First, I am a self-defense instructor with a focus on handguns as well as an active competitor. I've spent two years and change teaching CCW courses with the basic focus on situational awareness and conflict avoidance.
Second, I am weeks away from being a father.
I followed the Zimmerman case from local event to national media circus.
The instructor in me immediately asked the most important question (in my mind); what broke down to create a deadly-force encounter?
Did Zimmerman start a fight he couldn't finish? Did Martin attack a man he didn't think would defend himself?
My fellow instructors dug for the facts while the national news media and armchair activists screamed "murder!" We figured there was something more to the case, and we were right.
As the details of the case were made public, one thing became clear. Regardless of the outcome of any trial, two peoples' lives were destroyed.
The facts of the case were far from clear. All we had from the start was that one young man was dead and another man was literally running for his life to escape a modern day lynch mob.
As the details of the event began to coalesce into a case, the media narrative fell apart. The little innocent angelic child lost his wings. The wannabe cop who started a fight he wasn't man enough to finish began to look more like a person who was assaulted while doing nothing illegal. In a word as obscene as the mess we watched unfold, this became a massive clusterfuck.
Fast-forward to July 13th, 2013. Zimmerman is found not guilty, much to the unjustified horror of millions, leaving a few sobering truths in his wake.
1. The only true way to win a violent encounter is to avoid it in the first place. Any other resolution will change your life, or end it.
2. Regardless of how right you may be in pulling the trigger, be prepared for the reality that your private world has come to an end, even for a short while, and that your goal was simply to prevail... with living to see the sunrise as your primary goal.
3. When I raise my son, I will do everything in my power to teach him to be a responsible man who strives for peace and offers respect.
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