A city councilwoman in North Carolina is walking back an explosive statement she wrote Monday on her personal Facebook page in which he said that the “most dangerous people with guns” aren’t criminals, but police officers and soldiers.
“I am all about keeping guns away from dangerous people, but I feel like more of us should be pointing out that the most dangerous people with guns are cops and soldiers, and that the no-fly list and FBI anti-terror efforts are seriously corrupted by entrapment, racial profiling and Islamophobia,” Durham City Councilwoman Jillian Johnson posted.
The post, which was later deleted, ignited an online firestorm that resulted in Johnson issuing a “clarifying” statement Wednesday:
I believe that state-sanctioned violence causes more harm, and is therefore more dangerous, than non state-sanctioned violence. I believe this is true both because the approval of those in authority and often the general public gives a veneer of acceptability to actions we would otherwise condemn, but also because states have the capacity to spend huge resources equipping and funding people to use force in defense of their interests.
“We should not ignore these facts, or wrongly assume that those who believe that this situation is fundamentally unjust and should not continue are harboring a hatred for police and soldiers,” Johnson continued. “I certainly find a great many of the actions taken by militaries and police forces here in the US and around the world extremely troubling, and I also respect the humanity of those who do not share this disagreement.”
But even with that “clarification,” some commenters were still not satisfied.
“While your above clarification does hold some valid points, it still doesn’t justify your statement that ‘the most dangerous people with guns are cops and soldiers,'” one user replied. “That sentiment in itself is dangerous and unhelpful.”
“The people who are ‘the most dangerous with guns’ are those that use them for violence. Saying ‘Cops’ and ‘Soldiers’ is a blanket judgement against all those in those positions, many of whom truly risk their lives to make the world a better place. While no institution is perfect, slandering the entire population of “cops” and “soldiers” is unjust and unmerited,” the user added.
Another person said that Johnson’s initial comments “show a lack of understanding and a haste to comment negatively on the actions of a few.”
And yet another individual urged Johnson to use her position to unify people, not divide them. The same user also referred to Johnson’s comments as “extremely irresponsible”:
You damn the very people you would call on should you actually be in trouble and I find this distributing and disgraceful, and even more so for you councilwoman because you are in the line of work you are in. It is extremely irresponsible of you to further separate us as a people (and cops and military are people too). You should use your seat and your power to unite, and comments like this will not make that happen.
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