John and Eric

As I listen to reports that Eric Frein is wearing diapers, smoking Serbian cigarettes and generally having the time of his life eluding about a thousand pursuers in backwoods Pennsylvania, I can’t help but note the irony that after all the dark-skinned people shot by police for no good reason recently it was a white man who shot two state troopers, killing one, for no good reason.

A video reveals John Crawford III in a WalMart, picking out a pellet rifle styled to look like an assault rifle, then casually walking by other shoppers and talking on a cell phone with the rifle mostly pointed at the floor. He spent about a minute at the end of one otherwise unoccupied aisle when police armed with rifles – real rifles – rushed in and shot him without warning, killing him.

Many have noted that Crawford lived in an open carry state. In some open carry states, firearm enthusiasts have made a point of openly carrying real rifles or sidearms to stores and restaurants. Some establishments have asked them to leave, others welcome them. Some open carriers have been challenged by police, but so far none of them have been shot without warning. Except the black guy with the pellet gun. Had Eric Frein been carrying that pellet gun, does anyone doubt that he would have walked out of that WalMart alive?

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