Trayvon Martin: Why isn't anyone talking about guns?
This speaks for itself.
Why is America so Paranoid?
The 800lb elephant in the room that no one is talking about in the Trayvon Martin case are lax gun laws in the United States. The reasons no one is talking about guns are numerous. For politicians, it is a dangerous topic because this is an election year. The gun lobby is too strong and powerful to go up against in an election year. Liberals are not talking about it, well I do not know why liberal are not talking about it. Conservatives are leaving it alone because carrying guns is not important in this case, because under the Florida statute, George Zimmerman had the right to have a gun.
I personally do not care if George Zimmerman is a racist. I do not care if he is half Hispanic. I personally don’t think that Zimmerman will ever be convicted. These things are not the point to me. The Trayvon Martin shooting is greater than all of those things for me. First, it is about a history of inequality for African American males in American society. Secondly, it is about this insane idea that more guns on the street are good for the American people. Thirdly, it is about the paranoia that causes us all to want guns in the first place.
Whether it is black-on-white crime, black-on-black crime, white-on-black crime, white-on-white crime (which there is more of) or blue-on-green crime, America has too many guns. My father is a hunter. I grew up in East Texas and could shoot a gun before I could ride a bike. I am not saying that we should get rid of all guns. I am saying that we need to stop and look at a culture where over 13,000 people die each year because of bullets. My belief is this, if George Zimmerman had not had a handgun that night, he would have stayed in his car and let the police do their job. Instead, encouraged by his ability to ‘protect himself’, he followed this young man and set into action a chain of events that ended with a gunshot and life taken away.
We can talk about all the things that Zimmerman did wrong and we can talk about how Trayvon’s reaction may have escalated the situation, but the truth remains, had Zimmerman not had a gun, we would not be having this conversation at all.
With no expectation of gun violence, neighbors who heard the altercation would have come outside to help. Without that gun, the police would have arrived to stop Zimmerman’s and Trayvon’s fight. And no one can tell me how a fight between and armed adult and an unarmed 17-year-old is fair. According to the FBI, the largest two groups that are killed by gun violence in America are African American and Caucasian males. The irony in this is that African American males only make up about 12% of the population.
Finally, more guns have made Americans more paranoid. All you have to do is look at the comments on blogs about this case and you can see the paranoia. It is always interesting to read the comments of Europeans and their dismay at American’s and their guns. We are fourth behind the likes of South Africa, Thailand, and Columbia in deaths attributed to gunfire.
Since the advent of these “Stand your Ground Laws” justifiable homicide “claims” have tripled in the state of Florida alone. One case I heard about was of two men driving down the freeway shooting at each other and they both claimed they were standing their ground. Trayvon Martin gets all the ink but the case of Brandon Baker is just as insane. Baker and his brother were coming home from a party when a security guard started following them. They stopped in three cars, Brandon Baker ends up being pepper sprayed and then shot and killed by the guard.
Even in the days of the old West, which we are quickly returning too, they understood that guns in town brought trouble. Many towns had people turn in their side arms before they even entered town. We have returned to insanity. Trayvon Martin is dead, but we can best honor his memory by changing the laws that put him in his grave.