Trayvon Martin would have turned 18 Tuesday.
Instead, lawyers for George Zimmerman, the man accused of murdering the teen, and prosecutors are back in court to discuss evidence and pushing back a scheduled June 10 trial date.
Meanwhile, Trayvon’s family and local leaders have planned community healing and memorial events this week in honor of the teen whose shooting death last year sparked national debates about race, gun laws, and the meaning of self-defense.
I just read an article about a man who gunned down his neighbors, a couple with four children, over dog poop. There have been countless similar stories of senseless violence since Trayvon Martin was killed almost a year ago.
I started this blog just after I heard about Martin’s murder and the fact that his killer walked free until public outcry forced the creaking cogs of the justice system to start turning. We have to PAY ATTENTION and SPEAK OUT, even if it’s just on a little blog. One day, when my little ones are more independent and I am not so needed by my family, I plan to do more than just write about stuff. I want to act, march, petition, shout from the steps of the Capitol building. Until then, I will use the powerful platform of the Internet, which has done revolutionary things.
Who knows what the outcome of the Zimmerman trial will be? I hope lots of jail time for someone who was at best a coward and a fool-at worst, a cold-blooded murderer. No matter what happens to Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin will live on. He has become the catalyst for a national discussion on Stand Your Ground laws. He represents a promising life cut short by senseless violence. Not every situation is best handled with a gun-or any type of weapon. The oh-so-American tendency to swagger, bluster, and challenge is magnified when a gun is at the hip. If Zimmerman had not been armed, would he have heeded the advice of the dispatcher to NOT follow Martin?
Martin should have stepped back into his father’s living room, Skittles and Arizona Tea in hand and asked “what’s the score?” He should have had the opportunity to be a teenager. He will never graduate from high school, make mistakes, fall in love. Rather than celebrating his eighteenth birthday, he is in the ground because of Stand Your Ground. Rather than baking him a cake, his mother is grieving his loss. And this story of loss echoes throughout the country, from Sandy Hook to Aurora, Colorado. The nameless thousands who have died because we can’t have a rational discussion about this violent epidemic deserve our attention. This emphasis on our RIGHT to carry a gun is overshadowing our right to LIFE.