In an e-mail blast this morning over the name of gun control proponent Shannon Watts, she admits not having “all the details” about yesterday’s deadly shooting spree in Hesston, Kansas, but she’s convinced “there’s more we can do,” and she’s exploiting the incident by asking for contributions to Everytown for Gun Safety.
Here’s a detail that Watts, founder of the Michael Bloomberg-supported Moms Demand Action gun prohibition lobbying group, might find educational. The killer was identified as Cedric Larry Ford, a man with a reported criminal record in Kansas and Florida, according to NBC News, yet he was armed with a rifle and pistol.
He had just been served with a protection order, the Washington Post reported today. That order was served at Ford’s place of employment, where he later fatally shot three people and wounded others before he was confronted and killed by a lone police officer, who has not been identified.
Various news agencies have quoted Harney County Sheriff T. Walton, who said last night, “This man was not going to stop shooting. The only reason he stopped shooting is because the officer shot him.”
“Court records showed that Ford, 38, was a felon who previously lived in Miami and was on probation with a series of convictions in Florida including burglary in 2000.”—NBC News
Recall what Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, said in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy in 2012: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” He was almost universally criticized for that remark, but time and again it has proven to be true.
According to NBC News, the Kansas rampage spanned 26 minutes. The network said Ford “had a criminal record stretching back to October 1996, when he was charged with carrying a concealed firearm when he was 18 years old, the records showed.”
Sheriff Walton indicated that the investigation will try to determine where and how Ford got the firearms he used. He reportedly had posted images of himself with the guns on social media.
There is no small amount of irony in all of this. Ford was black, and about two hours before the shooting in Kansas, a “Black Lives Matter” demonstration was wrapping up in Seattle. They were protesting last Sunday’s shooting death of Che Taylor by Seattle police. Taylor was a convicted felon who was “clearly armed.” A handgun was recovered at the scene.
Protesters yesterday were demanding that the two officers involved in the shooting, which was captured on a dashcam video, should be prosecuted. They also want Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole fired.
Perhaps far better role models might be found in a Seattle Times story this morning about how a Detroit nonprofit is providing $100,000 in college scholarships to high school seniors who attended Seattle’s South Shore PreK-8 school. That’s where, according to the story, “256 African-American men…high-fived and cheered students as they entered the doors…earlier this month.”
Got an opinion about this column? Share your views in the “Comments” section below.