Why does it go right to shooting was the question asked by many Black Charlotte residents after the shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott. It’s a great question especially considering that the Charlotte police initial explanation for killing Scott was that he had a gun; period. The Black police chief later amended that in his press conference saying he was threatening the Black officer who killed him, most likely because that “narrative” is easier to digest.
But I suspect that the first story was correct, if Mr Scott had a gun (a witness said he had a book) and even in an open carry state the authorities didn’t see him as a man with a right to carry a gun but a Black man without 2nd amendment rights.
In 2013 the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that simply possessing a handgun does not give the police the right to stop and search them nor does it give them the ability to search anyone with them.
So why do police shoot Black people with guns even in open carry states? Why was Tamir Rice shot before a clear assessment was made or John Crawford, or more recently Tyre Wright, Philando Castille and Alton Sterling? In every instance, the victim never threatened the authorities with their gun, but nevertheless were for all practical purposes murdered.
But wait maybe their possession of a gun was a threat to the establishment.
Conversations about Black people and guns in the US have always been controversial because Black folks remain an oppressed nationality within the United States. Colin Kaepernick is precisely right about that. So because of that unwritten but very real socio-economic- political reality, Blacks with guns are subconsciously seen as a problem and consciously seen as a problem by US imperialism’s occupying force its police.
Historically, the idea that Blacks shouldn’t have guns is seared into the national consciousness dating back to slavery. Until the passing of the 14th Ammendment in 1966 which granted Blacks citizenship Blacks slave or free were denied the Constitutional right to bear arms. The police response to a black man with a gun seems symbiotically related to the slave owner seeing a black man with a gun. The slave owner would likely shoot the slave since his correct assumption is that the slave is probably thinking about using it on him since human beings have no right to own other human beings.
Historically there have been lots of attempts to deprive Blacks of the right to bear arms and of course the reason for this is so that those who sought to exploit their labor could do so with ease.
As one scholar put it, “in the last century, while never openly admitted, one of the goals of disarming Blacks was to make them more willing to accept various forms of economic oppression, including the sharecropping system, in which free blacks were reduced to an economic state not dramatically superior to the conditions of slavery.”
The Black with a gun is viewed as a threat thus creating another injustice and inequity for Black people, because if Black people can’t have guns they don’t have the same rights to defend themselves.
According to professor Robin Wright, who studies implicit bias at Ohio State University, “It’s really just getting at what we know to be a pervasive stereotype of blackness and criminality,” she said. “If you see a black person with a weapon, you don’t assume that it’s legal.”
Therefore If the role of the police is partly to reinforce the stereotypes of society and the unequal economic and social relations it stands to reason that an armed Black person is a threat.
The quick response by a Black officer in Charlotte and the Latino officer in Minneapolis raises the question of whether police as an institution see their role as disarming Black people.
Oddly none of our elected officials including the Black ones have spoken out about the rights of Blacks to own guns. If Blacks cannot own guns then they are being deprived of the full rights afforded US citizens.
What should happen? Demand that the government defend our 2nd Ammendment rights . That’s right demand should be placed on the Congress and the nice looking brown skinned man in the white House with the beautiful wife and cute kids. Since he is the president of “ALL” America that includes African Americans and seeing to it that all Americans are afforded their constitutional rights even African Americans.
There is precedent for this. President Obama recently acknowledged Kaepernicks 1st amendment right to speak his mind by taking a knee.
He can publicly rebuke the police institution call in the police fraternal organizations and demand that they acknowledge black gun rights.
justice then peace