What would you think if you were sitting home and you suddenly saw yourself on television, identified as a suspect in the deadliest attack on law enforcement officers since the 9/11 attacks? Freaked out would be one descriptor at least. It would be worse if you were identified as a suspect simply because you were exercising your constitutional rights.
That is what happened to Mark Hughes who, as we reported while it happened last night, was mistakenly identified by the Dallas Police Department in a tweet as one of the suspects in yesterday’s deadly shootings in Dallas:
This is one of our suspects. Please help us find him! pic.twitter.com/Na5T8ZxSz6
— Dallas Police Depart (@DallasPD) July 8, 2016
The photo shows a smiling Hughes, walking with what appears to be a semi-automatic rifle slung across his shoulder.
That is perfectly legal in Texas. Hughes was not one of the shooters but just a person attending the protests. That he was legally armed should not have been a concern to anybody.
Somebody might say, “Well Jay, in the midst of all that was happening, it is reasonable that somebody might think he was dangerous.”
Actually, it isn’t reasonable at all. Unfortunately, we live in a culture where people have been taught not to fear guns in the way we fear our parents or God – with respect – but to be afraid of guns. Worse, to be irrationally afraid of them. More so when we see somebody carrying one.
Mark Hughes brother was interviewed about him and at one point is asked by a reporter why he took a gun to a peaceful protest and his answer was spot on. He said, “The same reason other people across the country bring their guns. Because it is his right.”
There needs to be a culture shift. The law and the constitution is on the side of gun owners. More states are going the “constitutional carry” route where people do not need to licensed to carry firearms and can do so concealed or openly. But people are still afraid and the automatic assumption is by too many, that a man (or woman) carrying a firearm is up to no good.
It’s a ridiculous assumption but it is a narrative that is given strength every day by left wing politicians, ignoramus actors and musicians, as well as charlatans like Michael Bloomberg and Shannon Watts who use lies and intimidation tactics (thanks to Bloomberg’s deep pockets) to further the narrative.
But there’s another reason it was easy for some to assume that since Mark Hughes was identified as a suspect because he was carrying a firearm: the underlying subtle racism of those in the anti-gun movement.
Shannon Watts, Michael Bloomberg and others in the chattering class who hate guns would have us all believe that nearly all gun owners are white men. It allows the mindset to take hold that a black man carrying a gun must be up to no good….because he’s black.
At the time of this writing, the Dallas Police Department still has the tweet up, identifying Hughes as a suspect. They should take it down. Since the police already questioned and released him, they know he isn’t a suspect.
In addition, all of those who are supporters of the second amendment should rally around Hughes, politics be damned. Why? Because as his brother said, he was doing what he did, because it is his right.