The recent News has been filled with discussions of “institutionalized racism” within law enforcement, a “disenfranchised” black community and general racial divisions across the board. The video below would seem to validate all of those claims, but does it? The video, posted under the title “Black Man Vs. White Man Carrying AR-15 Legally,” depicts two very different law enforcement interactions with individuals openly carrying an AR-15, LEGALLY in Oregon supposedly.
This video is a compilation of a couple of videos that misrepresents the facts.
- A: The first part of the video featuring markedguardian of Oregon, is in fact in Oregon, but it was filmed back in 2012, not long after the Trayvon Martin incident and the Aurora CO movie theater shooting.
- B: The second part was actually in Nevada (Washoe County Sheriffs) and was not long after the Washington Navy Shipyard mass shooting.
- C: Both states do have legal open carry of long rifles.
This particular video, watermarked as a LiveLeak video, was uploaded in May 2015 on the heels of several black/white incidents involving law enforcement. The two encounters are completely different and the video implies that it is entirely based on race, which may well be true, but as you can see there were other incidents at the time of each video that may have affected the reactions of law enforcement as well. Videos like this, along with media sensationalism of racially charged events as well as mass shooting events DO have an effect on the public psyche, including the psyches of law enforcement as well.
Recent stories like the one out of Kentucky where the Sheriff said ‘We Are Glad That He Is White’ regarding a suspect that was shot by officers, illustrates just how much media coverage of such events have an effect on law enforcement and how they view and interact with different members of the community. Pulling videos from years gone by and reposting them in a compilation that feeds on current unrest is irresponsible and further adds to the divisions already being exacerbated by the media. It may represent an opinion of law enforcement, but it says that opinion dishonestly. Every American shares the same rights and the exercise of those rights should be universally respected. Part of the issue is the racial divisions fomenting in America and part of the issue is the infringement upon the 2nd amendment rights of Americans. For too long, guns have been an “out of sight, out of mind” proposition in most of the country, with either outright bans on carrying weapons or requirements to keep them concealed. As more and more states move towards open carry, and in many cases Constitutional carry, firearms are being seen more often in public. This disturbs some people and results in law enforcement interactions with legally armed law-abiding citizens. It doesn’t always go smoothly no matter what your skin color may be. Moving forward we must ask ourselves which is more important to us as a nation, protecting and exercising our rights or continuing to propagate racial stereotypes and divisions.
Tell us what you think in the comments.