Tuesday, May 7, 2013

De'Marquis Elkins

Looks like it's time to examine another chain email. This one looks at an unsavory fellow called De'Marquis Elkins, and uses him as an example to try and blame all the country's problems on anyone who isn't a rootin' tootin' NRA gun toting 'Merican. But lets look at the so-called 'arguments'...

In late March 2013, 17 year old De’Marquis Elkins shot and killed an 13 month old baby who was sitting in a stroller.

Okay, he's a bad guy that did a terrible thing. I think we can all agree with that. Dully noted.

Elkins shot the infant in the face after the mother refused to give him money.

Piece of shit guy, did a shitty thing, for a shitty reason. He is a criminal after all.

He also shot the mother in the leg and the neck in Brunswick, GA.

Again, a bad guy doing a bad thing.

De’Marquis Elkins is not a member of the NRA.

Assuming that's true, what is the relevance? Is this an attempt to claim that bad guy wasn't in the NRA thus NRA = good guys by default? Sorry, but it isn't that simple. There are people that aren't in the NRA that don't commit crimes, and those that do. Likewise, NRA members have also both committed crimes and not committed crimes. So his membership (or lack thereof) is really on no relevance.

He did not use an assault rifle.

Considering that the majority of shootings are not done using an assault rifle, this fact isn't surprising in the slightest. I feel like there's a bit of a misunderstanding at the root of this one. When gun control advocates suggest a ban on assault rifles, they don't expect a dramatic decrease in crime. The goal is to eliminate a class of weapon that many feel there is no need for the average person to have. Criminals would obviously still be able to source one illegally. But when shooters that purchased their guns legally commit a shooting crime, they use what they have available. If assault weapons were illegal, they wouldn't have one. No assault rifle, less fatalities than could have been the case otherwise. Shootings wouldn't drop dramatically, but there should be a slight drop, and a drop in casualties when they do occur.

He did not get his stolen pistol from a gun show.

I think it goes without saying that the stolen gun wouldn't have been purchased at a gun show. Stolen is stolen no matter where it's been stolen from. The issue of gun shows is a matter of loopholes, not theft. The point is that all people purchasing at all gun shows should undergo the same background checks as purchases in a regular store setting.

His favorite music is rap.

I don't like rap either, but where is the relevance? There are fans of rap that commit crime, and fans of rap that don't. The same can be said for all music types. Rock, pop, country, hip-hop, even classical. All music types have fans that have committed crimes and those that haven't. While I do not like rap, I hardly feel that demonizing it as a whole is at all helpful.

He did not attend Christian school, nor was he home schooled.

And how do we know where he went to school? And tell me again what relevance this claim is?
I can only assume that this is yet more demonizing of public education by the religious right. Hate to burst your bubble, but going to public school does not mean that you will turn criminal. I went to public school, am not a criminal, and graduated as Valedictorian with a perfect 4.0 GPA (before weighted GPA's). Also, Christian schools and home schooling aren't perfect at all. True, there are criminals that go to public schools, but there are plenty of non-criminals that attend public schools. Likewise, criminals and non-criminals also attend Christian schools and are home schooled.

I know that of the people I went to public school, some wound up being business owners, some are lawyers, sales people, general staff, firefighters, law enforcement, and some are down on their luck or been in trouble with the law. Meanwhile I also know people that went to Catholic school that are terrible individuals. On drugs, can't hold a job, make the worst choices, abusive, deceptive... just plain terrible. Then I also know those that are genuinely good people.  So again, what is the relevance?

He did attend multicultural public education; he was not instructed in the Ten Commandments.

Source? So what if he received multicultural public education? As with several above, what is the relevance of if he attended multicultural public education? And considering the fact that the majority of attendees do not wind up being criminals, why try and blame that for being a cause? How exactly do you know he wasn't instructed in the Ten Commandments? I find it very hard to believe that anyone in the United States is wholly ignorant of the Ten Commandments. But lets just assume that this claim is correct... Where is the relevance? Is this a sad attempt to claim that he was a terrible person because he's (being claimed) not Christian? News flash, but Christians and non Christians alike are criminals, and not criminals. Also, the odds are in favor of him being a Christian are far more likely than anything else. Remember, that being a Christian doesn't automatically translate to being a perfect member of society. After all, the vast majority of prison inmates in the USA are Christians.

His Momma was on welfare, got food stamps, and lived in public housing.

I'm feeling like a broken record here, but... relevance? Hate to break up the 'hate on welfare recipients' party, but people being on welfare, does not tell us that they are due to be criminals. Additionally, there are differing reasons for being on welfare. Some don't want to be, but are in a bad place. Others abuse the system. But again, there are good people on welfare, and bad. There re also good and bad that are also not on welfare.

His daddy was not around, and his two brothers have a different daddy.

This is a sad situation, but hardly suggestive of why he's a criminal. Single parents can raise good kids, as well as bad kids. Likewise, couples are also capable of raising bad kids. And who cares about his brothers? We're talking about De'Marquis here, not his brothers. And what of those brothers? They are in an unfortunate situation as well, but they're assumedly not criminals as their brother is.

He already has a record for violent crimes.

Gold star for this one. The email about this kid being a criminal, and one of the proofs is that he's a criminal. Hope no one strained themselves coming up with that one. But him having a reacord is important. If he has a record, and background checks are required, he can't legally buy a gun. That leaves the option of attaining one illegally. Which, while possible, is harder than just going out and buying one.

He is gang member.

Ding ding, ding! I think we found the winner here. Gangs by their very nature are criminal and violent. So he was either a criminal to begin with, or the gang made him one.

His mom, grandma, and Aunty all voted for Obama.

And? Seriously, these are getting pretty weak. Who cares who they voted for, and what relevance does that hold? Did he vote? If his mom voted for Obama, how does that influence who HE is? Also, if you are claiming that is does matter, would him mom's (hypothetical) fondness for playing BINGO at the fire hall also make him a killer? Good people voted for Obama, as well as bad. Likewise, good people voted for Romney, as well as bad. What if someone's parent voted for Obama? Does that make Obama to blame somehow. What if we go back further in the same family and find an ancestor that voted for Lincoln. Did Abe then cause a kid generations later to be the person he/she is today? It's a silly argument that just wants to randomly blame things on Obama.

He never earned his hunter safety card, nor did he shoot CMP, Junior NRA, or 4H Air Rifle Competitions.

Relevance? Having a safety card, etc does not guarantee one not to be a murderer. Those with and without have committed crimes. And if we pretend that smart and safe gun owners leads to non-criminal gun owners, why did gun advocates here in Maryland raise such a stink over a proposed law requiring the passage of gun safety classes?

He was never instructed in gun safety from his father or grandfather.

Me either, but somehow I've never committed murder. How in the world did I dodge that bullet? Again, this argument fails when you consider that people instructed in gun safety have also committed gun crimes as well.

His public education and family taught him that the white man owes him something.

Proof? I went to public school and can tell you that we were never taught that 'the white man' owes African-Americans anything. We were taught about slavery and the civil rights movement. But never that anyone in entitled to reparations. As for the family angle, who knows what he was taught. But even if true, that doesn't automatically translate to a life of violent crime.

He went to collect it.


He has no plans on getting married, but does have a Baby Momma, and no, he is not supporting her baby.

Until I met my wife, I thought I'd be alone, but am now glad that I've met the love of my life. But I wasn't a criminal prior. As for not supporting the child... that's classless and irresponsible. But it doesn't make him a killer. Plenty of married guys with kids have murdered people in cold blood as well.

He smokes dope.

A stupid thing to do that I can't really condone. But doesn't mean that drugs = killer. Clean people kill too. And there are people so high on marijuana that they can't muster to energy to get off the sofa, let alone kill someone.

He does respect Kayne West.

If true, how so? I don't personally care fore Kayne West, but I don't think this makes him a killer. I'm sure you can find a Toby Keith fan that's a killer as well, and you can't get much more different than that.

While he has no job, nor is looking for one, he is well fed.

This is also wrong and irresponsible, but again, does not make him a killer. There are those abusing the system that aren't murderers, and there are also those that are very well off who are.

He has no skills outside of crime.

While crime is framed as his forte in this email, I find it hard to believe there's absolutely nothing else he can do or is interested in. But I'm just speculating.

He speaks Ebonics, and is not capable of doing a professional interview, even though he spent 11 years in public education.

Sadly, the state of education isn't great everywhere. I some areas overpopulation and poor funding means forcing kids along even if their merits didn't warrant advancement. There was no such problem in my public schools, but this problem does exist. Additionally, if this is true, he obviously lacks ambition. But poor English skills does not equal criminal. There are plenty of English speaking people who have killed as well, after all. And why is it that when moves are made to try and put more money into education, there are calls to cut funding instead? You guessed it, those calls are from the very same people who would criticize public education as a whole.

He is one of millions.

One of millions of what?

This is what we are up against. Make no mistake that people like Elkins will have their guns. There are people wanting to deny you the right to arm yourself. Your tax dollars are paying for the continuation of a system that breeds pieces of shit like this one. 

WRONG!  No one is trying to take your precious guns away. Gun control is not the black and white matter that so many gun enthusiasts try to make it out to be. It is not the move to take away all guns. Rather it's a move to make guns safer and to keep guns from those that shouldn't have them to begin with. True, if someone wants one, they can always try to secure one illegally. But aren't background checks worth it if it brings killings down even 1% or 5%? I think it would be.

It is true that Elkins seems to be a piece of shit. But instead of building him up as a straw-man example of the average what I assume you'd call 'liberal', how about sticking to actual facts rather than relying on presumptions and stereotypes. It makes you look bad, and it kills any possible legitimacy your claims may have had to start with. So please, stop these sad and transparent methods to further your agenda, and instead work together with real facts and information to find a real and viable explanation and solution.

-Brain Hulk

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