8 Jul 2016

Some cops will always be racist, some cops will always make mistakes and some people will always be full of hate – but if America wasn’t awash with guns it wouldn’t have to be a bloodbath

by: Pierce Morgan


I feel sickened.

Sickened by the appalling execution of Alton Sterling in Louisiana on Tuesday.

Sickened by the appalling execution of Philando Castile in Minnesota on Wednesday.

Sickened by the appalling executions of five police officers in Dallas last night.

Sickened by the endless tide of gun violence destroying so many lives in America, fuelled by the country’s ever-increasing paranoia about guns which makes so many people so trigger-happy.

Sickened by the abject, pathetic, spineless failure of U.S. politicians to do anything to stop it.

I feel sickened by all of it.

It would appear that the police officers murdered in Dallas were killed by black, white-hating racists intent on revenge for the killing of two black men by other police officers this week.

It would also appear that those two black men were murdered by cops whose own actions may have been racially-inspired.

Alton Sterling was selling CDs by a gas station, Philando Castile committed a minor traffic violation.

Neither did anything to justify their senseless deaths.

Both, I strongly suspect, would still be alive if they were white, not black.

There is still an undeniable endemic racism strewn through America’s police force which shows no sign of abating.

Too many cops see a young black man and automatically think: ‘criminal.’

No wonder the African-American community is so outraged by this.

Their people are being murdered by the very people supposed to be protecting them.

It’s disgusting, it’s illegal and it’s a complete violation of every value America is supposed to stand for.

I watched the camera phone video (now emerging as the most effective tool for investigative journalism) of Alton Sterling being killed and it chilled my bones.

When you come from a country like Britain, as I do, where very few police carry guns and this kind of insanity barely ever happens, it is truly shocking to watch.

But why did it happen?

Is it because those policemen are simply out-and-out racists intent on randomly killing black people?

Or is because the victim was black, had a gun on him and they irrationally feared the worst and panicked?

There’s still a subliminal racism underpinning the decision-making in the second option, but it’s less obvious and far harder to prove.

I don’t know the answer but I do strongly suspect if Alton Sterling was white, he would not have been targeted in this way, or killed.

The slaughter of Philando Castile, 32, is, if anything, even more outrageous.

A black man driving his girlfriend and her four-year-old daughter is pulled over for a minor traffic misdemeanour.

The girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, says he was then asked to show his driver’s licence – but when he reached to get it, the cop shot him dead.

Philando Castile was a popular, hard-working school cafeteria worker who knew all the school kids by name and they loved him.

Now he’s dead.

Again, I ask: did this cop kill him purely because he was black?

No. But again, I strongly suspect subliminal racism lay behind what his actions.

He almost certainly shot him because he was instinctively distrustful of seeing a young black man at the wheel of a car, he knew he had a gun (Castile, Reynolds says, told the officer he was armed and licensed to carry), and he panicked when he saw him reach for his I.D.

As with Alton Sterling, I believe the combination of Philando Castile’s skin colour and possession of a gun cost him his life at the hands of a twitchy, race-influenced police officer.

The fact this is still happening in a superpower like America is an obscenity.

But it IS happening again and again because nobody has the will to do anything to stop it.

President Obama made the same old speech he always makes when either a mass shooting happens, or a black man gets shot by cops.

Both are Groundhog Day addresses by a man who’s all but given up on trying to make any meaningful difference to either scourge.

This morning Obama had to hurriedly make a new, rather different speech, this time about the massacre of cops by black men.

He offered no solution, just more sympathy and calls for calm.

That’s not enough, Mr President.

Guns are killing your people in staggering numbers.

Cops are killing your people, especially African-Americans, in staggering numbers.

If either of these lethal problems was a deadly disease or terrorism, you’d throw the federal reserves at defeating it.

Instead, you cower behind those twin tyrannies of the NRA and political correctness, and do nothing.

It remains an incomprehensible farce that Kinder Surprise chocolate eggs are banned in America on ‘health hazard’ grounds, but high-powered assault rifles are freely available.

How does this make any sense?

Why are cars massively more regulated than guns?

Why is it easier in many states to buy a gun than a pet?

Why was my 22-year-old son recently barred from having a non-alcoholic beer in Malibu because he had no I.D. on him, but a 9-year-old girl in Arizona is able to legally fire an UZI machine gun, with which she then accidentally kills her instructor?

It’s all bloody madness.

America’s become a virtual military state, a heavily armed nation where everyone assumes everyone else has a gun.

And not just any gun, but high-powered assault weapons capable of rapid-fire death as we saw in Dallas last night.

There are nine million AR-15s in civilian hands alone.

It’s ridiculous.

The NRA always claims that good guys have to be armed with guns to kill bad guys with guns.

How does that facile, devious, sales-driven bulls**t stack up today when a bunch of heavily armed good guys with guns were taken down by bad guys with guns?

What does the NRA suggest we do now after Dallas?

Give everyone even more guns?

The putrid logic of these Neanderthals makes me vomit.

All they care about is selling guns, because their chief benefactors are the gun manufacturers.

Those murderous assassin or assassins in Dallas were able to easily tool themselves up with assault rifle killing machines because virtually anyone can do that in Texas.

It’s the epicentre of America’s gun culture, the new Wild West where open-carry guns law permits civilians to wander around armed to the teeth.

I have grave fears now for the consequences of these three events this week.

What the hell is modern-day United States coming to when police officers still think it’s OK to execute black men in cold blood for no good reason?

Or when a team of military-style civilian snipers exact revenge by executing scores of police officers in the middle of one of its major cities?

How can such extreme race-fuelled paranoia be tempered?

How can such burning injustice-fuelled rage be calmed?

America’s always been a violent, race-hating, gun-toting tinderbox.

Today, it feels more dangerous than ever.

I don’t know what the solution is.

What I do know, though, is that the U.S. obsession with guns underpins all this mayhem.

Until the main implement of American death and destruction is dealt with, the slaughter will continue.

Guns don’t save lives as the NRA poison pretends. They end them.

Everyone in America now assumes everyone else may have a gun.

That is, self-evidently, a potentially deadly mind-set, the results of which we can now see unfurling before our eyes in ever more dramatic and heinous ways.

Tragically, I see nobody with the will to tackle this issue, least of all a tired, demob happy President who has seen over 300,000 Americans killed by guns on his watch and failed to negotiate a single new gun law to stop it.

I feel sickened.

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