Homer Alaska - Letters

Story last updated at 4:53 PM on Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Threat existed only in shooters mind

I thought Id clarify some things about Trayvon Martins death. He wasnt shot by the neighborhood watch guy Zimmerman because he was wearing a hoodie. He wasnt shot because he was carrying a gun; his only deadly weapon being a bag of Skittles. He wasnt shot because he was any kind of threat to Zimmerman, who had a gun and was much bigger and stronger than Martin.

Martin was killed because he was black. Thats it. Martin was wearing a skin color Zimmerman apparently associates with criminality and dangerousness. So Zimmerman shot a 17-year-old boy to protect his gated community from a kid who went to the store for candy. On top of that, Martin was shot while walking away from Zimmerman. What kind of threat is a boy who is walking away?

I dont go for all the he attacked me and was trying to grab my gun embellishments. If true, Zimmerman is a grown adult. He should be able to handle a perceived or real threat from a teenager. He had authority, training and a weapon, and therefore the responsibility to look for alternatives before shooting. Zimmerman decided Martin was a deadly threat solely on skin color. Would Zimmerman have shot a white boy after being told not to follow him by the dispatcher?

The deadly threat only existed in Zimmermans mind, but the bullet that killed Martin was real. Theres a law called Stand Your Ground in Florida. The NRA would like it passed in all states. It legalizes killing someone in response to a perceived danger that exists only in the shooters head. Shoot and find out later if that teenager or Muslim or legal immigrant really had a gun. No weapon or threatening motions necessary; just that hidden, dark core or anger and fear.

Katie Dawson