Monday, July 03, 2017

Gun Rage

They call it "road rage," although with no quote marks.

The headline for NBC10 Philadelphia reads "28-year-old David Desper Charged in Road Rage Killing of 18-Year-Old Bianca Roberson" and the article begins

After a dramatic manhunt that lasted several days and spanned multiple states, Chester County, Pennsylvania, authorities have charged David Andrew Desper, 28, with first-degree murder for the road rage killing of recent high school graduate Bianca Roberson.

One headline reads "Chesco DA: David Desper, 28, charged in 'savage and senseless road-rage killing of Bianca Roberson, 18" and begins  "Chester County authorities said Sunday morning they have charged a suspect in the “savage and senseless” road-rage shooting death of 18-year-old Bianca Roberson."

CNN goes with "Road rage suspect turns himself in, faces murder charges" and starts

A man accused of shooting and killing an 18-year-old woman in a case of road rage is being held without bail on murder charges after turning himself in Sunday morning, authorities said.

Perhaps you see a pattern, one in which "road rage" has become such a common cliche, so emphasized, that it no longer is necessary to put it into quotes and crowds out an equally important factor.

To its credit, USA Today- after its own "road rage" headline- led with  "A Pennsylvania man was arrested on first-degree murder and other charges Sunday in the "savage" road-rage shooting of an 18-year-old woman last week, authorities said."

CNN's story continues

David Desper, 28, faces multiple charges, including first-degree murder and reckless endangerment, Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan said.

Police said he shot Bianca Nikol Roberson after he became angry as their vehicles were merging on the same lane of a highway Wednesday evening in West Goshen, Pennsylvania, just west of Philadelphia.

Worst yet in downplaying the three-letter word beginning with "g" was ABC News:

USA Today reports "surveillance video and tips from the public helped identify the car," and Desper later turned himself in through his attorney.

As authorities have suggested, this is not a bias crime, though the alleged assailant is white and the victim, black.    It was, instead, a situation in which the perpetrator did not ( and could not) leave his vehicle and beat the victim to death. He did not, further, brandish a knife and go after Ms. Roberson.

Desper had motive. Armed with anything but a firearm, he would not have had means. And had Roberson, in the NRA's "good guy with a gun" scenario, had a firearm herself, she still would be dead.

Thee are 1,143.6  miles between West Goshen, Pennsylvania and Falcon Heights, Minnesota where a good guy, Philando Catsile, was shot to death by a police officer (later charged and acquitted) after a traffic stop.

But there are factors connecting the two, though they inevitably will be ignored.

In both cases, an innocent individual was killed inside an automobile.. And in neither case would either be dead if no civilian possessed a firearm.  If Philando Castile had not had a handgun, the police officer would merely have issued him a summons, or not. He would not have believed- reasonably or otherwise- that the motorist might be reaching for the gun he had respectfully notified the officer he had.

There is a third factor the cases have in common.  In neither instance was a handgun illegally purchased or carried, whether by the alleged murderer in Pennsylvania or the victim or the cop in Minnesota. It is not a case in which someone was determined to get a gun and commit a murder. despite a restrictive gun control law.

Neither individual (with Desper, at least as known now) had a criminal record.  One evidently committed a murder and the other would still be alive if he did not have a firearm at the time.

Neither had his weapon locked in a case in his trunk, and neither was required to because, well, Second Amendment, or rather the obsession with a faulty interpretation of it.  Still, road rage.  A member of Ms. Roberson's family stated “It’s funny they say that it was a bit of road rage, because my sister — we never saw her get angry. We never saw her get mad, or any type of rage in her, at all. Things that were down, or sad, or things that make someone angry — Bianca didn’t have any energy for it.”

It is funny- and tragic- that they say it was road rage, because without America's love affair with guns, Bianca Roberson would still be alive, and Philando Castile, too.

                                                                 HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY

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