One wonders why Mr. Wilkinson felt the need to bring the NRA into this incident at all.
Unlike gun control advocates, the NRA generally does not officially comment on incidents until more is known. The NRA is very careful to avoid prejudgements, especially in cases where there is an officer-involved shooting.
This is called prudence. Mature adults often use this for the simple reason that first impressions may be wrong, especially when there is a lack of information.
We do not know why the Hoover, Alabama police officer perceived Emantic Bradford to be a threat. We do not know if Mr. Bradford made a move the officer might have viewed as threatening or if the officer failed to follow training and overreacted. The Hoover Police Department has issued a number of statements that increasingly appear to point to what we used to call a “bad shoot” or a shooting that was not justified. But we don’t know that with a reasonable certainty.
What do we know at this time? We know that Emantic Bradford was in the Riverside Galleria. We know that Bradford was carrying a handgun for which he had a permit. We know there was a shooting in which two people were injured. We know that Hoover police responded and in the course of their response an officer shot Mr. Bradford, killing him. We know that the actual shooter escaped and was captured later. We know that the city of Hoover has made several statements about the incident that appear to be conflicting and have changed in the days since the shooting. We know that the family of Emantic Bradford has filed a lawsuit against the city.
What we don’t know is virtually everything else. This means we really don’t have any basis for a comment and neither does the NRA.
At this point in time, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) is in charge of the investigation. It is also possible that the FBI could become involved if there is a question of racial bias or a potential civil rights violation.
Another thing we know for a fact is the NRA can point to numerous incidents where a “good guy with a gun” was able to successfully intervene in a shooting. This includes an incident in Chicago where a legally armed citizen was able to come to the aid of police officers. In another incident, in Tennessee, two armed citizens captured a pair of escaped murderers who had led authorities on a multi-state pursuit after killing a prison guard.
FYI: The “jackbooted thugs” comment came in the wake of federal enforcement actions at Ruby Ridge and Waco, which resulted in many unnecessary deaths.
Incidentally, after the “thugs” comment, former President George H.W. Bush, who passed away today, resigned his NRA life membership, angrily disputing the claim. That doesn’t change the fact that the federal government had to pay a large settlement to Randy Weaver and his family following the Ruby Ridge incident.
But Mr. Wilkinson’s “thugs” comment is disingenuous. How often to people rush to judgment when there is an officer-involved shooting? How much hype and hysteria has the media generated about “out-of-control” or “killer” police? How often does the media admit fault when those prejudgements prove to be unfounded? Do they give the correction the same headline coverage that they gave the original claims?
Mr. Wilkinson is apparently yet another media hack whose veracity is subject to question and whose credibility depends on a gullible audience. Unfortunately, it is highly unlikely that Bloomberg News will feature a rebuttal to his claims.