Trayvon Could Have Been Me Too, Mr. President

In what appears to me as an attempt to keep the IRS and other Administration scandals out of the headlines, President Obama once again commented on the Zimmerman case and went a step further this time by saying: "Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago." In one sense the President is correct and I suppose Trayvon could have been me as well -- 27 years ago. No, I'm not a black American, but since there's no evidence that the Trayvon case had anything to do with race, why is it that President Obama and the usual suspects continue to bring it up as if it did? The reason I say Trayvon could have been me is because I was seventeen once and truth be told, sometimes seventeen-year-olds make really, really stupid decisions. And sometimes those decisions are met with dire consequences.

Last week was the 27th anniversary of my 17th birthday. Back then a few close friends and I had decided to celebrate my 17th by going cruising in the urban-assault-vehicle (Mom's tan station wagon) for the evening. That act alone had the propensity for trouble but to make matters worse, we made the foolish decision to bring along some water balloons for the ride.

After a few laughs, the fun came to a grinding halt when one of my friends tossed a water balloon at the town's well known Pizza Peddler truck. Unfortunately, the driver had the window down and found no humor in the event. A long high-speed chase ensued across town, through a forty-acre field and ultimately ended with us backed into the end of a residential cul-de-sac. After a few moments of headlights facing one another it was clear the other driver wasn't going to get out and face a car load of young men so I decided to slowly drive around the truck. A quick notation of our license plate number could have ended the event right there for the pizza truck driver, but his ego wouldn't allow that and he instead chose to deliberately ram his truck into our car. Frightened, I stepped on the gas to get away and when bumpers locked, his truck spun around and flipped over.

A series of bad decisions on the part of all involved ended in disaster, yet remarkably no one was hurt or killed in this event. The police decided that all shared some blame and no charges were filed. These kinds of events unfold every day in America and sadly, sometimes the end result is serious injury or death.

The encounter between Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman is one such story that sadly ended in tragedy. A neighborhood watchman, doing his job, saw someone he thought looked suspicious, reported it, followed the individual, was ultimately attacked and then defended his life. Was getting out of the car the best decision Zimmerman could have made? Perhaps not, but he broke no laws in doing so. Attacking Zimmerman was a terrible (and illegal) decision and evidence that Trayvon wasn't the innocent boy portrayed by the media.

Obama also said: "If Trayvon Martin was of his age and armed, could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk?" But this was not a stand-your-ground case. This was instead a pound-his-head-into-the-ground case and if Trayvon were being attacked in the same manner as Zimmerman was, Trayvon would have every right to defend his life in the same way Zimmerman did. After all, doesn't concrete being used in this way qualify as a deadly weapon?

Attorney General Eric Holder said the Martin case forced him to have "the talk" with his 15-year-old son, again fanning racial flames by implying that Trayvon's death was somehow about race. It would have been just as logical for Holder to talk with his son about child molesters in this case but doing so clearly wouldn't serve his political objectives. One would hope that an Attorney General of the United States would use the opportunity of an event such as this to talk with his son about the consequences of one's actions and emphasize that if you try to inflict a "whoop ass" on someone, they not only have the legal right to defend themselves but you just might get your "ass" killed during the process.

The mainstream media and a host of politicians have tried to exploit the Trayvon Martin tragedy as being about racism and guns, but in the end it's just another story about youthful bad decisions gone awry. Trayvon Martin was a troubled young man who certainly didn't deserve to die but as young men often do, he ended up making a terrible decision that cost him his life. America can do without the postscript of political opportunism.

Scott blogs at