Saturday, May 19, 2012

Left Side of the Aisle #57 - Part 3

Outrage of the Week: Trayvon Martin gun range targets

You may have heard about this but you may not have seen the actual thing, so I wanted to make sure you had.

This involves a Florida man, usually described as an "entrepreneur" in the media, who decided he wanted to make some money off of a current issue. So, in the best tradition of good old free market US capitalism, he produced a bunch of gun range targets depicting a faceless, hoodie-wearing figure holding an iced tea and a bag of Skittles - the things Trayvon Martin was carrying when he was killed by George Zimmerman.

I find it hard to express the degree of contempt I feel for this man except to say I have an even lower opinion of people who, according to him, bought out his entire stock in two days.

As always, if you really want to get a view of the troglodyte brain in action, don't just read the stories, read the comments. Here are some typical ones from two different accounts of this:

- This whole Martin thing has turned into an assault aganst [sic] the white race
- Order me up a 100 please
- I hope he sells a million of them
- I changed my mind about this when I heard Al Sharpton and the panthers [?] got involved
- Martin was lowly thug [There were numerous variations on this.]
- He was a THUG and a VIOLENT CRIMINAL who was STOPPED before he could commit MORE CRIMES
- look i see travons face in the hoodie to bad he wont smile  - ah hahaha

And, of course, there was a lot of the usual “liberals are the REAL racists” because to these people, to object to racism is racist.

Several people said some version of "it's just a target, nothing to do with trayvon martin." A guy at a blog I read refers to what he calls "right wing reading comprehension disorder," where wingers simply refuse to face the meaning of the words in front of them. This is the complete description of the product when it was up for sale:
Everyone knows the story of Zimmerman and Martin. Obviously we support Zimmerman and believe he is innocent and that he shot a thug. Each target is printed on thick, high quality poster paper with a matte finish! The dimensions are 12"x18" (The same as Darkotic Zombie Targets). This is a Ten Pack of Targets.
The guy who designed and sold the targets said they were about the Trayvon Martin killing - and yet wingers will still deny it! Unbelievable.

Here's another comment I noticed:

- Remember the Bush and Reagan targets?

No, I don't. I remember Sarah Palin's gunsights, I remember the gunsight logo I got in an anonymous letter that included a line something like "we know where you are" (I threw it away - I wish I hadn't; it'd be a nice souvenir), but no, I don't remember any gun range targets with the figures of Bush (either one) or Reagan on them.

As a sidebar, it is nice to know that it's possible for there to be consequences for this sort of crap: The Miami-Dade Fire Rescue official who said Martin and young black men like him died because of their “failed, shitbag, ignorant, pathetic, welfare dependent excuses for parents” has been demoted two rungs to the lowest rank of firefighter.

Finally, there were a number of comments along this line:

- What is so wrong with them [that is, the targets]?

I simply can't even envision the sort of moral universe such people inhabit. I can't even imagine what degree of ethical vacuity is required to be unable even to understand what someone might find objectionable about a gun target inviting you vicariously to join in the fun of shooting an unarmed teenager.

You know what? I take it back: This is not the Outrage of the Week. It doesn't deserve that much respect.


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