It was last weekend when Chicago-area security guard Jemel Roberson was shot and killed by police after he’d stopped a potential mass shooting. Over the week, we’ve seen fairly little coverage of this case, which is odd.
After all, Roberson was a black man killed by police. Recent history shows us that the media should be all over this one.
However, Roberson was also a good guy with a gun who stopped a mass shooting, which goes against the narrative.
Tragically, despite his quick actions, he was shot and killed by law enforcement.
If you’re unfamiliar with what happened, here’s a recap.
Local news source WGN9 reports that the incident occurred around 4 a.m. Apparently, the trouble started when security asked a group of drunk men to leave. According to witnesses, someone then came back into the bar and started shooting, and security began shooting back. Roberson was able to detain one of the men outside.
“He had somebody on the ground with his knee in back, with his gun in his back, like, ‘Don’t move,’” a witness, Adam Harris, told WGN9.
Then, when police arrived to respond to the shooting, they reportedly shot the wrong man: Jemel Roberson.
“Everybody was screaming out, ‘Security!’ He was a security guard,” Harris said. “And they still did their job, and saw a black man with a gun, and basically killed him.”
For the last week, I’ve been trying to get a bead on just what transpired. I didn’t want to jump on the anti-cop bandwagon until I knew what happened, and even now I’m not completely sure.
What I do know is that the good guy with a gun was killed by police.
The handful of comments I’ve seen by anti-gunners were smug. They were smarting off with, “See? That’s what will happen if more people have guns at things like these.”
To be fair, it’s kind of hard to argue against it at a time like this. After all, the good guy with a gun is the only one who was killed during this entire event.
But there’s also a flip side that the anti-gunners either can’t or won’t think about. Just how many people could have died if Roberson hadn’t been armed and there? How many people would these people have killed, either intentionally or indiscriminately, if Roberson and the rest of the security detail hadn’t been carrying firearms?
That Roberson was killed is a different issue. That’s a different conversation, one we need to have, but it has no bearing on the gun control versus gun rights argument tied up in this.
Roberson’s death is tragic, but his actions leading up to that death make one thing clear.
No matter what the anti-gunners say, no matter what they claim, a good guy with a gun in the right place, at the right time, and with the will to act can make a huge difference and save lives.
Whether or not it was a justified shooting is a topic I’ll need to spend even more time looking into, and it needs to be investigated. A good man is dead. That can’t be dismissed.
But what can be dismissed is anyone stupid enough to claim this event is evidence that citizens with guns are a bad idea.