Orange City, Fla. The Gun

Photo by KoolShooters on

A few days ago I came across this news item in an Associated Press release.

In Orange City, Fla, while in traffic, a woman driving her vehicle taps a man riding his motorcycle. By his own description there was no damage to him or his bike. But the woman didn’t stop and instead flees the scene.

The man and two witnesses chase her.

She drives to her home, the man and witnesses in tow. She goes inside her home, pulls out a gun and confronts the three men.

The man that had driven the motorbike quickly draws his concealed weapon and kills the woman on the spot.

Just like that. One less person in this world.

Don’t know anything about the woman except that she was in her mid thirties.

Don’t know anything about the man, either, other than his being dexterous with his weapon.

Afterwards he was quoted as saying that he was sorry, but that the woman had pointed a gun at him.

End of story? No.

What’s missing?

A call to the police.

The woman was likely frightened. Surely the motorcyclist and the two witnesses, in following, were able to get the tag of the vehicle. And they could have simply called the police, presented the details and see you in court.

But the right to have the gun on him – concealed – emboldened the motorcyclist. He could take the law into his own hands. With the gun at his side and being skilled at using it – having spent all those hours at the range practicing – he could do it.

What the man didn’t do was spend a few moments thinking of the frailty of human beings, including his.

What the man didn’t do was think of how easily some people can get scared, including himself.

And that the men and women in blue could have been there to mediate and avoid a tragedy.

The woman should have stopped immediately after tapping the man and his bike but she didn’t. Who knows why. And that simple mistake cost her her life.

The story is both scary and sad.

What is it that we are so desperate to defend by owning a concealed weapon?

Surely every person has an answer. But that woman’s mistake didn’t deserve her fate.

The shooter may wish to atone for what he did, for ignoring the complexities of the human being he killed and his own, and for not consulting with the police who could have interceded.

But it’s up to him and his conscience.

And while he debates the matter, I suggest he log on to to refresh his ideas. To take a breath and meditate. If only for 5 minutes. That’s all.

In 2020 there were 19,411 willful, malicious or accidental deaths in the US – 39,492 gun related injuries – over 20 thousand suicides.

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Adam Toledo is Shot Dead. Age13

Photo by Akwice on

In the middle of the night, on March 29th, Adam Toledo was chased down an alley by an officer who’d been called to the scene by a report of shots fired in the neighborhood.

In a recently released video (April 15th – per request of Chicago’s mayor Lori Lightfoot), Adam was carrying a gun as he runs away from the officer who’s frantically shouting at him to stop.

Adam raced on for a stretch before finally halting.

Careful observers reported that he threw the gun he was carrying over a fence before turning to the officer who was holding a gun pointed at him. I could see Adam putting up his hands. Briefly.

And immediately a shot is fired wounding Adam mortally.

The gun he was carrying was found near him.

What did the officer see that he so quickly fired after Adam turned to face him with his hands up?

I do not know.

But why did you run little brother?


What were you doing at that hour of the night, with a gun in your hands?

Earlier today, as I drove home and thought of how to approach my writing this piece, I happened to pass by a Boys and Girls Club. There were kids playing out in the yard. Kids your age, exercising, having fun, dreaming of their future.

Kids not running from their lives but embracing it.

Why did you run little brother?

There wasn’t anyone around who could take you under their wing?

There wasn’t anyone who could ask what you were feeling, what you kept to yourself and didn’t want to share? No one?

Why did you run little brother?

An African American family that was interviewed by a reporter of The Wall Street Journal about the shooting, said you had extended your friendship to their son. They thought of you as kind.

Why did you run little brother?

You could’ve stopped but you didn’t.

And now you’re not with us.

Daunte Wright, age 20, didn’t stop either the other day in Minneapolis when he was being handcuffed.

And he’s not with us either.

Adam, I know you can’t hear me, but there are lots of kids your exact age out there that I wish would learn from what happened to you.

Kids who have to stop when the police says stop.

Like all of us have to.

I never met you, Adam, but I wish I had, and so do millions of Americans, of every race and gender.

We won’t know what you could’ve become. But I know you needed someone to hear you out.

Someone to hear you say, ‘I don’t understand, I’m confused. I need guidance, clarity. I need a sense of direction, a sense that it is worthwhile to have faith in my potential. And I’m not going to get that running around in the middle of the night with a gun in my hand. I’m not going to get that running from the police thinking that I can get away with it.’

Adam, I know you can’t hear me, but there are thousands of kids exactly your age out there, all going through the same experiences you did, and failing to reach out to others.

We won’t let this keep happening.

No, we won’t. We’re going to try hard.

We can’t let it happen and call ourselves an exceptional nation.

We can’t let it happen and call ourselves a first rate power.

Something is wrong, Adam. Your death reminds us of it.

We can’t keep killing each other like we do.

Like in Atlanta on March 16th, or in Boulder on March 25th or two days ago in Indianapolis. Or the never ending body count in the South side of Chicago.

I watched the video as you lay dying.

Some newspapers chose not to show it entirely. They had their reasons.

But I looked for it and found it.

And I saw you lying motionless, as the police gathered round you trying to keep you alive.

And I saw the look of horror in your bloodied face, your eyes wide open, desperately clinging to life, as if saying, ‘I can’t believe this, I was just starting out in life and now I’m dying.’

Why did you run, little brother?


Why did you run from your life?

Mr Wright is Shot Dead. Age 20

Photo by Anete Lusina on

On the afternoon of April 11th, in Minneapolis, with the trial of officer Chauvin under way for the death of George Floyd, Daunte Wright is stopped by police while driving his car accompanied by his girlfriend.

He’s commanded to step out of the vehicle and does so. Three officers are present. Two African American males and a White woman.

Officers determined that there was an outstanding warrant for Mr Wright’s arrest.

Mr Wright exits his car as he’s asked to do and an officer begins to apply handcuffs but has difficulty.

Then Mr Wright, inexplicably, pulls away, gets back in his vehicle attempting to leave the scene.

In the tussle that follows a gun is pointed at him as the word Taser! Taser! is shouted. The video shows the gun held steady. Then a shot is fired. Mr Wright drives off anyway but is able to travel only a short distance before he dies from the gunshot.

The police department reviewed the video and concluded the shooting was a mistake. The lady officer had pulled out the wrong weapon when she had meant to use the Taser instead.


Anything is possible.


But I don’t get that a seasoned officer – the lady has been an officer for 26 years – would get confused which side she carried the Taser on and which side she carried the gun that kills people.

I don’t get that an officer would not have been responsible enough to double and triple check each time they came on duty, which side is the Taser on, which is the gun that kills people.

I don’t get that an officer would forget to do that, knowing that, in the heat of the moment, things happen very quickly and thus you will not have time to ask, ‘Now, where is it that I carry my Taser?’

I didn’t understand, either, why the cuffing of Mr Wright was so difficult and could not be completed. And why the Black officer wasn’t talking to Mr Wright as he did so. Simple talk. Like, ‘Hey man, don’t do anything crazy, we have to take you in, we have a warrant for your arrest, be cool, okay?’

Mr Wright could have been the officer’s younger brother.

Is this asking too much of the officer? Maybe. But not far away the trial of officer Chauvin was under way for the death of George Floyd. And during that horrific scene, there was at least one Black officer present, one Black officer who did not go right up to officer Chauvin and say, ‘there’s no need for the knee, let up. The man is down, he is handcuffed and no threat to anyone. Get your knee off.’

Back to Mr Wright. As he got back in the car and the gun is drawn, no one asked, ‘Is that the Taser or a gun?’

Too much to ask?


In the lockers of every officer back at the station, a sign should be posted so that every time they open it they read, ‘Do you know which side is your Taser, which side is your gun?’

Too late for Mr Wright but others will benefit.

Now, to the role Mr Wright played in his death.

Why did he pull away from the arresting officer?

Why would anyone want to do that when you have officers – with guns that kill – trying to handcuff and arrest you for an outstanding warrant?

Was Mr Wright trying to prove something?

He won’t be here to tell us but it is madness.

Why would anyone want to do something like that?

Is Mr Wright an isolated case of reckless defiance in dealing with the police, or is it part of a trend? A right of passage? ‘To assert myself I have to defy a gun pointed straight at me?’

Something is wrong here.

I have not heard African American leadership calling for all their brothers and sisters, children and parents, to be cautious in dealing with the police.

But maybe I missed it. If I did, the call wasn’t loud enough or persistent enough, so try again. Please.

Try again and remind all Blacks and all of us that, yes, there is much work to be done to achieve equality of opportunity in this land but there is now, as we speak, at the helm of this country, people who are working very hard to act responsibly.

Let us all join in the effort.