Here’s a simple truth: you have no moral or legal duty to let someone pummel you into a pulp and possibly death. If Trayvon Martin rushed George Zimmerman and started beating him, and continued beating him as reported by an eyewitness, then Zimmerman reasonably feared he was in danger of great bodily harm (or death) and was within his rights to use his firearm in self defense.
We’re hearing that the deceased was “unarmed.” This implies that it’s not a valid act of self-defense if the person who is sitting on you, trying to beat your head in, is “unarmed.”
This, however, is not the law, in Florida or anywhere else.
The standard for the use of justifiable force is the victim’s reasonable belief that he’ll be killed or seriously injured if he doesn’t respond with lethal force. If you get punched in the head by 6’2” inch football player—as Martin was reported to be—you are likely to get brain damage.
Cage fighters, who spend a lot of time in this position, do in fact get brain damage. And they would die more often if the matches were held on cement rather than a padded octagon—or if they had merely ordinary levels of fitness, as Zimmerman does.
It is actually possible to kill someone with your bare hands—the US Armed Forces spends a lot of time teaching white and black teenagers how to do this in boot camp.
The 2012 Statistical Abstract Of The United States has a table of Murder Victims–Circumstances and Weapons Used or Cause of Deathwhich includes the statistic that an average of 877 people every year are killed by “Personal Weapons” by which the Census means “Hands, fists, feet, pushed, etc.”
PS Barack Obama, if you had a son, and someone killed him, the killer would almost certainly look like Trayvon. If I may quote your own DOJ’s statistics, “From 1976 to 2005 . . . 94% of black victims were killed by blacks . . .” So this national soul-searching you’re inviting us all to participate in should mention this little factoid if there is the least bit of concern for reality.