Reuters is certainly not known for presenting an unbiased report on American political issues which makes this particular report exceedingly interesting. It is difficult to read through this background of events transpiring in the neighborhood where the Trayvon Martin shooting took place without gaining some glimmering of what might have been in the mind of George Zimmerman the night he and Martin crossed their unfortunate paths. Millions of Americans have lived with such lawlessness in neighborhoods from which we fled as soon as our educational and economic situations permitted. I've lived through the trauma of bicycles stolen from my porch, of smash and grab burglaries which trashed the very first home my wife and I bought.
If you've not had the experience then you really should question your ability to pass judgment. I was a ground combat Vietnam veteran, a recent G.I. Bill college graduate when our first home was burgled and trashed. I can tell you that upon my entering the crime scene, my home, my atavistic response was the hair rising on the back of my neck, literally, and a rising, furious anger that would not bode well for the miscreants who had done this. Yes, for those of you who've never shared the experience, those old animal instincts do, in fact, come to the fore. The entirety of my visceral response to the violation of my sanctuary was indescribable. It was impossible for weeks to escape the feeling that our cave, our sanctuary had been violated, and, once breached, was vulnerable. My senses became heightened and much more situationally aware of who was around in the neighborhood and when. Outsiders stood out and registered in my brain as potential threats.
Those feelings were a not unreasonable response to the sense of violation we felt. I recall telling my young wife, "This must be something like what women feel when they have been sexually assaulted or raped. It is a violation of your senses, your sanctuary, your survival and your very self." I doubt that I would ever have been able to feel that empathy with other victims of such crimes had I not experienced it firsthand.
Read the Reuters article and perhaps you may gain a tiny bit of insight into the psychological dynamics that resulted in Martin's death. For those of you quick to condemn Zimmerman, it may well give you some pause.