Guns, violence and vigilantes

Guns, violence and vigilantes

Community Voices features opinion pieces from a wide variety of authors and perspectives. ( Submission Guidelines ) A woman holds a sign outside the Glynn County Courthouse after the jury reached a guilty verdict in the trial of William “Roddie” Bryan, Travis McMichael and Gregory McMichael, charged with the February 2020 death of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery. 21 seconds ago The recent conviction of the killers of Ahmaud Arbery is welcome news; it has been described as “justice being served.” The convictions were appropriate for the three white men who followed a young Black jogger in their cars, confronted him and then shot him. But it cannot bring back Ahmaud Arbery. Convictions alone cannot be seen as justice. When people — and in many states, the laws — allow armed people to chase others they suspect might have committed theft, and if they get scared about their safety in the ensuing struggle, and kill the person they are chasing, we have normalized lynching. The killers in the Arbery case, like the killer of Trayvon Martin in 2012, claimed that they were authorized by the law to make what they considered a citizen’s arrest. In both cases, when the young Black men being hunted down, undoubtedly frightened, resisted their assault, the killers said that they became frightened and needed to shoot as a matter of self-defense. The people who provoked the incidents claimed self-defense. Although the courts convicted the killers in the Arbery case, our laws are encouraging vigilantism. Multiple states […]

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