Tamir Rice: 2nd Amendment Martyr
An American citizen exercising his Constitutional (or for some God-Given) Right to Bear Arms was shot down on sight by Police in Cleveland.
The Police defense was “We were in fear for our lives”. But as the good folks at Open Carry Tarrant County and many other 2nd Amendment defenders point out no citizen, including police officers, should EVER feel “fear for their lives” simply at the sight of American citizens carrying weapons, including civilian versions of combat weapons. In fact Open Carry Tarrant County explicitly believes that their rights are violated even in the case of Texas laws that allow open carry of long arms but prohibit open carry of handguns. From their website:
In the Tarrant County area? Support the 2nd amendment? We are going to be conducting open carry walks with our long guns on a regular basis, keeping an eye on pro gun candidates and keeping up on gun legislation. In Texas it is legal to open carry your long gun or a black powder pistol but not your handgun. We want constitutional carry for all. Join us!
We do walks all over Tarrant and surrounding areas. We sometimes travel to different cities all over the state! If you have a suggestion of a place for us to walk that you think would be beneficial, let us know!
We are a peaceful group and do not advocate violence in any way. We are not here to start confrontations with Police or any of the such, but we will assert our rights
Given this you would think that 2nd Amendment Absolutists would be up in arms (literally) in defense of the Martyr Tamir Rice. After all the fact (if fact it was) that Tamir was carrying a toy gun that had its distinctive orange tip obscured or removed is irrelevant in context. Like any American citizen he is principle should have been able to be carrying a REAL pistol. As long as he was not directly threatening others. Now there may be reasons why the exercise of certain Constitutional Rights should be denied to minor children (though most 2nd Amendment Defenders tend to deny them and promote Eddie Eagle and gun training for all ages). But there is no reason why a CHILD violating that (arguably un-Constitutional) law or regulation should be subject to immediate execution by the State.
But who am I trying to kid here? It is perfectly clear that Open Carry Tarrant County and all their allies are willing to apply one simple qualifying clause to the 2nd Amendment: “2nd Amendment-ing while Black Should be Done at Your Own Risk”.
Ever heard of the Huey P. Newton Gun Club? They’ve held open carry marches. Open Carry Texas has asked African American community leaders to join them in marches thru neighborhoods impacted by police violence. Most of those invitations have been rebuked by community leaders. Nonetheless there are tons of quotes by open carry leaders expressing outrage at police violence against minority communities. Do some research.
And there are tons of quotes about people outraged at two guys carrying sticks in a predominantly black election precinct in Philadelphia as constituting prima facie electoral intimidation. And none I know of defending them on 2nd Amendment ground.
Little John do a brother a solid and supply one maybe two cites supporting your assertion? Rather than just assigning me homework?
In particular any one from Open Carry anywhere EXPLICITLY denouncing the case of Tamir Rice or the guy that was shot down in the aisle of Walmart for the crime of carrying a toy rifle from one shelf to a different aisle. On 2nd Amendment Grounds.
You got tons of quotes? Can you supply say maybe 10 or 12 ounces worth?
To show my good faith here is a link of my own:
Holder’s Black Panther Stonewall
Why did the Justice Department dismiss such a clear case of voter intimidation? By John Fund
Updated Aug. 20, 2009 7:11 p.m. ET
I can’t find a particular quote about the Tamir Rice incident but I’ll e-mail Open Carry Texas and see what they say.
BW-see DailyKos October 6, 2014 regarding protest of the John Crawford killing.
Thanks Little John.
But first Open Carry Texas is not the end all and be all of this, I just used Open Carry Tarrant County as an example. More pertinent for your point would maybe be something by Wayne LaPierre of the NRA.
And I will try to track down the dKos cite. But would it hurt to give an actual link? It is not like there was only one post or comment on DK that day.
Just quickly, why does Open Carry Tarrant County have to defend itself for not standing up and condeming this tragedy in order to prove they are NOT racist? I am sure there are a lot of green energy groups, pro-unicorn, anti-drunk driving groups, etc that have also not spoken out about this tragedy for whatver reason. Does the absence of a quote on the killing automatically classify as being racially motivated? I think you are reading more into it than is there.
What if Green Peace fails to comment on a mudslide in Mexico, does that make them anti-Mexican by default until someone can prove they released a quote somewhere in the past that absolves them of racism? Can you prove they are not racist (effectively what you are asking little John to do above)?
What if an Asian American is crossing the road and Mothers Against Drunk Driving fails to post a timely quote to your satisfaction…does that make the racist against Asians?
Where does this overreach and use of racism stop. In my opinion, to racists and racialists everything is about race…and that is sad.
Thanks for Commenting. As a first timer your Comment got caught in Moderation and I just got notified by e-mail so as to approve it.
My post was meant to provoke. And start a discussion. So to that degree Open Carry Tarrant County is just a convenient foil.
But the point stands. Tamir Rice was killed within 1.7 seconds of a police car pulling up because he was playing with what the cops thought was a gun. Most of the defenses of the cops to date, including the official response of the City of Cleveland in their filing today (only partially apologized for) was that he was responsible for his own death by removing the orange tip that might have id’d the toy gun as (edit NOT BEING) a real gun. My question is why that would matter to a 2nd Amendment Absolutist.
Maybe you like Little John have seen evidence that pro-gun groups have explicitly condemned repeated killings of brown and black people who were carrying what cops thought were guns. I haven’t seen it at all. What I do see are repeated defenses of cops who shoot people they perceive to be a threat to them. With no questions asked. Along with what seem to be the same people insisting that anyone who is afraid of a group of armed men walking into a Starbucks or a Kroger is some combination of pissy pants and ignoramus of the 2nd Amendment. It all just seems like cognitive dissonance to me:
Big burly white guy in camo carrying an AK-47? Hell yeah America!
Biggish black guys in NBPP uniforms carrying sticks? Voter intimidation!!
White guy with a gun vs black guy with a stick. Maybe the explanation isn’t racist, maybe there is some fundamental difference being open carrying at a Starbucks as opposed to carrying a night stick outside a majority black voting precinct that can be explained by something other than race.
Alrighty then: make the argument. Or not. But your examples are not convincing. There is a direct connection between Tamir Rice carrying a ‘weapon’ and his death. One that raises questions about why some cop in Texas shouldn’t shoot down a member of Open Carry Tarrant County on sight if for WHATEVER reason they felt remotely at threat. Something that by the way doesn’t seem to apply to Tamir Rice to start with, after all the cops didn’t have to pull up right along side that kid and start shooting in less than 2 seconds. All the evidence is that the only thing they knew was “Black man with a gun”. Which turned into a death sentence.
Thank you for your well-reasoned response.
I get that you were using OCTC as an exemplar for the ‘2nd Amendment absolutists’ however, it is you last sentence with which I have the problem, namely ‘It is perfectly clear that Open Carry Tarrant County and all their allies are willing to apply one simple qualifying clause to the 2nd Amendment: “2nd Amendment-ing while Black Should be Done at Your Own Risk”.’
I do not see how it is ‘perfectly clear’ that OCTC (or any proponents of the 2nd Amendment) by failing to respond the way you want, automatically applies ‘one simple qualifying clause’ that is race based. It assumes motive not in evidence.
I agree that minorities getting killed by cops is a tragedy but not sure how that exactly translates to me or Little John having to provide ‘evidence that pro-gun groups have explicitly condemned repeated killings of brown and black people who were carrying what cops thought were guns’ in order to exonerate a group that was not there and is NOT supporting the cops in this situation. Again, if we are going to go down that road, please prove that Green Peace is not racist by not condemning this killing.
You keep asking for examples of them NOT being racist as it applies to this specific instance or other perceived instances to which they are NOT a party. Why should I prove (or disprove) anything that is NOT in evidence?
But there are a few other weird points about your article and thread that just don’t mesh with the situation, such as comparing a big white guy carrying an AK 47 (in the OPEN I assume) with the NBPP standing outside a voting booth with sticks. You would have a more compelling argument if there is a big group of burly white guys holding guns in front of a voting booth purposely looking menacing. I think both sticks and guns in front of a voting booth would be considered voter intimidation, regardless of who is holding them. You even make the case why it is intimidation: ‘carrying a night stick outside a majority black voting precinct that can be explained by something other than race.’ If I am White, and in the minority in the precinct where the majority is Black, and then I have to walk through a group of NBPP (all holding sticks and purposely looking menacing) to vote…well that could be a bit intimidating, no? What? You do not believe that minorities (in this case underrepresented Whites in a Black majority voting precinct) should be have protection from intimidation? If that is the case, why do you hate minority rights so much when the minority isn’t Black? Unless you are a supporter of race-based legal rights, which I hope is not the case, you should condemn this intimidation of the minority regardless of the color.
Also, you ask, ‘why some cop in Texas shouldn’t shoot down a member of Open Carry Tarrant County on sight if for WHATEVER reason they felt remotely at threat’ I am sure they would if the gun was leveled in their direction regardless if purposely done or accidentally. Other than that, with the gun slung over the shoulder I am not sure they would have cause to since open carrying rifles is legal. Having a gun (or a gun facsimile) in Cleveland, where no such open carry exists and where having something like that already puts you in the ‘doing something naughty’ category as far as cops are concerned, would probably automatically bring them to high alert and warrant a stop. The excess force that followed is inexcusable and you have a point there…but it is a point that has nothing to do with OCTC and your (erroneous) perception of a double standard by a group not party to the shooting. What you should be doing is imploring the NBPP and OCTC to work together to make sure that Cleveland gets the same protections as Texas, right? I look forward to your progress on that.
Finally, since this in this thread we are allowed to infer crimes not in evidence, have you stop beating your wife yet? Please prove you have stopped. 🙂
Sorry for the long response. You gave me a lot to consider.
The real issue is whether police lives are more important than the citizens their hired to protect; that includes suspects of crimes.
Should there be a difference in behavior those who protect the president and those hire to protect citizens.
I am still trying to figure out how the response of the police followed any kind of procedure(let alone common sense).
How is it possible that the police in this case, upon hearing of a man waving a gun in a public park, just drove right up to the suspect?
I mean, seriously, if I was a rookie police officer in that car, I would never have allowed the driver to do what he did. What is the point of driving up next to a suspect with a gun? The only one I can think of is to give the suspect the first shot.
Of course, this observation is not the main point of what is obviously a shooting that is indefensible, but it just goes to show how poorly trained these officers were.
I just had an e-mail from C.J. Grisham, the CEO of Open Carry Texas. “We have condemned the killing of Tamir Rice. We don’t play skin pigment politics.”
Kai-HK this reply won’t give your comment the time and thought it deserves, call it shooting from the hip (irony intended).
First neither you nor Little John have to provide any kind of evidence or indeed respond to the piece at all. It is still a free country like that. I asked a question in a deliberately provocative way and admittedly used kind of a cheap target of opportunity in OCTC. On the other hand it is not like OCTC has been carrying their light under a bushel or not engaging in what a lot of people think is deliberately provocative action. Take this recent piece from the Texas Observor:
Open Carry Leader To Legislature: ‘Treason is Punishable by Death’
“Watkins has had enough. “I’m tired of jacking around. I’m tired of playing politically correct games. I’m tired of saying, ‘Well, this is chess, and we gotta take this slowly.’ No, no, no, no, no. This isn’t a game. This is reality. And these are our rights they’re playing with.”
Then, he goes too far: “I dunno if they forgot what their duty is, but it’s to protect the Constitution. And let me remind you: Going against the Constitution is treason. And treason is punishable by death.”
Well I don’t know about you but explicitly threatening legislators who are trying to steer a careful line between Texas citizens general support of the 2nd Amendment and issues of public safety all because they are not in support of universal open carry of handguns is a little out of bounds. I am just wondering if Watkins is equally supportive of the rights of every citizen of Texas black, brown and/or wearing foreign style clothing to equally carry.
As to the voter intimidation. Well this was an overwhelmingly black precinct and the other side had a whole platoon of lawyers on site. All in all the level of threat wasn’t remotely like, say the gauntlet outside your typical Planned Parenthood office during a demo.
And not every open carry enthusiast carries his weapon slung over his shoulder, a lot of them like to wear it in a muzzle down position across their chest and belly and all too many with their fingers on the outside of the trigger guard (and a few yo-yo’s actually with fingers inside). That is these guys often seem to be trying to look like they are on jungle patrol ready for action at any second. And I am not really sure that there is a big difference between them doing that down around your friendly neighborhood Starbucks or Kroger as outside a voting booth.
Little John did Grisham supply a link?
Just did a Google search on ‘Tamir Rice Open Carry’ and found a number of posts asking the same question I did. But the only result found so far from a gun rights group was this from U.S. Concealed Carry titled “Who Killed Tamir Rice”
I for one was not surprised to find out that the answer was “Tamir Rice”. Or actually his family.
“The blame for Tamir’s killing lies solely with the mother who allowed a 12-year-old to go outside with the gun. The fault lies solely with the father who allowed the tape to be removed and failed to teach the child that the Colt was a dangerous toy.”
Now I might give a little latitude to the “don’t let kids play with replicas of real guns” argument. But the excuse of the cops is that they thought they were dealing with an adult. One who would by USCCA lights have been fully justified in at least carrying concealed. Instead they rolled up right next to this “armed man” and within two seconds had shot him dead.
We can constrast that with the guy in Florida who was open carrying at a playground while walking around saying “Look at my gun!” and “There is nothing you can do about it”
Well actually there is something that could have been done about it. Cops could have come screaming up in their cruiser right beside the guy, shouted “Drop the gun” and then if he didn’t comply within the first second shoot him down. After all they had received 22 911 calls from parents who WERE concerned. Instead the cops let the guy go and indeed stay at the playground and the NRA jumped to his defense.
Maybe the difference between Cleveland and Georgia is something other than ‘black or white’. It still kind of reeks of ‘open and shut’.
I have yet to see one of the gun groups speak out against the Tamir Rice slaying.
Not only was he not given any chance to drop the toy, his right to bear arms was clearly violated.
No Bruce it was a reply to my e-mail. I can forward it to Dan who can forward it to you if you like. Also try this:http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/10/06/1334770/-Breaking-Ohio-Open-Carry-Protest-Again-Killing-of-John-Crawford-Supporters-Occupy-Police-Station.
Thanks Little John. Score one for your side.
On the other hand (and just because I am kind of a churlish dick) I linked to the actual news story referenced in the dKos piece:
Dozens of Armed Protesters March To Walmart Aisle Where Police Shot and Killed African American With Toy
And it would appear that “dozens” seems to somewhat exaggerate the turnout , at least on evidence of the photos, and the last paragraph of the piece is somewhere between “undercutting” and “exception that proves the rule”.
“This rally and march was a historical first, as open carry protesters have typically not taken a stand for African Americans shot by police unjustly. But the City of Beavercreek and the Greater Dayton area has seen a lot of cross-over from people of all segments of society coming together to demand an end to the police war on African Americans.”
Maybe a letter of protest to the reporters would be in order. On the other hand my hat is off to the people of Beaverbrook and Greater Dayton.
Glad you found it. But it’s not really my side. The problem with any political viewpoint is that we seem to make our opponents cardboard cut-outs, one deminsional. The “they’re racists!” argument is intellectually lazy and it doesn’t really address the issue of how to illustrate the vaildity of your position.
On a different note what do you think will happen to the DI Trust Fund?
You are partially right. The real issue is one of rights and the constant stopping, arresting, and imprisoning of citizens, especially minorities, for victimless crimes. People are being persecuted for violating laws that do not infringe upon the rights of other citizens, drugs, carrying a weapon, driving a little too fast, etc.
The police have a terrible job. They have moved away from being keepers of the peace and instead to a revenue and morality unit for the state, enforcing laws that exist only to placate the states need for order and revenue. The real issue is bad laws that highly criminalize non-violent, victimless behavior.
Gun laws rank among them.
Again thanks for taking the time to respond.
I am no fan of OCTC and not a member. They could be bat-shit crazy for all I know. What I do know is that inferring their motives for NOT condemning this as being racially motivated…is a weak move and detracts from your greater point which is the tragic shooting by the police and excessive force for yet another young minority.
Regarding, voter intimidation…so the lawyers were there intimidating potential Black voters? How? Again, that just makes your point sound foolish.
Regarding how people carry their guns. Agree. There are many ways it is done; none of the ways you mentioned directly threatening. But cops do get their back up when they approach you and your hands are anywhere near your weapon. I am from Arizona (though live in Hong Kong now) so everyone has a gun and everyone knows that hands go up and off weapons anytime you walk anywhere near a cop. This is not only a courtesy but common sense.
don’t take the following TOO seriously. it’s just me being me.
I think playing the race card may be missing the point. even if you are probably right that being black gets you killed by the cops more than being white.
the point, i think, is that the cops are trained to kill people … not “how to” but simply “to” for a variety of excuses subject to the interpretation of the killer. and they are never second guessed by the district attorney or other relevant authority.
whether this is part of pattern of “intimidate the public” ala ISIS, or is just cops being cops as they have been since i was a kid (and harassed but not killed by them for looking different, i wouldn’t know.
if i have a point here, it’s that maybe by making it a race issue we lose the “vote” of about half the country who are indeed racists even if they don’t realize it. racism is, by the way, almost genetic: you have to be carefully taught NOT to be a racist.
i am afraid i have no sympathy for the open carry people. i had a neighbor who liked to carry his gun when he patrolled his property line, and shoot dogs who wandered across it..
on the other hand i can see the point of the second amendmendment people who might be afraid of the cops. maybe not their friends in uniform today, but those that will come “if the liberals ever get in control.”
beverly will read that wrong. i am just saying that fomenting hatred is not conducive to what i once took to be the liberal agenda: a better world for all of us.
kai – hk
i am inclined to agree with much of what you say, but “driving a little too fast” is not a victimless crime. the tendency for people to find harmless their own little torts against the rest of us is, alas, part of the reason the “rest of us” give carte blanche to the cops for killing members of a threatening group…
including, of course, the deaf mute reaching for a card that explains his condition to the cops, who, of course, think he is reaching for a gun and shoot him dead.
i could go on, but look around you and you will see the culture of killing people who look like your enemies is growing in this country and has been at least since Dirty Harry invented the genre.
by the way, 12 year olds don’t have much “common sense.”
if the cops were not trained to kill on sight (of an imaginary threat) they might have to learn how to deal with a possibly dangerous, or possibly innocent, situation without killing anyone or getting killed themselves.
some of us unarmed citizens have figured it out (mostly). you’d think the professionals could. probably most of them do. but those who like death keep finding excuses for those who don’t.
and yes, there are those who like death prominent among our politicians.
All your points are fair points. It is not good.
One of the reasons I like the idea of private police forces is the idea that they can be fired and arrested more easily than cops, who tend to get immunity form their actions. I like the idea of higher accountability to the community.
What are your thoughts?
i don’t know. worth a try. but my first thought is that any entity powerful enough to create and pay for a police force IS a “government” whatever you call it. Everything then depends on the intentions of the entity, whether it is one person, a group of people, or a genuine democracy.
having such power tends to bring out the worst in people. and there is always the problem of control. even Napoleon could not control what his subordinates were up to when he wasn’t looking.
a small community has a better chance of controlling it’s “police” but even small communities are not immune from ugly behavior.
in America it has happened that the “large” community (Federal) was necessary to curb the abuses of the states and local police.
the people yelling for “small government” really mean goverment too small to police the behavior of malefactors of great wealth or the tyrannies of local government. see the recent investigation of Ferguson… if not easy foryou to find, i will provide a summary.
but right now i have to go to work.