Rev. Aubry Wallace, president of the Louisiana Coalition for Change, said initial comparisons to the Florida case were not validated by the investigation. “Marshall Coulter is not another Trayvon Martin,” Wallace said. “I don’t think Mr. Landry woke up and said he wanted to hurt a black person that morning. He used his right to protect his property at that time. I never looked at it as another Trayvon Martin situation.”
He said he didn’t see race as an issue in the Merritt Landry-Marshall Coulter case. “Not one single employee for Landry’s employer raised any issue in reference to him being a bigot or racist. I think he’s a Christian man,” Wallace said. Instead, Wallace said, the focus should be on Coulter’s troubles. “It’s a moral issue. Somebody has failed this child,” Wallace said. “Are we concerned enough about him to turn him around onto the right road? We are missing the mark in our community.”
Any individual who tries to follow the law, who tries to do the right thing day in and day out, who doesn’t want to resort to force, wouldn’t want to shoot an unarmed teenager who has trespassed on their property. However, there is a line past which another person should not cross. There is personal privacy and the right to one’s own person and property. This young man crossed that line, not once, but repeatedly, and the law of averages caught up with him. It’s a pity, but that’s just how the way of the world works. He’s fortunate he’s alive.
Out of the moral quagmire of forgotten principles comes the clear voice of one Rev. Wallace speaking sensibilities. It’s not the man with the gun who shot Coulter who is to be held accountable for his actions. It’s Coulter himself for putting himself in the position he was in. Responsibility can be measured by the danger or harm someone faces. To neutralize a threat is demonstrate responsibility to one’s self and others.