I thought long and hard about whether to say this, because it’s going to be confronting and possibly seem opportunistic, but I’m going to say it because I want someone to tell me I’m wrong.
Within 24 hours of each other, two men were shot to death by police in part because they were carrying guns. Not wielding them or brandishing them in any way – just carrying them. And these two killings are really only notable because they were both captured on smartphone video.
Can we talk about gun control now? Please?
I’m not even going to ask for changes to US gun laws. That’s probably a lost cause by now. Can I just ask that the existing laws be applied equally?
Alton Sterling was carrying a gun when he was he was shot on the ground. It was not in his hand. It was in his pocket. He was not legally carrying because of his criminal record but the police officers had no way of knowing his record or that he was not licenced to carry a concealed firearm.
Philando Castile was licenced to carry a gun and informed police officers that he was carrying as he reached to get his ID. He did everything right.
We are told by defenders of the status quo on gun control that guns make people safer. But carrying a gun did not protect Mr Sterling and Mr Castile. Instead, it got them both killed.
We are also told that keeping and bearing arms is not just for personal protection but to protect the populace from a tyrannical government. Yet, Mr Sterling and Mr Castile were killed by officers of the government for carrying a gun.
So far, the NRA has had no comment.
This leads a reasonable person to wonder if there might be some unwritten nuance to the second amendment, and that the nuance is:
White man with a gun:
“He’s exercising his constitutional rights. What a patriot!”
Black man with a gun:
“HE’S GOT A GUN! SHOOT HIM!”
I know this may seem like an unfair characterisation. I know this may seem like an opportunistic cherry-picking of examples. That’s why I want someone to show me where I’m wrong.
I’m not asking as a “prove me wrong, then!” debating tactic. I truly want to be wrong. I have tried hard to avoid saying ‘racism’ but oops, there it is.
Please, please tell me I’m wrong!