There are several lessons that we can learn from the George Zimmerman murder trial of Trayvon Martin. We were not in the court, and will not discuss or argue the details of the case. However, there are some great points that every CHL holder needs to review and think about.
Here is what has happened to Mr. Zimmerman when using deadly force in self-defense (we state “self-defense” since the court found him not guilty of murder):
• Thousands and maybe hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorneys’ fees
• Potential of additional charges brought by the federal government
• Death threats and his reputation being destroyed at the hands of the public and press
• Dealing with the fact that he took another’s life
• Possible job loss
• Strain on his family and friends
• And, believe it or not, maybe even a civil suit filed by Mr. Martin’s Parents and family. There are attorneys, I’m sure, lining up to take on this case for them, for free!
Granted, he is alive, and in a deadly encounter situation, we will assume that alive is better than dead. Could he have avoided the situation that forced him to resort to deadly force in a self-defense situation? Remember, as a CHL holder, your mindset HAS to change. We are not saying that you can’t help out other people, or try and protect your neighborhood, but you have to think about the life changing events that could happen. Remember, even with an unarmed assailant, you brought a gun to that situation. That makes almost any struggle with this person, a potentially deadly situation and a possible fight for your life.
We can go through thousands of what if scenarios and replay the events until we are blue in the face. Here are just one that I want you to think about just in case you ever find yourself in live or death situation and how quickly a situation can turn.
“ What is Mr. Zimmerman would’ve stayed in his vehicle and not directly confronted Mr. Martin face to face and waited for the police to arrive? Or, reported the suspicious activity to the police, and left the scene all together? ” What would his life be like now?
Again, with “what-if” questions we can speculate every possible question and answer, but that is not the intent of this exercise. Maybe, situation avoidance is the better approach, if possible.
Later we will go into the more about the mindset of a CHL holder, but this case gives us a great deal to think about.