One of the most recent shootings took place in Jacksonville, Florida and saw both of these issues meet one another, when 21-year-old Ryan Palmeter went into a Dollar General store and claimed the lives of three Black people before taking his own life.
Palmeter had a swastika-emblazoned assault rifle to carry out this racist attack.
Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters said, “There’s no question” the killings were racial and that Palmeter “hated Blacks, and I think he hated just about everyone that wasn’t white.”
It’s situations like these that continue the conversation around gun control which can be a double-edged sword.
On one end you may say that there are too many guns on the streets, but on the other end of that spectrum if someone within that Dollar General had a gun they could’ve possibly prevented this.
At the same time, this does not in fact take away the fact that this was a hate crime, as well as the fact that he had such easy access to an AR-15 rifle. Why are these guns so easily accessible?
It’s time for the government to WAKE UP! We are tired of hearing the same story and nothing being done about it.
Before carrying out this attack, Palmeter stopped at Edward Waters University, which is an HBCU in New Town. He got in his car and drove off after he was confronted by campus police.
Florida will give $1 million to Edward Waters University to help the school strengthen security after this devastating situation.
Though we are grateful Edward Waters University is getting more funding to strengthen its security, this still does not negate the fact that we have an issue with racism and guns in this country.
With America on the brink of a recession and in the shadows of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country seems to be on edge.
Things seem to be getting extra tense as the country approaches the 2024 presidential election. I just hope we don’t have another shooting before this happens, but I won’t hold my breath while I wait in hope.
Markel Collins (he/him/his) is a Las Vegas-based journalist. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @_markelcollins.
Edited by NaTyshca Pickett