By Josh Tolley
As the world watches the footage of a young John Crawford being shot by police in an Ohio Wal-Mart store, the national outcry against poorly trained law enforcement is getting louder. The tactical irresponsibility that law enforcement displayed in the handling of this is beyond incompetent.
John Crawford was in the sporting goods section of the store where a BB gun was on the shelf. He picked it up and carried it around the store as he should have done if he intended on purchasing the item. At no point in the footage is he being reckless, threatening, or intimidating. He is carrying a product the store carries in a manner in which the store intends for him to carry it while he continues to shop. While in the pet supply section of the store he is looking at what appears to be dog food; perhaps he was going to purchase that as well. It is at this point law enforcement arrives, and upon spotting young John Crawford they open fire. No order to "Drop the weapon and put your hands up" and no effort on John's part to threaten or even intimidate law enforcement. He was shot for doing exactly what Wal-Mart wanted him to do, pick up the BB gun from the shelf and carry it around the store as he continued shopping. The gun was not in a locked case; it was not in any form of packaging, which means Wal-Mart expected customers who wanted this item to behave exactly like John Crawford behaved.
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Because his actions were in line with proper protocol, we can look at this footage and place blame where it is due: on the hands of these organizations like the mothers group Moms Demand Action, which fights against firearm rights. Why does the blame fall on them? It is simple; it is the fear of guns that killed this young man, the fear organizations place in the hearts and minds of people, businesses and law enforcement that every gun poses a threat and that every gun holder needs to be stopped. Someone witnessed John Crawford do what he was supposed to do in a Wal-Mart store, and he was so struck with the fear these organizations promote that he called law enforcement. Law enforcement, also full of fear-guided ignorance, decides that instead of proper police work they need to just eliminate the object of fear. They were not eliminating a threat, for no threat was present in either action or intent.
This could have happened to any of us. If Grandma wanted to get little Sally a BB gun, she would take one off the shelf and carry it around Wal-Mart in the same fashion as this young man.
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Yes, the blood of this victim is on the hands of those who are promoting the fear of guns in public places. From these organizations of moms, which create target-rich, unsafe environments, to the media that continue to spread lies about guns in public places, it is clear they are the ones responsible for the fear that killed John Crawford.
We need to be vigilant and remind others that this case is not unique. People around the country are being hurt and even killed because they are holding something that "could" look like a gun. Kids are being kicked out of school for pointing a finger like a gun, and a teacher has even been removed from his post because he wrote a fictional story involving guns. We no longer live in a country with the proper respect for firearms; we live in a country suffering from paranoia. Just like other symptoms of paranoia, these people spreading this fear ignore facts, they ignore common sense, and they are an endangerment to themselves and others.
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America, guns don't kill people, the fear of guns kills people!
Josh Tolley is an author, entrepreneur and radio personality. He is listed as one of the top 100 business and personal growth trainers in the world. His articles have been published by Reality News, Worldview Times and GCN Live.com.