Racism doesn’t kill people — vigilantes with guns often do

Most people, knowing what’s known about the shooting of Trayvon Martin, would like to see George Zimmerman charged with something — me included. But it would be a miscarriage of justice if  Zimmerman was charged with a hate crime, as some experts speculate.

Racism, if Zimmerman is guilty of it, is not a crime. Pursuing an unarmed teen when law enforcement tells you not to, then shooting and killing him, is clearly illegal.

The overriding cultural issues brought to the forefront by Trayvon Martin’s slaying shouldn’t cloud simple matters of justice, nor should it obscure the larger problem that’s garnering scant attention.

We’re a nation of no gun laws. A state rep. from Woodstock has proposed House Bill 981, which would allow concealed weapons in:

Public schools and colleges;

Bars and restaurants;

Places of worship;

Polling places

Government buildings, including the state Capitol.

Meanwhile, a bill that would require four hours of training for anyone who gets a permit to carry a concealed weapon couldn’t even get a hearing in a committee.

While there appears to be nothing in George Zimmerman’s past that would’ve prevented him from carrying a weapon there were certainly warning signs.

Over the years, his scores of calls to police showed he pursued shoplifters and errant drivers with zeal, reporting pit bulls, potholes, children playing in the street, open garage doors and “suspicious” youths — usually black males — loitering in the street.

He peppered his calls with jargon familiar to police. In one case, he chased a reckless driver while calling 911 — the driver later told police he was terrified that Zimmerman was going to attack him. In another case, Zimmerman tailed a supermarket shoplifter until a police officer successfully arrested the thief.

Of course those warning signs were missed because the NRA won’t allow governments to regulate who is allowed access to deadly weapons. And few people seem inclined to challenge the gun nuts who, despite nearly uncontested influence, still claim to be under siege.

One response to “Racism doesn’t kill people — vigilantes with guns often do”

  1. What is never reported in the media is the large number of occasions each year that a citizen utilizes a firearm to successfully defend him/herself.

    Police respond to crime. They cannot prevent it. Most crime is a matter of opportunity.

    I refuse to delegate the job of defending myself to the state.

    And you seem to have no idea how corrupt and venal most urban police departments are. They are rife with gangs.

    Zimmerman probably is a nut. I see no reason to attempt to draw larger conclusions.

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