Welcome to Perspectives, a blog of thoughts, commentary and observations ranging from autistic adolescents to intimate portraits of urban communities.

 

Warning Shot

Two months have passed since George Zimmerman was acquitted of killing Trayvon Martin by pleading the Second Amendment. For how else can you interpret the jury’s refusal to convict a man who – in violation of explicit police instructions – pursued an unarmed man in a quiet neighborhood and shot him dead, except as the swagger that comes with carrying a gun? It’s less than a year since Adam Lanza killed 20 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a massacre that led to modest regulations in many states. But fear not, the NRA has risen to the challenge, and its efforts to snuff out any remnants of a national conscience are escalating across the country. Last week in Colorado, voters recalled two state senators who had voted in favor of Colorado’s rational gun laws. Similar efforts are under way in all 50 states. It’s easy to castigate the NRA and leave it at that, but the image of gun-toting yahoos doesn’t really describe what happened in Colorado. Democrats and Independents outnumbered Republicans at the polls, and gun-control advocates, led by Michael Bloomberg, outspent the NRA by 5-1. Colorado’s legislative branches, governor and U.S. Senators are all Democrats. The NRA didn’t just galvanize voters around a single issue; it appealed to a broader sense of alienation among people who feel disempowered. That feeling is not limited to two senatorial districts in Colorado, and those recall elections should awaken us all to the need to start listening, not just to ourselves, but to each other.

Sayonara, Larry Summers

A Love Story