Saturday, March 31, 2012

Trayvon & the Pre-emptive Strike

From the 911 tapes a scenario emerges that I have not heard anyone suggest.    As I understand it, Trayvon called his girlfriend because he observed someone following him, and he was concerned for his safety.  (It is generally unwise for young black males to call 911.) After this call, Trayvon's girlfriend called 911 to relay Trayvon's concern.  It is likely Trayvon was killed while his girlfriend was talking to 911, although she would not know this at the time.  It is those phone calls that suggest a scenario:

Trayvon was profiled and followed by a "block watch" busybody whom Trayvon perceived and mistook for a predator.  When Zimmerman presented himself Trayvon, Trayvon attacked Zimmerman in what Trayvon would believe to be self-defense against Zimmerman-as-mugger.  This would explain both Zimmerman being struck and falling down and Trayvon being shot.  In this case, Zimmerman would be guilty, it seems to me, of manslaughter for provoking Trayvon to assault.

In this scenario, what do we see?  We see the new standard, introduced by the neocons and theocons, of "pre-emptive strike."  Zimmerman, with no reason to do so, profiled and pre-emptively invaded Trayvon's space.  Trayvon, perceiving a threat, struck out pre-emptively at Zimmerman.  If so, it is an example of "unjust cause" in the conflict, but Zimmerman started it.

People who believe they have a right to lethal self-defense certainly have a right to arm themselves, but they also have a responsibility to train to use it, and certainly not go looking for trouble.

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