No one would expect that a mistake like ringing the wrong doorbell or pulling into the wrong driveway would result in getting shot at and people are blaming the gun laws for it.
A black teen and a young woman were recently gunned down for these very small mistakes and so was a cheerleader who got into the wrong car in the United States.
On April 13, an elderly man shot Ralph Yarl a black teenager in the head after Yarl rang his doorbell in Kansas City, Missouri.
More recently Kaylin Gillis, 20, was shot after she pulled into the wrong driveway in rural New York.
And just a few days ago, two cheerleaders were shot after they mistakenly got into the wrong car in a Texas car park.
In an interview with Insider, Christian Heyne, the VP of Policy and Programs at the Brady Campaign, a gun control advocacy nonprofit said, “If [gun owners] are being told repeatedly by the gun industry that the reason why they need their firearm is to be ready to shoot at any given moment, then that’s the mentality that they have in having the firearm.”
Other experts say it is also the culture of individualistic thinking that has influenced the sale of guns.
“The individualism allows the marketing, and the marketing promotes the individualism. The fear accelerates the buying of weapons. And as more people buy weapons, other people feel that they need weapons,” said Gary Slutkin, an epidemiologist who studies violence as a contagion and founded the Cure Violence Global.
The country’s “stand your ground laws” operates in 30 states and is based on the principle that a person has the right to use deadly force to defend themselves against a threat, says The New York Times.
“Certainly we’re seeing a horrifying trend with how certain states are describing and discussing self defense. What is terrifying is the fact that now we have corrupted and upended that idea of self-defense in certain states with these ‘shoot-first’ laws, where now people are emboldened and empowered to shoot first and ask questions later.”
While it is still uncertain what defense the people who shot Gillis, Yarl and the cheerleaders will take, it is definitely time to re-examine the laws around self-defense and the gun culture in general.
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Photo above is from a YouTube screen grab