Sunday, July 15, 2012

Everything Changes In An Instant

I have posted my thought before on the George Zimmerman situation, back in March. This isn't an update, but a different perspective.

Once upon a time the world was happily ignorant of the existence of George Zimmerman. A fact he was most likely aware of and happy with himself. Then one rainy evening a set of events irretrievably changed that. We all know the story/stories; no need to repeat the basics here.

No, today we will examine how one decision may or may not have changed his current situation. Bear in mind, I have no special insight into events of that evening. I am just taking what we have been told is true, and adding a few (hopefully) logical suppositions.

First, in my opinion, George Zimmerman cares. He cares for his community, and he cares for his fellow man. That's what led him to become an unofficial Neighborhood Watch Captain. He didn't have to do it. Maybe it was not a sense of responsibility for his neighborhood that led him down that path, or other motives, hinted at in the press. Or maybe a combination of the two. Either way, he had taken the first step down the decision tree toward notoriety.

His decision to obtain a Concealed Carry Permit; his decision to buy a gun; his decision to carry that gun. All decisions that led to the events of that fateful night.

Another step in that series was taken that night. For some reason George felt the need to patrol his community. For its protection, or for his ego? Only George knows. His supporters say the former; his detractors the latter.

What was it that led hm to Trayon Martin? What Fate led their two paths to cross? And what caused George's suspicions to be aroused? Again, small choices led to a fateful decision; left or right at this intersection; 15 or 25 miles an hour; look left or right; look right or straight ahead. All choices he unconsciously made, just like the multiple choices we make many times in the course of a day. And all became fateful.

Think about that. Had George been traveling at 25 MPH instead of 15 MPH; had he turned left instead of right 2 intersections back; had his attention been captured by a fleeting motion out the left hand window instead of the right, or if Trayon had decided to carry an umbrella against the rain instead of wearing a hoodie, the world would still most likely be ignorant of the existence of George Zimmerman.

The biggest choice may not have been a decision George was allowed to make. Some reports say that Trayon was the aggressor in the final meeting between George and him. If that is so then the self-defense actions George was forced into were his only possible course. The other course- to allow himself to be beaten or killed- is not an acceptable one.

But then there is a side that says George was the aggressor. If so, then that is another choice he actively made to put himself into the final position.

Assume that it's so; assume George was actively seeking to defend his neighborhood by the use of a firearm. And he found a victim. One walking alone in the rain. An easy mark.

And in cold blood George shot him.

This course of action takes several fewer decision steps, and ignores multiple pieces of on record evidence. But it could have happened. At least the prosecution thinks so.

Myself, I see a man who made several decisions, over the course of years, decisions that were based on any number of inputs, including his personal convictions and morality; his interpersonal relations with his family, neighborhood and community, and his feelings toward his own life.

All decisions made by George himself. Some with careful consideration, some  without conscious thought and some with a split second to decide.

And all lead to one fatal instant. When, for both George and Trayon, everything changed.

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