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Wait for the cops next time, George
No Zimmerman, no problem, by Richard Amrhine.

 George Zimmerman leaves with his family after the 'not guilty' verdict was read in a Florida court recently.
GARY W. GREEN/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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Date published: 7/21/2013

By ly white

FROM WHAT I can tell, the jury, based on Florida law and the case it was presented, decided it was OK for a guy with a gun to patrol his neighborhood, assume some kid is up to no good because he's walking down the street at night, end up in a fight with the kid, and shoot him dead.

But there's a whole lot more to it than that, of course.

The acquitted gunman is George Zimmerman, whose background suggests he ought not be a carrying a gun. He's clearly a "wannabe cop," one of those guys who wants to wear a badge but doesn't have the right stuff. So he chooses to play cop, only he has a real gun. And he's looking for any opportunity to exert his tough-guy-because-I'm-packing authority, even after the real police tell him to back off. Why couldn't he just stay in his vehicle?

The young man in the wrong place at the wrong time--which in this case happens to be a black kid in a mostly white Florida neighborhood--was 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. He's just walking home from the store with his Skittles and soda. He who brings Skittles to a gunfight always loses.

Let's consider all the ways this episode might have been prevented so the world would never have known the names George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin.

Here's one: George Zimmerman isn't a hateful zealot with a gun.

Actually, that's the only one I can think of. And even after all of this, that hasn't changed. Because within hours of his acquittal, Zimmerman got his gun back. That's like giving the governor a Rolex: It might satiate a lust, but it only spells trouble. Be sure to find out where George Zimmerman is before you take a walk at night.

NOW WHAT?

We are left with two things to figure out: How Zimmerman walks away from the criminal case a free man, and what needs to be done to ensure justice is done in the future.


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Richard Amrhine is a writer and editor with The Free Lance-Star.