The Trayvon-Newtown Connection

I doggedly repeat my assessment from the post-Newtown tragedy: While a pervasive culture (gun culture in the Newtown case; racism in this one) surely plays a  major role in determining the outcome, it is NOT the definitive one.  For me, the Trayvon Martin trial is less about juror bias, and more about crazy laws – laws eviscerating gun control that have been passed DESPITE very, very low numbers of Americans who have EVER been for weakening gun control.  Florida’s “stand your ground” law was passed in 2005, when around 9% of Americans believed in laxer gun laws, against an overwhelming 55% who believed in tighter ones (http://www.gallup.com/poll/1645/guns.aspx).  So while I will not deny that racism is still highly pervasive in almost all aspects of American life, what’s more at the heart of both of these cases is the fact that firearms corporations, through lobbying groups, are able to shape the laws that encourage the privatization of justice… and privatized justice will necessarily take on all the ugliness and bias of those whom it serves.

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