Quote of the Day: Blame All Around Edition

“If you want to prevent the next Trayvon Martin tragedy, learn from their mistakes. Don’t paint the world in black and white. Don’t declare the whole justice system racist, or blame every gun death on guns, or confuse acquittal with vindication. And the next time you see somebody who looks like a punk or a pervert, hold your fire.” – William Saletan in You Are Not Trayvon Martin [at slate.com]


    1. avatar Felix says:

      That’s interesting. Thanks for the link.

  1. avatar Jon says:

    +100….Also, don’t pursue alleged criminal, call the cops!!!! Only pull gun if an unprovoked attack occures.

    1. avatar Ty King says:

      He did call the cops, who asked what the subject was doing.

      1. avatar Jason says:

        Amend that to “call the cops…and let them deal with it”.

  2. avatar Brian says:

    This was a good piece, especially by Slate standards. That said I think it was Matt Lewis in “The Week” who pointed out that the backlash from the Zimmerman trial may lead to fewer people being willing to look out for their neighborhood beyond calling the cops and then drawing the blinds.

    While going looking for trouble (which Z arguably did) is not good policy I would hate to live in a world where people felt unable to protect their neighborhood except by invoking the state, if for no other reason than often the force of the state is ultimately unnecessary, and the more space it occupies the less there is for civil society.

    As is often the case there is no clear “right” answer.

    1. avatar EagleScout87 says:

      “I would hate to live in a world where people felt unable to protect their neighborhood except by invoking the state”

      Which has been the narrative all along.

      1. avatar Pascal says:

        This is the motivation of the crowd that wants to revoke the “Stand your ground” laws wants. For you to always default to the state. The progressives want all grievances to go to the state where they have special laws and rules and privileges where they have a better chance to get what they want.

        IMHO, both were at fault in this case. Zimmerman did not have to pursue, and Martin had no reason to attack.

        What is left is giving an excuse to act in way that is not necessary

        1. avatar Felix says:

          Duty to retreat from a criminal is the same as thinking that women should dress conservatively and no one should own an expensive house or drive an expensive car or wear expensive clothes or jewelry.

        2. avatar Roscoe says:

          A. It’s Zimmerman’s own neighborhood and he has every right to be there.

          B. He was part of a Neighborhood Watch program. What’s the purpose of having such an activity if not to watch and report suspicious activity, which he did? He was in essence being vigilant and monitoring suspicious activity, someone cutting across lots and looking into houses in an area suffering from a string of recent burglaries.

          C. Martin per the evidence ambushed and attacked Zimmerman without legitimate provocation.

          I see no problem with Zimmerman’s actions in this case, none. It’s tragic, and everyone involved looses, except the media, the opportunist politicians and the racist race baiters.
          But Martin alone visited this tragedy upon himself and all others victimized with this event.

          Look to his parents for the why.

        3. avatar William Burke says:

          Once again: this case had nothing to do with SYG laws. When TM got on top of Zimmerman, the “run away” option was taken off the table.

          Although Zimmerman was under no obligation to retreat from the assault, this incident never became a SYG case.

        4. avatar Roscoe says:

          @ W Burke
          You are of course absolutely right yet so many speaking to the subject seem unable to separate the concept of SYG from Zimmerman’s defense of simple Self Defense against imminent death or grave bodily harm.

          For those who are unaware of the difference because they are unfamiliar with the legal issues of gun ownership and self defense laws that’s one thing.

          But when it’s the politicians, race baiters and the media who should by now all be fully aware of the difference since they profess to give speeches about it and report on it, it can only be an intentional effort to muddy the waters and misinform the public in order to further their calls for more unjustifiable restrictions on gun ownership and self defense options.

        5. avatar WLCE says:


          I’ve been addressing that point over and over again and people seem to not get it.

      2. avatar mina says:

        This is correct. The playbook is to use every situation as best they can to replace the power of the citizens with that of the state.

        If you haven’t watched Grinding America Down yet, you should.

        1. avatar Rambeast says:


          Minus the preaching at the end of it, that is THE best education for those that wonder where the hell this country went wrong.

      3. avatar DerryM says:

        Some of this goes back to the School System failing to educate students about the Second Amendment. I have noted in several comments that if you live in a “Shall Issue” State, you should always consider that before starting a fight with an unknown person. I would suggest TM had no knowledge of this Law in Florida because the Schools never taught him (or any other Student) about the Second Amendment and related important laws in their State. I would not make so bold as to speculate on whether TM would have attacked had he known about the Florida Gun Laws, or not. But either his ignorance of the Law, or his choice of lifestyles and youthful brashness cost him his Life. This goes to show, I think, how the biases in the Educational Systems put young peoples’ lives at unnecessary risk.

  3. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    And don’t start fistfights with strangers.

    1. avatar Pascal says:

      Something that is ALWAYS left out of many of these stories.

    2. avatar Totenglocke says:

      Exactly. No matter how tough you think you are, you’re not tougher than a bullet.

  4. avatar Mister Fleas says:

    ” And the next time you see somebody who looks like a punk or a pervert, hold your fire.”
    Zimmerman did not fire until he was on his back and had already received at least several blows to the head. This clown makes it sound like Trayvon was shot on sight!

    1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

      there are clowns all around . . . . and some are in Congress:


      TTAG needs to wage jihad against her and that stupid hat.

      1. avatar Pascal says:

        People that who simply lie to stir the pot are in power because of lies like she tells on that video. her power comes from telling those lies than from keeping people calm and telling the truth. This hurts the community more than anything because it gives them a victim mindset in everything they do and keeps them from getting out of their economic situations because they feel everyone is against them where really they are their own worst enemy — very sad that people like this can be elected.

      2. avatar pwrserge says:

        I’ll see your Jihad and raise you one Crusade.

    2. avatar NevadaSmith says:

      exactly. I can’t understand this pervasive assumption that GZ initiated anything. Watching the streets of your own neighborhood and keeping an eye on suspicious activity or persons… that is the essence of good citizenship. All indications are that GZ was a cool, careful operator, staying in communication with the dispatcher, attempting to comply with address request to “meet the responding officer”, not trying to provoke anyone. He was then assaulted by a physically fit teenager. Why is anyone suprised that GZ would defend himself? Just a couple of direct hits by a fit MMA, boxer, football player would be lights out for most assault victims. Seems like GZ was restrained throughout, and only drew his arm as a desparate survival response.

      What our society needs in the 21st century is greater involvement by citizens in their community, not less. Most folks seem to spend far too much time inside their homes with the curtains drawn as it is, eyes glued to one screen or another.

      Certainly, if you are armed, you must be polite, and careful. and I think GZ was both. This whole race-baiting back-lash is just another tactic in the Left’s campaign of civilian disarmament. But this time it’s going to… backfire.

    3. avatar Matt in NC says:

      I didn’t read that comment as accusing Zimmerman of shooting on sight or too soon, rather that in the situation it would have been better if there had been no direct contact between the two of them. Or at the very least, Martin should have kept his hands to himself instead of hitting a ‘creepy ass cracker’.

  5. avatar Izmosis says:

    Who benefits at a disproportionate rate with regard to Florida’s Stand Your Ground laws?


    Holder et al may want to look at the facts before advocating repeal of SYG laws on the Federal level.

    1. avatar Pascal says:

      “Black Floridians have made about a third of the state’s total “Stand Your Ground” claims in homicide cases, a rate nearly double the black percentage of Florida’s population. The majority of those claims have been successful, a success rate that exceeds that for Florida whites.”

      Screw the facts, full speed ahead to stupidity because of the people in the Black Community wanting more to stir the pot of their own political gain than actually help.

      1. avatar Izmosis says:

        You’re right but does it still not make sense to know the facts? And I am paying attention…too much sometimes I believe.

        1. avatar Pascal says:

          The facts are important. I needed a /sarcasm on my comment.

          This why we use the term “low information” voters. There are those like yourself that seek out the truth and the facts, and there are those who just react to headlines and emotions. Sadly, a great deal of the voter base reacts to plain headlines and emotions and this is where the politicians who want simply to control win. It is easy to manipulate people through emotions, if someone can think for themselves and understand facts from fallacy, it is a much more difficult to make them do what they do not want to do.

          Carry on, you do nothing wrong.

  6. avatar A-Rod says:

    If you want to prevent the next Trayvon Martin tragedy…. take a good look in the mirror and see what is wrong with you. If it had not been GM that night the biggest threat to TM was one of his own peers.

  7. avatar Toasty says:

    +1 to this guy for actually looking at the facts of the case and realizing this was just a case of two people simultaneously making bad decisions that got one person killed. Be nice if slate did an in depth analysis of the proposed AWB and “Universal Background Checks” to see how bullshit they are. If this guy was this will willing to go beyond his own biases and look at the facts in this case, i don’t see how he couldn’t be willing to tell his liberal readers that everything the gun control industrial complex is pushing is nonsense that wont save anyone’s live.

  8. avatar shawn says:

    Parents need to do a better job. Street cred does nothing when your dead.

  9. avatar Blake says:

    Saletan makes more lame excuses than good points in the referenced article. Toward the end, the article is rather eye-rolling.

  10. avatar ensitue says:

    Without provocation, an inebriated Martin stalked and then attacked Zman, a Neighborhood Watch Member, breaking his nose with his first blow. He knocked Zman down and continued his attack secure in the knowledge that due to his size and his age he would walk away a free ‘man’ with increased Street Cred.
    Zman cried out for assistance as his head was pounded against the ground. Taken by suprise, Injured and still under attack Zman drew his licensed firearm and self-rescued by firing a single shot.
    Here’s the question:
    Would Martin have attacked a black man under the same circumstances?

    1. avatar Dan says:

      Not a tough question. Black solidarity only exists when creepy ass crackers are involved. The rest of the time they’ll gladly Chicago – Baltimore, Detroit, New Orleans, Philly, St. Louis, Rwanda, etc – themselves til the cows come home.

  11. avatar BDub says:

    Another quote that seems to still imply that Zimmerman just saw someone he didn’t like the look of and opened fire. I’m sick of this meme. I have watched it regurgitated in every street interview i have seen.

  12. avatar Kirk says:

    Jimmy Carter, in a knock-me-over-with-a-feather moment, has weighed in with his take on the Zimmerman case:


    As to Saletan: Sorry, no sale. Martin suddenly and violently attacked GZ. Zimmerman responded.

  13. avatar g says:

    “That doesn’t make Zimmerman a hero. It just makes him a reckless fool instead of a murderer. In a post-verdict press conference, his lawyer, Mark O’Mara, claimed that “the evidence supported that George Zimmerman did nothing wrong,” that “the jury decided that he acted properly in self-defense,” and that Zimmerman “was never guilty of anything except protecting himself in self-defense. I’m glad that the jury saw it that way.” That’s complete BS. The only thing the jury decided was that there was reasonable doubt as to whether Zimmerman had committed second-degree murder or manslaughter.”


  14. avatar 0351 says:

    I have to agree with the writer. Of course zimmerman had a right to be armed, and to be concerned about his neighbourhood. But avoiding confrontation without serious cause is good sense. It would have been very simple to just wait in his car and keep an eye on him. As opposed to challenging an aggressive teenager, who by definition will have issues of self control. Once he was in the situation though, sure he was justified in the shooting, but the whole situation could have been easily avoided. Don’t be a billy bad ass.

  15. avatar 0351 says:

    I have to agree with the writer. Of course zimmerman had a right to be armed, and to be concerned about his neighbourhood. But avoiding confrontation without serious cause is good sense. It would have been very simple to just wait in his car and keep an eye on him. As opposed to challenging an aggressive teenager, who by definition will have issues of self control. Once he was in the situation though, sure he was justified in the shooting, but the whole situation could have been easily avoided. Don’t be a billy bad a##.

    1. avatar RAE says:

      Where it said that GZ “challanged” TM?

  16. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

    So many of the comments on stories out there say “if GZ had done this or that”…but they never talk about if TM had done this or that. Such as:
    If TM had gone home and called the cops…
    If TM had only talked with GZ…
    If TM had only punched GZ once and ran away…
    he would still be alive today or least a few more days. He should be seen as having responsibilty for his own actions. But so many look for someone else to blame.

    GZ did nothing illegal or morally wrong. Yet look what he’s had to endure mainly because he’s been mis-identified as white. He’s just as white as our President is, I suppose.

  17. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

    And now the DOJ is trolling for tips about GZ’s racism. See:

    I would encourage anyone with knowledge about GZ’s lack of racism should pass that info on to the DOJ as well.

  18. avatar Larry says:

    I think Bill and Ted said it best, “Be excellent to each other”. Words to live by.

  19. avatar Mediocrates says:

    The only reason the Justice system failed is because the cry babies didn’t get what they wanted. Every situation is unique, and has to be treated as such.

  20. avatar WLCE says:

    Lets face the reality here: Trayvon Martin supporters are f^cking idiots (yes, that is a broad generalization).

    And apparently absolutely, hopelessly ignorant of the legal system and how courtrooms work.

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