Through a Glass Darkly

7 Dec

When it comes to guns and gun laws in the United States of America, things have gotten completely out of hand…case in point:

Responding with his partner to a 911 call about a man pointing a gun at people in a park in Cleveland, Ohio, (Ohio is a traditional open-carry state) Police officer Timothy Loehmann arrived at the scene where he immediately exited his police car and shot 12-year old Tamir Rice.

The open-carry of firearms by those who legally possess the firearm is a legal activity in Ohio with or without a license. Tamir had been playing with an Airsoft replica of a semi-automatic weapon, that, according to the police report, was missing its orange safety cap, which signals that it is fake…but Ohio is an open carry state where the open carrying of firearms is legal.

Tamir died the following day.

Officer Loehmann said that he had no choice but to shoot the child, who he mistook as a 20 year old, because he was pointing his gun.

But, Ohio is a traditional open-carry state where the open carry of firearms is legal. So if you can carry a gun legally out in the open and without a license then is pointing it in any particular direction illegal? And why would a police officer shoot at someone who is carrying a gun since it is perfectly legal for a citizen to carry it in Ohio…and without a license. What law was young Tamir breaking anyway? Even if the orange cap to his fake gun was missing?

And how do you instruct children in the dangers of gun carrying and pointing…when it is perfectly legal for everyone in Ohio to do it? And without a license!? 31 states allow the open carry of firearms without a license or permit.

The only explanation is that while legal, the practice is not common in urban areas, and often results in police responding. Of course urban areas are also areas in which you are more likely to find urban folks of varying colors. Could it be that a white person with a gun is obviously protecting his neighborhood while a person of color with a gun is obviously terrifying his neighborhood? That couldn’t be construed as racist in any way could it?

Guns DO kill people.

Outlaw guns and only outlaws will have guns?

When we Allow “Open Carry”  how can we tell who the outlaws are?

Simply by the color of their skin I suppose?

(Here is a link to the video of the tragic shooting)

16 Responses to “Through a Glass Darkly”

  1. onnovocks December 7, 2014 at 11:12 pm #

    Looks like the cop shot right away. You bring up a good point of not knowing who the “bad guys” are, but if guns are outlawed, shouldn’t toy guns be outlawed too so the cops don’t make anymore “dumb” mistakes? If the cops thought that there was a real gun, they sure didn’t leave themselves any room to move and take cover, they drove right up on him, a move you would make when the decision to fire has already been made.

  2. A Voice December 7, 2014 at 11:30 pm #

    There is much more to this than is being presented and it seems clear now that, while your intentions are as good as ever and you’re a highly intelligent individual, you’re simply too emotionally caught up in all of this.

    The 911 call was made not because he had the airsoft gun, but because he was pointing it at and scaring people. The frustratingly poor security camera even showed him taking shooting stances and, sure, while he may have been doing other ‘kid stuff’ in-between all of this, people had reason to believe that he actually had a weapon. This is because we exist in a really sad gun culture as you have correctly pointed out time and again but, truly, because we live in such a culture there’s a real degree of knowledge and expectation that guns aren’t toys and that toy guns carry a certain stigma because of all the memories of school shootings.

    If the parents and family members do not do their part and the child doesn’t exercise some form of judgement I don’t see how we can truly blame ‘gun culture’ or even the pretty ridiculous Open Carry laws.

    You’re better than this. Please get your head together.

    • kingmidget December 8, 2014 at 4:07 am #

      I find your comment fascinating. The author of the post makes a very salient point … it is legal to openly carry guns in Ohio. As a result, one cannot and should not be shot by a police officer simply for carrying a gun there. Was there any evidence of him shooting anybody with it? Was there any evidence that he pointed it at the officer? I’m guessing not since apparently, the officer shot him within two seconds of exiting his vehicle. What the kid was doing is somewhat irrelevant, because he hadn’t actually shot anybody. He was playing, doing what kids do with their toy guns, and the cop never game him a chance.

    • gpicone December 8, 2014 at 5:11 am #

      If I can open carry my gun, what should I do with it? And I still say that there is no reason to kill someone, let alone a good reason…if that’s what you’re saying?

      • A Voice December 8, 2014 at 12:58 pm #

        No no, it’s just that your frustration with all of this is getting in front of your real argumentative skills. I’ve followed your writing for over a year now and I’d like to think that I have a sense of how you think, your positions and what not and, overwhelmingly, I’m right there with you. You’re a smart and opinionated man and that kicks ass.

        Unfortunately, I can’t say that I’m right there with you for some of the gun-related issues because the emotional language has been getting in the way of your arguments of late with these specific issues. This isn’t so much because I disagree with you -though sometimes I do- but rather because I can’t be sure where you actually stand, seeing the emotive language, and I want to be as charitable as possible.

        All of this is worth being very frustrated over and there is no denying that. As someone that recognises your strengths I’d just like to see you take a bit more time to think about how you write about these issues so that your obvious strengths can come through.

        Think it over, Mr. Picone, eh?

  3. daninstockholm December 8, 2014 at 12:54 am #

    Reblogged this on daninstockholm and commented:
    This is a repost, because the authour raises some very legitimate points. In a state where openly carrying guns is legal, where is the line drawn? How could a police officer, supposedly trained to recognize and analyze situations, not spot the difference between a 12 year old playing and a 20 year old as he claimed?

  4. avwalters December 8, 2014 at 2:01 am #

    There wasn’t enough time for the officer to have assessed the situation. Viewing the video, it’s clear that nobody bothered to communicate to this child, that his behavior needed changing. He was killed because he was black. I don’t see any other explanation.

    • A Voice December 8, 2014 at 1:00 pm #

      This is unduly presumptuous. While I don’t think anyone can really contend that the officer did anything but shoot far too soon, it’s worth taking in more of the evidence instead of giving a seemingly knee-jerk reaction.

      Sometimes people are killed because they’re black and that’s seriously fucked up, inexcusable, but I really don’t think we have near the evidence to begin to make that claim here.

  5. cllgarrison December 8, 2014 at 4:34 am #

    Very good points!

  6. bruce thomas witzel December 8, 2014 at 5:09 am #

    Through a glass darkly indeed… that’s scriptural, isn’t it? Fran and I have loved to travel in the States…. more and more, we wonder if it’s worth the risk. This is hard for us as Canadians to fathom . It seems like insanity… We know violence exists everywhere as does good deeds… however, it seems the U.S. is more and more leaning towards narrow minded violence…. eye for and eye and tooth for a tooth is a sure way to a blind and toothless world (Gandhi)

  7. Human Interest December 8, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

    Reblogged this on Human Interest.

  8. 98maryanne December 8, 2014 at 7:12 pm #

    Reblogged this on So There Was This Today and commented:
    I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  9. Malcolm Greenhill December 11, 2014 at 12:50 am #

    “So if you can carry a gun legally out in the open and without a license then is pointing it in any particular direction illegal?”

    Yes, in California at least, even where open carry is legal, if you take the gun out of the holster and point it at someone, not in self defense, it is brandishing and illegal.

    • gpicone December 11, 2014 at 3:34 am #

      Thanks. Do you know if gang members in California are allowed to open carry too?

      • Malcolm Greenhill December 11, 2014 at 3:57 am #

        Obviously I am not keeping up with the gun laws in California. I have just been informed that last year California banned open carry.

  10. learningtocry December 31, 2014 at 10:36 pm #

    Well said.

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