Letter: Alternative View of Sanford Encounter
To the Editor:
Public dissatisfaction with the outcome of the George Zimmerman trial may reflect a faulty formulation of the incident. It is closer to the truth to think that Zimmerman was the aggressor and Trayvon Martin the one who in fact “stood his ground.”
Zimmerman initiated the hostile contact with Martin, following him in the car and then on foot, and speaking to Martin in a hostile manner. But Martin had every right to walk on the sidewalk and was doing nothing wrong or even attention-getting. As I understand it, it was Martin who “stood his ground.” If one can defend himself with a gun, surely one can also defend himself with his fists if he is accosted and in fear of aggression or injury.
“Stand your ground” was not explicitly invoked during the trial. However, it is a concept of human behavior and does not necessarily require a gun. It takes courage to stand up to a threatening aggressor if you don’t have a weapon. It seems clear that Zimmerman was the threatening aggressor, quite unprovoked, and Martin was the one who used the only weapon at his disposal and stood his ground, at the cost of his life.