Saturday, November 17, 2018


What a great slogan "Good Guy With A Gun" is. It has that brevity that makes it hard to dislodge from your prefrontal cortex. It has the alliteration that makes it sing. It seems to make so much sense. Until you start to unravel it.
The number of good guys with guns that died in the line of duty because of a gun that wasn't in the hands of a good guy is forty-four. Forty-four good guys and gals with guns died because their jobs are inherently dangerous. Because, as most people will remind you, there are a lot more bad guys with guns who don't follow the rules who don't care who they shoot on the other side of that thin blue line.
And then there's Jemel Roberson,a church musician and a security guard at Manny’s Blue Room Bar in Robbins, Illinois. Jemel was doing his job early last Sunday morning when he asked a group of drunken patrons to leave the bar. Moments later, one of them came back with a gun. He opened fire. In the ensuing tumult, Roberson apprehended one of the men outside the bar. He had a knee on the bad guy's back and held a gun on him, suggesting that he did not move. Police officers arrived on the scene and shot Jemel Roberson. He was shot five times. Without ever firing a shot in anger, Jemel Roberson was dead. 
Two days before this incident, Roberson had played at his grandmother's funeral. 
Without casting any further judgments into these murky waters, let's just take guns out of this interaction. Security guard asks drunken patrons to leave a bar in the wee hours of the morning. One of them comes back looking for a fight. A scuffle ensues, and police are called. They show up and settles the dispute. Someone ends up being cited, maybe jailed, for their behavior. Order is restored. 
In this particular version, however, Good Guy with a Gun Gone. And the number of times this kind of thing goes wrong, it's probably worth remembering. Not just in your prefrontal cortex, but in your heart as well. 

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