Friday, August 15, 2014


Another life and death issue emerges from the shadows over the dead body of Michael Brown, one more unarmed black teenager shot down.

The federal government is turning local police forces into mechanized armies. High-tech weaponry is available at ultra-bargain rates. So “crowd control” in Ferguson, Missouri evokes images of Egypt’s Tahrir Square.

There once were significant movements for disarmament. Now there is the effort, futile so far, for “gun control”.  But the “gun” problem has a choke hold on our society. It’s not confined to the problem of random homicides, or hate killings by vigilantes or some deranged shooter. It dominates institutions: the powerful gun lobby and the way so many police forces exercise power in black and brown communities. And for too many of our politicians, the power of the gun is the cornerstone of foreign policy. Our USA is the world’s largest dealer and supplier of weapons of war. (Of course we have lots of company in that business.)

The shooting of Michael Brown sends ripples beyond outrage over the racism that wasted one more young life. Ferguson reveals a lot about a society of violence. It’s one more jolt to the conscience of the country.


  1. Very cogent. Thank you, Leon.
    - Sally

  2. Leon, on public radio today the militarization of police forces in this country is actually being discussed in detail. They are listening to us, maybe.