The United States is awash in mass shootings. It now seems like it happened years ago, but it was actually earlier this year when a gunman murdered 17 students in Parkland, Florida. It’s been just two weeks since another gunman slaughtered 11 senior citizens at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. Just this past week 12 people were gunned down in a bar in California.
300 more mass shootings have happened this year.
And the primary Republican response for how we stop these shootings continues to be to be “good guys with guns” intervening and stopping the bad guys. Except the California shooter killed the good guy with a gun, a veteran cop, who bravely entered the bar to save those under attack.
And now, on Sunday morning, with the threat of another mass shooting underway, yet another good guy with a gun was shot and killed – this time by police. He was black.
26 year old Jemel Roberson, of Chicago, was a beloved church musician who played both drums and the keyboard for churches all over the city. Like most local church musicians, he had another job on the side to help pay the bills. He worked as an armed security guard for clubs and bars. With the mass shooting in the country bar in Thousand Oaks, California happening just days earlier, security guards across the country in similar venues were on high alert.
At 4 A.M. on Sunday morning, at Manny’s Blue Room Bar in the small town of Robbins, Illinois, Jemel Roberson was forced to ask a group of drunk men to leave the bar. Suddenly, according to witnesses, one of the men came back with a gun into the bar and opened fire.
Enter the good guy with a gun.
Jemel Roberson bravely entered the fray, returned fire, then chased a man down outside, and held him down until police arrived. Family and friends say that he hoped to actually become a police officer himself one day.
Right now we should be hearing about how Jemel Roberson, the hero, the church musician, who refused to allow people to harmed on his watch, and bravely brought a gunman to justice.
But this is America. And what we are all seeing is that being a “good guy with a gun,” while black, might get you killed by people who simply cannot imagine that you are there to help.
As reported by WGN, “”Everybody was screaming out, ‘he was a security guard,’ and they basically saw a black man with a gun and killed him,” eyewitness Adam Harris said.
Indeed the only person who was shot and killed in this incident was Jemel Roberson. He thwarted the worse danger from the earlier shooting, only to be murdered by an officer from the Midlothian Police Department.
Ultimately, it’s my best guess that nobody will be held responsible for this, the cops will say they were afraid for their lives, and the city will pay Jemel’s family millions of dollars for their loss of life. All I know is that that simply isn’t good enough.
And what I particularly know is that white men who actually commit mass murderers continue being taken in alive, but Jemel Roberson, a Black man trying to stop a mass gunman, got shot and killed.
I planned on giving you all some updates this morning on the governors races in Georgia and Florida, but I have two other quick updates I have to give you.
First – for the past few days, people had been asking me to investigate the murder of young brother named Jordan Davenport, a father of three, who was found dead and beaten to death in Cypress Lake in Cypress, Texas outside of Houston. I just want you all to know that I am on this case. We actually think we know full well who the murderers are and just hope that Harris County law enforcement steps up in this case. You can see more about Jordan and his case on all of my social media channels.
Lastly, and you will hear a lot more about these next two races from me in the weeks ahead, but I think all of us are going to have to get behind Mike Espy – who is a runoff race against a bigoted woman for the United States senate seat in Mississippi and there is a runoff for the Secretary of State position in Georgia, and a great man named John Barrow is running for that position. That’s the position that oversees voting in Georgia that was previously held by another bigot, Brian Kemp. If we want to change elections we have to elect John Barrow.
So here’s the deal. The turnout for midterms is already hard to come by, but the turnout for a midterm runout is likely going to be VERY low. But I think that means we can win both of these races, and both of them are essential wins if we really wanna change things.
Shaun King: A ‘Good Guy With A Gun’ Sounds Good, Unless You’re A Black Guy was originally published on blackamericaweb.com