"If we do nothing to prevent the shooting death of another human being, then we will all be found guilty."

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Today's Los Angeles Times letter to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "One cry, two mothers. Who's right?," July 7

The outcome of the George Zimmerman trial is immaterial. It isn't Zimmerman who's on trial for teenager Trayvon Martin's shooting death. It's all of us, and the culture reflected in what we believe and how we act on those beliefs.

The case is an indictment of an gun culture steeped in a vigilante ethos made manifest in "stand your ground laws," infected with a paranoia so severe that 2nd Amendment fanatics would rather see guns in the hands of the mentally ill, criminals and terrorists than accede to universal background checks. This is tolerated by a Congress more interested in reelection than in the safety of Americans.

This case is an indictment of all of us who fail to act to overcome the influence of the NRA and the cowardice of Congress. If we do nothing to prevent the shooting death of another human being, then we will all be found guilty.

Richard Badalamente

Kennewick, Wash

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