Trayvon Martin (courtesy weaselzippers.us)

Trayvon Martin was minding his own business before he crossed paths with George Zimmerman. After that . . . the jury reckoned George Zimmerman acted in self defense when he shot the Florida teen. Since the case first came to national attention, observers have maintained George Zimmerman could have avoided the entire incident if he’d simply stayed in his car. True dat. Also true: Martin was a stranger in the neighborhood, on a dark night, wearing a hoodie. His skin color may or may not have been relevant to his ultimate fate. Be that as it may, I’d simply like to point out that your safety (as a concealed carrier) often depends on how others perceive you . . .

Let me be clear: you have the right to be in any public place at any time for any legal reason. But that doesn’t mean you should be in certain places at certain times. It comes back to the rabbi’s dictum: avoid stupid people in stupid places doing stupid things. Think of George Zimmerman as a stupid person. See what I mean?

You’re doing nothing wrong. But a stupid person might (let’s go ahead and use the word) assume you’re up to no good. Mostly because you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time (according to them). You might also look threatening (to them). So they might initiate an aggressive action that you consider threatening. You respond. They respond. Shit gets out of control.

I’m not saying that’s what happened in the George Zimmerman case. But it can happen. And, lest we forget, the police are out there, somewhere. They’re actively looking for troublemakers. Some of these officers may have had an extremely unpleasant experience with a criminal who started out doing nothing very much exactly where you’re doing nothing very much.

There are three basic rules for avoiding this type of life-threatening “misunderstanding” with strangers:

1. Avoid stupid places

As How I Met Your Mother instructed us back in ’06, nothing good happens after 2am. Why walk down a deserted city street at some ungodly hour of the morning? You’re a target for muggers and you could be seen as a mugger. In fact, everywhere other than home sweet home (yours or someone else’s) becomes a stupid place at ‘o dark thirty.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not recommending agoraphobia. But if you’re a stranger in a strange land it pays to remember to stay on the beaten path. At the very least be aware that you may not be a welcome sight for natives who know the lay of the land a lot better than you do. Speaking of which . . .

2. Consider how you look to others

Gun guys constantly exhort armed American to maintain situational awareness. Scan for potential threats and escape routes. Have a plan. Be ready to implement it. The Zimmerman case reminds us to add another element to that mix: how other people see us. Do I look like a potential robber when I enter the local Stop ‘N Rob for some Skittles and an Arizona Iced Tea?

I don’t. I’m a 54-year-old white male with cop-short hair and preppy attire, frequently accompanied by my nine-year-old daughter. But I do look around the room a lot more than other folks do. Stupid, traumatized and/or paranoid people could misinterpret that behavior as “shifty” and react accordingly (i.e. inappropriately).

I’m not saying you should change your look to make people around you feel more comfortable (so they don’t shoot or otherwise assault you). Neck tattoo? Biker beard? Mohawk? It’s a free country and all that. Just be aware that others are aware of how you look. Factor that into your level of situational awareness. Ask yourself: do I blend?

3. Adjust your behavior

You and two friends are walking down the sidewalk at night. A single woman is heading towards you. You and your crew are under no obligation to cross the street to make her feel safer. But you can if you want to. You can also keep your hands in plain view, attempt to make eye contact (i a good way), nod your head and smile. You might even say hello in a cheerful, “we’re not thugs” tone of voice.

It’s not about political correctness. Consider this: the female stranger might be armed. And genetically predisposed to earning an Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day award. Or she might be a survivor of an assault who decides to “play it safe” and phone the local po-po, who decide that it’s a lovely night for a Stop ‘N Frisk (true story and a real PITA when you’re carrying a concealed weapon).

As the Zimmerman trial proved, legally armed Americans are innocent until proven guilty. In theory. In practice many if not most people are hard-wired to instantly judge others for their threat potential. In the wrong circumstances they can reach the wrong conclusion about your intentions. Again, I’m not saying that’s what happened to Trayvon Martin. But it’s something to consider when you’re out and about, especially if you’re carrying a firearm.

129 Responses to Self Defense Tip: Don’t Act Like Trayvon Martin

    • Please. If dear, sweet, little Trayvon hadn’t met George that night, something tells me he would have eventually picked a fight with some other angry, head-strong, young African-American, and the result would have been essentially the same.

      Except you’d never have heard about it. Because young black guys killing other young black guys in America is called “Tuesday”.

      • Or “Thursday”

        Or “a slow night” if you live in Chicago.

        Funny how the media and the rest of the vultures show up when they think there’s an “example” to be made.

      • You’re right. Because the vast majority of black males are just a breath away from their next crime or anti-social act, so it was bound to happen.

        • I don’t know about the majority, but a judge and jury just spent weeks going over this case, and they think that Trayvon sure was. And did.

        • Quit trolling Nobby, Trayvon’s own words and selfies are available online for everyone to analyze. He was much bigger and stronger than George Zimmerman and it is ridiculous to suggest that Zimmy started any kind of fight.

          George Zimmerman is not a white man. The media calls him a white man and you are here fishing for anything you can point at and use to cry racism. The reality is that there is widely recognized and long standing criminal epidemic among young black men and it is a tragedy in a great many ways for all Americans.

          Trayvon was primed by the mass media and peer pressure to be a confrontational scofflaw, something he surely found glamorous. He thought he was punching out a cracker, something worth bragging about in his world, but it turned out to be an armed Latino concerned about his neighborhood.

          You are not going to solve this problem by blaming whitey and trying to take our guns, especially when there is no whitey involved to even blame. Black Americans are being manipulated by liberal pied pipers who see you as nothing more than useful idiots, as Lenin put it.

        • No, because black America doesn’t give a damn about young black males. It’s only interested in changing the topic to…..RACISM!

        • Not the vast majority of blacks. But the vast majority of black victims are victims of other blacks. Fact.

          SD3 – the term I heard on another site is “the Black Grievance Industry” (Sharpton, Jackson, et al) aka BGI.

  1. Well, you suckered me in, RF. From reading the headline in my email, I thought this post was going to go downhill in a hurry. This was actually a really good takeaway of lessons to be learned from this whole mess. I’d probably say that “Learning from George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin” would be better title, but it’s neither as concise nor controversial as your current title, and for both of those reasons you’ll probably leave it as is.

  2. Tip #3: Black males of all ages must prove that they aren’t thugs (prove their innocence) so others will be more comfortable around them. In a nutshell, if they would smile and stoop forward a bit too, it would help. Not much, but it would help.

    • White young kids must also prove they aren’t thugs. I was pulled over many times simply for being young. What are you doing around here, kinda late isn’t it? Where you going? Your car? How long you had it? How about you pop the hood? Mind if I search your car? How long you known the guys with you? Inevitably ended with:

      Do you know why I pulled you over?

      No sir.

      Your license plate light is out (or flickering).

      I’d get home, jump up and down on the bumper and damned if BOTH license plate lights would be steady and bright.

      • Been through the same sort of thing (when much more mature).
        I was stopped often to explain what I was doing on the road, at an hour when only police cars were supposed to be out.
        Once the excuse was “one tail light was out, and the other was almost out”. I grabbed some spare bulbs I kept at hand, showed them to the officer and told him I would correct that violation right then and there. When I prepared to get out of the car, he quickly assured me that it would be OK to wait a while for the repair.
        Naturally, when I got home and checked there was no problem at all.

    • And that well help the majority of people whom these thugs rape, rob and kill, who also happen to be black because…?

      • We don’t care how they act around their own as long as they straighten up when they’re around us, the good guys.

      • Allegedly. If you look at the conviction and incarnation rates for black males, you can either conclude that they do a lot more killin, rapin, and thuggin’…Or, you can conclude that the system is biased against them.

        Take your pick, but pick well. Racists, bigots and other scum tend to lean towards one of them. I’ll let ya’all guess which.

        • So, knowing facts make a person racist, bigoted or scum?

          Over 90% of the gun crime in NYC is committed by black or Hispanic males. 99% of interracial rape is committed by black males. Those are facts. Do a little research and you won’t think the system is biased.

        • Chris mallory. You won’t even admit that government employees are citizens of this country. You spew hatred and mistrust of the government until they say something about blacks and crime. Then suddenly you support the system.

          The GZ case has brought out a lot of truth from the commentors on this site and a lot of it ain’t pretty. Hate the government, hate the alphabet agencies, but when the FBI throws out stats about the black crime rate it is accepted as gospel. No question of it being an Alinsky tactic at all.

          !00% of gun violence is done by gun owners. That’s a stat that is beyond question. Does this mean we should support gun control?

        • That is what happens when 12% (actually 6%) of the population commits 53% of the violent crime.

    • Not sure if that’s sarcasm or not… Hope so. As a black male, I have a feeling that few would perceive me as a threat, as I don’t dress like a thug, lack tattoos, and understand what a belt was meant to do. Clothing and body language make all the difference, in my opinion. We’re hardwired to instantly analyze those around us, and it is often quite easy to determine who may be a member of “the riffraff”, regardless of race. I see white crackheads all the time, and they’re not hard to flag, just like black people of the same cracky clan. There are certain signs that give hints to the criminal element, regardless of color. When those signs are recognized, keep your distance. Somewhat unrelated: I couldn’t be happier about the verdict! I’m glad an angry mob can’t intimidate a state to convict an innocent man. Now that he’s been found not guilty of any crime twice (police investigators, then a full murder trial), it will be interesting to see if the Feds will bend to the will of said mob, and file a civil rights case… Certainly hope not, but nothing surprises me these days.

      • the cracky clan hah There are always signs, its just up to us to pay attention to them and act accordingly.

      • My work takes me to parts of town and out amongst the people that I would not otherwise go to, believe me I have seen peeps of every race and sex that set off alarm bells. I have also seen every race and sex get danger close that have not set off the bells. I think maybe I am lucky that I have a “leave this guy alone vibe.” I say that because no one ever just comes up and just starts talking to me, unlike my partner who is a magnet to strangers.

        I has nothing to do with race and everything to do with how the other person comports themselves.

        Just remember one of the Marine rules for gun fights- Be professional, be courteous, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.

      • JWM,

        Adam Lanza was not a gun owner, he was a gun thief. The property that he used to commit was not his own, nor was it legally obtained.

        • True, A81. What Adam Lanza and damn near all mass shooters share in common was he was white. Race really isn’t relevent until it’s a black man. Then watch how it becomes an entire races fault. 12% of the population is black. About half that, 6% are male. Maybe 3% of those are young black men in the trouble prone years. Such an insignificent number of the entire population yet they are feared as if they were waiting in every closet to spring out and attack.

        • J&D. Part of that is that given the same offence a white guy is more likely to get a non custodial sentence than a black, all other issues being the same. When I worked at the prison it was rare to see an 18-20 yo white guy doing time for a first offense but it was common to see black guys and mexicans of that age doing time for a first offense.

          White guys were being arrested and committing crimes but they were more likely to get diversion programs and other non custodial sentences.

          A lot of the prison population is there on drug related and mental health issues. White kids are more likely to get treatment than prison. I have, thru my prison job and other areas, seen the community services hours given out at a higher rate to white guys than non white.

          Simply reprinting stats doesn’t really give a clear or honest picture of what’s going on. That’s the sort of tactic pushed by the gun grabbers.

          I worked at a state prison, but I’m guessing that the federal prison numbers have more to do with the war on drugs and the fact that white defendents can frequently afford better lawyers than public defenders. Just guessing based on my experience.

          From my father’s family I know that when white guys get arrested they are bailed out more often than black guys and that once bailed out these white criminals that I knew committed multiple felonies in order to be able to afford a better lawyer than a public defender.

        • jwm – “Race really isn’t relevent until it’s a black man. Then watch how it becomes an entire races fault. ”

          You mean, white conservatives’ fault?

          The only people making race an issue are those who want to say the black man is automatically innocent in a violent altercation.

          I don’t fear anyone but those who are acting suspiciously. I don’t care what color they are. Straighten up and act decent and you’ll be fine.

          But if you walk around with a chip on your shoulder forever acting like everyone’s out to get you, and the only way to get ahead is to cheat, steal, or commit acts of violence, because of the lies you’ve been fed, then suspicion is what you get.

          That’s also why why white teenage males get treated with suspicion as well, because they are full of angst, and it shows, usually. I got pulled over when riding with my YOUTH GROUP leader because his tail light was out. Seriously that is the only time I’ve ever seen anyone pulled over for a tail light (though he did have a taillight out). We were polite to the officer and he sent us on our way.

          It’s their job. Sometimes they don’t do it perfectly. But you don’t do yours perfectly either.

      • I know plenty of folks who have trouble with the police on routine stops simply because they have a hard time saying — sir. Yes, sir. No, Sir. I appreciate that sir. Yes sir, I understand.
        No sir, I’m not late for work. No sir, I don’t know how fast I was going, I was just driving along.

        A lot of stops that turned into warnings.

        • So go with Private, Patrolman, ____. If he isn’t the Sheriff or the Chief he is a troopie not a”Sir”.

    • Tip #4: If you are a young black/white/Hispanic/whatever male in a neighborhood that has had a lot of burglaries, and you are out at 2am on a rainy night, don’t ambush a neighborhood watch volunteer, knock him to the ground, try to crack his skull on the cement sidewalk, and then go into your “as seen on TV” MMA beatdown gig.

      The volunteer might use lethal force to defend himself against your “immediate threat of death or grave bodily harm”. And it will be called self-defense by the jury.

  3. Here’s a lesson-

    You never know how far the other person is willing to take it.

    You will never be able to read your opponents mind and know their intentions, or what they are carrying, or whether they have friends in the area…

  4. Don’t go into a dark alley after someone who you think is “up to no good” and “on drugs or something.” You’re not the only one around with a gun, and the dead body on the lawn might end up being yours.

  5. excellent advice, RF. One of your best posts on this site in fact.

    People will whine “I SHOULDN’T HAVE TO MAKE OTHER PEOPLE FEEL SAFE, THAT’S THEIR PROBLEM”, but 1. do your fellow human beings a favor and make the single woman walking down the street feel more comfortable or the father family of 5 out for a fun night feel a bit more at ease when you can. 2. if you have no interest in helping your fellow human beings, at least the instincts of self-preservation should kick in and you should avoid the same behaviors, actions or appearances that are most likely to cause others to think that you are a threat (even if you aren’t!).

    And realistically, if you are motivated by reason 1 or reason 2 (or both), the result is the same — you are decreasing the likelihood that you or someone else will be victimized because of a misunderstanding, or because they thought the circumstances warranted actions that could have been avoided.

    No, you shouldn’t HAVE TO lock your door or car, and you shouldn’t have to look both ways when you are in a crosswalk, but by locking your home and car you are taking actions to prevent theft or injury to yourself. You are completely within your rights not to secure your belongings and walk right across the street without a care for the car blazing down the residential street towards you, but just because you are within your rights does not make it responsible to use the confines of what you can do at a minimum as blinders to what you ought to do.

  6. “Do I look like a potential robber when I enter the local Stop ‘N Rob for some Skittles and an Arizona Iced Tea?”

    no but you look like someone who is ready to enjoy some Lean(DXM)

  7. The absolute worst thing that can happen to a person who embraced the whole Gansta rap, Hood life style attitude is to perceived yourself as being “Dissed” the radar is always out looking for it. Look half the shootings or more in Chicago are the result of someone feeling that he was “Dissed” . Martin felt dissed because he was questioned period and it escalated from there.

    • If I was confronted by some random asshole, for no reason, in a public place, I would feel pretty dissed, too.

      • If you already decided they are an asshole, then you are the one dissing.

        And if I am the person, so rudely dissed and offended that someone would question my masculine bona fides, then, as a person with much to lose and a fulfilling and valuable life, I walk away, and pity theirs.

    • Reminds me of an episode of “Scared Straight” I watched recently. One of the juveniles was a 14 y/o black girl with a smart mouth who was always getting in fights in school. She believed that anyone “disrespecting” her deserved a beat down. And here she was taking on cops/custodial officers with the same attitude. What in the hell led her to believe that anyone owed her any “respect”? What had she done to earn it? Getting up in peoples’ faces isn’t going to do it. Running around with a chip on your shoulder, acting like everyone “owes” you something will just get you killed.

        • I agree. TM would be alive if he had just shown his paperz to the man and justify his presence as requested.

        • @ Nobby

          Wrong. This is not Nazi Germany, TM didn’t have to show any papers or justify his presence to anyone. Both of them had the freedom to be out and about that night in that area. Furthermore, respect is a two way street and in this circumstance neither of them showed any to the other person.

          TM would be alive if (1) He didn’t instigate the fight and then proceed to pound GZ’s head into the ground, (2) GZ just observed TM from a safe distance, or (3) The two of them politely acknowledged each other to ease any tensions they might have about each other (GZ saying he’s the neighborhood watch and asking if TM needs any assistance, TM saying he bought some snacks and he’s on his way home, etc…). Gasp, how hard would #3 have been for the two of them; so much for a polite and civil society with idiots like TM and GZ around.

  8. If the police are out there somewhere looking for troublemakers, why carry a gun using that logic.

    A lot of articles are good but sometimes you seem to write stuff just to say that you wrote…………..

    • Why? Because we can’t find all of them, that’s why. And if we find the one that robs you _after_ the robbery, how much does it really help you as an individual?

      • It sure as hell isn’t beneficial to your life if your friendly neighborhood law enforcement officer finds the troublemaker after he’s already beaten/stabbed/shot you and left your body for some poor schmuck to find.

        The police can’t be everywhere at once. If you can’t defend yourself and the police can’t reach you in time, that leaves only one way for the story to go. Why carry a gun? To ensure your safety. I will never, ever purposely look for trouble anywhere. However, should trouble decide that I’m the next contestant, I refuse to be a victim. I refuse to be a headline about a murdered civilian. That’s why.

  9. No.

    I will not follow or use any of those tips.

    I’m not your average looking gun owner. I have lots of tattoos, I dress provocatively and according to a set of aesthetics and fashion that I find pleasing, and I stick out like a sore thumb. (Unless I’m at a Krum Bums or KMFDM show.)

    Cops and other protofascists look at me all the time, obviously because they think that I’m up to no good. Thats fine with me, too, because I notice an awfull lot of girls look at me too, so thats worth it.

    I am an exceptional individual. I do not wish to blend in with the rest of the sheep and proles.

    I am easy going, unfailingly polite, respectfull, kind, helpful and in many other wasy a good person.

    But if some one is dumb enough to make judgments and assumptions about me just by looking at me, that’s pretty awful. Thats also their choice, and their mistake.

    Where I go and how I dress are about as basic and as fundamental of a choice as I can make. As noted, I have every right to dress in what ever manner pleases me, and I have every right to conduct myself lawfully in any public place. And everyone else has the right not to look at me and the right not to interact with me if they don’t care to.

    I enjoy my life and love living it because of the freedom that I have. I can not imagine enjoying a life where I can not exersize that freedom and do as I please, so, no, even if it does make me safer, I will NOT sacrifice my liberty and my individuality over even such a seemingly petty issue such as this.

    But it is NOT a petty, small unimportant issue.

    Sacrificing liberty for safety is retarded. I’m sure everyone who reads this website regularly can quote several Founding Fathers to back me up on that point.

    Because essentially this post and these tips further and coincide with the idea that just because I look different and sometimes act different, some one is going to try and hurt me.

    I would not advise that. I’d much rather have a nice conversation with a stranger than fight them to the death.

    But if some one objects to me enjoying the liberty to dress and go where I please so strongly that they try to coerce me with threat or use of force, they best bring plenty of ammo, some lunch, and as many friends as they can, because I will resist.

    If I am threatened and put in fear of my life, it doesn’t matter if I’m being targeted for financial gain by some one who wants my wallet, or if I’m being targeted by some overly concerned, judgmental neighborhood watch captain.

    I’m not going to change how I dress or when and where I go places out of fear, and I cant imagine why any of the other liberty loving readers in the armed intelligentsia should, either.

    My perspective here might be a little off, but I cant tell if this post is preaching good advice or cowardice.

    • It was hidden in there, but this was not necessarily a call to change the way you dress to be more mainstream, or to “conform.” The line that was fairly subtle was that however you choose to portray yourself, be aware of how others see you, and take that into account. That’s all.

      • I read that very differently, then.

        I assume most people who read TTAG own a mirror, so it would seem reasonable to guess that they know exactly how they look.

        I also would assume anyone smart enough to operate a computer and read this website would assume that their reflection generalizes, and other people see the same thing…

        So, people not being complete morons, I don’t see much of a point for this article aside from the subtext that I felt is being pushed.

        • What you said about yourself basically sums me up as well. Tattoos,dressing a certain way, and being unfailingly polite. Part of the reason is because I enjoy proving other people wrong about my character. That may be why you do it, if you can admit it. Maybe not though. But I did not take away the same lesson you did from this. I accept that I will be judged accordingly with my appearance and know full well it will factor in later if it comes down to it.

    • Dr Dave…geeze you have a perfect right to do as you please in life. To be the “other”. Just don’t forget that ALL HUMANS are wired, from a million years on the African savanna, to perk up when the “other” shows up. Once that happens they are wired to either flee or fight. Evolution doesn’t give a crap about an individual. You and I and any one person, are quite expendable in the grand scheme of things.

      So again, don’t complain when you trigger an unavoidable human reaction. Good luck in life, but I tell ya that I suspect you will meet someday, somewhere, someone that is bigger and badder than you.

      • I believe that logic and reason are both attainable to every human being, and are more than strong enough to counter ones instincts and cut through ignorance to find truth.

        Your DNA is no excuse for choices that you make.

        I’ve already ran into many, many people that are bigger and badder than me. We drank beer and talked and had a great time on most of these occasions.

        And although I can understand your perspective and philosophical point, do not dismiss my entire existence on the grounds that I’m just one of 7 billion other people. I might not be important to you, but I’m awfully damn important to me, even though in the grand scheme of things and the totality of the universe I don’t mean anything.

        • Nobody has TOLD you what to wear Dave. You are an answer looking for a question that isn’t here.

        • Yes, yes they just did.

          They are offering me a “tip” or “advice”. And that advice is you might be less likely to get shot if you conform and dress normally.

          My response to that is a strong moral objection and counterpoint.

        • Well, you can feel about it however you want, but people are going to have the associations they’re going to have and you as an individual can do nothing but accept it.

          If you look like just another Standard Citizen, Model A1, then it’s assumed you come with the features of the model as well. If you look like you belong to some other product line, then it’s assumed you come with those features as well.

          Is this a fair or reasoned approach? Of course not, but it’s one that’s evolved because it’s pretty reliably safe for small bands of humans living in the wild, which is what we were for most of our history.

        • Negative Dave. Suggestions are not dictates. Nobody has told you how to dress. You just are an attention whore on a daily basis. Some of us aren’t.

        • You get to dress how you want. People will make certain associations and assumptions based on your dress. That’s just life. They cannot tell you how to dress, and you cannot tell them what to think when they look at you. If you understand that “how you look” will be taken into consideration in forming peoples’ impressions of you (and that may translate into how they act), then you are most of the way to understanding what the tip was trying to tell you. If you understand what the likely response will be (regardless of whether you agree with it) and take that into consideration, you will have the full lesson of the tip.

          Or, you could run around and complain that people can’t or shouldn’t judge you for your appearance and get defensive about it. Whatever.

      • There you go, trying to insert higher brain functions into a situation that is going to be decided by the “reptile brain”.

        You are assuming:
        1) people have a desire to “get to know the real you” and
        2) will take the time to do so.

        There’s a term for your condition, Dave. Narcissism.

        I don’t give a damn if you are the most rational, nicest, smartest person anyone could ever meet – if they take one look at you and their hindbrain screams “threat” they are going to treat you like a potential threat.

        You’re fighting millions of years of evolution, and you are going to lose. As others have mentioned, if you want to present yourself a certain way you need to expect people to make judgements based on that.

        I’m reminded of a comedy skit I saw. The comedian was talking about empowered women who like to say “just because I DRESS a certain way, doesn’t mean I AM a certain way.” He was wondering what would happen if one of those women, upon being assaulted, ran toward a man in a uniform they assumed to be a police officer. And who then turned to them and said, “I’m not a cop, you’re on your own. Just because I dress this way doesn’t mean I’m a cop.”

        ….

    • The Krum Bums?! too funny, used to see them play house shows in Austin as a younger dude. Some people are just going to always look at you funny, punk rocker or not. Its more of that surprising polite response that gives them the good WTF.

    • So in order to be a “free spirit/nonconformist” you chose to CONFORM to an alternative stereotype – that of the antisocial misfit? See also spend $25k on leathers and a Harley to ride 100mi/yr.

      Grow up and spend your time/wealth being productive.

  10. If your gated community turns into a burglar’s mecca, sell before your neighbors do, because there is probably a reason it became a burglar’s mecca and guess what: you can’t fix it by yourself.

    If your gated community cannot afford to light the walkways, tear down the walls and gates. They just present an obstacle to police patrolling while providing cover for burglars.

    If you decide you can’t afford to move as crime skyrockets, realize that you also probably can’t afford a quality legal team, so avoid trouble meticulously.

    • I hate gated communities. They are a perfect example of the “firebase” mentality. It’s never worked in war, and it doesn’t seem to work as a home security measure, either.

      The sheep feel safe in the pen, never realizing that what slows a wolf down getting in is even more effective at keeping the sheep from getting out in a hurry.

      At least in the city I live in, the few “gated communities” get targeted by criminals. The perception is the people who live there are soft liberals who won’t defend themselves, and who also have nice stuff.

      • I have never particularly liked HOA’s or Neighborhood watches either. It is too easy for busy bodies with nothing else to do to snoop around more than watching for thieves etc.

  11. RF,

    Care to clarify?

    “Or she might a survivor of an assault who decides”

    Should there be a “be” between “might” and “a”?

  12. Here’s something I consider an important lesson, which I haven’t seen addressed in any of the wailing and gnashing of teeth over this case:

    If you have kids, teach them what the laws are on self defense!

    When I was 17, I certainly had no idea what the law was. All I’d ever heard was the official story from Authority Figures, that I should never, ever defend myself but should try to tell a teacher/policeman/duly annointed government employee. I didn’t learn what the law actually was until I was in college and looked it up for myself in the college library after buying my first gun.

    If some creepy stalker was following me when I was 17, I don’t know what I’d have done (that was a long time ago, and it’s hard to put myself in that mindset), but I doubt it would have been particularly well-advised given my total ignorance of the law at the time.

    • I’m glad you brought this up. While it might make for more ‘orderly’ schools, the rules of self defense that are taught to children are a hazard to them. Perhaps the first rule of self defense is to actually be on the defensive and not causing the problem. However, if in the exercise of your rights someone attacks you, you should resist by all means proper and necessary.
      The flips side of this is that bullies learn from other students that people will not attempt effective resistance when attacked. While it may be true of other students, this doesn’t follow among adults. One could perhaps say that the current situation results from this. If a person is inclined to aggression and cultivates in within a victim rich environment that person may well find themselves injured, jailed or killed in the ‘real world’. We do a double disservice to children when we fail to teach them both the ethics and the legalities of self defense.

  13. This is America, with all it’s freedoms. If you’re walking down anystreet USA and are confronted by a stranger who isn’t a cop then you must assume that stranger is armed. In this country it’s almost a given they are. If you wish to survive the encounter you must behave accordingly. If you cannot shoot first and afford a good legal team then you must either comply with the strangers demands or evade and escape. Roll the dice and see what comes up.

    • The shoot first will not be a defense. (3) of 776.013 is the SYG portion says “who is attacked.” It is NOT a shoot first law like Bloomer and other idiots try to lead the ignorant to believe. SYG wasn’t used in this case though. That said, TM could have told Zim to piss off and went on his way.

  14. i think verdict says less about this particular incident than about an overzealous prosecutor. Here is the same prosecutor one year before:

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/11/justice/florida-stand-ground-sentencing#sthash.Whady5qS.dpuf

    me, i’da handed this woman a gold star for shooting her abusive husband.

    The prosecutor has a pattern of overcharging defendants. It’s a risky gamble. In one case the prosecutor won, in another he lost. Had he charged Zimmerman with aggravated assault, Zimmerman mind have been convicted. But, politics being what they are, i doubt NAACP or Sharpton would have accepted it.

    I agree with all the bullet points, but i’d add two: 1) know the law and predispositions of the authorities. Shooting someone, even justifiably, still might mean a lengthy trial, 00000s in legal bills, and jail time, even if eventually you are exonerated; 2)after the fact, STFU, politely.

  15. Also advisable for young black thug wanabees to think twice about bashing the head in of those pudgy white Hispanics, especially in a shall-issue State.

      • Ask the BATFE. I just bought a new rifle a couple days ago, and the current version of their racist questions on the 4473 include a “hispanic/non-hispanic” checkbox, and a “race” checkbox where “white” is one of the options.

        • Again, white is a race, Hispanic is an ethnicity. That’s why they’re in different boxes on the 4473. Prior to the differentiation, most Hispanics got lumped in as White, and many of them felt that was not an accurate representation of who they were.

        • No – Caucasian, Asian, Negro are races.

          White is a color. Black is a color, Purple is a color.

          “Hispanic” and “Latino” were constructs of the 1970s.

        • Ok, I see now. He’s a white Hispanic because he had a white (Caucasian) parent and an Hispanic parent; thus white-Hispanic! So says the NYT. I guess because if an Hispanic male shot a black kid it wouldn’t have crossed the sensational threshold, so they added the “white” part to make it a racial story.

          So if that’s the case, what is our President? A white-African? I am losing my sense of perspective with this new type of racial reporting.

        • Actually, they didn’t add the white. They added the Hispanic as a correction to the original assumption that he was white. Actually, being from central Florida with the last name Zimmerman, a lot of people initially thought he was not just white, but Jewish.

      • Like Matt said, white is a race, Hispanic is an ethnicity. As such, there are white Hispanics (Charlie Sheen’s real name is Carlos Estevez). There are also black Hispanics and Asian Hispanics. Searching Wikipedia for famous names, I noticed that this guy Tyson Beckford is on both the black and Asian Hispanic list. His father is Afro-Jamaican and Panamanian, and his mother is Afro-Jamaican and Chinese-Jamaican.

        • There are also pure Asian Hispanics. They are called Filipinos. Zimmerman is not a “white” Hispanic. Most Mexicans, South and Central Americans are mestizo — of Spanish and Indian (native American) decent. There roots are in Asia so if anything Zimmerman is an Asian-Hispanic.

          The only “white Hispanics” are in Spain and under affirmative action racial classifications don’t get the benefit of Hispanic preferences. Neither do any Hispanics who are of Jewish origins. Hear that Jerry Riverrs! Over half of the Western hemisphere’s Latin residents are Portuguese speakers. They get no benefit of racial preferences at all.

          The old South African regime would be so proud of us.

        • South America is as much a melting pot as North America.

          In terms of white Hispanics, there are plenty of people of German or other Northern European ancestry who have been living in South America for generations. The same goes for Asians, as there were migrations of Japanese and other nationalities in the 20th century that led to the creation of communities around the world. So there are plenty of people who have purely Asian ancestry going all the way back, but are Hispanic because that’s the culture they grew up in.

          And Portuguese speakers, i.e. Brazilians, are about half of the South America population, and a third of the overall Latin American population. Whether or not to include them in the definition of “Hispanic” is a tricky question. According to the Census, no, but there are other definitions, including some used by other agencies, that do include Brazilians in “Hispanic”.

        • And all of those confusing things are why our national census forms say words to the effect of “What do you identify yourself as?” Because George Zimmerman (or anyone else) can identify himself as whatever part of his heritage he chooses, and it’s nobody’s business to tell him otherwise.

        • Actually, the Sheens are not Hispanic, they are from Spain not Mexico. It was shown on a genealogy program, when Martin Sheen went to look for his roots.

        • Filippinos are not Hispanic, except those with Spanish ancestry. Most don’t have any of that. Though some in the elite still have Spanish passports. Most are ,Malayo-Polynesian some are black, similar to Aboriginies.

  16. Tip #1: I’ll be sure to tell everyone who works a night-shift job. I hope you don’t mind if all utilities, public services and commerce shut down at sunset.

    • I’m pretty sure if we looked up the statistics, we’d find a higher rate of victimization for night shift workers. It’s a risk factor to be aware of and yet another reason why employers shouldn’t be allowed to ban you from having a gun in your car if you park on their lot.

  17. Roughly 90% of all homicide victims are intoxicated at the time of their deaths. How many of those are justifiable, I don’t know, but there’s one way to keep your odds to a minimum.

  18. They overcharged GZ from the beginning. They never had a chance with 2nd degree Murder and only a slim chance with Manslaughter. But they caved to the pressure and Sanford PD and the prosecute remade fools of themselves and the system in the process. This was a lesson on how not to pursue something like this. They pissed off the entire black population of America and managed to let GZ get away with killing a man. They should have started with Manslaughter and then let him plead to Discharging a firearm, assault with a deadly weapon and or malicious wounding (or whatever the equivalents are, I don’t know Florida law). He would have plead and got 10-15 years for his stupidity instead of going free like nothing happened. Both men were extremely stupid and took actions to continue to escalate a non-situation in to a deadly force incident.

    • This is simply a misrepresentation of the facts of the case Brad. As per the verdict, GZ didn’t break any laws. The verdict also indicates TM was committing aggravated assault or attempted murder, for had it been otherwise a not guilty verdict in which the accused admits to intentionally killing the victim cannot be reached. Stupid isn’t illegal, aggravated assault is illegal, period.

    • Actually, Zim didn’t break any laws by getting out of his truck or walking on the side walk. He shouldn’t get 10 years just to pacify a racist lynch mob.

  19. Despite having access to a mirror, I’ve occasionally been surprised by reactions to how I look or what I project.

    Start your image from my basic genetics: I bear a striking resemblance to Michael Chiklis from “The Shield”.

    Clean shaven, I’m often mistaken for a LEO or military. (This opens doors in certain settings and gets me the cold shoulder in others.) But once, many years ago, I tried a fashion experiment (at the behest of some young ladies I was working with) and tried growing some stylish facial hair. Immediately, I noticed folks significantly changed how they responded to me. They crossed to street to avoid me, went on alert when I came into a place of business, and cops and security kept their eyes on me. They all seem fairly relieved when I opened my mouth and turned out to be polite, social and with a good sense of humor. The issue, I realized, was now I apparently looked like an outlaw biker or white supremist. (I have no ink or piercings.) I’ve stayed clean-shaven ever since.

    And I’ve also noticed there’s a behavioral factor. When I’m being social, smiling and greeting folks, I still get a sense of relief from them that I’m not a Bond villain. (I am not social and cheerful by nature, but I can accomodate for a few minutes.) But when I’ve had a particularly bad day at the office and am still carrying that desire to wring necks when I got out into the world, I realize I’m getting the nervous eyes again. So I have to check myself, just so things go smoother. (Especially if I’m carrying.)

  20. A learned lesson that I’ve been thinking about is “evade whenever possible.” A lot has been made of the fact that Martin was killed less than 70 yards from where he was staying. While it’s true that none of this would have happened if Zimmerman hadn’t followed Martin, or if Martin hadn’t gone out for snacks, but is it really possible that even the then less overweight Zimmerman could have outrun Martin in a 100-yard dash?

    It seems to me Martin could simply have fled, leaving Zimmerman in the dust, and have been home safe and sound, although about to be bombarded with way too much high fructose corn syrup.

  21. TM isn’t dead because of any of those things.

    TM is dead because he decided that being treated with suspicion (for all of those things) constituted a “diss” which entitled him to begin beating GZ’s face in.

    The self defense tip to be taken away from this is as follows: don’t punch people in the face. They might shoot you back.

  22. Typical “blame the victim” bullshit. This is one of the most insensitive and inappropriately timed posts I’ve ever seen. Shame on you. Something is seriously wrong with your heart to post something like this when a nation is grieving for an unarmed child who was gunned down by an armed attacker.

    • Actually, as for the “blame the victim,” last time I checked a jury of his peers found Zimmerman not guilty. Why? Its because GZ was the victim of assault from an attacker and had to defend himself accordingly in order to preserve his own life. Interesting that the jury was able to reach this decision if TM really was so “innocent.” Really puts that one into perspective doesn’t it.

      Also, TM was not an “unarmed child.” He had two arms and fists that he had used as deadly weapons when he had pounding GZ’s head into the ground. This attack was life threatening to Zimmerman. TM was 17 and he may have acted like a child during his life, but at that age he was still a man making his own decisions.

      Furthermore, judging by your comment it would seem that you didn’t even bother watching any of the trial as it took place or have even bothered to look at the evidence provided. This is not surprising in the least bit after hearing people around the internet constantly regurgitate the lies, deception, manipulation and bs that has been spread by the MSM over the past year.

    • Nice trolling AB but the nation was grieving for Travon last year when he was killed…..now half the nation is angry because the trial did not go how they wanted….that’s not grieving…

    • Hmmm, that’s one way to put it. Another way to put it is GZ, in a fight for his life, managed to pull out his legally carried handgun and shoot his attacker. See what I did there? RFs advice is valid for the deceased suspect, TM, to avoid all the things that led up to his death.

      Trolling gets you very little here by the way. You just get to be called a troll and ignored.

  23. I’ve enjoyed the debate, however one point is not made which applies to both side. SIMPLE COMMUNICATION. If both spoke to one another, one would be alive the other would forgo the last 16 months of drama. Does blame belong to cultures that reinforce stereotypes? Did TM’s father & mother teach how to talk to strangers? If GZ can mentor young black children why can he not speak to a teenager.
    Thirty words from both sides would have alter the outcome.

  24. As I told Ms. Mary had a little lamb last night this is what you can to to avoid becoming either Trayvon Martin or George Zimmerman. If you you are being followed and feel threaten move toward a place of safety and call 911. If it turns out that you can’t make it to safety before the police show up (a likely possibility) find a defensible position and let the your potential attacker know that you have the means of self defense. Most thugs, including Trayvon Martin, have more common sense than your typical Progressive and will beat feet when presented with an armed defender. That is why most DGUs end with no shots fired. If you happen to have one of the few who is as stupid as a Progressive then you will have to shoot him. If you do this you will not be prosecuted because you demonstrated that you were attempting to avoid a confrontation, called the authorities and warned your potential attacker. Violence was not your first resort and you gave the guy a chance to run away. Just because you can stand your ground doesn’t mean you should stand your ground.

    For the part of the population that thinks guns are bad then I guess they will have to comply with the wishes of the thug up to and including surrendering their lives.

  25. I think we’ll all agree that acting like Trayvon did, is less than unwise.
    It’s when we start applying the same rules of engagement to George,
    that my inner WTF? gets its hackles up and prickly. I’ll try to explain.

    George Zimmerman wasn’t just “some guy” who hated criminal perps.
    And he wasn’t just “some guy” who volunteered to be on patrol for the
    neighborhood watch program. He was “the guy” who organized it all.
    If anything, he was the founder of that neighborhood watch program.
    Speaking of omissions, this was the info that was so carefully ignored.
    He was quite deliberately referred to only as a volunteer, which for its
    own definition is correct, but it is not entirely accurate. That’s sort of
    like saying Eric Holder works for the Government. It falls a little short.

    What’s rubbing me the wrong way, is the automatic assumption that
    says: George should have stayed in the car, and IF he had, none of the
    bad things that transpired would have happened that night. I know,
    I was one of them. But I found myself engaging in simplistic, if not,
    wishful thinking that I reserve for unimportant bits or light sarcasm.
    Then one evening, with the benefit of a few fingers of Lagavulin in me,
    I began to question my initial perspective. I just hate missing obvious
    flaws, especially when they’re mine, but when I finally stepped back
    and looked at the whole picture, it became clear that the Martin family;
    though certainly occupying the most prominent place in this tragic
    story, wasn’t the only family we should be thinking about.

    My postulatory(sic) “What if?” epiphany goes like this. Yes, it’s worse.
    What if…it hadn’t been Trayvon Martin that George saw milling about,
    but a jail-hardened felon with real criminal mayhem on his mind?
    Let’s say you’re the proponent and driving force of your neighborhood
    watch, and you see a character shuffling around an area where recent
    criminal activity has occurred; as neighborhood watch captain, do you:

    A. Call the police to report it, then sit safely in your car till they arrive?

    B. Get out of your car and have a cautious, but casual reconnoiter?

    Here’s where I’m coming from. I would rather die at the hands of a guy
    I was reconning as neighborhood watch Captain, than to sit safely in
    my car waiting for the police, hoping that the man I saw hasn’t kicked
    in door of one of my neighbors, and is busy killing a family of five.
    I would rather die, and risk being called stupid for eternity because I
    didn’t stay safe in the car, than I would having to live with the fact that
    it was my inaction alone, that helped contribute the deaths of others.
    There may be no alcohol or drugs that could obliterate that memory.
    So ya, I guess I’m one of the stupid. I’m going to get out of the car.

    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do
    nothing. ~ Edmund Burke

  26. My only point is this, my parents took the time to TEACH wrong from right, did I listen? No! But I heard it all! My parents never kicked me out as a minor because I was too much trouble or stayed so detached from my life that they didn’t know the trouble I was in. I’m talking both sides here too folks. Old folks(over 60) seem to think the issue is the youth, but if you pay attention those same folks don’t live by the rules they preach. You can’t blame us for the state of the world YOU left to us. That having been said, you are a direct result of the parenting you received as a child, and how you choose to process said parenting in to adulthood. We all make choices everyday, some just don’t think “they” should have to live by those choices. “well, if you had just……….”, what is that? That’s like that whole, “she did it too” mentality. Decisions were made, poorly, and some one got killed, that’s what the lesson of the day is on this, is it? I don’t know, this isn’t the country I grew up in that’s for sure!

  27. If you look like a hoodlum, talk like a hoodlum and act like a hoodlum, you are a hoodlum and will be treated by one. Hindsight is 20-20 vision and based on the behavior of both individuals, they could have done things much differently and Mr. Martin would be alive today. Only those 2 know what really happened. the case was heard by a jury selected by BOTH sides and Mr. Zimmerman found not guilty. Enough of the racial BS already!

  28. Maybe if I post this enough times people will acknowledge it: Trayvon was staying with his father 70 yards from where he was killed. That makes the “fact” of Trayvon being a “stranger” somewhat less than obvious.

    The rest of it (and even the point of acting with the thought that you might well be thought of as a stranger, even if you have a right to be somewhere – as, in fact, any American citizen in a public place in America does) is good advice though. I wish more people would listen to Massad Ayoob’s tips too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *