The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Trayvon’s shooter should go on trial

The name Trayvon Martin should be familiar to everyone by now. If not, he was the Florida teen shot and killed on his way home from a convenience store by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman.

Zimmerman claimed to have acted in self-defense and has not been charged in Martin’s death because he is protected by Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, which says citizens aren’t obligated to retreat when threatened. They can stay and defend themselves with deadly force.

On the 911 call, Zimmerman said to police that Martin was wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and looked suspicious. Martin was criticized by Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera, who blamed Martin’s choice of attire for his death, which was even more upsetting.

The unfortunate event had nothing to do with fashion. Many people wear hoodies, especially in college and especially in Texas, where the weather changes so dramatically so fast.

Martin’s death has brought the age-old issue of gun control to light. Citizens should have the right to arm themselves. But use of those arms should only be a last resort, and they should be held accountable for their actions. Is it really necessary for a volunteer neighborhood watchman to carry a gun? Wouldn’t pepper spray or a Taser have been just as effective?

The problem with Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law is that it’s too broad. Any case involving a deadly weapon is usually complex and should be investigated on a case-by-case basis and not automatically dismissed based on one person’s account.

There are two sides to every story, and unfortunately, Martin is not around to recount his side.

Maybe Zimmerman shouldn’t be charged with murder but instead manslaughter or criminal negligence. He chose to disregard the 911 operator’s instructions that night and took the law into his own hands. He acted recklessly.

If he had heeded the words of the operator, Martin might still be alive today.

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