I wanted to blame him and punish him and be done with it. It was too horrible, too painful, and I wanted it to end with him.
But George Zimmerman is the tip of the iceberg, and even if we break him off and throw him into the water, there’s still the iceberg to deal with. It’s the town, the lawmakers, the NRA–everyone who put that gun in Zimmerman’s hands, along with the message that he had the power to shoot to kill as long as he remembered to say he felt threatened. It is the rest of them who need to be brought to justice, if there is to be any justice.
I see a courtroom filled with victims–you and me, the parents who lost their child, Trayvon Martin, and everyone who might be walking into the wrong end of another gunslinger who got a pat on the back as (s)he was sent out to do something lawfully heinous. I see We, The People and I just have to ask, where are we in all of this? It’s not easy: we all want to feel safe in our communities, protected against people who would harm us. And we all want to be safe, to keep our children safe, protected against people who would harm us.
We don’t have much control over the individual acts of individual people, but We, The People have control over the laws that we agree to live by. Right now, we can and must say it’s enough–too much, really–and it has to stop. Every human is valuable, none can be spared for such cruel brutality, and government must not be used to rob us of one another. If the world is spinning out of control, we must be the brakes of last resort.