The Other Reason You Should Be Angry About Trayvon Martin’s Murder

I want to say I am really proud of the discussion raging across the United States right now regarding racism which has been brought on by the tragedy of Trayvon Martin.

However, I am frustrated this discussion is completely overshadowing what I see as the key to this tragedy– the fact that George Zimmerman was licensed to own a gun. Why, why, why is gun ownership still so easy to come by in this country?

We are so advanced. We spend ungodly amounts of money on defense on a national level and services like the police on local levels and yet we insist on being armed. Why? Do you honestly think your little gun is going to protect you against the top military in the world? Do you honestly think your little gun is going to do a better job of defending your family than the highly skilled local police force?

What is it going to take for this country to let it go? At the very least, can we please make it insanely difficult to get one? How is it that one must go through major steps to become a teacher, a police officer, a fire fighter, a doctor, a lawyer, a pilot, or whatever else requires licensing and yet a paranoid man with a history of violence (against police) can obtain license to own something that is specifically designed to end lives?

I am irate, like everyone else, about the police response and handling of the tragedy but the bottom line is it shouldn’t have happened in the first place and not because we’re in 2012 and still grappling with racism. Blacks shoot and kill blacks every day. Whites shoot and kill whites every day. Men shoot and kill women. Women shoot and kill men. Children shoot and kill children.

Why?

Because it is too damn easy to get your hands on a gun in this country.

Yes, talk about racism. Let’s grapple with that monster. But for the love of god, let’s not look past what actually ended Trayvon Martin– a loaded gun.

With all of the technology and all of the services we have in place, there is absolutely no need for gun ownership. Asking for a license to own a gun is simply the equivalent of requesting a license to kill.

Self-defense? There are other methods that do not take a life and they are getting more effective every day.

The number of people who save themselves because they owned a gun is negligible, especially when compared to the number of people who died because of a gun that is fired by rage, fear, shame, anxiety, intoxication, paranoia, or any emotion that pulls a trigger– none are positive.

Yes, I am angry that in 2012 there are still idiots who find other people suspicious because of the color of their skin. Yes, I am angry that in 2012 there are still people in charge who take sides because of the color of a perpetrator’s skin before considering the facts. But, I am angrier that in 2012 there are still people who can get guns– especially people with a history of violence and paranoia (over 40 calls to 911 reporting suspicious activity or people is paranoia).

We need to come to terms with race in this country but we also need to work towards tighter gun control laws so these types of tragedies don’t happen as we work towards a better tomorrow.

What will break us finally? Columbine didn’t do it. Virginia Tech didn’t do it. Trayvon Martin isn’t doing it. The countless stories of shooting murders and fatal shooting accidents that appear in your local newspaper don’t do it. What then? And why should we wait until that sort of tragedy to take place before we move to action? Hasn’t there been enough bloodshed already? Haven’t enough black, white, Asian, Hispanic, Native American boys and girls been buried already?

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14 thoughts on “The Other Reason You Should Be Angry About Trayvon Martin’s Murder

  1. I respect peoples rite to own guns BUT I think that it should be a little more difficult to get one. I think a more extended waiting period and background check is needed. I also dont think that most people need to own 5 or 10 guns(I know people who own 5 hand guns and I have no idea why).

    Such a sad loss of life

    Reply
    • Exactly. I understand we can’t do away with it entirely (I wish we could) but if we can’t, then we need to tighten it up in a big, big way. They’re not harmless little things. There is a limit on how much medicine I can buy that has pseudophedrine in it and I have to turn my license in every time I buy it. Same thing goes for other kinds of medicines. But if I want a gun, it’s no problem. That’s a crazy dichotomy.

      Reply
  2. If Zimmerman had run the boy down with a car, would we demand that the right to own a car be revoked from everyone?

    Not removing our right to own guns is an essential part of our American and English Common Law heritage. When a government wants to remove our right to self-defense, we will all be in danger.

    Zimmerman probably would have knifed him to death if he had not had a gun. He seems to be a very angry, paranoid, racist. The background check obviously failed to find that he had a history of threats of violence.

    What bothers me most is that the police did not take Z into custody and charge him with murder. Was he ever even arrested and held? How can that happen when we have laws in place to cover murders?

    Reply
    • I actually disagree with that conclusion. We are making the assumption he would’ve done something else to kill the boy and you just can’t do it. The fact is the possession of the gun is what emboldened the man to follow him after police specifically told him not to. The other problem with those arguments is that cars and knives are not expressly designed to kill. If a person wants to outright kill someone, they will. I am not denying that.
      The bottom line is owning a gun IS a right and that’s fine but it should be damn hard to get one. What kind of background check are these guys running that fails to uncover what journalists were able to uncover in mere hours? I live in Florida. The gun laws here are way too loose. All you need a permit for is to carry a concealed weapon and if a guy like Zimmerman can obtain that kind of permit, there is a SERIOUS problem with the way we are doing things. Especially as having the permit to carry concealed weapons frees you from the other restrictions on purchasing a gun like the 3 day waiting period.

      Reply
      • It’s harder to get a drivers license some places than it is to get a gun license.

        You also forgot the number of deaths from accidental shooting when kids get access to a gun that’s been improperly stored.

      • I actually just heard a crazy story from someone who had a crazy debacle when she moved to VA and tried getting her license. It was easier for her to get the gun permit and that was how she was able to speed up her drivers license!
        I didn’t forget them, I just didn’t go into it here. But yes, they are definitely to be accounted for. Even suicides. Makes you wonder how many people would not do it if they didn’t have access to a gun.

  3. I thought the right to bear arms was less about self defense and more about not starving to death (because you can hunt for food). I’m generally for the right to bear arms, but you make a very compelling argument against it. Is there less drug use today because drugs are illegal? Would gun violence go down if they were banned? I’m not sure I know the answer to these questions.

    Reply
    • Here’s a good blurb from Wiki that explains it better than I can:

      In no particular order, early American settlers viewed the right to arms and/or the right to bear arms and/or state militias as important for one or more of these purposes:[25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32]

      deterring tyrannical government;
      repelling invasion;
      suppressing insurrection;
      facilitating a natural right of self-defense;
      participating in law enforcement;
      enabling the people to organize a militia system.

      It gets way more heavy and philosophical. As for hunting, there has to be a way to keep the guns under lock and key until they are required for a hunting expedition. Rentals? Or maybe a gun bank sort of system?

      The bottom line is if guns are harder to get, there are simply less of them going around. There is a lot of research that shows the states in this country with tighter gun control laws have significantly lower rates of gun-related deaths than “pro-gun” states.

      I know where there is a will, there is a way but too many gun-related deaths are not so thoroughly thought out as would be necessary in a nation with way tighter gun control laws.

      Reply
  4. Mutant Supermodel,
    Okay, I am fine with your not buying my conclusion. However, he was in a scuffle, close enough to use a knife. The man was armed because he wanted to be armed. He chose a gun. He could borrow a gun if he wanted to use a gun. He probably had a knife; maybe not.

    First Gen Am,
    In England some king wanted to disarm the populace. This was more about the right not to be disarmed.It was also for the reasons she gave. It’s complicated. Yes, people needed guns to hunt. But, the managed to kill Native Americans, also.

    MSM,
    If our guns are taken away, then what will be taken next. Maybe we will have to rent from the govt any little thing that the “Govt” deems not in our best interest. That is a slippery slope I don’t want to chance. A sane person can rent a gun to shoot dinner and then go nutso or have a person he/she knows get the gun and commit mayhem. Do you really think that making guns illegal will keep them from being purchased in this country?

    If the govt rents guns, you know that the gun rental office will close as early in the day and on weekends like the PO and the ABC stores (state liquor stores). Plus, gun rental would make hunting cost prohibitive. People who did not live within 100, 50, or even 20 miles could not pursue hunting for food unless they managed to have the gas to travel to the rental location. Who would control the ammunition? The govt? How would a person be able to practice enough to become proficient? I don’t own a gun, but I see renting guns as a means of keeping guns out of the hands of law-abiding, careful people.

    Prohibition did not work. We cannot legislate morality. The Kennedys became wealthy because of Prohiibition. We cannot keep the bad guys from getting booze, guns, drugs. Burglars and robbers will have guns. Count on it.

    Meth is illegal. Have we managed to keep it off the streets? Speeding is illegal? How many people, adults and children, are killed by people who speed.

    I don’t own a gun. I want a gun. And, I think gun ownership is not more dangerous than owning a bottle, gasoline, fire, and a rag. My ex and I took precautions with his guns just like we/I do with gasoline and fire.

    I went into a service station where a guy was smoking as he got out of his car and approached the pump I was where I was pumping gas to use the other side of the pump. I yelled at him to put out the cigarette. He kept it in his mouth as he opened the gas tank. THEN, he puffed and puffed and threw it down. He did not stomp it until after he stomped it after the removed the nozzle and put the nozzle in the car. I am sure that he was an idiot who did not know that there were fumes all over and thought that the only fumes were the ones coming from the nozzle he was holding. What do we forbid him having? Personally, I think a good beating might have sent the message home. Someone else could say take the car, or another might say make him stay in the car and pay someone to pump his gas. What to do

    If your children were in your car and someone was that reckless with their lives, what would be your reaction?

    Reply
    • I’m going to point out that as much as I would LOVE guns to be illegal in this country, I know that’s not going to happen but I absolutely believe gun ownership should be much harder to come by.

      It’s got nothing to do with legislating morality. You want to get a driver’s license you have to take tests and you’re supposed to have a restricted license before you get your full rights. Not to mention there’s all kinds of other things in place like mandated auto insurance. Why? Because there’s significant risk to other people’s lives. I want at least the same level of process in place for something that is specifically intend to kill. I don’t see why that’s so abrasive to people. If you really want a gun, and you know you’ll be responsible, you should have NO issue accepting that you should prove to everyone you are indeed responsible and sane enough to own one. Again, the frustration comes from a lack of desire to even compromise on the issue. It’s either 100% pro-gun or nothing at all. That’s not right at all but it seems to be the attitude in today’s world.

      Reply
  5. Nothing in your comment is refuting anything that I said,except “legislating morality.” You wanted to restrict gun ownership to the point we rented them. People who follow all the rules for getting a driver’s license still commit murder with cars, deliberately, carelessly, or inadvertantly. And, I never said all or nothing . So, we don’t agree. Peace

    Reply

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