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Monday, April 23, 2012
I guess one reason I keep getting scolded for my views on the Zimmerman/Martin incident is that I can see myself as either man, in a superficially similar situation. I can put myself in either man's shoes.
I'm guessing from the reactions that most people can picture themselves walking along, minding their own business and being followed and cornered by a gun-wielding, testosterone-crazed enforcer thug. And then being shot in the ensuing encounter. Yeah, I can picture myself in that situation without much trouble at all.
However, I can also picture myself getting into "legal" trouble (and being crucified by pundits everywhere) for confronting a trespasser (not on my property, mind you, but not on his own property, either) whom I suspect might be up to no good; feeling threatened enough by his demeanor and attitude when I confront him that the fact he isn't carrying a gun doesn't mean much and at some point I feel I have to shoot him to protect myself, and doing so.
And this is just me, as I am right now, without any (recognized) authoritarian baggage or beliefs.
Has no one besides me ever felt threatened by a person who wasn't pointing a gun at them at that moment? Before guns were invented, were people- bad guys and good, alike- always "unarmed"?
Does no one else see things this way at all? Can I really be that out of step with the rest of my species? If so, I apologize for poking the possum.