Monday, July 15, 2013

Zimmerman Verdict Makes It Official: We Live In The Lawless, Gun-Toting Wild West

Civil, peaceful, anti-gun citizens beware. People of color don't go out at night. Parents who want to protect your children: keep them at home, wean them off Skittles, and pray they don't ever encounter someone with a gun. The right-wing, conceal/carry, NRA nuts have won. They can profile you with impunity. They can stalk you in your own neighborhoods. And they can shoot you dead without repercussion. And not just in Florida. Sure, Florida seems to be an extremist, backwoods exception to reason and compassion (it resembles a KKK/Tea Party lynch mob more than it does a modern state), but now it has set a new standard for barbarism and vigilantism. All future parasites with a gun will be protected by the legal precedent the Zimmerman jury established. And the precedent is this: If I don't like you, I may stalk you, confront you and murder you...and I will not be subject to prosecution. I can patrol neighborhoods, firearm in hand, and keep watch over people who enter, exit, and linger there...EVEN IF THEY LIVE THERE! Blame the Florida jury all you want; they were just protecting their own self-interests. The state is ruled by the NRA, and the blowback a conviction would have brought would have been unimaginable for the jurors. Better one dead black kid than middle-aged white women facing toothless Florida hillbillies carrying sawed-off shotguns. Besides, the white women on the jury admitted they were packing heat themselves! (How can there be not a single African-American on that jury I'll never know.) But the disease is more pervasive than Florida. How sick is a nation that lets schoolchildren get massacred while defending the mad-dog shooter's right to carry machine guns? Why do we permit paranoid, brain-dead loudmouths, who praise Jesus on Sunday and spread hate the rest of the week, intimidate the rest of us? Why do their right to pack supersede our right to live long, healthy lives? When those who have guns rule a nation, call the nation what it is: The Wild West. If the Trayvon Martin case does not prove this, nothing ever will. A 17-year-old kid, brash, full of life, wanting to belong, and most of all, innocent and minding his own business, buys a pack of Skittles and a soft drink at a neighborhood store. He then walks towards home and is confronted by a Barney-Fife wannabee with a loaded weapon. (At least Andy never let Barney put a bullet in his gun.) Zimmerman wants to be a big man in the neighborhood and accosts the black child wearing a hoodie. (We all know how dangerous hoodie-wearing blacks are.) Ignoring the police dispatcher's plea to stand down, Fife stalks the kid and a struggle ensues. The case can be (and should have been) made that the kid was merely defending himself when he punched the stalker (if, in fact, he did). Isn't that what Florida's "stand your ground" law allows? Apparently the law does not apply to black kids. Either that, or the clueless jury decided that both Zimmerman and Martin were defending themselves, and Martin was unlucky enough to bring his fists to a gunfight. This logic, though, is madness. Its inevitable conclusion is that we should all arm ourselves under all circumstances and wherever we go. That is the very definition of The Wild West. Come to think of it, this is the America that right-wingers have always longed for: a return to the 1800s, when slavery was legal; there were no taxes or abortionists; environmental scientists were unheard of; public education did not exist; and females were treated like cattle. There was only the gun. And he who used it best won. So the retrotransformation is nearly complete. We need only revise some iconic lines. The Pledge of Allegiance should now read: "I pledge allegiance to the NRA, and to the Republicans for which it stands...two nations under evangelical Jesus, with injustice and intolerance for all." And the national anthem: "O say can you shoot negroes in the dead of night. What so proudly we failed to jail the vigilante Zimmerman...O'er the land of the Tea and the home of the slave." Finally, the Statue of Liberty: "Give me your AK-47s, your M-16s, and your huddled shooting victims."