zimmerman – what to make of him

I’m not sure what to make of George Zimmerman. He’s had brushes with the law following his acquittal in the Trayvon Martin slaying, but it seems he had brushes before that incident as well (take with grain of salt though, as details are scarce).

I strongly question my previous belief that Zimmerman acted due to strong protective instincts. I.e., the idea was that he genuinely wished to protect others and that caused him to identify, or perhaps mis-identify, Trayvon Martin as a threat.

But pointing a gun at an unarmed girlfriend, if that is really what happened, suggests that his instincts aren’t about protecting others.

Or maybe his ordeal with law enforcement and the media and/or a desire (perhaps sub-conscious desire) to get back into the national spotlight is causing maladapted behavior on his part, to put it generously.

This is speculation. I don’t know and don’t have strong opinions about it either way. It’s certainly conceivable though that the stress of possible conviction led to a kind of exaggeration of certain behavioral impulses coupled with a decrease in pro-social behavior and related social inhibitory mechanisms.

I suspect prison time is in his future, if nothing else because prosecutors, judges, and police don’t want the political liability associated with inaction concerning this particular individual, so they’ll likely find something to use against him.

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