Renée Graham, a columnist and editor for the Boston Globe, has shown a stunning amount of dishonesty in a recent column attempting to scare her fellow African-Americans away from exercising their right bear arms.
One paragraph in Graham’s column was particularly disgusting, as it cited four high-profile incidents of African-Americans with firearms, and got the facts and the law wrong in every single instance.
Here’s what’s also unfortunate: More people of color with guns will likely result in more people of color dead or in prison. Minnesota’s open carry law did not save Philando Castile. He informed the officer who stopped his car that he was carrying a licensed gun, but was still shot to death in front of his girlfriend and her young daughter in July. In 2014, Ohio’s open-carry law did not spare the life of 12-year-old Tamir Rice , shot dead by a cop while playing with a toy gun. This past week, officials declined to charge a police officer in the shooting death of Keith Scott who may have had a gun in his possession but was not holding it when he was killed in Charlotte earlier this year. North Carolina is also an open-carry state.
And when Marissa Alexander stood her ground in Florida against her abusive husband by firing a warning shot into a wall, she was sentenced to 20 years for aggravated assault, even though the bullet struck no one. (The jury deliberated just 12 minutes.) After public outcry, Alexander accepted a plea bargain and was released in 2015, after three years in prison.
“Open carry law ” was not any part of the Castile incident. Castile was a law-abiding concealed carry permit holder, who was shot by a nervous, apparently trigger happy police officer who has since been charged with second-degree manslaughter and two felony counts of dangerous discharge of a firearm.
Renée Graham is entirely wrong about the law and circumstances of Castile’s death.
Rice, a 5’7″, roughly 200 lbs. figure in baggy clothing was conclusively shown drawing a realistic weapon from his pants on police officers when he was shot. Rice was not open-carrying, either. He went from brandishing a weapon to concealed carrying it, and the realistic gun that got him killed was never lawfully open carried.
Renée Graham is entirely wrong about the law and circumstances of Rice’s death.
Keith Lamont Scott was not shot for open carrying a handgun. In fact, if Renée Graham had done basic research into the Scott shooting, she would have known that Scott passed by officers with his weapon lawfully open-carried earlier in the afternoon, and was not stopped or even approached by officers.
It wasn’t until he was observed with drugs in his hand, getting high while armed, that officers saw fit to approach him. Ms. Graham, since you seem to know nothing about firearms or firearms laws, I’d note for you that getting high while armed is a crime.
Despite Graham’s false claims, Scott did have the gun in his right hand, a fact made abundantly clear from the very beginning of the investigation. CMPD Chief Kerr Putney made that point from the very beginning, and it was reiterated by Mecklenburg County District Attorney Andrew Murray as he exonerated Officer Brantley Vinson. Vinson fired four shots after Scott was told 11 times over 45 seconds to drop the gun he was criminally brandishing, correctly deducing that the violent felon with a loaded, stolen weapon posed a deadly force threat to officers.
Body camera footage also shows the gun in Scott’s hand when he was shot, held just in front of his leg in the screen capture above.
Renée Graham is entirely wrong about the law and circumstances of Scott’s death.
Likewise, Ms. Graham is entirely wrong on the law concerning Marissa Alexander. This was not an incident of a woman “standing her ground,” but one where one person in a mutually abusive relationship got mad after she was struck, left the home, went to her car, retrieved a gun, returned to the home, and attempted to murder Rico Gray. Gray is only alive because Alexander is a bad shot and missed her target.
For the fourth time in four attempts, Renée Graham is entirely wrong on the law and the facts of the case she’s attempting to cite to support her thesis.
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Mr. Castile’s death is an incredibly rare instance of a law-abiding concealed carrier doing absolutely nothing remotely wrong and being shot anyway. It was so disturbing that the National Rifle Association made a rare and what appears to be an unprecedented public comment about the on-going investigation before charges were filed against the officer.
In the other three instances, however, Graham attempted to portray felonious behavior (Rice: drawing a gun police; Scott: refusing to drop gun, allegedly thumbing back the hammer to fire it at police; Alexander: attempting to murder Rico Gray in front of two small children) as legal actions that still got them in trouble or even killed for being “black and armed.”
Renee Graham is deceiving the readers of the Boston Globe in an apparent attempt to dissuade law-abiding African-Americans from exercising their natural right to armed self-defense of themselves and their loved ones.
If I caught one of my writers lying to my readers in an attempt to influence their behavior even once in an article, we’d be having a very pointed conversation about his or her current and future employment. Four times? Four times in a single article, showing clear intent?
Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
Fortunately, Renee Graham works for the Boston Globe. Odds are that her deception will not result in her firing, her suspension, or even a correction.
After all, she’s part of a mainstream media where “fake news” is acceptable, especially if it pushes the preferred narrative.