and even if there are any witnesses who are brought forward to testify, they will all have an agenda and be trying to push a certain perspective. It's human nature and inevitable. All any of us will ever know for sure is that two people encountered one another, and now one of them is dead.

I believe- and I admit it is nothing more than a belief- that this is a case of two troublemakers out looking for trouble and succeeding in finding it when they encountered one another. Both seem to have a history that points in that direction. I don't believe I would have been friends with either man, since both seem to have been fans of intimidation and coercion and cultural divisiveness. Of course, in both cases, all any of us knows about the individual involved has been filtered through others who want us to see the events from a particular perspective, and any truth is incidental.

Regardless of what had happened in the past, or even earlier that fateful hour, at the instant the trigger was pulled one of the two was innocent- not deserving to be harmed at that particular moment. You and I will never know which one of them was the innocent party. A trial won't alter that.

If Trayvon Martin was innocent there can never be any justice for him. Certainly not through the courts. If George Zimmerman was innocent, his prosecution is the opposite of justice and is heaping injury on top of injury. In either case making a criminal case out of this, and, in case of a conviction, allowing the prison system to swallow yet another person, isn't helping anyone other than those who profit from the excessive, abusive use of the justice system for the benefit of the imprisonment industry, and those who profit- economically or politically- from driving a wedge through society.

As in so many other cases, the best thing to do is to take Zimmerman at his word that he was being attacked and acted in self defense, but watch him carefully for any hint of aggression or "enforcer-type" behavior from this moment forward.


  1. "but watch him carefully for any hint of aggression or "enforcer-type" behavior from this moment forward."

    Interesting, Kent. And should he exhibit said behavior? Seems as though he did in the past, why the dividing line now?

    What about Martin's family-who determines if they are due restitution or not? Is it really reasonable-and moral-to simply accept a bizarre and self-contradictory story such as Zimmerman's?

    And about this "I wasn't there" business, I wasn't at Waco either, yet I'm certain the government's tale is just that-a tale-and that it was a senseless tragedy caused by lunatics with badges. How? By looking at the evidence, by questioning EVERYTHING, by finding inconsistencies, and by the prior actions of those involved.

    I agree wholeheartedly that the official 'justice' system will serve no purpose-and never does-but is simply "taking the word" of a man with a squishy story and a history of self-appointed "protector" when an unarmed man is shot dead in the street after being chased by that man really the way you view libertarian justice?

    That does not seem particularly moral to me. This is, by the way, the core of the dissent I have with the NAP.

    Of course, should this have occurred in an actual stateless society, Zimmerman would likely have not behaved so rashly, and if he did there would be nothing to protect him from retaliation from Martin's family and friends.

    I believe the Black Panthers have thoughts in that direction anyway. I wonder which threat-the official justice system or the unofficial- would be a better deterrent to avoidable confrontations and pointless violence?

  2. If he exhibits that behavior again shoot him in self defense. The reason for the dividing line now is that you can't change the past. He should have been dealt with long ago when his first aggressive acts appeared, but he wasn't. Because, as you later point out, this is not a free society. We have to deal with the world as it is.

    And, because this isn't a free society there would be no restitution. If this were a free society, so there was no such thing as "public [sic] property", I think the restitution landscape in this case might go something like this:
    Zimmerman would owe Martin's family for killing him. Martin's family would owe the property owners for trespassing. The property owners would owe Zimmerman a fee for his work of confronting a trespasser. Martin's family might also owe Zimmerman for Martin initiating the attack when approached for said trespass, but in reality we'll never know for certain. But, I really believe the situation would have never gotten to that point in a free society. It would have been nipped in the bud long before the tragic events happened.

    I guess I haven't heard the "bizarre and self-contradictory" aspects of Zimmerman's story. I have seen the photos of the back of Zimmerman's bloodied head, taken either at the scene or at the police station (I forget which). It seems to me that if someone wanted to "bloody himself up" for show, he wouldn't choose the back of his head, where the results couldn't be monitored to make sure they look right.

    In the Waco events we have many different witnesses. Including video. I watched much of it happen on live television. With the Martin/Zimmerman case, we have one man's story with no video. Now, even with Waco you have a lot of government/media "interpreters" telling us that the Davidians were sexually abusing their kids, or stockpiling dangerous weaponry, or making meth. Just like we have those same "interpreters" showing a mugshot of Zimmerman contrasted with an old, out of date photo of a young smiling Martin. You've seen the recent photos of Martin and read his purported tweets, right? I'm just saying all sides have an agenda and are telling and showing only the parts of the truth that confirm what they want you to believe.

    And why does everyone keep saying Martin was "unarmed"? Besides his 17 year old bare hands, which in many cases are weapon enough, he had a can of ice tea. That could have been used as a weapon, too. He should have had a gun, but no one is ever truly unarmed. Inadequately armed for the circumstances, perhaps.

    Zimmerman isn't libertarian, so his actions have nothing to do with libertarian justice. As I have said over and over and over again, I don't think I would have gotten along with him. I also don't think I would have gotten along with Martin. Both seemed, to me, to have massive chips on their shoulders, and people like that are good people to avoid - shun. Libertarian justice is what I would like to see happen from this point forward- but it won't. As I said in the column, and have said in the past- when a murder occurs there can be no justice. If this was self-defense, and we'll never know for certain, then dragging this through State courts will ensure Zimmerman won't find justice either. You will have difficulty applying the ZAP/NAP to people who don't follow it. And you will always have trouble second-guessing the actions of those who survived a fatal event.

    If the facts of the events were less muddled, and it was obvious that Zimmerman murdered Martin, and if the Black Panthers weren't just acting for racist reasons, I would support their bounty on Zimmerman.