A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. --2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution
By Dennis Moore (a survivor of gun violence)
June 15, 2016 (San Diego)--The framers of the Constitution did not have in mind that the right to bear arms would result in the countless deaths of ordinary citizens by other ordinary citizens throughout our great country by “Glocks” and other semi-automatic weapons at malls and schools. Nor could they have envisioned the shooting deaths of nine members of a church in South Carolina at a worship service by a deranged young man, as well as the mass killings by gunfire at a theater in Colorado.
The framers of our U.S. Constitution, and particularly the 2nd Amendment notion of the right to bear arms, would be rolling over in their graves, if they were aware that their legislation contributed to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, the Virginia Tech shootings, the Columbine High School shooting, the recent San Bernardino massacre, and the recent Beretta USA opening of their new $15 million state-of-the-art firearms manufacturing and engineering center in Gallatin, Tennessee, which ultimately will kill even more people. Governor Bill Haslam of Tennessee would have the audacity to state: “Obviously in Tennessee we take great pride in the Second Amendment and we were proud to have a company like Beretta move here.”
Modern debates about the Second Amendment have focused on whether it protects a private right of individuals to keep and bear arms, or a right that can be exercised only through militia organizations like the National Guard. This question, however, was not even raised until long after the Bill of Rights was adopted.
Many in the Founding generation believed that governments are prone to use soldiers to oppress the people. English history suggested that this risk could be controlled by permitting the government to raise armies (consisting of full-time paid troops) only when needed to fight foreign adversaries. For other purposes, such as responding to sudden invasions or other emergencies, the government could rely on a militia that consisted of ordinary civilians who supplied their own weapons and received some part-time, unpaid military training. This seems to be where our current distorted view on the “right to bear arms” for ordinary citizens evolved.
Civilians no longer expect to use their household weapons for militia duty, although they still keep and bear arms to defend against common criminals (as well as for hunting and other forms of recreation).
The law and its perception has also changed. While states in the Founding era regulated guns – blacks were often prohibited from possessing firearms and militia weapons were frequently registered on government rolls – gun laws today are more extensive and controversial.
I speak from experience as a victim of gun violence in my hometown of Chicago, having been shot in my stomach some 35 years ago at a family reunion after dancing with my wife, and in the throes of dying while grabbing my stomach in the area I was shot in and collapsing to the floor. My two sons, Damien and Darius, some 15 years after my near fatal gunshot injury, suffered a similar near fatal gunshot injury also in Chicago while coming home from the movie “Mortal Combat”, at their respective ages of 11 and 16. It was a painful and traumatic time and experience for our family, but unlike so many other gunshot injuries throughout America, I feel Blessed and thankful that we survived it and are alive to talk about it.
After Damien's surgery it was recommended by the doctors that he and our family have trauma therapy, but we only attended one session, which is perhaps why I now suffer from dysthymia, not to mention what other psychological pains others in our family may still have.
Damien lost his spleen in this shooting some 20 years ago, but it did not prevent him from being a star athlete at Hoffman Estates High School, just outside Chicago, and being honored with a plaque and his picture on the wall at the school as "Athlete of the Month" and making the Honor Roll for academics. It is truly a blessing that he is alive, and I was able to get a Father's Day greeting from him just recently.
Also, this past November in Chicago, my beloved nephew "Scooter" became a victim of gun violence as he was murdered on the westside of this city. I can recall quite poignantly a birthday party that he attended for my son Damien when they both were little kids. Scooter is pictured here with the party hat on standing next to my sons Darius and Damien, and their cousin Aaron in happier times some 30 years ago. Never would I have imagined that my nephew's life would have been ended by a gun.
To the National Rifle Association (NRA), Charlton Heston, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, perhaps they need to have a near death experience as I and my family have had before they advocate for the so-called Right to Bear Arms provision of the 2nd Amendment.
Germany, Donald Trump's ancestral home, seems to have found the solution to gun control and deaths from assault weapons. Tough gun control laws in Germany that were rigorously tightened after two ghastly school shootings in 2002 and 2009 have helped cut the number of firearm killings in half to about 50 a year, according to experts. Gun homicides in Germany fell from 106 in 2002 to 75 in 2009 and 51 in 2010 before climbing to 61 in 2012, according to the most recent data from GunPolicy.org.
By comparison, there were 10,945 gun homicides in the United States in 2014. This May, 66 people were shot dead just in Chicago.
"It's the mentality here that's so different," said Dietrich Oberwittler, a senior researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law in Freiburg. "There is no gun mentality in Germany. It's a society that doesn't accept the idea that guns are needed for self-defense,,, On the contrary, we see guns lead to a loss of security."
Let me explain the painful experience and consequences of getting shot in my stomach on that fateful night some 35 years ago, feeling that hot lead, and fearing death as I struggled against passing out: “While walking my mother outside of the ‘Mecca Lounge’ on 115th & Michigan in Chicago to get some air from a volatile situation, after she had gotten into an altercation with another woman, this other woman shot twice at my mother with a 22 caliber revolver, but fortunately she missed my mother but hit me in my stomach and another man in his leg. People were scrambling under tables and everywhere, not realizing at the time that I had been shot. I instinctively grabbed my stomach and looked down and saw the blood flowing, which is when I felt this burning pain as if a hot knife was stuck in my stomach and I collapsed to the floor. I began to pass out, but fought it off, thinking that if I did I might not revive and would die. That ‘white light’ that you hear so many people talk about, is what I experienced as I thought of my wife and son Darius at the time. I was rushed to Roseland Community Hospital on the Southside of Chicago in a police paddy wagon, and at the hospital in the emergency room one of the policemen asked me if I wanted to press charges against the shooter. I said no, and ironically, I would later find out that the shooter was actually the mother of one of my best friends.”
In a recent USA Today story by Jarrett Bell, New Orleans Saints’ coach Sean Payton lamented the “madness” of guns, particularly in view of the recent shooting death of one of his former football players, Will Smith. After the senseless shooting that left former defensive end Smith dead, and his wife, Racquel, wounded amid a beef linked to a traffic accident, the New Orleans Saints coach pleaded for more gun control. Payton specifically stated: “Two-hundred years from now, they’re going to look back and say, ‘What was that madness about?’ I applaud him and would be out front joining him!
Just recently, April 22, 2016, 8 family members were shot to death at 4 rural Ohio sites. This “madness,” as Sean Payton states, has got to stop! We as a country have to come to our senses! The victims were identified as the Rhoden family in and near Piketon, Ohio.
Also, just recently, the largest and deadliest mass shooting in United States history occurred in Orlando, Florida. Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old U.S.-born shooter who had pledged his allegiance to ISIS, gunned down 50 people in a club in Orlando – ironically, using the same type of automatic weapon used in the mass killings in Aurora and Newtown. Just today, and in defiance of the NRA, the senior senator from Florida, Bill Nelson, stated on MSNBC: “The automatic weapon used by the killer is not for hunting, as so many in the NRA proclaims, but for killing!”
This is what the AR-15 assault rifle looks like, the same weapon used to kill those little children in Sandy Hook and Orlando, and the weapon that Senator Bill Nelson is attempting to legislate a ban on.
Just yesterday, February 14, 2018, a Nikolas Cruz, walks into the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, with an AR-15 assault rifle, and shoots to death 17 people. This senseless gun violence has to stop!
Dahlia Lithwick, who writes about the courts and the law for Slate, and hosts the podcast Amicus, has written an article stating: "How the NRA and Conservatives Perverted the Meaning of the Right to Bear Arms." Lithwick further states: "So clearly and unequivocally held was this worldview that no less a liberal squish than Richard Nixon Supreme Court appointee Warren Burger said after his retirement in 1991 that the Second Amendment 'has been the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud - I repeat the word 'fraud' - on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime." This reading was based on precedent. The Supreme Court had clearly agreed with Burger's interpretation and not not that of the special interest groups he chastised, perhaps most famously in a 1939 case called U.S. v. Miller.
Bryan Caforio, a former partner in the law firm of Susman Godfrey and who is running against Congressman Steve Knight in California's 25th Congressional District, is in support of the latest gun control initiative, "No Fly, No Buy." It remains to be seen just how far it gets him in his campaign to unseat Knight, as Knight seems opposed to it.
I am sure that the framers of the constitution, particularly as it regards the 2nd Amendment, are turning over in their graves over what has been transpiring in our country.
Just recently, former Miami Heat NBA basketball star Dwayne Wade, himself a Chicago native, felt the anguish and pain as so many others at the hand of gun violence. Wade's cousin, Nykea Aldridge, a mother of four, was gunned down in Chicago. Although Illinois and the city of Chicago has strict gun controls, a lot of the gang bangers and those wanting to inflict harm on others, find it convenient to just go across state lines to Indiana, where gun controls are less stringent. Ironically, Indiana is where Donald Trump's choice for Vice President, Mike Pence, is the governor. Also, ironically, after Nykea Aldridge was gunned down on the streets of Chicago while pushing a baby stroller, Donald Trump tweeted about the gang violence in Chicago, without first giving any condolences to Dwayne Wade and the Aldridge family. Instead, he used it as a campaign opportunity.
Also, and just recently, one of the students killed in the Parkland, Florida school shooting, was buried wearing the jersey of Dwayne Wade. In honor of this student, Wade wore the name of this student on his basketball shoes at a subsequent Miami Heat game.
Assault weapons should be totally banned, as they are a tool of war, and the 2nd Amendment should be repealed. Just recently, John Paul Stevens, a retired associate justice of the United States Supreme Court, has called for the repeal of the Second Amendment.
Fred Guttenberg, the father of Jaime, killed in the infamous and tragic school shooting, has written a book; "American Carnage", that speaks of America's insatiable appetite for guns and the ensuing death of so many young people.It puts into perspective the horrors of gun violence and our political leaders resistance to enacting meaningful gun reform. See cover of his book here.
The opinions in this editorial reflect the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of East County Magazine. To submit an editorial for consideration, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dennis Moore has been the Bookshelf section editor of the East County Magazine and the book review editor of SDWriteway, an online newsletter for writers in San Diego that has partnered with the East County Magazine, as well as a freelance contributor to EURweb based out of Los Angeles. He is also the author of a book about Chicago politics; “The City That Works: Power, Politics and Corruption in Chicago." Mr. Moore can be contacted at email@example.com or you can follow him on Twitter at: @DennisMoore8.
Washington sets a poor example.
“Guns are killing us!”
Again, someone has used an AR-15 weapon to shoot and kill 5 people in Texas, including a nine year old kid! When will this madness stop?
The AR-15 was Built for Slaughter in War Zones!
According to a report in "GAWKER" the AR-15 was built for Slaughter in War Zones! See report here.
Stop with the rhetoric.
"American Carnage": Fred Guttenberg
Fred Guttenberg, the father of Jaime Guttenberg, killed in the tragic and infamous Parkland School shooting, has written a book that should touch the hearts of all parents; "American Carnage".
“8 killed by gunfire at Allen, Texas mall!”
I feel the pain and pray for the families and survivors of this senseless act of gun violence, as my family experienced something similar in Chicago many years ago, but we were a Blessed and survived. Please, let's end this great gun violence now!
Governor Jay Inslee bans assault weapons in Washington!
Governor Jay Inslee of the State of Washington did the sensible thing by recently signing the bill to ban assault weapons on that state, which includes the AR-15. The bill also includes the manufacture and transport of those weapons.
Atlanta Police: 1 Dead, 4 Hospitalized After Shooting!
This gun madness continues, with an ongoing shooting in Atlanta, Georgia, as this just happened, and law enforcement is looking for the shooter. I have family and friends in this city, and actually attended my cousin Brian's wedding there many years ago.
Missing context here.
Limitations are not the same as banning
Tennessee GOP expels two Dems over Anti-Gun stance!
Today, the state of Tennessee GOP House expelled two Democratic legislators over their stance against gun violence, after the AR-15 shooting deaths of three children in a school in Tennessee.
Another killing today at a bank in Louisville, Kentucky by a disgruntled employee wielding an AR-15 rifle, killing 5. This madness needs to stop
AR-15s Don't Kill
AR-15s Do Kill
AR-15s are weapons of war and has no place in America!
There is no way to downplay the significance of AR-15s in our society, whether the person wielding it is mentally ill or otherwise, it is an instrument of war and causes devastating destruction on a person's body. They all should be confiscated and destroyed! This thing about the right to bear arms is outdated and anathema to our society. Think about it for one minute, how can a society love and appreciate our children, and allow anyone to brandish and use those weapons on our children? Those espousing those thoughts and views should be ashamed of themselves.
What an AR-15 does to a child’s body “MedScape”
A group of surgeons explains on "MedScape" what an AR-15 does to a child's body, particularly the three children killed recently in Louisville. It is horrific! In some instances of other mass killings they indicate in gross detail the destructive nature of this weapon on war, which describes their heads being blown off. In regard to TimSDCA reference to the Constitution, the destructive nature of the AR-15 was not around or available when it was written, which is why there was a ban on assault weapons, which needs to be restored. I believe that TimSDCA is a sensible man, which he should consider the impact at least of what this weapon has on children.
Stop blaming the instrument...
The Constitution protects rights of a well-armed militia,
Not anybody who wants to own any kind of weapon. In the Colonial era, that was the militia fighting the British with single-shot muskets.
The Supreme Court has previously upheld a ban on assault weapons as legal. Many other weapons are illegal such as private ownership of tanks and shoulder-fired missiles.There is no legal reason why AR-15 guns used in so many mass shootings can't be regulated or restricted--except for the lack of willpower by Republican legislators.
Dennis has lost multiple family members to gun violence and has every right to be treated with respect for voicing his views.
"Shall Not Be Infringed"
AR-15s Do Kill
Sanctuary of a Monterey Park ballroom is shattered!
The sanctuary of a Monterey Park ballroom is shattered by more gun violence, as 11 elderly people were gunned down by a 72-year-old man. Ironically, this senseless violence happened at the beginning of the recent celebration of the "Lunar New Year", and in the city where my health care provider utilizes a case management service for me. The shooter did his dastardly deed in Monterey Park, then left for another ballrron in Alhambra, and left for his final location of Torrence, California, where he commited suicide. Ironically, I have a connection with all those locations, as my son Julien and I lived just outside Torrance as he was pursuing his graduation from CalArts in Valencia. This senseless gun violence has got to stop!
Parents of Oxford Michigan High School Shooter Charged!
When will this insanity end? The parents of the Oxford High School shooter was charged today with 4 counts of involuntary manslaughter for providing their son with the gun that killed people at his school.
John Paul Stevens: "Repeal the Second Amendment"
John Paul Stevens, a retired associate justice of the United States Supreme Court, recently called for the repeal of the Second Amendment in an article in The New York Times, specifically stating: "Rarely in my lifetime have I seen the type of civic engagement schoolchildren and their supporters demonstrated in Washington and other major cities throughout the country this past Saturday. These demonstrations demand our respect. They reveal the broad public support for legislation to minimize the risk of mass killings of schoolchildren and others in our society."
John Paul Stevens further stated:"That support is a clear sign to lawmakers to enact legslation prohibiting civilian ownership of semiautomatic weapons, increasing the minimum age to buy a gun from 18 to 21 years old, and establishing more comprehensive background checks on all purchasers of firearms. But the demonstrators should seek more effective and more lasting reform. They should demand a repeal of the Second Amendment."
That's never going to happen.
Even most people who want sensible gun reforms would stop short of repealing all gun ownership rights. Many Americans just want a gun for hunting, self defense or target shootnig.
The need for regulation, in most Americans' views based on surveys, are when a person with a mental illness or violent record or record of making threats wants a gun, as well as sales of automatic or semi-automatic weapons and large-capacity ammunition magazines that enable mass murders the killing capacity of a military-style weapon.
I can't envision the founding fathers wanting to ban weapons to hunt deer or turkeys. But they probably didn't want everyone to have weapons of mass murder, either. There is a sensible balance, if both sides would quit demanding extremes.
I grieve for the 19 children killed in Uvalde, Texas!
Again, we have this horrible trend in our country, the shooting of unarmed children. Each time something like this happens I am reminded of the near fatal shooting of my then 16 and 11 year old sons in Chicago some twenty-five years ago. I feel so blessed to wake up each morning and be able to call or do a video chat with my sons, something that the parents of the 19 children in Uvalde, Texas that were recently killed by an 18-year-old young man. My heart goes out to those parents and their surviving family members. I have already cried for those children, as well as prayed for strength for the parents.
At least 12 dead in Virginia Beach shooting!
It has just been reported that at least 12 have been shot dead in Virginia Beach, including the shooter. When will this madness end, and we get stricter gun control laws?
Court rules gun maker can be sued over shooting
Gun maker Remington can be sued over how it marketed the rifle used to kill 20 children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, a divided Connecticut Supreme Court ruled last Thursday.
The plaintiffs in Connecticut include a survivor and relatives of nine people killed in the massacre. They argue the Bushmaster AR-15 style rifle used by Newtown shooter Adam Lanza is too dangerous for the public and Remington glorified the weapon in marketing it to young people, including those with mental illness.
Remington, based in Madison, North Carolina, has denied wrongdoing and previously insisted it can't be sued because of the 2005 law, called the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.
Appeals Court: 2nd Amendment allows open carry of guns
A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the Second Amendment protects the right to openly carry a gun in public for self-defense, according to an Associated Press story by Brian Melley. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that Hawaii officials had violated George Young's rights when he was denied a permit to openly carry a loaded gun in public to protect himself. The decision reversed a lower court tuling that sided with officials who said the amendment only applied to guns kept in homes. "We do not take lightly the problem of gun violence, which the State of Hawaii 'has understandably sought to fight,''' Judge Diarmuid O'Scannlain wrote. "But, for better or worse, the Second Amendment does protect a right to carry a firearm in public for self-defense."
New TV ad calls for Knight to reject the NRA
Two groups puching for stricter gun laws are targeting an Antelope Valley congressman with a new ad that invokes last week's Highland High School shooting, according to a report from CNN, and repeated by the Antelope Valley Press.
Giffods, a group founded by former Arizona congresswoman and shooting victim Gabrielle Giffords, and the SoCal Healthcare Coalition are putting six figures behind a new ad titled, "Stand Up For Us," which will run on cable up to the June 5 primary. The ad targets Rep. Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, and calls on him to "reject the NRA and accept and accept common sense gun laws." Knight's 25th Congressional District seat has been labeled a toss-up by CNN. Knight is in one of the 23 districts currently held by Republicans where Hillary Clinton beat President Donald Trump in the 2016 election.
Readers: Keep hands off Second Amendment
In a survey conducted by the Antelope Valley Press, in Lancaster/Palmdale, California, where I now live, this question was posed to readers; "Is there merit to retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens' argument that the Second Amendment should be repealed?" The recent results were Yes: 16.7%, and No 83.3%
Some of the readers left scathing comments about retired Justice Stevens, with one stating: "Absolutely no. Here we have a man that will be 98 years old on April 20. He needs to be concerned with the health of his soul at this point in his life, not stirring the pot. He's talking like like 'in order to weaken the National Rifle Association's ability to stymie legislative debate and block constructive gun control legislation.'"
I personally feel that AR-15s should be banned, as they are weapons of war!
KB, good point.
Nobody screams that we're taking their right to own vehicles away because we require that people follow certain rules. If you're caught driving drunk you can lose your license or even have your vehicle impounded, for instance. We don't let minors under 16 drive a vehicle. You have to follow rules of the road. And we don't allow people to own and drive any kind of vehicle around on a public street -- you can't drive an armed and armored tank here, unless you're in the military.
The founders intended that the U.S. be protected by a well regulated militia. As one of our readers noted this week, we have that in our National Guard and Coast Guard, protecting us from foreign and domestic threats. We don't need a bunch of potentially crazed people running around with weapons of mass destruction in public places, meaning automatic and semi-automatic weapons meant for mass killing.
Regulating those weapons does NOT mean taking away rifles or pistols used for legitimate purposes such as hunting or self protection.
Remember that when our founding fathers wrote the Constitution, the guns of their day were muzzle-loaded black powder muskets where you had to stop and tamp them down between every shot. They never envisioned guns capable of the carnage we're seeing on a regular basis now.
10 killed in Colorado and 8 killed in the Atlanta area!
This madness has got to stop, we as a country can do better! Just in a week's time 10 people were shot and killed by a gunman in Colorado and 8 were killed by a gunman in the Atlanta area. My heart goes out to the surviving families for I sense their pain. I am Blessed that God allowed me not to feel the direct hurt and pain that the parents and family members of those deceased, as both of my sons survived a similar shooting at the same time some 25 years ago in Chicago. I have been near tears for the Asian-Americans shot and killed in Atlanta last week and the people killed just yesterday in Colorado. Ironically, in both shootings it was done by 21-year old men just walking into an establishment and indiscriminately shooting. Again, my heart goes out to the surviving families and I pray for our country!
One day El Paso and the next day Dayton, madness must stop!
This senseless hun violence has to stop! Speaking from soneone that has acctually felt and experienced gun violence, which makes me thankful that I am alive, along with my sons that were shot at the tender ages of 11 and 16 almost twenty years ago. I can only imagine what the parents that have lost loved ones in El Paso and Dayton must be going through, I pray and ask God to give them strength, while I look at a picture on my wall of me and my two sons that survived gun shot injuries many years ago. We can and must do better as a country to preserve life and respect for each other.
Cache of over 1,000 guns seized from Bel-Air home!
Amazingly, and after the recent shootings in Colorado and Poway, a man was arrested Wednesday after authorities seized more than 1,000 guns from a home in Holmby Hills, according to a story in the Los Angeles Times newspaper. This fascination that our country has with guns is frightening. Officials received a tip about a person illegally manufacturing and selling guns in a home in the 100 block of North Beverly Glen Boulevard, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department said.
"Do for Self" is the ONLY Solution for Black People!
Stolen Lives: Black Community Mourns Buffalo Victims
This was the headline in the "Our Weekly" newspaper here in Lancaster, California. On the front page of this newspaper here in the "Antelope Valley", the names and pictures of the 10 people killed were named; Aaron Salter, Andre Mackneil, Celestine Chaney, Geraldine Talley, Heyward Patterson, Kathrine Massey, Margus Morrison, Pearl Young, Roberta Drury and Ruth Whitfield.
5 dead, 8 hurt in shooting at Florida airport
This madness of gun violence has got to stop!
"Do For Self"
I am inclined to agree basically with everything the author of this comment has to say, particularly as it regards cop killings in Chicago, my hometown and where my children were born and raised. It is a scary thought, that some deranged and racist cop could kill my son, as was the case with 17-year-old unarmed black teenager LaQuan McDaniel and 18-year-old unarmed black teenager Paul O'Neal. My son Julien is on his way back here to California from summer break in Chicago, where he is scheduled to graduate from the #1 acting school in the country, CalArts in Valencia. I pray that he gets back here safely, but I also realize that he, just like so many other young black men, are in the crosshairs of deranged and racist cops.
Do for self = Solution to Black on Black & White Cop Killings!
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School "Massacre" in Parkland, Fl
Just yesterday, on Valentine's Day, a Nikolas Cruz walks into the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, with an AR-15 assault rifle and kills 17 people. This madness and senseless gun violence has got to stop!
This revives bad memories of 2 school shootings in East County,
at Granite hills and Santana High Schools. At the time they were the 2 worst mass school shootings in U.S. history. Now so many others have killed even more, by shooters with access to semi-automatic assault rifles.
No other nation on earth has anywhere near this many mass shootings.
Gun Control!! - Massacre in Las Vegas
This madness has to stop! If ever there was time for stricter gun control, it was after that horrific murder of 59 people in Las Vegas. Yesterday, after seeing that carnage on CNN, I called my daughter Brandy in Las Vegas to see if she was alright. Thank God she was, but we as a people and country must do something about this never ending cycle of killings throughout the country. And the NRA can't continue to hide behind the notion that the 2nd Amendment gives them the right to do this.
13-year-old with BB gun killed by police in Ohio
In a killing with unavoidable echoes of the Tamir Rice case out of Cleveland, a Columbus officer responding to a report of a $10 armed robbery shot a 13-year-old boy Wednesday night after the youngster pulled a BB gun from his waistband that looked "practically identical" to the weapon police use, authorities say.
"I CRIED FOR THE DALLAS POLICE OFFICERS"
I cried for the Dallas police officers and their families, just as I had earlier cried for Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and their families in Louisiana and Minnesota. I particularly cried and grieved for the 15-year old son of Alton Sterling, who actually witnessed his father wrestled to the ground after being tased by two white policeman, and then seeing witnessing his father being shot a number of times. It was horrific and painful to see this young black man crying on TV and collapse in the arms of a bystander. America is better than what has been demonstrated throughout social media and the TV this week.
I am sure the families of Dallas police officers Brent Thompson, Michael Kroland Patrick Zamirripa are in just as much hur and pain as those of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.
My 22-year-old daughter called me early this morning from Chicago while I was in bed, expressing to me a concern that she might lose her job after she had responded to a facebook comment by a white acquaintance of her's that indicated Alton Sterling and Philando Castile would be alive today if they had of not resisted and done what the police officers directed them to do. Anyone watching those horrific videos of the killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile would beg to differ. It is very unfortunate that we as a people, black and white, have different viewpointson these recent tragedies and race relations in general.
My daughter in her intemperate way, as one might expect of a 22-year-old black woman from Chicago, expressed little sympathy for the 5 police officers killed in Dallas by a 25-year-old black man who stated before he himself was killed: "He was fed up with what has been happening to black men throughout our country,and wantedto kill as many whites ashe could, especially white police officers." It is my opinion that the majority of blacks in this country does not share this belief andopiion of Micah Zavier-Johnson, the killer of the 5 policemen in Dallas. My daughter had called me again earlier yesterday morning, expressing to me how much she was hurting over what she viewed on TV of the killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. My daughter has a lot of learning and growing u to do, but I will be there to help her.
Contrasting with my daughter's thoughts and opinions, are those of a much more mature and experienced person, former New York Mayor and District Attorney Rudolph Giuliani. This morning in response to a question by MSNBC's Brian Williams about the Minnesota Govenor indicating that it was racism and that if the passengers in the Philando Castile car where white no one would have been killed, Rudolph Giuliani objected vociferously and tried to place the blame for what happened in Dallas and throughout the country on the "Black Lives Matter" movement. It is that type of thinking that hasour country and the races divided.
In my subject Readers Editorial about gun violence, I include a photo of my daughter's cousin "Scooter" who was killed by gun violence in Chicago, along with her brothers Darius and Damien as little kids, who had also been shot in Chicago at the ages of 11 and 16, but they are alive today some 20 years later. Perhaps that factors in my daughter's hurt and pain, just as it does with me.
The state of Texas is an open carry state, which allows their citizens to openly carry the type of gun that Micah Xavier-Johnson used to kill those 5 policemen. Perhaps these lives could have been prevented if they did not have such a law. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the policemen, as well as that of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.
Police perspective - weapons
TEXAS OPEN CARRY LAW CONTRIBUTED TO POLICEMEN SHOOTINGS
Starting January 1, 2016, folks with a concealed carry license in Texas will be permitted to openly carry rifles and shotguns, but not handguns. The shooter of the 5 policemen in Texas took advantage of this, as well as another citizen that was initially suspected by the authorities of being involved, but later exonerated.