Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Thoughts on Trayvon, Walking and Anti-Social Gated Commuinities...

Trayvon Martin's killer went free this week. And almost everyone has an opinion about the matter. It seems to pretty much break down according to ideology; if you are white and conservative, you side with George Zimmerman, the killer; if you are liberal or black, you were probably hoping Zimmerman would go to jail for a good long time. I know I was.

I've had more than my share of arguments regarding this. I've had all sorts of opinions e-mailed to me, the protagonist thinking, "if only Allan see's this, he will see just how much sense it makes that Zimmerman was just protecting himself". The Internet is all a buzz about it. Tell me how you feel about guns, or affirmative action, or abortion, and I think I could pretty much predict what your opinion is of Trayvon's killing.

Trayvon got killed because he took a walk. That about sums it up: Trayvon got killed for walking while black. Or maybe for just taking a walk at all. Actually going for a walk in many neighborhoods has become a suspicious activity, punishable by death.

And Trayvon got killed while walking in a Gated Community. Again, another one of my pet peeves. I see no reason why any Community needs to be Gated. Ever. To me, it just means that good walkable habitat has been denied you. Gated Communities still depend upon services such as police and fire protection just like the rest of us plebes. So why do we let them get away with being so Anti-Social? My feeling is that if you are so Anti-Social that you need to live in a Gated Community, well, fine; but let's increase their property tax by 1,000 percent. Make them pay to be so anti-social.

I like to walk around here. I like to hike. I'd say it is the number one reason why I live in the country. I live here so that I can take a walk. But taking a walk is getting to be more and more dangerous. I live in prime pot growing country where people have an overly inflated sense of private property. If you are growing Cannabis plants that get to be the size of Christmas Trees, and these plants are worth around three or four thousand dollars each, and you are smoking bud as you watch over your grow, and your grow happens to be in the country, and you are paranoid from smoking the bud, and you are well armed because you want to protect your private property, and some bookish Thoreau wannabee comes walking along, you very well might want to shoot the bookish guy and ask questions later. If he is out for a walk he must be up to no good. At least that's what Zimmerman thought. Stand your ground. Shoot first, you felt threatened!

I've been stopped a couple of times while taking a walk around here. Since the folks are growing things of dubious legality, they usually don't want people walking near them. I, of course, inform them that they must drive past my place to get to their place and is it really so bad that a person wants to roam a bit and stretch their legs? Things usually don't get heated, but they have on one occasion.

So I side with people who walk. The last words Zimmerman said was "Fucking punks, they always get away". That statement, alone, should have let the jury know what sort of frame of mind Zimmerman was in. He confronted Trayvon. Picked a fight. Got hit, felt scared and he killed Trayvon. All of this just because he thought he was a big man in the neighborhood, carrying a loaded gun.

Wyatt Earp was smart enough to practice gun control. We should be as smart; have gun free zones, get rid of concealed carry and confiscate and imprison those who really think they need to carry a weapon in urban areas.

How about weapons in rural areas? Sure, but with one caveat:  I firmly believe that the use of substances such as pot or beer, don't mix well with guns. If you handle a gun and you register any alcohol on your breath, this should be a crime.

And no one should be able to have a weapon anywhere near a marijuana grow. Let people protect their cannabis crop  the old fashioned way: with fists and a staff. Let them call the police should they feel threatened.

The goal is to make our society more social; to continue on the path of suspicion and fear only leads to barbarism.

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