Normally this wouldn’t be a story I would write about. Not because it’s not important, but because I try to stay away from fringe nut jobs who commit heinous acts of violence to use as “an example” of anything. But this particular story stood out to me coming off the heels of Texas becoming the newest state to officially allow citizens to openly carry handguns.
As a Texan, I’ve had my own encounters with some of these open carry people and most of those encounters have not exactly been pleasant. It’s not that they’re just completely irrational about guns, it’s that I rarely walk away feeling as if I just spoke to a sane or mentally stable individual. Often they’re aggressive, hostile and just flat-out act like bullies.
While I’ve heard many ridiculous lines from these so-called gun advocates, the one most commonly encounter is “the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” It is a line that always prompts me to ask the question: So, how can I tell the difference between a “bad guy” with a gun and a “good guy” with a gun when everyone is legally allowed to openly carry one?
So far, I’ve yet to get an answer to that question that even remotely makes sense.
Which brings me to the story of an Iowa man who gunned down a fellow mall employee after she reported him for sexually harassing her. Around 7:30 pm on Saturday, Alexander M. Kozak, 22, a security guard at the Coral Ridge Mall, shot Andrea Farrington, 20, three times in the back, killing her.
By all accounts, Kozak was a radical right-wing, open carry gun nut. His Facebook account is filled with posts pertaining to guns, the typical overly patriotic right-wing rhetoric, weapons in general and even a few expressing his opposition to illegal immigration.
Now, I couldn’t care less about his political affiliation to be honest. There are crazy people in every facet of society. Though it’s undeniable that his obsession with guns does seem to coincide with quite a lot of the beliefs held by many Republicans. But the reason why this story stuck out to me is because up until Kozak gunned down this poor girl, he was what these gun fanatics would have called a “proud, Constitutional gun carrying American.” Hell, if he lived in the Dallas-Fort Worth area he might have been someone marching alongside Kory Watkins; you know, the individual who recently suggested that any Texas legislator that voted against our new open carry law should be hung.
But this is what I mean when I say that yes, guns are a problem. Are they the only problem? No. But they still do play a part. This guy didn’t shoot and kill this poor woman in a fit of rage. He left to go get his gun, came back, then killed her. Because he had access to this weapon, that’s what empowered him to take her life. He made the calculated decision to go to his home, get his gun, then come back and shoot her in the back three times.
So don’t tell me that guns have nothing to do with gun violence, because I don’t doubt for a second that Andrea Farrington would still be alive today had this monster not had access to a gun. And up until he took her life, he was just another “good guy with a gun” roaming around our society, legally allowed to openly carry the very same gun he used to commit cold-blooded murder.
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