Sunday, July 14, 2013

Bringing a Gun to No Fight at All

You don't bring a gun to a knife fight. You don't bring a knife to a fist fight. And you sure don't bring a gun to a fight with a kid who has Skittles and an Iced Tea. And so George Zimmerman walks. Nobody wants to read this or think about this. In a country where you can shoot someone because you think they might be up to no good by bringing a gun to confront a seventeen year old because he was walking through a white community nobody wants to realize the implications for our society. Because the man who shot the boy was the only one left standing is our legacy.

And it doesn't matter that Stand Your Ground is insane. Or that in Illinois now the NRA has made sure people can carry a concealed weapon. The Culture War of Washington just slopped over its breakwater and took with it a seventeen year old and all sense of justice. Because it was framed in the my right my freedeom my gun light. Beyond a reasonable doubt doesn't seem justice when one man is armed and the other has a pack of candy and a can of icea tea. Something about it just doesn't sit right with us.

And the gun people can have their day now. They won. A boy was murdered in the night by a man who thought he was up to no good. That is best we can say. He chased him down and confronted him with a gun. What happened next is anyone's guess. But George Zimmerman brought a gun to no fight at all. He brought a gun to confront an African American seventeen year old he thought had no right to be where he was. And then he shot him.

This much we know. And it is our sad epitaph.

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Books by William Hazelgrove