There are two important lessons to be learned from the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin case ["After verdict, wounds persist," Editorial, July 15].
The State of Florida is far too liberal in giving out concealed carry pistol permits. If Zimmerman were performing the legitimate and even commendable volunteer work of serving on a neighborhood watch in New York, he would never have been issued a concealed carry gun permit.
Second, any neighborhood watch that permits members to be armed should reconsider its policy. I don't believe any of them should be armed. It is their role to observe and report and serve as a deterrent, especially if their vehicles are clearly marked and their members have some sort of readily visible identification, such as a hat, jacket or vest -- something Zimmerman did not have.
From what has come out in this trial, it is apparent that Zimmerman went beyond the scope of his role, with consequences to be expected of an armed amateur.
Stuart H. Cooper, Richmond Hill
Editor's note: The writer is a retired supervisor from the New York State Division of Parole.
The jury verdict in the Zimmerman case can best be described by paraphrasing Barry Goldwater's 1964 campaign slogan, "In your heart, you know he's right." In this case, "In your heart, you know he's guilty."
Also, add the words of the lawyer whom actor Tom Cruise plays in "A Few Good Men": "It's not what I believe, but what I can prove."
Alan R. Lichtenstein, Commack
The Zimmerman trial reminds me of the story of the Good Samaritan. A man was robbed, beaten and left for dead next to a road. A priest/rabbi walks by and does nothing, followed by another man who does the same.
The Good Samaritan comes by and offers extravagant help, compassion and mercy. We have heard from the lawyers on both sides of this case. And now I feel called to do the impossible: to see the priest (rabbi, imam) and the Good Samaritan as my neighbor, to see Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman as my neighbor, and to leave none of them behind as I resist the temptation to pass them by and, rather, stoop to offer help.
Compassion and mercy are also on trial. Has the jury reached a verdict on those yet?
Rev. Dwight Lee Wolter, Patchogue
Editor's note: The writer is the pastor of the Congregational Church of Patchogue.
The front page of Newsday on Sunday announcing the verdict in the Martin-Zimmerman case once again showed the photo of "little" Trayvon Martin in which he appears to be about 13 years old. By this time, even Newsday should have moved past that propaganda. There are far too many photos of Martin as a hulking 17-year-old available for any excuse to continue the nonsense about his being a mere child, shot down by vicious racist George Zimmerman.
The time has come to bury the myth that Zimmerman confronted Martin and killed him because he was black. Nothing could be further from the truth. If we have descended as a country to the point at which race is being used by those who hate this nation to divide and conquer, then the duty of the Fourth Estate is to bring that fact to the American public rather than serving as a tool for the enemies of the American people, white and black.
Valerie Protopapas, Huntington Station
Just a small, inconvenient point for the media to consider: Had Trayvon Martin not at some point attacked George Zimmerman, he would not have been shot.
It was a dark and rainy night. The kid could have just run on home, yes?
Jim Forbin, Westhampton Beach
Had George Zimmerman been black or Trayvon Martin white, this tragedy would never have even made the news. Zimmerman would not have been arrested, no less charged and tried.
This event was a dreadful media circus and a cause célèbre for the race-baiters. If President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder elect to pursue federal civil rights charges against Zimmerman to mollify their base, they will succeed only in turning this tragedy into a travesty.
Richard H. Staudt, Mount Sinai
Can someone please explain to me where the white-on-black crime is?
Zimmerman, a multiracial man, got into an altercation with Martin, a 17-year-old African-American, and a double tragedy occurred. Martin lost his life, and Zimmerman had his life ruined. If there is a crime here, it's that of political agendas.
We need to remember that hatemongers need us to be divided for their agendas to be fulfilled. Every tyrant has lived and succeeded by "divide and conquer." That means that as long as we are a divided people, tyrants will be able to conquer. If we would just get along, there would be no need for people like the Rev. Al Sharpton, who makes his living from prejudice.
Please, my brothers and sisters both black and white, don't become political pawns in this nonsense. To capitalize on the death of a young man is nothing less than criminal. This misfortune and tragedy belongs to all of us. We are all part of the same race: the human race. The color of your skin is just a mere coating, not what you are.
Joe Valila, Garden City
From the beginning of this trial, I thought that Zimmerman was guilty. The simple fact is that he should not have been carrying a weapon while on patrol. Second, he was told not to follow this teenager.
I feel that Zimmerman should have gotten a sentence of 2 to 10 years in prison.
Jack Taylor, West Hempstead
Robert Zimmerman Jr. is doing his younger brother, George, no favors when he cruelly says, "Regret is a very strong word . . . Regret implies that your actions -- you have culpability in what you did for what happened."
Any reasonable person would regret the way the confrontation unfolded, whether or not he was criminally culpable. For his brother to say Zimmerman should not have regrets is not only insensitive but dumb.
His arrogant comments will only serve to encourage those who are outraged by the verdict to press for a federal civil rights case against George Zimmerman.
Michael J. Gorman, Whitestone