NBA superstar Lebron James used his post-game press availability on Monday night to sound off on the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, criticizing officers for the shooting and declaring that guns are “a huge issue in America.” Speaking to reporters in Orlando, Florida, James said that guns are “not just used for hunting, like a lot of people do for sport. For black people right now, when you’re hunting, we think you’re hunting us.”
James admitted that he doesn’t have any answers, but said that officers in Kenosha had other options available to them to take Blake into custody without shooting him in the back as he got into his car on Sunday afternoon.
“If you’re sitting here telling me that there was no way to subdue that gentleman or detain him before the firing of guns, then you’re sitting here lying not only to me, but you’re lying to every Black person in the community,” James said. “We see it over and over and over. If you watch the video, there was multiple moments where they could have tackled him or grabbed him. They could have done that. Why does it always have to get to a point where we see the guns firing?
“His family is there, his kids are there, it’s broad daylight. Seven shots at close range, and he’s still alive. That’s through the grace of God right there. My prayers go out to that family and that community, but I’ve got nothing nice to say about those cops at all.”
Newly released video from the scene shows that Blake fought with officers in the moments before the shooting, struggling to resist being taken into custody.
An officer appears to be trying to restrain him before he manages to get up and walks to the driver’s door, the clip shows.
Viral video taken from another vantage point shows an officer pump seven rounds into the apparently unarmed man’s back.
Now, the fact that Blake was resisting arrest doesn’t automatically justify firing at him. The shooting remains under investigation, and it’s quite possible that the Wisconsin Department of Justice will determine that officers could have used less-lethal means to try to subdue Blake or prevent him from leaving. Right now there’s still a lot we don’t know about the shooting, but hardly anyone is content to wait for the facts to emerge before coming to their own conclusions.
As for James, he’s has been a vocal supporter of gun control for several years, though he’s kept his comments fairly vague. “Do something” seems to be his attitude, while leaving the “something” left unsaid.
He responded to a 2015 school shooting by saying, “there’s no room for guns.”
At All-Star Weekend in 2018, James addressed a school shooting in Parkland, Fla., by asking rhetorically, “How can a kid who can’t buy a beer go and buy an AR-15?”
“We’ve seen … these tragedies in America, and there’s been no change to gun control,” James said, according to the Sun-Sentinel. “I don’t have the answers right now. But we have to do something about it.”
James has already announced that he’ll be campaigning for Joe Biden in the coming months, so whether or not he believes he has any answers, he’s backing a candidate who’s going to try to ban his way to safety by turning our Second Amendment rights into privileges. At a time when gun ownership among black Americans is soaring, James wants to ensure that it’s as difficult as possible for racial minorities to exercise their Second Amendment rights. The only people that will help are the criminals who would rather prey on unarmed victims, and anti-gun Democrats in charge of deep-blue cities who are looking for an easy scapegoat to help them avoid responsibility for failing to keep their cities safe.