I support the right of legal gun ownership. Always have.
As a former Marine, I was taught the proper respect, safety, value, purpose, and potential consequences of gun ownership. I don’t hunt or target shoot, so I don’t own a gun and never had a desire to- until maybe now.
The reason will come later.
I have the utmost respect and confidence in our local police. They are professional and competent. Some I know on a personal level. It is after they have done their job, the problem lies. I don’t have the same confidence in our judicial system. Casey Anthony and O. J. Simpson quickly come to mind.
Soon, three young men will enter the court system facing some serious charges of violent crimes. They are poor and black and guilty. Two of them in their late teens, I have known since they were in grade school. The third is in his early 20s. I do not know him.
They committed a crime or crimes against a child- a defenseless 12 year-old female.
To my knowledge, it is their first offense and initial introduction to this side of the law. I could be wrong.
Unlike the trials of the century or decade to which I paid very little attention, this trial will demand my full attention. It will consume me. It will probably change me. Not as a print and radio journalist, but as an extended defenseless victim. The victim is my grandchild.
I will follow the proceedings, learn how the system really works, and pray. I will pray they get time since our state has abolished the death penalty. I will pray they get lots of time. I will pray they don’t get off because this is their first offense. I will pray they get time so it will be their last offense.
I won’t pray for my grandchild because I have some control over the help she will get. She will get support. She won’t ever have to believe she had any fault in this. She will never doubt that she is loved.
I have no control over the judicial system. I am just a pawn.
Ironically, just mere minutes before I learned of my grandchild’s fate, I was vehemently voicing that I have no desire to own a gun. I’m silent now. In constant prayer that I won’t be alive when they are free.