First Jesse Jackson, now Bill Cosby turns Trayvon Martin tragedy into pitch for more gun control. : ThyBlackMan

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

First Jesse Jackson, now Bill Cosby turns Trayvon Martin tragedy into pitch for more gun control.

April 16, 2012 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( Jesse Jackson began linking the Trayvon Martin tragedy to gun control in late March. Today celebrity entertainer Bill Cosby joined him. In early April,  Jesse  Jackson told a church crowd of an estimated 1,600 people that the Trayvon Martin case was about gun control while disseminating incorrect information.  Jesse Jackson told the crowd “Zimmerman told police he had killed him. Shot him in the back of the head in self-defense”  and then told them to fight for assault weapon bans.

On MTV’s Rap Fix, Atlantabased rapper Killer Mike blasted Rev. Jackson for linking a ban on assault weapons to Trayvon Martin’s murder, which he said had absolutely nothing to do with the murder since Zimmerman used a handgun to kill Trayvon Martin. Perhaps Jesse Jackson and others are angling to get President Obama to take gun control legislation off the back burner and make it an issue for the November elections. Gun control is a dangerous political issue for President Obama and any sign of a move to tighten regulations would likely incense and increase voter turnout for the  Republican nominee even if it is Mitt Romney. Presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney just a few days ago told the National Rifle Association,

“If we are going to safeguard our 2nd Amendment, it is time to elect a president who will defend the rights President Obama ignores or minimizes. I will.”

In an early Sunday morning interview on CNN’s State of the Union, Bill Cosby made his gun control pitch to Candy Crowley,

“I’m a person who believes that gun, the gun, all around this United States, when a person has a gun, sometimes their mind clicks that this thing is — it will win arguments and straighten people out. And then in the wrong hands, in the wrong mind, it’s death, it’s wounding people.  People who don’t have money to buy a decent meal for themselves get — someone will put an illegal gun in their hand.”

Mr. Bill Cosby perhaps is referring to the record run on guns and ammunition since the election of Barack Obama. There are hundreds of millions of legally owned firearms inAmericaand guns and ammo were popular items sold during last year’s holiday shopping season. However, there is little evidence to support Bill Cosby claim that someone is out there arming the homeless.

Mr. Bill Cosby then lets loose with some drug war propaganda about addicts kicking in doors so he wants you to be able to keep a gun in your home.

“I’m not saying you can’t have it in your homes to protect yourself, because people on drugs really don’t care.  They, they don’t think well. And they will kick in your door.  So you’ve got to protect yourself in your own home.”

Mr. Bill Cosby is right; people should be able to keep firearms in their homes. Not only to protect themselves from crack heads kicking down the door but from the occasional overzealous power drunk police officer. Like the two who illegally entered the home of Ramarley Graham’s grandmother by kicking in the door and rushing upstairs to kill the unarmed young Black man. Dick Gregory once stated that the reason why you do not read about white families crying over a loved one shot 42 times in the back of the head by Black officers, because he supposed, Black officers know white people are not going to tolerate it.

They should also be able to carry their legally owned and registered firearms outdoors, openly. Perhaps Mr. Bill Cosby is not thinking about people who live outside of the big city life and feed their families in part by hunting local game.

Perhaps he is not thinking about what he would have to do to feed his family should a natural disaster occur, if he did not have millions in the bank. Would he be sitting around waiting on FEMA to arrive?

Given Mr. Bill Cosby’s age, an elderly person like him would be dependent on someone in the family or community to provide for him until emergency management arrives. Nevertheless, of course, because he does have his millions, Mr. Bill Cosby would be spared the choices that millions of Americans might be forced to make.

In addition, there has always been a need for Black people to defend themselves from white people shooting them down in their own communities. The Rosewood Massacre, not far from Sanford, Florida where Trayvon Martin was gunned down, occurred in 1923. The Rosewood Massacre involved white men hunting down and killing black people. Recently in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the site of another and more horrific historic massacre of Black people, two white men have confessed to shooting five Black people killing three.

Perhaps Mr. Bill Cosby is losing his grasp of the dark racial history of the country. Mr. Bill Cosby never was one to speak out on racial issues through out his career, which spanned the turbulent sixties and Jim Crow. Now that he is retired, it has become sort of a hobby for him to speak out on “black issues”.

Mr. Bill Cosby mentions once owning a gun after first admitting he does not know what happened in the Trayvon Martin case, but decided that since the police have guns, he did not need one, just call and wait for them to arrive.

 “I don’t know what happened, but I know that this — I used to have a gun.  The policeman who okayed it said to me, Mr. Bill Cosby, when you pull this trigger, you can’t call it back.  And so I had the gun in my pocket…and the reason why I had it was to protect my family… When you have police, you call.  And cops even call backup. And they have a gun”.

Mr. Bill Cosby does have some valid concerns but they are misdirected. If George Zimmerman was not allowed to obtain a conceal and carry gun permit based on his violent history, the nation perhaps would not be having this conversation. The guns laws worked, the path to putting a gun in Zimmerman’s hands started with the decision of a Florida judge to allow him to plead down from a felony assault on a police officer to a misdemeanor. Those involved can only know whether Zimmerman’s race or affluent father carried any favor in how he was treated. The decision making of Florida officials like state prosecutor Norman Wolfinger in not charging Zimmerman with a crime from the start is the more appropriate side issue, not gun control.

Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Benjamin Jealous and Bill Cosby would be wise to spend any Black political capital for the 2012 elections on ending the drug war, federal laws on police brutality and/or lobbying for jobs. Tight gun control legislation that is going to selectively apply to non-white people is the not the answer to issues of violence, race and justice.

Staff Writer; Scotty Reid

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