Since last Saturday night’s verdict there have been demonstrations, hand-wringing over our racially distorted (i.e. racist) justice system, punditry excoriating Zimmerman, jurors, the defense, the prosecution, and even Martin himself, the dead kid … for looking too much like the sort of menacing guys insulated, law-abiding white folks have every damn good reason to be afraid of. (It’ll be a long while before the Washington Post lives down the racial/classist reek of columnists Richard Cohen and Kathleen Parker. Lord I hope their limo never breaks down in Anacostia.)
But no one to date that I’m aware of has made a point of fingering the NRA for being the heavy it is, from the roots up, in this tortured drama. My guess is that since we are now seven months past the Newtown slaughter and the NRA has prevailed in Congress again, the four million member fire-arms lover/super patriot organization is old news … again.
Same old same old. Boooring. Must have fresh villains.
Never mind that it was the NRA in Florida pushing, excuse me “extorting”, votes to pass the state’s Stand Your Ground law, as it was after that when Florida adopted Conceal Carry.
Lacking either, young Mr. Martin would still be alive, although given his record for domestic abuse and other outbursts of violence Mr. Zimmerman might likely be incarcerated somewhere. (In fairness, the deceased was a known pot smoker.) Under standard NRA lobbying, a record of violence is not a disqualifier for purchasing a gun, hell several guns, and gobs of ammunition, over the Internet. With over half its funding coming from the country’s gun manufacturers, the NRA is and has been for a generation the marketing arm for the likes of Smith & Wesson and rent-a-mercenary companies like Xe, formerly Blackwater. With that in mind you’re going to say and do everything possible to get a gun in the hand of every one who can still pull a trigger, and they do.
I always pity the poor dumb cracker, sitting down the bar from me at my favorite northern Wisconsin watering hole, proudly telling everyone in earshot, (but mainly the two low-lidded gals sucking down Marlboros and playing penny video poker) how he wrote the NRA a check for $100.
“And why”, I ask? “Well … ” and then the story starts to spin-off into the time two black guys in Superior — 25 miles through the woods and down the hill — looked at him funny while he was picking up a prescription at Walgreens, and how “with that crowd that’s in there now” the NRA’s the only people stopping the Feds from breaking down his trailer door, grabbing his guns and leaving him defenseless … most likely against blind drunk white guys careening down the dusty back roads blasting away at Deer Crossing signs.
The fear a yob like that feels is also an effect of NRA marketing. Every politician who votes against Conceal Carry, Stand Your Ground/Castle Doctrine, registration, whatever == assault rifles for psychopaths — has to have a salable reason, and the talking points the NRA has used since it dropped that silly Boy Scout shit about firearm safety and realized that the real dough was in regular checks from the manufacturers, is the pitch they use. “it’s damned terrifying out there and as an exceptional American who loves John Wayne, Dirty Harry and the Constitution you owe it to your family to pack heat. That is if your family left a forwarding address.
So it is when your average terrified-of-the-next-nut-in-the-next-primary Congressman/state legislator gets back in the district in front of “outdoors” activists . Out rolls all the paranoid NRA verbiage about the vulnerability, threats and carnage of modern American life, usually in code language with the unmistakable inference that they’re referring to black guys, young black guys in particular. (The flab and paunchiness of the paranoid crowd contrasts pretty vividly with the young buck-ness of the black guys that scare them the most.)
There’s zero chance the Justice Department is going to launch a racial case against George Zimmerman, and not because it’d fry the tin foil antennae of the black helicopter crowd. Proving racist intent would be all but entirely impossible. More likely is that Trayvon Martin’s family will file a civil suit against Zimmerman, who, like most sweaty-palmed pistol-packers, is not anyone’s idea of a genius with money. So good luck with a pay-day.
Maybe Mike Bloomberg will take this opportunity to hire David Boies and make the NRA a co-defendant in a suit against Zimmerman.