Contact Form

    News Details

    Larry Wilson: A country crazy for its guns continues to let criminals possess guns and kill people
    • April 29, 2023

    In a recent installment of his daily “Candorville” comic strip, my college newspaper board of directors colleague Darrin Bell gets it just right about a terrifying aspect of contemporary American life.

    In the first panel, Lemont Brown is saying to his lifelong friend Susan Garcia, “I wrote an article about a White home owner who shot a Black kid who’d rung his doorbell.”

    Second panel: “As he was lying there, the man shot him again.”

    Third: “The police questioned the home owner, but released him after two hours. It took days of protests and bad press before they finally charged the guy.”

    Fourth panel: Lemont: “Do you know how many readers called me the racist for mentioning their races?” Susan, exasperated: “I don’t want to know!”

    There’s a lot, if we’re the sensitive type, that we don’t want to know about what’s going on, morally, common-sensically, in our very own country, with its crazy and deadly stand-your-ground laws. Darrin, who won the Pulitzer Prize for his cartooning, nails it.

    The teenager who was shot, Ralph Yarl, had mistaken the Kansas City address of Andrew Lester, the 84-year-old man who shot him, for the one he was looking for, the place where his mom asked him to pick up his younger siblings — Northeast 115th Street instead of Northeast 115th Terrace, a block away.

    Yarl, 16, rang the doorbell.

    Lester grabbed a gun, and, telling authorities he was “scared to death” of Yarl’s size and believing he was trying to break in, began shooting right through his storm door.

    Yarl stands 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighs 140 pounds. Speaking as a person 5 feet, 8 inches, 150 pounds, this is the only good news coming out of this bad-news story. Who knew we could be so frightening?

    Wounded, with Lester yelling “Don’t come around here!,” Yarl was able to get a neighbor to call an ambulance.

    “I am, I think, sufficiently frightened over how easily we are willing to shoot each other,” said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, a House member who was the first Black mayor of Kansas City.

    I think so, too.

    A law professor told The New York Times that Lester’s lawyer “could try to invoke the castle doctrine, a law in Missouri that allows people to use deadly force to defend themselves without having to retreat.” Defend against what? A small 16-year-old on your stoop?

    The epidemic insanity in the U.S.A. is not limited to White shooters. A headline caught my eye last week: “Girl, 6, shot after ball rolls astray.” In North Carolina, Kinsley White, who is indeed white, retrieved a basketball when it rolled into the neighbor’s yard. She got cussed out by Robert Louis Singletary, 24. Her dad asked him to stop cussing around kids. Singletary, who is Black, went inside, came out shooting, wounding Kinsley in the cheek.

    Related Articles

    Opinion |

    Tucker Carlson and Don Lemon get shown the door

    Opinion |

    Joe Biden’s re-election bid is off to a bad start

    Opinion |

    The ongoing assault on internet freedom

    Opinion |

    If you don’t like San Francisco, that’s fine, but don’t spread tall tales about it

    Opinion |

    Californians continue to pay high gas taxes for bad roads

    A man’s home is not his castle. We don’t, in theory, live in medieval times. Except that apparently we do.

    Are these two shooters themselves certifiable? By their deeds, I say they are; I realize that’s not a very clinical diagnosis. Call me a dreamer, but I don’t want the insane to have guns.

    I also don’t want criminals to have guns. That’s why I support Assemblyman Mike Fong’s AB 732, which would require California courts ensure guns owned by criminals are given up immediately after a conviction, which now they do not. The shooter Singletary, see, was out on bond from a December attack in which he assaulted a woman with a hammer.

    I realize North Carolina is not California. I realize it’s a crazy and a big country. I’ll just take the small moments of sanity we can achieve in order to hold on to my own.

    Larry Wilson is on the Southern California News Group editorial board. [email protected].

    ​ Orange County Register