I got this article via AoSHQ, but wanted to add my own commentary on it.
I could take the gun rights side of it, but it’s pretty easy to see that by allowing this former Marine to conceal-carry, he prevented any harm to himself or the store employees. Perhaps you could even make a decent argument that this will act as a deterrent to anyone else thinking about knocking over the home of the 5 dollar foot-long (that song is in your head now, isn’t it?). This is obviously, a good thing. However, the relatives of the two perpetrators don’t seem to think so.
Gadson’s grandparents told Local 10 on Thursday that Lovell was wrong for pulling the trigger.
“He should not have taken the law in his hands,” said Rosa Jones, Gadson’s grandmother.
Her husband, Ivory Jones, also condemned the media for its portrayal of Lovell’s actions.”I don’t condone what they did, (but) I definitely don’t condone the news people making him out to seem like they’re making a hero out of this man because he shot somebody down,” he said.
Personally, I find the reactions of these grandparents disgusting. Do they not realize that their grandson was robbing a store at gunpoint? Perhaps if they had told their grandson that those who play with fire (in this case, guns), often get burned (shot), they might not be mourning his death today. I don’t mean to sound callous, but I’m offended that these relatives don’t even seem to take into account these kids were committing armed robbery, and would rather speak out against the man whose life was threatened by their own grandkid! Once again, nobody ever wants to assign responsibility and consequences to one’s own actions.
So if Mr. Lovell wasn’t supposed to take the law into his own hands, what was he should he have done instead? Allow her grandson and his cohort to threaten and possibly shoot the innocent people in that store including himself? Would that have been a much more pleasant outcome for you grandma?
I think this story is useful as an example of how a minority community and the media in general can view situations like this. Most of the time when a minority is shot by police, whether it was justly or unjustly, the police are quickly condemned, and painted as violent loose cannons who love shooting “innocent” minorities. When this happens a disservice is done to the innocent in favor of the actual criminal. In this case we are condemning an innocent man trying to get a tasty sandwich and are supposed to feel sorry for two gun-toting young men who were committing a crime. The innocent, in this case Mr. Lovell, is forced to take responsibility for his actions, and the criminal is vindicated and is actually no longer even a criminal, but a victim!
I could almost write a script on how the news coverage goes for this type of incident. The media reports the shooting, only mentioning that it occurred while a crime was taking place AFTER saying “Two youths were shot today by police…” They then go out to the area where the incident happened or the hometown of the victims and find a plethora of people (almost always the same ethnicity as the “victim”) in that neighborhood who think the police stepped out of bounds, or used force unnecessarily.
Again, everyone wants to dodge any kind of responsibility. As for the minority community, they often view themselves as victims due to past occurrences of racism, regardless of what the actual circumstances of the situation are. It’s an example of an ‘us against them’ mentality. To them, it’s much more deplorable that Mr. Lovell shot two armed would-be robbers, rather than the actions of the men committing the crime. This is unacceptable. In no way should Mr. Lovell be criticized or questioned for his actions. I ask anyone reading this to seriously consider what THEY would do if threatened with the barrel of a gun. You have no idea whether these men are going to just take the money and leave, or are they going to shoot you on their way out in order to leave no witnesses? If armed with a gun, I personally would shoot first, and not wait around to find out the answer to those questions.
Now I don’t know if the media is simply cutting out the footage of residents saying that the police/innocent gun-owner did the right thing, or if the entire community feels that the perpetrators were unjustly gunned down. I tend to think it was the latter. You NEVER see the community say “I completely condemn what these young men did, and I think the police acted in an appropriate manner”. Instead, they seem to think that there was some kind of injustice done to the people who were committing the crime! This kind of reaction does nothing to help deter the occurrences of similar crimes.
If I went out and robbed a store at gunpoint, I know for a fact that my family would disown me. They would be embarrassed and disgusted by my behavior and completely condemn it. Yet we never see this kind of reaction from the minority communities that the perpetrators come from. Perhaps if committing robbery and pulling guns on innocent people was viewed as more of a shameful act in the community that these people live, these young men would have gone into the Subway looking for an application, rather than the cash register. It would be a movement towards eliminating the issue of racial profiling and a lot of the genuine racist treatment minorities experience.