Friday, August 22, 2014

170.5 - Guns: this is not about guns

Guns: this is not about guns


A brief story about guns which isn't about guns.

Earlier this month, residents of Aurora, Colorado, scene of 2012's deadly rampage by James Holmes, called 911 because they were concerned about a young man walking around with a shotgun.

Police approached the person, who turned out to be 18-year-old Steve Lohner. When asked why he’s carrying a shotgun, he says it's "for the defense of myself and those around me." (Superhero fantasize much?)

He says he's 18, the minimum legal age for owning a gun in Colorado, but when asked to produce ID to prove his age, he refuses and argues with the cops, insisting he doesn't have to because he has done nothing wrong. He also refuses to hand over the gun - which, by the way, was loaded.

The end result was that Lohner, who says he’s on a mission to make people more comfortable about guns, is cited on a misdemeanor obstruction charge for refusing to show his identification.

Several days later, a shopper in a Walmart in Beavercreek, Ohio, called 911 to report a man with a gun in the store.

The police approached 22-year-old John Crawford in an aisle in the toy section. He was holding a gun - a toy one. Police claim it was a BB rifle. They demanded he "drop the weapon." He responded "It's not real" - so they shot him to death.

In both cases you had someone calling 911 about a young man with a gun. The similarities end there.

In the first, you had someone with a loaded shotgun; in the second, you had someone with an unloaded BB gun.

In the first, you had someone who argued with the cops, refused to show ID, refused to yield up the weapon; in the second, you had someone who had no chance to argue, was never asked for ID, and was given perhaps a couple of seconds to give up the gun or else.

In the first, you had someone who walked away with what amounts to not much more than a traffic ticket and still holding the gun; in the second you had a man bleeding to death on the floor.

And there was one other difference. This is Steve Lohner:

This is John Crawford:

And if you are in any way surprised by that - you shouldn't be.

Sources cited in links:

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