George Zimmerman didn’t prevent random violence, he created it
I was just about to go to bed, because I have to get up early tomorrow and have a long day planned. But then this caught my eye, and I felt the need to comment briefly on it.
The story referenced in the link above is that of 17 year old Trayvon Martin, a young black man who was fatally shot by neighborhood watch “captain” George Zimmerman while Martin was walking home from the store with a bag of Skittles. 911 tapes are to be released in the case, and should provide a better picture of what happened that night. But right now there is a growing outcry for Zimmerman to be prosecuted for the killing, partly because the Sanford Police refused to even make an arrest after the shooting occurred.
While racism is indicated by many as a motivating factor in the shooting, I think something even more dangerous could be at play here. People in this country have an irrational fear of being victimized. There is a sense in a lot of places that crime is everywhere, and that no one is ever safe. But this really isn’t true.
The chances of you being victimized by a violent crime in this country are extremely low relative to an event like being involved in a car accident. More importantly, the chance of you being victimized by a random violent act – the kind many people seem to have the most fear of, and what George Zimmerman seems to have intended to prevent – is astronomically low. The overwhelming majority of murders are not at all random. And frankly, even a place like Sanford, Florida, which actually does have one of the highest crime rates in the country, is exponentially safer than, say, Uganda or Haiti.
George Zimmerman, in my opinion, actually created the scenario he feared the most – being killed by a person you have never met before for no good reason – simply because he was so afraid of it. And that makes me more worried than any set of crime statistics do.
UPDATE: The tapes have been released.