You can’t turn on the television this week without seeing the image of young Trayvon Martin. This situation stirs up so many conflicting emotions within me, most of them stemming from being a mom. To begin with, by God’s grace, I survived an attempted sexual assault by a complete stranger while out running years ago in broad daylight.
Someone saw it and stopped me from being harmed (other then scraped up), but the emotional damage is still present and haunts me in parking garages, late at night when I hear a creak in the house, or more significantly, in fighting against irrational fear for my children’s safety. I see the world as a much more dangerous place now, because my experience has taught me that “you never know.”
As a crime victim, I also strongly believe that we as citizens have the right to protect ourselves. If someone broke into my house, they would find out very quickly how much I believe in the Second Amendment. Again, people have a right to protect themselves, and neighborhood watches exist for a reason.
But there are two sides to this story, and the other one was best presented by Trayvon’s mother: he is all our sons. I agree. When I see his picture in his Hollister shirt, I see my own son. I don’t see the color of his skin; I see a beautiful, young boy with all kinds of potential ahead of him, and it grieves me deeply that he died. We don’t know all the facts, but it appears to have been a senseless tragedy. What kid wouldn’t run when a big guy is chasing them?
The president thinks he needs to weigh in and, politically, it’s good for him to do so. I strongly suspect there are others who’d like to capitalize politically as well. But the real person whose job it is to seek justice for this boy is Governor Rick Scott (R-Florida). Crime is a state issue. “Hate crime” laws are ineffectual and often misused, because only God sees the heart. This case illustrates that weakness because it’s minority vs. minority crime.
What we do know is that, according to its author, the “stand-your-ground” law the local police originally used in determining not to bring in George Zimmerman should not apply in this case. From all accounts, Zimmerman chased this kid down and not the other way around, at least not in the beginning. And that was the fatal mistake. I fully hope — no, I expect — the state of Florida to do its job and make sure that justice is done for this boy and this family. I leave it to the state and the courts to sort out just what that justice looks like, because I believe in our justice system; it worked for me. My assailant was sentenced to 18 years in prison for attacking me and two other women. Our system isn’t perfect, but it’s the best in the world.
Further, as a crime victim, I don’t want this case to be used by the left to suggest that we don’t have a right to protect our families from those who really do want to hurt us. I will be watching this case closely. What can’t be allowed is for the local police to do nothing and for the rest of us to stand idly by.
In the meantime, please join me in prayer for Trayvon’s family. No mother should have to suffer this kind of grief. But also pray for those who have been victimized by others in our society. Pray for them and their mothers, too.
Update: We are pleased to learn that a Florida grand jury has been convened to investigate this tragic incident. Again, we want to stress that we believe everyone should let the process work. And we reject any efforts to use this as an opportunity to advance a political agenda. Our prayers continue to be with the family and with those involved in the case for comfort, wisdom, and guidance so that a just resolution can be reached. Again we believe in the American justice system and urge all parties to allow the system time to work. Those who urge violence are simply looking for an excuse and are not interested in true justice.