March 26, 2012

Where I agree with Rich Lowry (and Al Sharpton)

As I noted in my post about the Trayvon Martin case yesterday, some facts are not in dispute. The biggest of these is that Trayvon's killer, George Zimmerman, pursued Martin as he was walking through the neighborhood. Lowry writes:

Zimmerman claims Martin attacked him from behind, and he fired in self-defense. But while he was on the line with 911, Zimmerman was the one chasing Martin. At the same time, Martin talked on his cellphone to his girlfriend, complaining of a man watching him. She told him to run away, which he apparently did during the interval Zimmerman was on with 911. The girlfriend claims she heard Martin say, "What are you following me for?" before the call went dead.

The tape of another 911 call from a neighbor has yells of "help" in the background before the gunshot. We may never know what exactly happened in the altercation. We do know this: Through stupendous errors in judgment, Zimmerman brought about an utterly unnecessary confrontation and then in the most favorable interpretation of the facts for him shot Martin when he began to lose a fistfight to him.

The "self-defense" defense shouldn't apply because Zimmerman initiated the confrontation. Martin did not know who Zimmerman was. If a stranger was running after you, what would you do -- especially if he caught you? Fight back? Most probably.

As for agreeing with Al Sharpton, let Lowry explain it:

What is true of the stopped clock is also true of the perpetually aggrieved, shamelessly exploitative publicity hound: Through sheer chance, he occasionally will be right. The Trayvon Martin case appears to be one of those instances for Al Sharpton.

Sharpton shouldn't be lauded at all for his current stance on the Martin matter. As I also noted in yesterday's post, Al's racial huckster baggage/history invites suspicion from the outset, and this makes it much more difficult for people to take him (and others, like Jesse Jackson) seriously when they do have a legitimate gripe.

I'm not a lawyer, but it's fairly clear to me Zimmerman should be charged with something, at least perhaps 1st or 2nd degree manslaughter. And, once again as I noted yesterday, it's all fine and good to point out how ridiculous the mainstream media is being during this whole sordid affair; however, people aren't doing anyone any good by digging up nuggets that show Trayvon somehow wasn't a "model citizen," etc. The kid was killed because the neighborhood watch guy refused to listen to law enforcement, and initiated a confrontation which never should have happened.


Posted by Hube at March 26, 2012 04:42 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

If Zimmerman was chasing Martin, how did they end up back at Zimmerman's truck? Sheer coincidence? Unlikely. I think it, in fact, suggests Zimmerman gave up the chase and went back to his truck.

Posted by: AJ Lynch at March 26, 2012 05:18 PM

Perhaps Martin was attempting to turn the tables on Martin and assumed the best defense was a good offense.

Are you saying that Martin, not knowing who this dude pursuing him was, or what his intent was, should have just quietly accepted whatever came his way?

Posted by: Hube at March 26, 2012 05:23 PM

Except for the fact that once Zimmerman left off the pursuit and returned to the truck, Martin was no longer being pursued -- and was in fact the pursuer and initiator the confrontation.

Posted by: Rhymes With Right at March 26, 2012 05:28 PM

Technically, perhaps; this doesn't mean that Martin still did not feel threatened. Could Zimmerman have continued pursuit again? What was he getting out of his truck? Again, he had no idea who Zimmerman was or what his intent was. If Zimmerman had followed the 911 dispatcher's instructions, there would have NO incident.

Posted by: Hube at March 26, 2012 05:31 PM

Except there is no requirement that you follow the instructions of a dispatcher, as we all learned in the Joe Horn case down here in Houston.

Posted by: Rhymes With Right at March 26, 2012 06:24 PM

Well, if Zimmerman by the law has a "right" to shoot and kill Martin in this given situation, then it seems to me Martin has a right to defend himself from a total stranger who was chasing him and didn't reply when asked "Why are you following me?"

Posted by: Hube at March 26, 2012 07:03 PM

Has it occurred to you that Zimmerman may not have replied because Martin was already punching him in the face?

"Could Zimmerman have continued pursuit again? What was he getting out of his truck?"

If someone is following you and you don't know their capabilities, the proper thing to do is get the hell away from them and preferably do so in a way that they lose direct line of sight. He's within a block or two of his dad's place. The right thing for him to do is to get there as fast as he can.

Posted by: Jeff the Baptist at March 26, 2012 11:19 PM

If someone is following you and you don't know their capabilities, the proper thing to do is get the hell away from them and preferably do so in a way that they lose direct line of sight. He's within a block or two of his dad's place. The right thing for him to do is to get there as fast as he can.

Or, as I've heard several African-American commentators say on radio and TV, you get the jump on them first before the following stranger can do anything to you.

Has it occurred to you that Zimmerman may not have replied because Martin was already punching him in the face?

If this can be heard via the girlfriend's cell phone, how long should we expect Zimmerman to answer -- at least a full minute?? Or immediately? What is reasonable?

Posted by: Hube at March 27, 2012 08:02 AM

"Or, as I've heard several African-American commentators say on radio and TV, you get the jump on them first before the following stranger can do anything to you."

It's a bad idea for a number of reasons:

(1) You don't actually know the person's motive. I've never been mugged or assaulted, but have had several people follow me. It usually turns out I dropped something, or they're salesmen/conmen, or just want directions. They all raised my self-defense instincts, but none of those situations actually required a violent resolution.

(2) You initiated the violent conflict. You threw the first punch, often with no prior warning. The other guy can then make a claim to self defense. And if the person wants to do you harm, you've just given him exactly what he wants.

(3) You have no idea what the other person's capabilities are. You don't know if he has a knife or gun. If he does and you don't, then you're outclassed.

(4) Distance is very valuable defensively. If he has a knife, he needs to be close to cut you with it. If he has a handgun, he is going to be much better with it at close range. But if you add distance he gets worse at everything. If you add enough distance and/or obstacles like locked doors, then you can call the cops, wait, and have someone else engage the threat for you.

So basically, jumping a guy is a great way to win an even fight or get shot/stabbed in an uneven one. In all cases it's a great way to have a fight that you don't need to have. Especially when you're close to home.

Posted by: Jeff the Baptist at March 28, 2012 12:00 AM

You don't actually know the person's motive

That's true, especially after you ask "Why are you following me?" and get no reply as seems happened. Those commentators were basically saying "That's what happens in the 'hood."

Also, distance is a good thing. Perhaps Zimmerman should have listened to the 911 dispatcher and maintained his.

Posted by: Hube at March 28, 2012 08:02 AM