Eshu’s blues by michael hureaux perez
The National Rifle Association is a vector of violent death, and “white Amurrikin cowboy fantasies will not be satisfied until this land is mindlessly purged with blood, to paraphrase John Brown.” The nation was far safer 40-something years ago, when the right to bear arms “was defended by such stalwarts of the 2nd Amendment as the Black Panther Party, the Young Lords and the American Indian Movement.
The Idiocy that Executed Trayvon Martin: Marian Hammer of the NRA
Eshu’s blues by michael hureaux perez
“George Zimmerman is a posterchild for white supremists, gun fetishists, and the corporate media hacks who apologize for him.”
As I write this, the Amurrikin media is busy doing what it does frequently, i.e., going out of its way to legitimize the extrajudicial execution of a 17 year old Black kid. Trayvon Martin was shot to death not by a cop, not by a mall security guard, but by an armed neighborhood watch “patrol” person named George Zimmerman. You know, what used to be decried as vigilante activity back when the ruling classes of this country still had a clear notion of what due process of law entails.
But times are hard, thanks to the exigencies of a culture which no longer believes working people have a right to do anything but work and pay off the expenses of a debt service economy. And when that kind of governance is dominating the day, people get stupid and vicious, and a lot of people who really ought not to be packing anything with any more firepower than a pea-shooter are allowed all kinds of license. It’s the Amurrikin way. So the state of Florida has something called a “Stand your Ground” law, which apparently precludes the right of a black adolescent to knock out anyone who may be following them down the street and harassing them. Trayvon Martin, if he indeed laid hands on George Zimmerman, was seeking to put a stop to the harassment that a zealous “neighborhood watch” “official” armed to the teeth was visiting upon him. Martin was murdered by that assailant, after that assailant (Zimmerman) was warned away from any further engagement with Trayvon Martin by actual law enforcement officials. And Trayvon Martin was murdered for “standing his ground” in what was clearly a non-lethal manner – if indeed he laid hands on George Zimmerman – and his murder is being justified by people who have gunpowder for brains. There is no other explanation for this matter, despite what the gunpowder mob has to say.
“The Florida legislature was warned away from voting the law onto the books by law enforcement officials.”
Foremost among these is one Marian Hammer of the National Rifle Association, who apparently is formerly the first woman president of the NRA, who Michael Daly of Yahoo’s blog The Daily Beast has given the appellation “the Lady Gaga of Guns.” The NRA views her as the “propelling force” behind the Stand Your Ground Law, which Zimmerman’s defenders cite in asking to have all murder charges stricken from the record. If Daly’s recounting of the origins of the “Stand your Ground” law is accurate, the Florida legislature was warned away from voting the law onto the books by law enforcement officials who were concerned about exactly what we have here in front of us, the use of deadly force where it should not be used. Several law enforcement officials opposed the law because they believed it invited the Wild West scenario that floats through the heads of people like Marian Zimmerman. The law allows people to seek someone out, provoke a confrontation, and then kill them if they resist.
One has to stand in awe of the deliberate moronism that puts this kind of law together. Marian Hammer was unbothered when a group of alleged gangbangers shot one of their alleged opponents to death in Tallahassee four years ago. She sees the Stand Your Ground law as one which protects the rights of “law-abiding” people to protect themselves with firearms when they attacked, and apparently this law applies even when they are instigating or provoking attack. No gray areas of the law, unless, of course, we’re talking about the efficiency of gray gunpowder as opposed to the highly temperamental black powder that was used to make cartridges back in the Wyatt Earp days. Obviously superior firepower was what was decisive in that period, and clearly that’s all that concerns Marian Hammer in the present.
“Lots of people are dead today because there is inadequate regulation and education around the use of deadly force.”
And to all you Second Amendment groupies out there: this writer doesn’t accept the premise that there are never occasions when people might need firearms to defend themselves or procure food. But neither should civilized people accept the fetish for deadly force that Ms. Hammer and too many of her followers get off on. Lots of black folks grow up educated and taught about correct use and maintenance of firearms. But it’s only calculated stupidity that ignores one simple fact: needful tools that firearms sometimes are, political culture in this country is extremely immature and backward, and lots of people are dead today because there is inadequate regulation and education around the use of deadly force.
The neighborhood support, the slack to work and educate young people around the correct use of firearms is atomized in almost all parts of this country due to the destruction of infrastructure and what meager community help we once tried to build for ourselves in our neighborhoods and workplaces. This form of community empowerment is enhanced by militant and independent political leadership in each and every neighborhood and workplace in this country, and at one time, it was defended by such stalwarts of the Second Amendment as the Black Panther Party, the Young Lords and the American Indian Movement. These organizations in their best moments modeled correct defense of the much glamorized Second Amendment, correct regulation and education in the use of firearms, and is a regulation and education which Marian Hammer and the NRA actively oppose. George Zimmerman is a posterchild for white supremists, gun fetishists, and the corporate media hacks who apologize for him. He is not a victim. He is a deadly fool, a shill for right wing reaction, and he is nothing else.
Trayvon Martin is dead today because of the greatest internal threat which confronts working people in this culture. Trayvon Martin was yet another young person of color tossed onto the tower of bones that has been busily constructed by Amurrika for hundreds of years. All young black people and most if not everyone else in this sick, sick country are threatened by white Amurrikin cowboy fantasies, which apparently will not be satisfied until this land is mindlessly purged with blood, to paraphrase John Brown. Twenty-one states in this country have a law patterned after the Stand Your Ground Law and, incidently, that’s a development that lines up directly with the rise of right wing reaction in this country for the last three decades. That’s the problem. That’s the real threat, not only to countless black youth who have died under this hammer, if you’ll forgive the metaphor, but to everybody and everything which draws air in this vicious late ruling class gangster mayhem we live under.
The small miracle of the moment is that there have not been larger civil wars in the interior of this country due to the stupidity of Hammer and her true believers in the NRA, but that’s not to say there never will be. Given the tenor of the times, they seem more likely than ever. But I doubt that’s going to bother the gunpowder mob much.
michael hureaux perez is a writer, musician and teacher who lives in southwest Seattle, Washington. He is a longtime contributor to small and alternative presses around the country and performs his work frequently. Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.