We know and accept that accidents happen. But it is hard to accept that, in the USA in particular, that the shooting of young black men by policemen are accidents, not with the consistency and frequency with which it happens. The shootings appear to be more like a sort of rite of passage for policemen, a notching of the belt, so to speak.
Our Internet research found that 238 black people, mostly men, were killed by police in the USA in 2014. While this is a low per capita number, the article reminds us that it is more than the total number of blacks killed in the terrorist attack of 9/11. In 2015, we find (according to the information on line), that 102 unarmed black people were shot by police, with only 10 of those cases being prosecuted and with 2 convictions. The article stated that blacks were shot at 5 times more than whites are shot at.
There are many tragedies here; the greatest is that the killings continue to happen with alarming frequency because there seems to be a reluctance to admit wrong doing and a wrong approach to policing. Even when the policemen are charged and tried by a jury of their peers (i.e. of their own race), the trial ends with acquittals or wrist feather-slapping.
A US television commentator noted that when California admitted that there was a policing problem and addressed it, that such shootings decreased by 36%. But California had its Rodney King incident to learn from. That incident should have showed that retribution and retaliation were inevitable. The Black Lives Matter movement attempted to bring that message in a King-like non-violent manner with limited effects.
The killing of policemen in Texas by a black sniper, unfortunate as they are, has ignited national debate. Last weekend, possibly in a copy-cat act, police in Baton Rouge were targeted and killed. There seems to be emerging a tit-for-tat mentality. We pray that the outrage that all these killings have generated will result in positive change about killings and gun controls.
Advocates against gun control argue that guns don’t kill people, its people who do. On the other hand, advocates for gun control posit that it is neither guns nor people who kill; rather it is people with guns who do. Thus, if the sophisticated guns are less available, then less killing – and certainly fewer per incident –would result. As long as hunting equipment is available, then hunting will happen.
Now that the hunted hasshown it ability to turn hunter, where will it end?
In the immortal words of Rodney King, “why can’t we all get along?”