This is such a tragic story A young woman named Kiara Brown was killed by her boyfriend in what he says was accidental shooting that, if true, involved a great deal of both negligence and ignorance.
Marvin Patterson says he bought a gun for protection against street violence, but as happens all too often, it inflicted more violence instead.
Kiara Brown, a senior at Vincent High School, had dated Patterson, 20, off and on for years. In March 2018, he picked her up to show her the Audi he purchased after saving money from his two jobs.
As they drove, he says, she asked about the gun, which he had mentioned days earlier. Patterson says he took it from the glove box and put it in the cupholder. Brown then picked it up and was trying to take a photo when, Patterson says, he tried to grab it away and it went off. Kiara, 18, died instantly from a single gunshot to her head.
Patterson was in court this week and pleaded down to a charge of homicide by reckless discharge of a firearm. He was sentenced to the maximum term of five years in prison, in part because the judge says there was still doubt about what actually happened the night Kiara Brown was killed. After Brown was shot, Patterson fled the scene, leaving his car and his dead girlfriend behind. He ended up surrendering to police the next day.
We’ll never know what happened in that car, but let’s assume that Patterson was telling the truth and this was a tragic accident. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel uses this story to engage in some editorializing about guns, but while the paper would demand more gun control to prevent tragedies like this, the answer is really the re-establishment of a culture of responsible gun ownership in the city’s most violent neighborhoods.
Did Patterson legally acquire the handgun? Has he ever been to a range? Has he ever had any formal instruction with a firearm? The answers to those questions are likely “no”, and gun control advocates would argue that the answer is to require these things before you can own a gun. Then they’d turn around and make it as hard as possible to get the training and education they’d mandate before someone could legally own a firearm. “Gun safety” advocates don’t really care much about access to firearms education and training. Their idea of gun safety is “don’t own a gun.”
Instead of engaging in fruitless efforts to ban firearms, why not try to educate people who own guns, even illicitly, on the basic rules of gun handling? Of course that would mean welcoming gun ranges into communities, as well as firearms instructors and 2nd Amendment supporters. And then people might start to get the idea that they’ve got a right to own a gun or something like that, and who knows what chaos would ensue?
No gun control law was going to stop Marvin Patterson from getting a gun to protect himself in a bad neighborhood. And look, it’s entirely possible that Marvin Patterson could have had hours of instruction and training, and still have been stupid enough to try to take a loaded gun from someone while he was driving. I just highly doubt that he ever got that instruction and training in the first place.
Milwaukee supposedly has a “Gun Court” to deal with the mostly young men caught illegally possessing a gun. Wouldn’t it be great if the city adopted the mentality of preventing those men from ever having to show up in court to begin with, because they were legal gun owners? Making guns taboo hasn’t worked. Inculcating a culture of responsible gun ownership might.