OPINION | GREG HARTON: Aggressive gun attitudes don’t help with responsible firearms use

OPINION | GREG HARTON: Aggressive gun attitudes don't help with responsible firearms use

If anyone ever doubted the United States is the gun capital of the universe, the last few weeks has delivered plenty of sworn testimony to that status. I’m among the many Americans who in recent weeks have had my TV streaming service tuned to CourtTV for two trials involving charges of homicide. There are nearly 20,000 homicides every year in the United States, so that’s not what makes these trials unique. According to the National Vital Statistics System, out of all those homicides, there are more than 14,000 involving firearms. The fact that these two cases involve firearms is not in and of itself what makes them the spectacle that they are. Firearms are, however, central to the crimes. In Wisconsin, Kyle Rittenhouse stood accused, among other charges, of homicide in his fatal shooting of two protesters last year in Kenosha. The August 2020 protests arose after a Kenosha police officer shot Jacob S. Blake, a 29-year-old black man wanted on a warrant charging third-degree sexual assault. As I worked on this column Friday, the jury after 26 hours of deliberation in Kenosha returned with verdicts acquitting Rittenhouse of all charges. The second trial continues on Monday. It’s in Brunswick, Ga., near the Satilla Shores neighborhood where 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, a black man, was fatally shot by a white resident of the neighborhood, Travis McMichael, after he and two other residents chased Arbery down on unconfirmed suspicions Arbery was responsible for some petty crimes in the neighborhood. The Rittenhouse […]

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