Given the immediacy of writing in the blogosphere, one is sure to say something that one could wish to take back but, since it had already been posted one could not take it back. Most recently I wrote of the “overzealous evil” regarding the actions of Mr. Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin Case. I wish I had said “over zealous regarding a concern for the security of the local community—the order and the rule of law.” This does not diminish my question regarding Mr. Zimmerman—a man who in his self appointed protection of the community thinks he is someone with whom I must be grateful—but who is a man who needs to take care of himself first. Security guard, heal thyself!

Regardless of Mr. Zimmerman’s relationship with Mr. Trayvon Martin, I can take care of myself, and in my mind this is what the issue boils down to. George Zimmerman may be innocent in term of the law, but why is he concerned for me that makes him some self appointed knight of justice? I recognize my dependency on community. I may get robbed or murdered, and I wish to have a community which cares, but a community has its limits. Regardless of the community watch, I am not getting my money back if robbed, and if I get shot, then I am dead. It is good that Mr. Zimmerman is angry about crime, but he needs to be reminded of his own, rather than conflating his own interest and ambition with an alleged concern for the common good. Typically, actions of his kind take on his own particularity (which may be true) and conflate them with the common good. I am all for communities which look out for each other, but this guy Mr. Zimmerman is too much to bear.

If anything comes out of this case Mr. Zimmerman will come to realize the partisanship at the basis of his own actions regarding the common advantage. In his noble vision of the good of the whole, he never considered how narrow and particular the passions, opinions and interests from which he came were with relations to others.

He never learned to be civic minded in a way that could mind its own business at the same time.

To be sure, he was for a general interest of common defense and domestic tranquility, but who the hell was this guy? and what makes his authority significant?

I never consented to Mr. Zimmerman and his ilk to watch after my property. Perhaps that notion of community is what neighbors ought to be, but then Mr. Zimmerman should mind his own damned business too. I moved to this neighborhood to be left alone in suburbia, and here I an confronted with a Byron Bunch type who speaks of f***kers and c**ts (as far as the audio can be reconstructed) making my life more complicated than it need be.

I used the word evil in the previous post only in regard to the sad fate Trayvon Martin, but in that same piece I emphasized the need to get to the bottom of the facts of the case. Nonetheless, the use I made of the term “evil” with regard to Mr. Zimmerman was too much. I was wrong.

However, I don’t want to play the “pussy” too much. I still wonder why Mr. Zimmerman takes it upon himself to look after others. I don’t like these self appointed good guys. As Faulkner shows, these self appointed good guys are more a pain in the ass than being protection of one’s own.

I have a gun. Mess with me and you mess with your life. I need no a**hole like Gorge Zimmermann to take care of me, and he may as well better watch out when he is on his neighborhood watch for me.

I have real friends and neighbors, I don’t need Mr. Zimmerman—thank you very much. Maybe Mr. Zimmerman is such a good neighbor, but while his zeal may not be evil, it is surely excessive.

Let me relate a story—

When I was a kid in middle school, a bunch of friends of mine came over to my house to play basketball and ping pong. We had a good Saturday of games for 12 and 13 year olds. In their generosity, my family had provided a basketball hoop and a ping pong table for fun, and I remember all my friends playing games and having a good time. It  was a good day. One of my friends rode his bike to my place that day, but his dad later picked him up in a car. We left his bike in the garage to be picked up later. Now he and his dad picked up the bike the following week end. My friend had called me, and I said that it was no problem to pick up the bike. Even though my family would be out of town, it was no problem because I would leave the bike on the side of the garage, and he could pick it up easily. So on that day, he and his father took their truck and picked up their bicycle. However, one of our neighbors—bless or curse his soul—viewing this pick up, thought that these people were stealing one of my family’s bicycles. Hence he chased these people (friends of mine) down the street. Luckily there were no guns involved,and the situation was easily resolved in speech. But I ended up being embarrassed both for my friend and my neighbor and for myself. Must I tell my neighbor everything that I do? The situation was easily resolved, but nonetheless my do-gooder next door neighbor took it upon himself to be a hero for us when we did not need it. It was an understandable mishap, but it was also ridiculous.

In other words, these neighborhood watches need to watch out for themselves, instead of taking the risk of watching out for others. Not to sound too Lockean, but they need to watch out for themselves first.

Articles by John Presnall

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