A mere two weeks after the police killings of Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile shocked the American public, and less than a week after the memorial service for five police officers slain by a sniper in Dallas, Baton Rouge is mourning the deaths of three officers at the hands of a lone civilian gunman. Early in the morning on July 17th, officers responded to reports of an armed man at a shopping center. The man opened fire, killing three officers and wounding three more before he was killed.
North Carolinians Against Gun Violence condemns this latest shooting in the strongest terms possible. While the motivations of the gunman are still unknown, one thing is clear: this unspeakable violence is fueled by a culture in which guns are easy to obtain and the taking of human life has become a normalized solution to conflict. We stand with the family members and colleagues of the slain officers, and with those who were wounded and survived.
In his remarks about the shooting, President Barack Obama reminded the American people that we must not allow ourselves to be divided by the cycle of violence: “five days ago, I traveled to Dallas for the memorial service of the officers who were slain there. I said that that killer would not be the last person who tries to make us turn on each other. Nor will today’s killer. It remains up to us to make sure that they fail. That decision is all of ours. The decision to make sure that our best selves are reflected across America, not our worst -- that’s up to us.”