President Barack Obama learned a long time ago of the dangers associated with being a black politician at a national level and vocalizing anything about the institutionalized racism of the United States. While obviously racially non black politicians are free to remind the public of America’s racial shortcomings, a black politician doesn’t have that luxury out of some perception that the black politician would appear too close to the black community. When such an observation starts to manifest, the fear is that the black community’s need would trump the white community’s wants and America would never tolerate such a circumstance. It wouldn’t matter if the entire black community was slipping further into the oblivion of poverty and all the social ills associated with that condition, if white America wants ice cream somebody better make sure there’s a national plan to provide ice cream. To hell with black people!
When the news broke that candidate Barack Obama’s pastor Reverend Jeremiah Wright was a closet racist who hated white people, regardless of how inaccurate the story was, Mr. Obama had to stiff arm his spiritual mentor for his political survival. When Mr. Obama weighed in on the arrest of his friend Henry Louis “Skip” Gates, Jr. and called the behavior of the Cambridge police stupid for arresting the prominent black American out of his own house, Mr. Obama was so vilified by his political opponents and many across the country that he had to back pedal his comments like Michael Jackson in a Billy Jean video. And when Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in cold blood and his killer was allowed to go home with his murder weapon and protests were being held all over the country, Mr. Obama’s rather benign comment that if he had a son he would look like Trayvon, his political critics again pounced on him calling the President a race baiter as they did their best to inject race into the matter as they rallied support for the black teenager’s murderer.
But all of that happened prior to Mr. Obama being reelected for his second term as commander-in-chief. Now that he’s been reelected and is no longer eligible to run for the highest office in the land again, Mr. Obama is a little freer to express himself more openly about issues of race. Before being reelected he would do his best to quell the specter of racism by saying that he didn’t think race was a factor in any happenings no matter how racially charged. But if Mr. Obama’s latest venture into the unwelcomed discussion of America’s racial dysfunction that many loath to have is any indication, things might be a little different now from the President’s perspective.
Six days after a six women jury acquitted George Zimmerman of any wrong doing in his assassination of Trayvon Martin the President surprised the White House reporters by appearing before them during a routine press conference being conducted by Press Secretary Jay Carney. Unprompted and unscripted the President extended his sympathies to the parents of Trayvon Martin. The President actually empathized with the murdered teenager saying that he could’ve been Trayvon thirty five short years ago. Thirty five years ago a young Barack Obama could have been murdered as he was walking home minding his own business and somebody thought it a good idea to snuff his life out and his murderer could’ve been acquitted because young Barry foolishly thought he could rebel against the establishment like so many other teenagers do, black and white.
Mr. Obama talked about how people responded to him in his earlier years by locking their car doors as he walked through the neighborhood, by people crossing the street as he walked towards them on the sidewalk, by women clutching their purse closer to their body as he got onto an elevator, and by being followed through a department store as if he would shoplift at any moment compelled to do so driven by his black skin. Mr. Obama knows all too well that being black is not even close to being some kind of benefit in our social construct. It is a curse that makes it possible for a black teenager to be murdered in the darkness of the evening.
Mr. Obama is ready to talk about his racism of the past. But he still needs to acknowledge the racism he continues to experience to this day. How else can anyone explain how the most powerful man in the free world is constantly hounded to produce his birth certificate as proof that he belongs in America and is eligible to serve as President unlike every single President that has come before him who were all accepted to be a citizen without question? Even though he doesn’t have to run for office again he still needs the support of the American people in order to do his job and hold his political opponents at bay. And the last thing America wants is to support any black person who is willing to say that they can’t do their job because of the racism that runs rampant in this country. Too many people are too ready to dismiss claims of racism as little more as whining in order to cover incompetence. Pull yourself up by your bootstrap is the knee jerk, overly simplistic response to racism regardless if it can be proven or not. The question is can you prove it beyond a shadow of doubt. And for many people, that shadow is so long it can never be overcome.
Americans want to hear that everything is good and racism is in our past or at least it’s getting better. In fact, Mr. Obama said as much when he gave his impromptu press conference. Despite our racial dysfunction, Mr. Obama says he looks at his daughters and their friends and comforts himself with the belief that things have gotten better and will continue to improve with time. We believe things have gotten so much better that we don’t even recognize the horrible fact that nothing’s changed. Just like Emmett Till was murdered way back in 1955 accused of doing something unseemly and paying for it with his life, Trayvon Martin was murdered today under accusations of attacking the man who was stalking him. Just like black people testified about what happened to Emmett Till and were dismissed, according to juror B-37 Rachel Jeantel’s testimony was dismissed as unreliable because of her lack of proper diction and the fact that she wasn’t properly educated. It’s a fair bet that the fact that she was black had something to do with her lack of credibility as well. Just like back then somebody got away with murder even though he was standing right there with the gun in his hand.
Things might look like they’re getting better. But the simple fact that to this day we continue to let our black children die and their murderers walk free proves that it isn’t getting any better at all. In fact, if you add the lies that things have gotten better, the deception of racial equality that we live under, things are far worse now than they’ve ever been. Back in Emmett Till’s day black people knew that they were second class citizens and no amount of sugar coating about how black people weren’t slaves anymore was going to make it better. Our measure for discrimination is not how good or bad our ancestors and elders had it. The measure for racial discrimination is the fact that we still do not live in a racially equal society. Our black children will continue to die until we wake up and recognize this simple fact and really begin to do something about it.
It’s been a while. I’ve gotten to the point that the normal bullshit associated with our mutually assured social dysfunction just doesn’t warrant much time spent writing about it. I’ve gotten to a point I’ve got better things to do and not enough people care about things anyway. Our social machine is on cruise control and nothing anybody says is going to change its direction in any meaningful way unless a terrorist bomb goes off during a high profile social function. And even then, even if people do suddenly care, corporate America and their lobbyists will do whatever has to be done to keep the status quo. How else can you explain the response to the Sandy Hook murders when twenty children are gunned down, ninety percent of Americans want some form of gun control, and somehow nothing changes?
But earlier this week I heard the news about a rogue section of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had targeted some conservative groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for tax exempt status. If memory serves correctly, a quarter of three hundred applications were for groups with the words “tea party” or “patriots” in their title and now a we have a new scandal that ranks right up there with Susan Rice doing her best to cover up the consulate attack in Benghazi in order to keep President Barack Obama employed in the White House. Were any laws broken? No. Was anybody’s application for tax exempt status denied because they had the previously mentioned words in their name? No. They simply had to suffer the indignity of having extra scrutiny.
Now at first glance that might sound unreasonable or unfair. Just like I know a lot of people think it’s unreasonable and unfair for police to pull over cars with non white drivers for a little extra scrutiny. We all know nobody goes to jail for being black. It’s just that the extra scrutiny a black driver gets can uncover something a little fishy or in their history that might warrant a trip downtown where they can answer a few more questions or wait until their story checks out. As a society we can tolerate that extra scrutiny because we like to operate under the assumption that black people warrant a little more watching because some bullshit statistics somewhere can show that black people are more criminally oriented. Never mind the fact that legally we are supposed to be free from illegal searches or seizure. As a society we think it’s far better to violate a non white person’s rights to privacy as long as he or she is not white. How else can we explain the fervor over white people being targeted for scrutiny?
Now, it’s a logical assumption that groups with the words “tea party” in their title are composed of people who have decided to make a political statement about paying less taxes than whatever they do pay. These people are the same ones who promote the idea that the size of our federal government needs to be checked regardless of how big it might be or who it serves. The best way to check government is to check its funding. So if these people are the ones applying to be exempted from taxes lord knows it’s probably good idea to make sure they’re legit. Maybe these people need to be asked a few more questions just to make sure their story checks out and everything is on the up and up. Besides, unlike the poor minority that might get pulled over for nothing more than being the wrong skin color, if things go wrong during extra scrutiny about a tax exemption application never involve anything remotely resembling a stay in a jail cell until the matter gets straightened out. If anybody had to choose one form of scrutiny over another I’m pretty sure most would chose the tax application.
Nevertheless, after all the news about seventy five groups getting more attention people want to pretend that life’s a really rabid bitch for political conservatives during the reign of Kommandant Barack Obama. Mr. Obama resembles President Richard Milhous Nixon in the way he brandishes the entire federal government to go after his enemies. And the way tea party patriots go out of their way to attack Mr. Obama it’s pretty obvious there’s reason to think Mr. Obama would do everything he can to get back at them, except for the fact that he doesn’t. But that fact won’t keep people from kicking up the dust and throwing tantrums about the abuses of power under this oppressive regime. Conservatives simply can’t catch a break as they continue their never ending pursuit to paint Mr. Obama as the worst tyrannical dictator this cursed world has ever seen. That, along with the idea that the IRS has been unceremoniously unleashed on conservatives, is simply bogus.
But that won’t keep people from playing the victim card saying that conservatives are being attacked left and right. It’s their political theme these days that includes things like the government wants to take our guns, we’re taxed enough already, we need to take our country back, forty seven percent of Americans are only takers, the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun, we need to defend the traditional definition of marriage as one man and one woman, climate change is a hoax, Barack Obama was born in Kenya and is not constitutionally qualified to be in the White House, and all the other slogans that continues to permeates through media that are meant to infer some sense of conservative subjugation.
Colion Noir is an “urban gun enthusiast” and the latest spokesperson for the NRA. He is featured in a new television advertisement aimed primarily at the black community. The following snippet is the start of Mr. Noir’s spiel:
“No one wants to fight for their protection. They want the government to do it. The same government who at one point hosed us down with water, attacked us with dogs, and wouldn’t allow us to eat at their restaurants and told us we couldn’t own guns when bumbling fools with sheets on their heads were riding around burning crosses on our lawns and murdering us.”
Mr. Noir reminds people of the life of our ancestors and elders and their attempts to bring the nation’s attention to all of the racial inequality that black people had to deal with in the southern states prior to the civil rights era. Just imagine how the nation would have responded if instead of seeing peaceful black people being attacked by the white establishment intent on keeping black people in their place of second class citizenship, black people grabbed guns and started shooting it out with the white sheriffs, their deputies, and other law enforcement officers charged with keeping the peace with the weapons of their choice. Just imagine what life would have been like for the black community if they were to rise up en masse Nat Turner style and said enough was enough.
I would imagine that instead of the black community garnering national sympathy for their cause there would have been a swift and nearly universal condemnation of any black person who even looked like they participated in such civil unrest, which basically means any black person in the vicinity of the United States. In the vast majority of the public’s eyes, black people and guns is a volatile concoction that should never ever be allowed to mix. Any black person that raises a gun to defend his or her self from a white person is tempting fate whatever the circumstance. If anybody needs any convincing just ask the black John White who was convicted for murder the night he used a gun against the white seventeen year old and intoxicated Daniel Cicciaro, Jr. when the teenager got a drunken posse of four of his buddies to drive across town in order to teach Mr. White’s son Aaron a lesson for being accused of dishonoring a white girl as part of a joke that had gone totally and horribly wrong.
Black people with guns are a threat. Tell a white home owner that one of his neighbors is a black man and owns a gun and dude will probably make a beeline to the gun store to max out his Visa on all the weaponry that can fit in the back of his Ford pickup just so he can defend his self. In fact, the NRA’s executive vice president Wayne LaPierre has made statements warning law abiding people in the areas hit hardest by hurricane Sandy to prepare for a hellish world of overwhelmed if not totally collapsed law enforcement agencies and having to deal with roving gangs of armed minorities. In his eyes, it only makes sense that white people buy more guns to protect themselves from all the black people who are going to go out and buy guns. And if you don’t believe him just take a look at their new commercial featuring that black Mr. Noir.
However, Mr. Noir’s sales pitch is totally off base. A lot of people want to fight for their protection. A lot of people are fighting the good fight to keep guns out of the hands of people who should never have guns. Not every fight means you have to pick up a weapon with the intent of fighting to the death. Sometimes, the fight is one of politics, where people argue their point to convince the majority of what’s the right approach to a problem.
That’s the way our ancestors fought the good fight. It’s probably true that a lot of people wanted back in the civil rights movement wanted to meet violence with their own violence. But that would have done nothing but led to an escalation of violence that the black community, outnumbered and under armed, would have surely lost. Black people picking up guns in an attempt to inflict racial equality on a country chock full of white entitlement would have surely ended in disaster. Guns are not always the answer and many times they are the problem.
The answer for our ancestors and elders was actually government. More specifically it was a strong federal government that stepped into the picture to keep local and state government from trampling the rights of people in the black community. It was the federal government that told people stores and restaurants that they had to serve black people. It was the federal government that told the local sheriff that he couldn’t use fire hoses on black people. It was a strong federal government that passed the laws that protected black people’s right to attend schools previously reserved for white people. It was the threat of the federal government stepping in to enforce civil rights laws that made the local government step up to the plate for fear of having their authority revoked by a federal marshal. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the local heads of government could wind up under scrutiny of a federal investigation that could end with federal criminal charges.
Bottom line is that Mr. Noir has it all wrong. A lot of people want to fight for their protection. A lot of people want to fight to make sure that the government keeps its responsibility to its citizenry. The government that protects our rights isn’t the same government that hosed black people down. And if we aren’t careful and don’t remember that fact, the governments that did abuse black people will be back. It will be like they never left.
I never did care to follow the satirical magazine The Onion. I’ve always heard, read people referring to this publication as funny and/or clever and/or genius and/or witty and/or whatever. I may have actually tried to absorb its comedy a handful of times. But I’ve always come away from my effort with the opinion that I just wasted my time. The humor of The Onion ranked right up there with the Doonesbury comic or the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson reruns. It might be good for a half hearted chuckle, but whoever thinks this was class leading funny really has a strange sense of humor.
I was never under the impression that I was a member of the target entertainment market for the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson or the Doonesbury comic strip. That kind of humor was primarily geared to white people. And so I have to assume that The Onion is so geared as well. How else would anybody take using Twitter to call a nine year old girl, a black girl caught up in the rapture that comes with being nominated for an Oscar, a cunt? Then again, this is the kind of bullshit that passes for funny at The Onion.
Now maybe it’s just a coincidence that someone would use such a vile word that is used as a reference to a woman’s most significant sexual organ, a word historically used to demean the female gender, as part of a tasteless public joke about a totally inoffensive little black girl. Maybe the author really didn’t mean to be so disgusting and thought that he or she was just participating in some clean wholesome fun. It may have been just the type of thoughtless banter that appears anonymously on the internet. But it’s also the type of thoughtless bullshit that should make people think twice about what type of company or agency or person or entity they give their blind support to.
What type of person would call a little black girl a cunt? Why would somebody give such an offensive person a platform to spew such depraved slander? Why would I want to associate myself with either? Those are the types of self reflecting questions everyone needs to be asking of his or her self.
Instead, in typical “it happened to a black person so what does it matter” fashion, people came to the defense of The Onion saying that it was only a joke so we should all just forget about it. And if that was true then we would just put it behind us. But what if the joke was about one of the children murdered in the Sandy Hook shooting, would some of us be so quick to dismiss the offense with a nonchalant wave of the hand? Some of us probably would. But I’m betting that some people who weren’t the least bit offended about the reference to Beasts of the Southern Wild star Quvenzhane Wallis would see the “joke” in a different context. Are a bunch of dead primarily white children more deserving of respect and sensitivity than a single black girl winning an Oscar? Those Sandy Hook kids are dead while Quvenzhane Wallis has to live the rest of her life with what happened to her that night.
There is little doubt that my comparison with the children of Sandy Hook will offend some. Regardless of how much I might explain that I’m not trying to be rude to anybody but am simply trying to get people to expand their sense of compassion there will be people who will be greatly offended merely by my suggestion. People will write comments about how vulgar and impolite I am. I welcome the chance to enter an intelligent dialogue if somebody is willing to discuss, but I’m sure most comments will simply be deleted.
But the point is that if such people chose they will have an opportunity to confront the author, me, about what I wrote. The writer of the original cunt joke hides behind a wall of anonymity with The Onion’s name written all over it. The powers that be at The Onion may have apologized for the “joke”, but they have also made the decision to protect the identity of the joker like the hooded white sheet protects the identity of a klan member. We simply should trust their word when they say that the joker will be appropriately disciplined. They might keep their word, but there is really no way to verify it.
If The Onion wants to make sure the author is appropriately disciplined they should out the person who wrote it. Let him or her apologize to Ms. Wallis first and foremost, let him or her apologize to their fellow employees at The Onion, and then let him or her apologize to the world for putting their sick little tweet out in the public. Let it be known that The Onion truly doesn’t tolerate such loathing even it if was meant to be disguised as comedy. Let The Onion truly take a stand for integrity and give people the ability to verify it. Otherwise, this publication will continue to look like nothing anybody should be bothering to read in a useless attempt to find something truly funny.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is a very disgusting man. The country was cursed to suffer this man on our highest court by no other than the pope of conservatism, President Ronald Reagan, in 1986 and has been doing his best to roll back every social gain achieved by this country in the past half century. Mr. Scalia was never one to hide his disdain for minorities or for anybody who needed advocating on their behalf. He prefers a strict interpretation of the country’s Constitution. In this small man’s opinion, if the founding fathers were okay with it, it’s good enough for the rest of us almost two and a half centuries later. And if the founding fathers thought it was okay for the people of African descent to be less than human or considered white people’s property, it is reasonable to assume that it is Mr. Scalia’s expert justice opinion that the black people of today are just going to have to learn to deal with second class citizenship as their lot in life in the United States.
It has been said that Mr. Scalia is the type of justice that revels in his ability to illicit a shocking reaction to his outlandish statements. He loves the attention it garners. Leave it to Mr. Scalia to say something kooky enough to take the nation, if not the world, aback.
But Mr. Scalia’s latest statement for the sake of shock and awe appears to have crossed the line of reasonably acceptable for a justice. Mr. Scalia made the comment that a key provision of the Voting Rights Act was a perpetuation of racial entitlement. The law that protected black people’s right to vote, because that right was being routinely sabotaged by white people intent on keeping black people from being able to vote, was a form of perpetual racial entitlement. Mr. Scalia went on to say that, “Whenever a society adopts racial entitlements, it is very difficult to get out of them through the normal political processes.”
Now a sense of political entitlement is an assumption of political privileges that don’t apply to everyone. Racial minorities having their rights protected because some, notably state politicians with an overblown sense of white privilege, wanted to unfairly eviscerate the voting rights of black people, leaving that right as a privilege of being white. So in a sense, without even realizing how appropriate his words were, Mr. Scalia hit the racial nail on the racial head when he said that it is difficult for a society that adopts racial entitlements to get out of them through the political process.
From the very moment white people felt entitled to lord over black people it has been a fight for them to relinquish that sense of entitlement. The problem isn’t protecting black people’s right to vote. Anybody who cares to look at this country’s history of institutionalized racial discrimination will know that people across the racial spectrum had to fight and die for black people to be recognized as white people’s equal. From the very moment black people were injected into this country’s social makeup against their will, white people had assumed, had adopted a sense of racial entitlement and privilege. Too many people have adopted the idea that black people wanting what white people have claimed as their own is an attempt to change the status quo and skew our social construct into black people’s favor. Anything that challenges white people’s sense of racial entitlement is in itself racial entitlement.
This closed circuit circular argument of illogic is the root of Mr. Scalia’s thinking. In his attempt to point a damning finger at people who understand the need to protect people from the racist whims of state legislators who would have no qualms about using their position of authority to run roughshod over the rights of some for the benefit of others, Mr. Scalia bares his gnarled skewed soul for the world to see. And to their credit, many people are aghast to see the new depth of injustice that lies at the pit of this man’s heart.
Any other justice in any other court in this country would have the good sense or, at the very minimum, the responsibility to their job to recues his or her self from the trial in question if they had vocalized such a totally biased statement. But it should be obvious by now that Mr. Scalia has no true sense or understanding of justice. Or, if there is some kernel of legal propriety within his comprehension, it takes a way back of the bus seat to his need to perpetuate his racial entitlement. It would be no surprise to see the Voting Rights Act go down in flames under the whim of this current version of our high court. Indeed, it would be surprising to see the Voting Rights Act survive in its intended form to protect the rights of all people to influence their government in a fair election process. It will be no surprise to see Mr. Scalia leading Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, John Roberts, and Anthony Kennedy to undo one of the pillars that actually gives meaning to our pledge of justice for all. If there was ever a case for term limits being given on our Supreme Court, Mr. Scalia has made the case most ineloquently as any single person could. God deliver us from such small minded people.
People really need to understand the fact that video games don’t kill people. People kill people. That’s a spin on the mantra by many that say guns don’t kill people. So if it’s true about guns and that’s been an argument for forever, then it’s even truer about video games. In fact, unlike a gun a video game isn’t even a reliable tool to be used to kill a person. So the idea of more regulation of video games as a solution to end gun violence really sounds somewhat pathetic.
Nuclear weapons don’t kill people. People kill people. And yet, somehow many of us work off of the premise that nuclear weapons shouldn’t be doled out around the world to all of the good guys to keep the bad guys with nuclear weapons in check. Most people shun the idea of nuclear proliferation to anybody who wants one as long as they have a good character rating. Does anybody really want to see a nuclear bomb under Kuwait’s control just in case one of their neighbor’s wants to do another invasion? But that’s the logic of some people who say that the only way to keep a bad guy with a gun in check is to give the good guys a gun.
But the public’s right to have guns is protected under the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution and any legislation, regulation, litigation, or nomination to infringe upon that right is the first step down a slippery slope that will have us living under a tyrannical government. Some of us will even argue the point that the founding fathers would never allow the government to even regulate guns or require people to register their guns.
You know what else is protected by our well respected Constitution? The right to vote. And many of the same people who now say that the Constitution protects their right to bear arms didn’t have a problem when so many states were passing new voter identification laws under the premise of protecting the integrity of the voting process. Proponents of voter identification restrictions laws were very quick to say that the integrity of the voting process was so sacrosanct that it was worth the risk of disentrancing millions of legal voters despite the fact that the right to vote is constitutionally protected. If we can handle millions of people going through hoops to maintain their right to vote, I’m pretty sure we can handle millions of gun owners being inconvenienced to maintain their right to bear arms.
A gun is not a video game. A gun is not a constitutionally protected right for people to exercise influence over their government. A gun is not a benign tool. A gun has the primary single purpose to kill. A knife has more uses. A gun being used to hunt is a gun being used to kill animals. They key word is “kill”. It is true that some people use their guns for target practice. But that’s only to make them better and more efficient killers when they make the decision to kill.
Once we understand and accept the primary purpose for guns then we can better accept what we have to do in order to protect ourselves from our neighbors with guns. The idea of protecting people’s rights to obtain as many guns as possible with the capacity to mow down people with just the pull of a finger is a retarded proposition that does nothing to protect anybody. We need to put limits on the number of rounds in the weapons of the average joe. The argument that smaller round capacities do nothing to curb gun violence is an argument to deny reality. Chances are that if someone had a musket that shot just one round before needing to be reloaded that person would need a lot more time to shoot a crowd of people than the guy with today’s large capacity assault rifle. And the more time it takes to shoot people, the more time to put a stop to the shooting before everyone gets killed. It’s not rocket science.
Guns are killing machines that need to be regulated. They need to be registered so that government knows who has them and how many. The killing machine should not be given a pass simply because it gets a mention in the Constitution. People have to register their automobiles if they plan to buy them, sell them, or use them. And automobiles kill far less people than guns. And if that’s not enough to put things into perspective, keep in mind those automobile related deaths are usually accidents that happen as a result of the automobile performing its job of transporting. Gun related deaths are the result of somebody putting their killing machine to its intended purpose. There is a big difference.
Thankfully, more people are now beginning to see the light and coming to the realization that we need to do more to curb gun violence. It’s no longer fashionable to say that we can’t do anything to stop gun violence. We are not so impotent that we can’t defend ourselves from people who want to kill or from people who want to protect people who might want to kill. People have the right to bear arms. People also have the right to regulate what arms to bear.
On February 26th, 2012, seventeen year old Trayvon Martin was initially stalked and then murdered by George Zimmerman, the appointed neighborhood watch coordinator for the gated community where the murder of Trayvon took place. We listened to Zimmerman’s own confession that he was following Trayvon without justifiable cause. Packed with his nine millimeter handgun Mr. Zimmerman felt bold enough to follow the young man and instigating a confrontation that wound up in the murder of an unarmed black teenager guilty of looking suspicious while walking home from a quick trip to the convenience store for Skittles and a can of Arizona Iced Tea.
The dustup from the shooting of Trayvon still has yet to settle. Although he was free to go home with his murder weapon the night Trayvon died, Mr. Zimmerman was later charged with second degree murder and is awaiting his trial that is to start in June 2013. But in the meantime, people have gathered on both sides of this issue. Many black people, including yours truly, see Mr. Zimmerman as a criminal, a bad guy who had no business following Trayvon and initiating an altercation while packing a deadly weapon. Many white people see Mr. Zimmerman as a good guy who may have been justified in killing a black teenager who looked suspicious even though there was no evidence that he was doing anything wrong that night.
So who’s right and who’s wrong? Who is to say who the good guy is and who the bad guy is? Eventually the courts will decide Mr. Zimmerman’s fate. Unfortunately, Zimmerman already decided Trayvon’s fate. And it’s a fair bet that if Trayvon was carrying a gun and started following George Zimmerman as he was walking home and a fight ensued and Zimmerman wound up dead, I seriously doubt if many people would be willing to give Trayvon the benefit of doubt if he said that Zimmerman attacked him and there was no initial evidence to contradict that claim.
But many people see Trayvon, the deceased victim of Zimmerman’s zeal for law and order, as a good guy who had the misfortune of being followed by a bad guy with a gun. Would it have been acceptable for Trayvon to walk the streets of Sanford, Florida that night so he could’ve had stopped the bad guy? Believe it or not, I don’t think so.
So when I heard Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, give a televised presentation advocating for more guns in our communities and in our elementary schools as a response to the tragic murder of twenty first grade children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary by a deranged gunman loaded to the hilt for a murderous rampage, I really have to ask the question is that a rational and well thought out mode of action to take. Not only that, Mr. LaPierre says that arming more people is the only way, strong emphasis on the word “only”, to keep our children safe.
Mr. LaPierre says with absolute zero indecisiveness that anything done to keep guns out of the hands of people who don’t need guns, like George Zimmerman, will only fail because it would not be totally effective. No matter what laws are passed people will still get their hands on a gun if they want one. Pass laws to make high capacity clips illegal and some people will just get them illegally. And guns don’t kill people, people kill people. With such infantile logic, or illogic might be more precise, anybody who wants a nuclear weapon should have one because nuclear weapons don’t kill people, people kill people. A nuclear weapon is just a tool. And giving the good guy a gun is no guarantee that a bad guy won’t still do damage to the community. So going back to Mr. LaPierre’s high standard of effectiveness, giving the good guy a gun is just as useless as keeping guns in the hands of bad guys off the street.
In Trayvon Martin’s altercation with George Zimmerman there is a difference of opinion of who the good guy was and who the bad guy was. For some people, the bad guy had a gun and the good guy was unarmed and paid the price for it. For others, Trayvon was the aggressor even though George Zimmerman clearly chased after him and instigated the struggle that wound up with Trayvon’s death. If both men were armed they could have had a shoot out in that gated community. Some people think that the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. That might work. But sometimes just the opposite winds up happening. Sometimes, it’s the good guy with a gun that gets stopped by the bad guy with a gun. There is no guarantee.
We already have plenty of so-called good guys with guns on the streets already. We have police officers and armed security personnel already equipped to kill. We don’t need elementary school teachers and principals packing heat as well. Their jobs are already tough enough. Why do we think we need to add more to their already hectic jobs by holding them responsible for keeping their schools safe from somebody crazed enough to enter a school with an assault rifle? If teachers need guns then we might as well let anybody carry a weapon. And I for one don’t need another George Zimmerman blowing away a teenager because they thought somebody they saw walking and minding their own business looked suspicious.