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Where are the gun rights activists defending Breonna Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker?

By now, most of us have seen reports of Breonna Taylor's killing—the tragic death of a 26-year-old EMT who was fatally shot by police in her Kentucky apartment two months ago.

Much of the public discussion in this case revolves around police brutality and the killing of black Americans—vital conversations our country needs to be having. But there's another element of this case that's getting less attention, which is the silence of gun rights advocates when black gun owners defend themselves with a firearm.



Let's go over some what's been reported on the case.

Taylor and her boyfriend Kenneth Walker were fast asleep, awoken by the sound of intruders. Walker quickly called 911 and shot at a police officer in what he says was self-defense. They didn't identify themselves as officers and were dressed in normal clothing. Then, 22 shots were fired by the police, eight of them hitting Taylor, killing her on site, The Associated Press reported.

Taylor's family recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit and hired Benjamin Crump, a civil rights attorney who is also representing the family of Ahmaud Arbery, whose killing in Georgia gained national headlines. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) has also joined the fight, demanding federal investigators examine the controversial raid that killed her. "I'm calling for the Department of Justice to investigate #BreonnaTaylor's death," Harris Tweeted Wednesday. "Her family deserves answers."

Taylor was an award-winning EMT with no criminal record. So why did police have a warrant to search her apartment in the first place? They believed her home was being used as a place to stash drugs or money from the sale of the drugs from another suspect in the case. However, no drugs were found in the apartment.

Neighbors claimed they didn't hear the police identify themselves as law enforcement. The police say otherwise. According to the Courier Journal, the warrant had a "no knock" provision, meaning they were not obligated to knock or to let anyone know who they were before entering.

I'm not here to debate if the police announced themselves, but the fact that they didn't have to per the warrant is problematic enough—especially in a country that celebrates gun ownership as a means of protecting yourself and your property.

To be clear, Walker is a legally registered gun owner. The state of Kentucky uses the Castle Doctrine with a "stand your ground" law, according to the the U.S. Concealed Carry Association:

A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat. He or she has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force, if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another. Force may also be used to prevent the commission of a felony involving the use of force. Any person who uses a gun in self-defense has immunity from criminal and civil law.

If Walker believed that an intruder was breaking in and he was not engaged in unlawful activity, he was definitely within his legal rights to shoot. But Walker has been charged with attempted murder of a police officer.

Activist Ally Henny touched on the issue of Castle Doctrine and black gun ownership on Facebook.

Where are the gun rights advocates in this case? How many times have we seen them talk about the inalienable right to bear arms, the right to protect their family and their property and the right to shoot someone who makes them feel unsafe? "Stand your ground" was the defense George Zimmerman used after he murdered Trayvon Martin. That was a grown man who had confronted a teenager walking down the street with a pack of Skittles.

Imagine being yanked out of sleep by the sound of someone trying to break into your home, not knowing it was the police. They weren't even dressed in uniform. How can the prosecutors claim Walker attempted to murder someone he thought was breaking in? Especially when according to the state's own laws he had every right to do so?

Where was the NRA when Philando Castile informed a police officer on a traffic stop he had a legally concealed weapon, told the officer he was going to take it out and was still shot and killed in front of his girlfriend's 4-year-old daughter in the backseat? Apparently their defense of gun owners is selective. And by selective I mean racist.

I've got some other questions surrounding that "no knock" warrant, as well. If the police were surveilling Taylor's apartment long enough to suspect that her apartment was being used for drugs—why wouldn't they have entered the apartment when they knew no one was home? Why have a 1 a.m. bust?

Undoubtedly, we'll get more answers as the investigation continues.

In the meantime, let's say Breonna Taylor's name, remember the service she offered as an EMT and honor the grief of her loved ones. Let's remember Kenneth Walker as he mourns the loss of his girlfriend while fighting for justice too. Let's talk about the stunning silence of gun rights activists when a black person exercises their second amendment right. Let's keep talking about racial injustice in our law enforcement and justice systems.

Let's also keep talking about how many of these kinds of stories it's going to take before we collectively decide enough is enough.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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