Monday, July 15, 2013

It's About Guns, Again

I would be willing to say that the killing of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman was not about race, although it was.  Based on his own utterings, I don't for one minute believe that Zimmerman would have stalked Martin if he had been a white teenager.  Because then he would have assumed that the boy belonged in that neighborhood.

If you recall Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino, or Michael Caine in Harry Brown, there is also a fear in adults of teenage gangs.  But Trayvon was alone.

So there is George Zimmerman, a paranoid individual who perceives himself to be harassed by "those kids," and who really, really wants to be the enforcer, to put a stop to those kids that can get away with that stuff.

So he joins Neighborhood Watch.  He takes courses that talk about the "stand your ground" law.  He becomes in his mind the guy the police can count on to straighten out his neighborhood, to make it safe for people like him.

And the means by which he is able to do this is his weapon.

Had Zimmerman not been allowed to carry a gun, he may have stalked Martin, he no doubt would have called 911 to report a suspicious individual.  It is less likely that he would have continued to pursue Martin after he was told to back off, although he may have.

What I think we can safely say, however, is that neither of the two would have died in the altercation.

So what this comes down to is whether we are going to continue to let the NRA dictate to our state and congressional leaders the terms by which we will be able to walk our streets.  We don't need people like George Zimmerman protecting our community.  We don't need the kind of unstable men who feel strongly the need to walk among us armed to be encouraged to do so.

So let's not let this be about race, although it certainly was race that fueled the fire.  Let this be about the gun that George Zimmerman carried -- and carries once again -- that allowed him to choose his enemy and kill him.

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