Condolences to U.S. Congressman Danny K. Davis (7th) on the death of his grandson, Javon Alexander Jordan Wilson. Javon was on this earth for a mere 15 years when a bullet struck him down.
His alleged shooter has been on this earth for 16 years and he was allegedly given the gun by a female who has been here for 17 years. Now if we take three years away from their ages to figure in the time since birth when they probably had functioning language and comprehension skills, what and how can 12-14 years on this earth create folks who have no problem taking someone else’s life? Especially when the life is lost because of a pair of gym shoes or other clothing apparel that cost pennies to make overseas but are priced in the hundreds of dollars here.
I saw and heard the congressman say the words that are often said when a tragedy involving a gun happens. “Stricter gun laws” only apply to law-abiding citizens. Something tells me that neither Tariq Harris, 16, nor Diajae Banks, 17, had a FOID (Firearm Owners Identification) Card, which is required to possess a gun or the ammunition that goes in it.
There were also words about “lack of jobs and education,” but when young people are willing to shoot and kill another person over gym shoes, it starts in the homes where those young people weren’t raised properly. No there isn’t a typo here. At some point in time, we need to point the fingers and address the households that place a priority on clothing over moral or common sense.
Diajae Banks’ mother was quick to profess her daughter’s innocence as she didn’t pull the trigger. But laws have been in place for years that say if you are part of the crime, you pay the same penalty whether or not you actually were involved. That kind of law was used quite a bit to get everyone in jail who was in a car during drive-by killings.
On the other hand, what is it about gym shoes that make them a motivation for murder? Black folks don’t own any gym shoe companies and having a black athlete’s name on a pair of shoes a person is willing to kill over is troubling at so many levels. I wonder if our young people are taking too seriously their video games — where “shoot to kill’ is part of the play — and transferring that behavior to real life?
In those video games, no one really dies. But this is the real world and the careless use of a weapon has left a young man dead. I saw a number of pictures of Diajae Banks on social media where she proudly displays a gun. If there is to be any kind of legislation, I’d like to see it involve social media and what our young people feel so free to post.
We may not ever stop our criminal element from obtaining weapons. However, their ability to pose and post photos aiming guns at the camera can be restricted. If facial recognition programs can know who you are, perhaps it can also tell if a gun is being held. Or a user agreement is accepted that says posting a photo with a firearm by someone without the legal right to own or possess one can result in fines and loss of access to social media.
Social media is part of the public airways and we must use whatever methods we can to send a message regarding what is and is not acceptable.