EDITOR: The senseless and preventable killing of Andy Lopez needs to be directed at the cause: gun manufacturers that make BB guns to look like AK-47 assault rifles. This was inevitable with so many copycat toy guns out there.
Target the manufacturers in lawsuits with top-gun lawyers and make them pay. A police officer has only a few seconds to react, and he did what he was taught: react defensively. Unfortunately, this has not been the first instance of cops reacting to fake guns, and it won't be the last, unless we stand up to the National Rifle Association and toy gun subsidiaries.
EDITOR: The deputy who killed Andy Lopez didn't give him a chance. If you are walking away from someone, and they yell at you, when you turn around to face them to see what it's all about, anything you are holding will turn with you. Andy wasn't pointing a gun at the deputies; he was just turning around. And the fact, as I read in the newspaper, that one bullet hit him in the buttocks means that he had not even completely turned around before he was shot — a very poor decision by the deputy.
EDITOR: If officers lived in the neighborhoods they patrol, they might develop an understanding of the community they are paid to serve, possibly preventing a tragedy.
EDITOR: Another young man has been shot dead. And the careers of two sheriff's deputies may have been ruined. Many people want to blame the deputies. The investigation isn't over, but I'm betting it will find that the deputies did not act inappropriately.
And nobody is talking about the underlying cause. No. Not guns. Gun advocates like to point out that there are as many guns per capita in Germany and Canada as there are here. The problem is that we have a hyper-masculine culture that glorifies violence and celebrates dominators. Violent media and sports events may be just symptoms rather than causes. But either way, they do tell us something.