Students sound off on Trayvon Martin caseBy Ashanka Kumari | 04/08/2012 11:10pm
The death of Trayvon Martin has been a subject of national news stories for several weeks and some UA students feel that a lack of evidence will keep the case from having any impact on the nation's guns laws.
Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old, was shot and killed on his way home by George Zimmerman, a self-appointed neighborhood watch captain who claimed he fired his weapon in self-defense, according to an article from Huffington Post.
Nicholas Caluda, a freshman English major, said he noticed a lot of people on Facebook liking pictures of Martin demanding justice and decided to look into the situation for himself because he felt there was probably more to the case than he saw on his newsfeed.
“When I read some of the things that haven’t been reported, that we have no proof Zimmerman continued to pursue Martin after the dispatcher told him not to or that the tapes had been edited by NBC news broadcasts to give the case a racial overtone, I was shocked,” Caluda said. “I’m still shocked at just how much confusion is going around over the facts of this case. Nobody can seem to get their stories straight, least of all the media.”
In addition, some media outlets have depicted Martin at age 12 and Zimmerman in a mug shot, images that do not accurately represent their appearances today, Caluda said.
Miranda Ward, a sophomore majoring in biology, said she feels that there will be no impact on current laws because of the slow reactions regarding justice.
“As Americans, I feel that we often get fired up about an issue but rarely do anything about our major concerns that could make a lasting difference,” Ward said. “We just want justice served right then and there and don’t take the time to deal with the real, underlying problem that caused such events.”
Some students said the only side of the story that will ever be told is Zimmerman’s.
“The fact that Zimmerman was never arrested bothers me because obviously he did kill him, but it is still unknown if it was in self-defense,” Leah Smith, a senior majoring in mathematics, said. “The law that prohibited police from arresting him makes me feel like our government was not doing their job. It shocks me that someone could shoot someone else and walk free without being arrested.”
Arielle Hurst, a freshman majoring in accounting, said Zimmerman wrongly took the life of an innocent 17-year-old boy and remains unpunished for his actions.
“Zimmerman has tarnished the use of Florida’s lawful self-defense,” Hurst said. “He has wrongfully claimed that he was merely defending himself from Martin, yet there is strong evidence that contradicts his account. It seems as though the United States still has more to analyze when it comes to the correct employment of self-defense claims.”
Brittani Talbert, a sophomore majoring in psychology, said she hopes this case will cause people to rethink the gun ownership process.
“I know some individuals at this time probably want guns completely off the streets, but that’s not going to happen,” Talbert said. “This is America and we love our right to bear arms. I’m not saying this is bad, but I would feel better if there was a class along with the background check already needed to own a gun.”
Regardless of the reasons, the death of a teenage boy is terrible, Talbert said.
“Trayvon was only two years younger than me. He could have been any one of my friends,” Talbert said. “I just hope the young man’s family receives justice and my heart goes out to them.”