Tuesday, July 16, 2013

DWB: Trayvon, Bo & Darius

Dead while being black.

Three dead, unarmed, African-American young men, killed by gun owning, law-abiding, white men.

"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." 

Really? So who stops a good guy with a gun?

Wisconsinites will long remember the killing of Bo Morrison, a young man who made the mistake of trying to hide from police breaking up a party on a guy's porch.

For that mistake, Bo Morrison paid with his life.

His killer, Adam Kind, knew the police were nearby. Kind could have locked the door to his house and waited for them to come. Instead, he ventured out to his porch and discovered Bo hiding, unarmed and shot him in the chest.

Because of Wisconsin's newly enacted Castle Doctrine law - which is similar to Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, but applies only to your home and property - Kind was immune from any manslaughter charges. The Castle Doctrine gives the advantage to the homeowner - and unless you survive to contradict the homeowners story - he gets to go home and clean up the blood.

On the heels of the Trayvon Martin trial is jury selection for the Darius Simmons murder. Darius was shot twice by his next door neighbor, John Henry Spooner, on the sidewalk outside their homes.

Spooner, a gun enthusiast, believed Darius had broken into his home and stolen some guns. Spooner confronted Darius outside and when he denied stealing anything, Spooner shot him in the chest as his mother watched.

When the police arrived, Darius' mother was held in a squad car has he died on the ground without her to comfort him. He was 13.

Spooner does not claim self-defense as George Zimmerman did. He is not invoking the Castle Doctrine or claim Darius was an intruder as Adam Kind did. He just took his legal handgun and shot Darius to death because he didn't like the answer he gave him.

Spooner is an old guy. He claims he is dying of lung cancer. Spooner's attorney says he is mentally ill and does not know right from wrong. The Siren hopes he dies in jail - it's more than Darius Simmons got.

But let's be clear, John Henry Spooner was not a criminal until he murdered Darius Simmons and no one seemed very concerned about his mental state while he was collecting those guns.

Had they lived in Florida, Spooner might not be facing 1st degree homicide charges. Had Darius been standing on Spooner's grass instead of the sidewalk, Spooner could be home polishing his guns.

Like George Zimmerman and Adam Kind, John Henry Spooner is a killer. It is laws like "Stand Your Ground" or the "Castle Doctrine" which determine whether you are murderer or not and killing your witness is a major advantage in court.

John Henry Spooner was a "good guy with a gun" until he wasn't and another young, black, unarmed kid is dead.