Shannon Miles, a man with a criminal record that includes firearm violations, allegedly walked up to Officer Darren Goforth as he was walking to his vehicle at a gas station, fired a bullet into the back of Officer Goforth's head and fired additional shots into the officer's back. Add mine to the expressions of sympathy to the family and law enforcement colleagues of Officer Goforth for his sacrifice. Add mine as well to the condemnations of this unjustified and cowardly act of wanton violence. Finally, this murder once again highlights the utter insanity of our unwillingness to implement gun safety and control reforms.
Since 1968, more Americans have died from gunshots than have been killed in every battlefield in which Americans have fought throughout our nation's 239 year history. That we have more guns and kill more people with guns per capita than any other industrialized nation is a bit of American exceptionalism about which any decent American should feel ashamed. There are few things that highlight the need for gun safety reforms than a known criminal who is able to acquire and use a firearm in the commission of a crime. Who knows how he acquired it? Perhaps he stole it. Maybe another low-life gave or sold the gun to him without doing a background check. Chances are, the gun has no registered owner whatsoever, nor can anyone trace the journey of the weapon from the manufacturer into the hands of a criminal. In the eyes of the gun-humping ammosexual, no one is accountable for putting the gun into the hand of the criminal. No one has a responsibility to minimize the number of guns that get distributed to criminals.
Though the 2nd Amendment freak would never acknowledge it, this crime actually eviscerates one of the oft-offered arguments of self-defense as a viable reason to carry. Officer Goforth was armed and never even had a chance to pull his weapon in defense of the attack. The reality is that if someone wants to do you, they will do you and there is nothing that either you or your openly carried firearm can do to stop it. The only real opportunity to minimize the number of criminals, gang bangers, domestic abusers or nutballs from killing innocent people is to minimize the number criminals, gang members, domestic abusers and nutballs able to get a gun in the first place, a reasonable goal that requires a broad community involvement and support. Of course the gun-humper will offer up the braindead argument that gun control would not have stopped this, that or another particular firearm tragedy as if the ability to stop any and all incidents is a reasonable measure of a law's efficacy. America has the most firearms per capita of all industrialized nations and we have the most firearm deaths - a wholly predictable correlation. Easy access to guns didn't make Officer Goforth safer and it doesn't make America safer either.