by Shannon Williams
Gun control must be a top agenda item in 2013. It simply must.
The operative word in “gun control” is “control.” I personally don’t mind people owning guns, but with ownership comes responsibility. This country needs to implement the real type of responsibility, that which truly holds gun owners accountable when they behave irresponsibly.
And included with the more stringent laws should also be policies that limit access to assault rifles on the black market and otherwise. It is important to discuss gun control and the significance of doing away with ridiculous, open-ended laws such as Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground measure.
Without tougher gun control laws, we are sure to see more senseless and random killings—whether it’s Sandy Hook copycats attacking schools or people arbitrarily shooting in public places like malls and movie theaters. Until this country gets more control over guns, we will also see more Blacks, other minorities, or even White kids who dress a certain way being senselessly gunned down and killed—all because of someone else’s misperception of them.
Without more control over our guns America will be burying more people like Jordan Davis.
Who is Jordan Davis?
Many of you may not be familiar with the name because his demise came on Black Friday; when most news outlets reported on various shopping deals and the latest technological gadgets on everyone’s must-have list.
But on Nov. 23, 2012, or any day since, Jordan Davis’ family wasn’t concerned about shopping deals or even the impending holidays. Instead, Davis’ family was and continues to mourn the death of the 17-year-old boy who by all accounts was “raised right” with two loving parents who weren’t only involved in his life, but also instilled the importance of having morals, achieving goals and planning for the future in their son.
Davis was killed by Michael Dunn, a 46-year-old White man who currently sits in Florida’s Duval County jail with a first-degree murder charge as well as three attempted murder charges.
Here’s a quick overview of what happened.
Dunn and his fiancé stopped at a Jacksonville gas station/convenience store to purchase a bottle of wine after leaving a wedding. When Dunn pulled up to the station, he parked next to an SUV containing Davis, who is Black, and three other youths. The teens were on their way home after shopping at the mall.
When Dunn pulled up he says the teens were playing loud music. When he asked the teens to turn the volume down, he claims the teens turned the music up louder, threatened Dunn, and waved a gun. It was then that Dunn grabbed his own pistol from the glove compartment and fired eight or nine shots before driving off.
Davis, who was a passenger in the backseat, was killed while his three friends survived.
Police say no weapon was found on the teens. Dunn was apprehended the following day, 170 miles away at his oceanfront townhome. He later claimed that he felt “threatened” and thought the boys were “gang members.”
Dunn and his lawyers are using the contentious Stand Your Ground law as their defense. Under that law, people are allowed to defend themselves if they “reasonably believe” someone will hurt them.
Davis’ death is eerily similar to that of Trayvon Martin, who was killed in Florida last February.
Both Davis and Martin were 17-years-old, both were Black, and both were falsely judged or perceived to be something they were not — like gang members.
If Dunn didn’t want to hear the music the teens were playing, he should have done as I have in similar instances: rolled my windows up, ignore the music or drive off.
Until America gets better control of guns and implements more stringent policies, there will continue to be more deaths like those of Martin and Davis, except the demographic will spread. It won’t just be Black teens who are wrongly profiled. It will be Hispanics, Asians, and Whites as well.
People need to realize, the government is not trying to prevent someone from protecting themselves, but it is trying to eliminate random acts of violence by people who are assaulting our country. Gun control is not about limiting protection; it’s about protecting people and better managing individuals who are unstable or overly violent.
(Email comments to Shannon Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Reprinted from the Indianapolis Recorder.)