Who’s the Vigilante Now?

I’m amazed at the rush to judgment following the Trayvon Martin shooting.  I’ve had a number of people ask for my opinion.  Was it a racially motivated homicide?  Was Zimmerman an out-of-control vigilante?  Since my only source of information is the news media and since they lack basic facts, I have too many unanswered questions to hazard a guess.

Whether a person is guilty or innocent is best left to the courts – I mean the legal system following the rule of law, not the court of public opinion fed piecemeal evidence as it becomes uncovered by NBC News.

So what do we do if we think the police are biased or botched the investigation?  The wrong answer is to call for an arrest without knowing all the facts.  The correct answer is to call for an independent investigation.  In the case of Trayvon Martin, it appears that’s exactly what the Department of Justice is doing.  And politics aside, if there is sufficient evidence to charge Zimmerman, no doubt there will be an arrest.  And if a jury of his peers agrees with the prosecution, he’ll be punished.

It’s hard not to suspect special interest groups of capitalizing on the death of Trayvon for their own purposes – Gun Control Advocates and Stand-Your-Ground Law, Al Sharpton and Relevance.  But we are a nation of laws and as such, we should shoot down attempts to manipulate justice through political pressure.

Fortunately, calmer voices have suggested a discussion of race and laws of self-defense framed in the context of the Trayvon Martin shooting while leaving the fate of Zimmerman to the legal system.  That makes sense to me.