When someone you care about is shot, it’s easy to blame guns. We’ve been conditioned by the media to blame weapons to some degree. We’ve heard it time and time again, if you just restricted the firearms, all would be better.
Yet that’s not really how it works. The problem is as it’s always been. The problem is people.
That’s what runs through my mind when I hear a bereaved family member like this.
Dominique Dewayne McNair’s life mattered, his mother Seevonla Domond said.
In the seven weeks since the 28-year-old was fatally shotin a parking lot west of Africa International Restaurant and Nightclub in Fargo, the Jacksonville, Fla., woman has posted numerous photos of her son online.
“Violence needs to be stopped altogether,” she said in a phone interview with The Forum.
Police continue to investigate McNair’s death, but this case has been difficult to solve, said Capt. Chris Helmick, who leads the Fargo Police Department’s criminal investigations division. One challenge detectives face is trying to find people who can tell them what happened in the parking lot.
“I’m confident that there’s someone who was there that night who could come forward and tell us what happened, and we need that person or those people to come forward … and help us out with this,” he said.
Domond said she believes McNair’s death could have been prevented had the bouncers and her son not been allowed to carry weapons in the club. She also said she was angry at McNair for having a gun at Africa.
“My son had a gun, the other bouncers had a gun, everybody had a gun,” she said.
Now, let’s understand this case is clearly complicated and there is a lot going on with it. However, one thing we do know is that whoever shot McNair likely didn’t do it out of a case of self-defense.
On the contrary, if they had, they’d have come forward by now to explain what happened. The fact that no one has tells us this wasn’t a case of McNair overstepping his bounds and threatening someone, only to get shot.
To say that the problem was that her son had a gun–a gun he used in his job as club security–is to pretend that his gun led to his death, and there’s no evidence to suggest that.
In fact, there’s every reason to believe that if he’d been disarmed, he’d still be a murder victim, only there would have been no chance of him being able to defend himself.
Now, I’m not saying the club was right to allow their bouncers to carry guns on the clock. I’m not saying they were wrong to, either. If they carried guns as part of their job, but had no training in how to use those guns, there’s a problem. If they were simply permitted to for their own personal defense, that’s another.
I don’t really know one way or another.
What I will say, though, is that a victim being armed is almost never the reason they were a victim in the first place.