Please. Martin did not just “stand his ground” when Zimmerman followed him; he initiated the fateful physical confrontation by attacking Zimmerman and brutally beating him. But the point is that Zimmerman’s right to stand his ground was utterly irrelevant to the case. Its newfangled pertinence is a fabrication of the Left. The Monday-morning quarterbacks now claim that SYG has seeped into all Florida law; thus, it was dispositive in the deliberations that led to Zimmerman’s acquittal.
In truth, Zimmerman did not claim the immunity of SYG because SYG matters only when there is an opportunity to retreat. If you are lying on the ground being pulverized, the fact that you’d have a right to stand your ground in the unlikely event you could get to your feet is beside the point.
The legacy media, which is joining the racialized campaign against SYG just as it joined the racialized campaign to charge Zimmerman, is quick to point out that a juror, in a CNN interview, mentioned SYG as a factor in the jury’s consideration. What they don’t tell you, though, is that it was the blunderbuss prosecutors, not Zimmerman’s lawyers, who injected SYG into the trial testimony.
Zimmerman did not ask for the pretrial hearing to which a person claiming SYG immunity is entitled. It was the prosecutors, in their desperation to come up with some modicum of evidence that Zimmerman intended to commit murder, who adduced testimony that he had taken a criminal-justice course that covered SYG laws. The suggestion, if you can follow this, was that maybe the shooting was sort of premeditated. (If you took addition in the first grade, you’d better not bounce a check in Florida — who knows what they’ll charge you with?)
Nevertheless, Zimmerman’s lawyers posited a classic self-defense strategy, under the standards that existed long before SYG was enacted in Florida. SYG had nothing to do with Trayvon Martin’s death.
Nothing more, that is, than opposition to Obamacare has to do with segregation. But logic won’t stop the bloody shirt of racial politics from being waved in dutiful pursuit of the Left’s dream world. It’s a world where you’d better hope everyone has “free” health care. With your right to self-defense stripped away, it won’t do you much good that the state’s police are nowhere in sight when you find yourself besieged . . . and with no better chance to retreat than George Zimmerman had.
— Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute. He is the author, most recently, of Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy.