There’s a concern among many in the pro-gun community that someday, the police will come and knock down their door and round up their families, all because they have guns.
Anti-gunners look at these concerns and argue this represents some kind of paranoid delusion, that the police aren’t coming for anyone because of guns and anyone who thinks so probably shouldn’t have a gun in the first place. They simply are incapable of taking our concerns seriously.
Which makes me wonder just what the police killing of a pro-gun software developer will do to that particular conversation.
A Maryland software developer was asleep in his bedroom when police opened fire from outside the house and shot him dead, according to his family.
The Montgomery County Police Department said in a news release Friday that Duncan Socrates Lemp, 21, “confronted” police who were executing a “high risk” search warrant at the Potomac home early Thursday. They said a tactical unit member fatally shot Lemp around 4:30 a.m.
According to police, the officers were “following up on a complaint from the public that Lemp, though prohibited, was in possession of firearms.”
However, Rene Sandler, an attorney for Lemp’s family, said an eyewitness gave a “completely contrary” account of the shooting. She said police have “absolutely no justification” for shooting Lemp as far as she can tell.
“There is no warrant or other justification that would ever allow for that unless there is an imminent threat, which there was not,” she told The Associated Press.
To be clear, there are a lot of questions that we still don’t have answers to and likely won’t for a while.
For example, the argument that Lemp was somehow prohibited from owning firearms. It seems he wasn’t a felon, so why would he be prohibited from owning a gun?
Further, much of what transpired falls into the “he said/she said” camp right now. The police are saying one thing and the family is saying something completely different. People are basing their opinions and outrage on precisely jack except that he said/she said right now, and that’s not helping anyone.
It’s possible Lemp wasn’t awake and instead pointed a gun at an officer. It’s possible that he was asleep and was gunned down in a cold-blooded hail of bullets. We simply don’t have enough information to make a determination either way, so it’s important to be cautious right now as we evaluate the evidence.
Luckily, it seems police were wearing body cameras. If there was wrongdoing, it’ll show up there and any maleficence can be punished swiftly and appropriately.
The investigation might also be slow-rolled, which would give us a certain degree of answers all on its own. After all, why slow an investigation unless you don’t like what it’s finding?
Regardless, we don’t really know anything right now. News is fresh and subject to change as more information becomes available. We’ll get answers soon enough and then, if what I suspect happens pans out, we’ll have plenty of time to be outraged and demand that heads roll. In the meantime, let’s at least keep an open mind and wait for information.