The Second Amendment should not become just one more issue of irreconcilable hyperpartisanship. Whether one finds themselves on the political right or the political left, one should realize that the question of gun violence ultimately comes down to the health of the polis.
For the family of the late Trayvon Martin, Saturday’s ruling – that George Zimmerman was found not guilty of any wrongdoing in his shooting of Trayvon – is a terrible tragedy, and a miscarrying of justice, compounding an already vast sea of grief.
We are in the middle of a trial of strength between two populations of political actors: guns and children. And children are vastly more powerful. We don’t have to idealize them to recognize that they are far more important as political partners than are our guns. And, if neo-liberals do idealize them, so much the better. I don’t know if the kingdom is ever going to come, but I do know that one way to move toward it is to play idolatries against each other, mitigating the worst features of one by means of appeal to another, rather like alcoholism is sometimes overcome by nurturing substitute addictions.