[Content Note: Guns.]
This weekend, Melissa Harris-Perry did a segment on how "guns are the only recurring theme in all shootings." (Video and transcript at link.) It is a great segment, and I encourage you to watch/read it, if you have the opportunity.
One of the observations MHP made, given that tomorrow is the one-year anniversary of George Zimmerman having killed Trayvon Martin, is that if George Zimmerman had not been carrying a gun, Trayon Martin would probably still be alive.
Gun proponents like to say things like "guns don't kill people" and make specious arguments about how people would just carry knives if guns were taken away, but these are deeply dishonest claims.
The truth is, guns empower lots of people to do violence they wouldn't otherwise do. George Zimmerman was not going to get out of his car and stalk Trayvon Martin with a pocketknife. We need to be honest about that.
Gun proponents know damn well that guns and knives are not the same, and not just for the damage they are capable of doing. "Guns aren't the problem!" they bellow. "If you take away guns, people will just use knives!" As if there isn't something different, something special, about guns.
But of course there is. No one knows that better than they do. That's why they fight so determinedly not to give them up.