In his new book The Righteous Mind, Jonathan Haidt postulates that we’re not really reasonable people. Turns out the advertising people were right all along: we make decisions emotionally. The reason your arguments don’t convince the other side is that their minds are already made up. They have their own logic that adds up to what’s right in their own minds.
But let’s pretend we’re reasonable people here, anyway. Let’s set aside our moral outrage at the racial profiling that led to the murder of Trayvon Martin. Even if, as new evidence suggests, Martin attacked George Zimmerman, Zimmerman profiled and pursued Martin. Was there racism involved? Even if Zimmerman was defending himself, the answer is “yes.”
I have a different bone to pick.
Even if Trayvon Martin was in the neighborhood to commit a burglary–and there’s no evidence to suggest he was–he did not deserve to die. Even if he jumped George Zimmerman and broke his nose, Trayvon Martin did not deserve to die.
Listen: I understand the frustration of the neighbors at The Retreat at Twin Lakes. But, I have to tell you: when I heard one of Zimmerman’s neighbors talking about “eight burglaries in fifteen months,” I nearly broke a tooth laughing. Sometimes in my neighborhood, we have eight burglaries in a day.
But I’m not going to walk my street with a concealed weapon, and neither are my neighbors. And the fact that packing heat on the streets is even legal is appalling. I’m not going to argue about hunting rifles, and if you want to protect your home with one, that’s just great. But the only reason to carry around a pistol is if you’re planning to shoot someone with it.
Trayvon Martin did not deserve to die. We do not need vigilantes roaming our neighborhoods looking to shoot people. Period.