If a bad guy wants to commit a crime, he will find the means necessary to do this. Disarming the law abiding citizen is not going to make the world safer, just more susceptible to violent criminals like Micah X. Johnson.
I feel sickened.
Sickened by the appalling execution of Alton Sterling in Louisiana on Tuesday.
Sickened by the appalling execution of Philando Castile in Minnesota on Wednesday.
Sickened by the appalling executions of five police officers in Dallas last night.
Sickened by the endless tide of gun violence destroying so many lives in America, fuelled by the country’s ever-increasing paranoia about guns which makes so many people so trigger-happy.
Sickened by the abject, pathetic, spineless failure of U.S. politicians to do anything to stop it.
I feel sickened by all of it.
It would appear that the police officers murdered in Dallas were killed by black, white-hating racists intent on revenge for the killing of two black men by other police officers this week.
It would also appear that those two black men were murdered by cops whose own actions may have been racially-inspired.
Alton Sterling was selling CDs by a gas station, Philando Castile committed a minor traffic violation.
Neither did anything to justify their senseless deaths.
Both, I strongly suspect, would still be alive if they were white, not black.
There is still an undeniable endemic racism strewn through America’s police force which shows no sign of abating.
Too many cops see a young black man and automatically think: ‘criminal.’
No wonder the African-American community is so outraged by this.
Their people are being murdered by the very people supposed to be protecting them.
It’s disgusting, it’s illegal and it’s a complete violation of every value America is supposed to stand for.
I watched the camera phone video (now emerging as the most effective tool for investigative journalism) of Alton Sterling being killed and it chilled my bones.
When you come from a country like Britain, as I do, where very few police carry guns and this kind of insanity barely ever happens, it is truly shocking to watch.
But why did it happen?
Is it because those policemen are simply out-and-out racists intent on randomly killing black people?
Or is because the victim was black, had a gun on him and they irrationally feared the worst and panicked?
There’s still a subliminal racism underpinning the decision-making in the second option, but it’s less obvious and far harder to prove.
I don’t know the answer but I do strongly suspect if Alton Sterling was white, he would not have been targeted in this way, or killed.
The slaughter of Philando Castile, 32, is, if anything, even more outrageous.
A black man driving his girlfriend and her four-year-old daughter is pulled over for a minor traffic misdemeanour.
The girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, says he was then asked to show his driver’s licence – but when he reached to get it, the cop shot him dead.
Philando Castile was a popular, hard-working school cafeteria worker who knew all the school kids by name and they loved him.
Now he’s dead.
Again, I ask: did this cop kill him purely because he was black?
No. But again, I strongly suspect subliminal racism lay behind what his actions.
He almost certainly shot him because he was instinctively distrustful of seeing a young black man at the wheel of a car, he knew he had a gun (Castile, Reynolds says, told the officer he was armed and licensed to carry), and he panicked when he saw him reach for his I.D.
As with Alton Sterling, I believe the combination of Philando Castile’s skin colour and possession of a gun cost him his life at the hands of a twitchy, race-influenced police officer.
The fact this is still happening in a superpower like America is an obscenity.
But it IS happening again and again because nobody has the will to do anything to stop it.
President Obama made the same old speech he always makes when either a mass shooting happens, or a black man gets shot by cops.
Both are Groundhog Day addresses by a man who’s all but given up on trying to make any meaningful difference to either scourge.