I’ve No Opinion On That, But

When it comes to that Martin/Zimmerman case, I have no opinion except that Zimmerman is an asshole. I don’t know the details and don’t suppose anyone except Zimmerman does. I didn’t follow the trial, but I suspect that the truth was not heard by the jury. It almost never is. No matter.

There are three responses to perceived imminent grave threats that a person might be given to: flee, freeze, or fight. Though it can be argued that we, the highest of primates, should in all cases think our way through to the most “appropriate” response, in reality it’s practically impossible to do so without rigorous training and any who say otherwise are either delusional or lying. I have never seen anyone without rigorous training act in any except his or her hard-wired manner in the face of an imminent grave threat. I’ve seen people who had rigorous training revert to type when the threat was out in the uncontrolled really world, too. Pigstrosities with their whatever training do it all the time, like when they kill people who weren’t threatening them or when several of them together empty their weapons into a guy just because they don’t know where the sound of gunfire is coming from.

Myself, my hard-wired response is fight. It kicks in of its own accord once that reptilian part of my brain senses that there’s a mortal threat before me, and in that instant my ability to think rationally switches off. My single purpose becomes the elimination of threats. I’ll do things that I would recommend strongly against in rational moments, and afterward I usually wonder, “Man, what the hell were you thinking?”. I wasn’t thinking. I was eliminating threats.

I’ve been in situations similar to what I suspect Trayvon Martin’s was, being stalked on the street by someone unknown to me. No one being stalked can assume anything but the very worst intent on the part of the stalker. I don’t mean that as in “it would be unwise to assume anything but”, but as in “it’s impossible for a human mind to assume anything but”. There are no shades of grey in being hunted. My first priority if I was near my home was always to lead the stalker away from my home, then to then lose him/them if possible, and ambush him/them otherwise. I was usually able to evade them.

I don’t know anything about that neighborhood in Florida, but in my experience in unsavory neighborhoods muggers and random punks just looking to do harm for its own sake will often claim to be neighborhood watch. Neighborhood watch is a popular claim because they really are watching the neighborhood. For likely victims. My all-time favorite mugger’s engagement line, though totally irrelevant, came by way of one seriously scary looking dude who said he was selling Girl Scout cookies — I was probably the first target who ever laughed right out loud at that. Anyway, non-vigilante neighborhood watch dipshits don’t confront people. They wander around being conspicuous, and they call the pigs if they see something suspicious. If a guy accosts me claiming to be neighborhood watch, then as far as I’m concerned he’s a serious threat. If he escalates my estimation of the threat, then we’re going to dance. The choices are all his, right up until they’re not any more.

As I said at the start, I don’t have an opinion about the Martin/Zimmerman case. I’m not qualified to have an opinion other than the one that the behavior Zimmerman copped to proves him to be the worst kind of asshole.





16 thoughts on “I’ve No Opinion On That, But

  1. promisesunshine

    i think a loaded gun at the ready limits anyone’s ability to make any rational choice. i’d like regular updates on zimmerman’s behavior. this trial certainly won’t make him give up neighborhood watch duty. (or maybe it will?)

    1. happierheathen Post author

      I dunno. In my own experience, though limited, I’m more rational when I’ve got a loaded gun in my hand and am watching for the conditions that will cause me to use it. But I’m not the sort who goes out looking for confrontations. I know lots of folks who have no business carrying firearms, and most cops, those who relish confrontation and displaying dominance, fall into that category.

        1. happierheathen Post author

          I’ve no idea how one might go about solving that mystery. It’d be easier if it weren’t for the heavy participation in and control of the black market by all levels of law enforcement, but that’s just another intractable problem embedded within the topic at hand.

            1. happierheathen Post author

              Don’t go stalking strangers or seeking confrontations with them, avoid unsavory neighborhoods, and remember that a stiff drink and a paintbrush always go well together. 🙂

                1. happierheathen Post author

                  I’m pretty good at the easy answers. Sometimes, like now, I’ll spew one out when the corresponding question has not been asked. It makes me feel useful. 🙂

  2. lovelylollipop

    I remember that particular case (we don’t find US violent so news up there are not as exciting :P) but I recall Ruth launched a support campaign on Xanga and we all wear hoodies in our pics.

    Yeah , that is the extent of my knowledge :\

  3. dimebone

    Also, pedophiles are a threat when we are young. Trayvon was seventeen. And in fact, Trayvon mentioned in his phone conversation the possibility that the ‘creepy-ass-cracker’ might be a pedo. His friend Rachel dismissed it with a joke, but they both believed it was possible. Possibly Trayvon thought he was fighting off a molester. We all feel justified in doing that. Guys, I mean, all guys.

    Actually, Trayvon had no idea why the creep Zimmerman was following him. And Zimmerman was too thick headed to imagine how anyone would react to him. We have two dumb people making bad decisions.

    And yet — Trayvon could simply have hurried home two(?) blocks away. I never saw anyone mention this. His father is a large fellow and could easily have handled any threat, real or perceived. Was Trayvon worried about looking like a sissy?

    We’ll never know.

    1. happierheathen Post author

      It’s really very stupid to show an unknown predator where you live. Do that, and from then on you and your loved ones who live or visit there are vulnerable. Dad might have been large and fierce and maybe even in possession of a firearm, but those things only matter in direct confrontation — a predator isn’t going to phone ahead to make a date when he comes back later to do his intended crime or settle a beef, and he might just think it fitting to do harm to others who aren’t Dad or Trayvon. You NEVER show an unknown predator where you live if living is a thing you intend to continue doing.

      So, if Trayvon believed he was being stalked by a predator, not going home was the correct choice. His execution of it sucked but he had the right idea, if that was the case.

      On the other hand, if I were evading a predator I surely wouldn’t have my phone stuck to my head distracting me and interfering with hearing my environment. Maybe kids don’t think that way? I dunno, but it seems inconsistent with active evasion.

  4. cocosangel

    I feel sorry for Trayvon Martin. He was just a teenager who was going home with a drink in his hand and talking to his G/F on the phone. So why did Zimmerman go after him? Why was he suspicious of him? It is Zimmerman’s fault for going after a boy, and provoke him. Zimmerman had business to go after him. And even when he called the 9/11 he was told to wait for the back up. No. But he decided to take the law into his own hands.
    The trial did Trayvon Martin injustice.
    I knew after Casey Anthony’s case, which happened in Florida, that the Jury there cannot be trusted to deliver justice to a victim. And now a Juror is going to write a book! How sick are they.


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