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History Repeats Itself in the Case of Trayvon Martin

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On Thursday, August 1st, an off-duty police sergeant shot and killed 19-year-old Russell Rios in Conroe, Texas. The initial police report states that Rios was caught stealing iPhone cases from Walmart and then fled the scene to escape security guards.

Off-duty police Sgt. Jason Blackwelder saw the struggle and then jumped in to help the guards. Rios allegedly attacked Sgt. Blackwelder at which point the Sgt. “feared for his life” and shot Russell Rios.

This story sounds eerily familiar. In light of the controversial Martin v. Zimmerman trial, our nation has a sore spot for self-defense laws. This means that stories like these have become raw meat to the media vultures. In the next few months, be prepared for a barrage of stories about how Russell Rios was brutally and unfairly murdered. Regardless of whether Sgt. Blackwelder acted within the constraints of the law, his virtue will be ruthlessly torn to shreds.

Will cases like these, that appeal to the emotions of the general population, be the tipping point for “Stand-Your-Ground” laws to be abolished?

There has to be a better way to approach situations like these. While I do believe that “self-defense” laws should be re-evaluated, I don’t think our reason behind this change should be that a couple of young guys were killed under suspicious circumstances. I believe we should change these laws because we, as a culture, have evolved beyond killing each other. We can solve our problems without violence.

The loss of any human life shouldn’t be tolerated, no matter the circumstance.


Article Written By Courtney-Lynn Presto

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