Florida and 26 other states in the Union have passed laws called Stand Your Ground,which were designed to "protect law abiding citizens." This law is basically a self defense law which allows someone to "use deadly force"if they feel their lives are being threatened. What happens when these "law abiding citizens" advance their ground and become the aggressor? In many instances, emboldened by the fact they are "packing"(carrying a firearm), the "victim" becomes the perpetrator, and an innocent human is killed. In my mind self defense means someone is coming at me with hostile intent, or someone is breaking into my home with intent to harm. Not that I'm following someone "suspicious" because they are of a different race and intimidating them with my actions. By doing so I have "advanced my ground" and stepped into something entirely different. Every action creates a reaction and in this circumstance, the person I'm following can be just as justified to "stand their ground. After all, they don't know me or my intentions. I am no longer on "my property" and have no legal ground to stop this individual and question who he is or what he is doing. In other words, once you leave you space self defense becomes questionable.
I'm sure you figured out that I'm writing about a young man named Trayvon Martin, 17, who had his whole life a head of him. That life was taken from him by a "Neighborhood Watch Captain" who was the one exhibiting intimidating behavior. He was following Trayvon, who didn't know him. Trayvon was the one being stalked, not the other way around. Most likely it was Trayvon who felt he had to stand his ground. When this man stopped him and brandished a weapon, it was Trayvon who had to make a decision to fight for his life. Any action taken by Trayvon could be misconstrued and a struggle would ensue. Screaming for his life, because he was pinned on the floor by a man, a stranger, who weighed 80 pounds more, and had a gun. That gun went off. In my mind it was Trayvon who was standing his ground. The real perpetrator was the shooter, George Zimmerman. In my mind he cannot claim he was standing his ground, he left that ground when he decided to follow, stop and shoot an innocent man.