Anyone insisting that either George Zimmerman or Trayvon Martin is innocent is wrong ("Martin verdict stirs debate," July 15). Let's start with Mr. Zimmerman carrying a gun. Just because you have a license to carry doesn't mean you should, because you might just end up killing some unarmed guy over a misunderstanding. And don't talk about wild dogs, Mr. Zimmerman was in a truck. If there was a wild dog out, he could've run it over. He wanted the gun because he liked the feeling.
And Mr. Martin could have gotten home easily. Nobody can convince me that he'd lose a footrace to Mr. Zimmerman. With Mr. Zimmerman's physique, about the only person he could chase down is a Girl Scout with a box of cookies. If Mr. Martin runs home, the only way Mr. Zimmerman shoots him is in the back. And don't tell me that Mr. Martin should be able to walk home without having to run, because Mr. Zimmerman shouldn't have to patrol his streets. If you want to lay ultimate blame here, blame the punks who were burglarizing the neighborhood. If they're not out stealing, Mr. Zimmerman's not on patrol, and Mr. Martin walks home. Don't talk to me about profiling either, because some of the people screaming the loudest about profiling are the very same cowards who hide in their homes because their streets are riddled with crime. Even if they see someone suspicious, they don't report it and they give the police nothing but silence because either they're scared of retribution or they just don't like the police. Oh, and then those same people have the audacity to complain when the city raises their taxes to put more cops on the street.
Of course, if you're going to have the "courage" to be on neighborhood watch, then have the courage to say so whenever someone you've been following walks up to you and asks if you have a problem. And anyone who thinks there's nothing wrong with following someone, go to a neighborhood where you're in the minority and have someone "creepy" follow you to see what it feels like. Not only that, but if you're not physically fit enough to at least put up a decent fight, then don't get out of the car, because pulling a gun in a fistfight might be your last option. And bringing a gun is no solution. Just because you have gun, doesn't mean the suspicious guy you're following isn't packing as well and he might get off the first shot.
Anyone claiming Mr. Martin was "just a child" ought to go to the next high school game in your area and take a look at the muscles on the guys on the field because that's what he was, a football player. Take the gun out of the equation and stick one of those 17-year-old "children" in a room with a pudgy "man" who has a desk job and tell me which of them is in more danger of physical harm if they have an altercation. And Mr. Martin's parents may have thought he was angelic, but kids do things outside of the presence of their parents that would surprise the parents, like smoke drugs and snap pictures of themselves with guns.
Neither man deserved what he got, but neither of them was innocent.
Fred Pasek, Frederick