We are learning more details about the racially motivated shooting in Jacksonville Florida that occurred on Saturday, August 26,2023, that took the lives of two men and a woman.
Reportedly the gunman, a white male, 21-year-old Ryan Palmeter “hated Black people” according to Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters.
Black Political Opinion: 'Race' to politicize the Jacksonville shooting. Bad guns or bad people?
Within 24 hours of the trauma and tragedy, politicians, activists, and the media rushed to attach and amplify different narratives.
The debate over gun control in the United States is often framed as a question of "bad guns or bad people."
Some people believe that guns are inherently dangerous and that they should be banned outright.
Others believe that guns are not the problem, and that the real problem is bad people who use guns to commit violence.
The media was quick to amplify the gun debate. During a press conference Sheriff Waters responded to a reporters questions asking what could have been done to prevent the shooting. Instead of blaming the gun, the sheriff placed the blame squarely on the individual.
“He possessed these guns legally. We know what he did with them. What could have been done? What should have been done? Well, we have to stop people that have bad intentions".
Guns, the story is always about guns. The people are bad. This guy's a bad guy. If I could take my gun off right now and I lay it on this counter, nothing will happen". It'll sit there. But as soon as a wicked person grabs a hold of that handgun and starts shooting people with it, there's a problem.
The problem is the individual. Now, guns are a tool that people use to do horrible things, but it’s the individuals that wield these things. So, we are working hard to try to stop that”.
Hakeem Jeffries took several political jabs writing " the racist shooting in Jacksonville is the inevitable consequence of reckless public officials who coddle right-wing extremists, whitewash painful parts of our history and flood our communities with weapons of war".
President Released a statementleaning into guns and racism, saying, "yesterday in Jacksonville, Florida a white gunman went on a shooting rampage at a store near a Historically Black University and killed three Black individuals.
In the wake of another mass shooting, or another act of racism, it is all too common for politicians to use the tragedy to score political points.
This kind of political opportunism is not only insensitive to the victims and their families, but it also further divides us as a country. It makes it more difficult to have honest conversations about the issues that led to the tragedy, and it makes it harder to find common ground.
I agree we should start by having honest conversations about the root causes of current day racism and mass shootings. We need to talk about the role that white supremacy, gun violence, and mental health play in these tragedies.
In the meantime, we should call out politicians who are using these tragedies to further divide us. We should demand that they focus on finding solutions, not on scoring political points.
We also need to talk about the ways in which our political system has failed to address these issues.
Black Political Opinion is a multi-part opinion-editorial series that looks at various political topics, news, and views, from the perspective of a Black female, conservative leaning Independent.
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