I've always liked Bill Cosby. Both as a comedian, and a social commentator. And he's spot on in this case. Guns played a huge role in Trayvon Martin's death, beyond the obvious. I doubt Zimmerman would have gotten out of his car and followed Martin had he not had a gun to embolden him. And even had Zimmerman and Martin scuffled, it's a lot harder to kill someone with your hands than with a gun.
As Myrddin wrote the other day:
The problem with guns is not simply that they provide a way in which one person can kill another, but that they make it possible to do so in an instant. Killing someone with a knife is hard. Suffocation even harder. Gunshots, a simple flick of the finger.It's the same reason I worry about the easy availability of guns in this country more generally. They're a great way for half-cocked people to go off, because someone cut you off, took your parking space, or simply looked at you the wrong way.
It is possible that Zimmerman or Martin might have been killed if neither one was armed, but it is much less likely that would have happened, just as it is much less likely that a domestic dispute will result in murder if no gun is present.
We're a far cry from the Revolutionary War. Perhaps it's time we revisited the Second Amendment and our country's love affair with violence.
NY Daily News:
"Without a gun, I don't see Mr. Zimmerman approaching Trayvon by himself," he added. "The power-of-the-gun mentality had him unafraid to confront someone. Even police call for backup in similar situations."
"When you carry a gun, you mean to harm somebody, kill somebody," Cosby said.