As a native Rhode Islander, I know that the story is never the story. There’s always a story behind the story. Sometimes I’ll hold off reporting on a shooting to see how it shakes out. Blog enough gun news and you get a sense of these things. With that disclaimer aside, short of self-defense, there’s no excuse for firing a gun in the middle of a basketball game. philly.com tells the tale . . .
The game was league play for neighborhood 14- to 16-year-old players, said Southwest Lt. John Walker. About 70 people were in the gym, he said.
During the second half of the game, the younger coach’s team started losing, and the coach started arguing with members of the crowd, Walker said.
When the opposing coach, a 45-year-old man, tried to intervene, the other man drew a gun from his waistband and fired at him, Walker said.
“By the grace of God, no one was struck by the gunfire,” he said. “When the gun went off, everyone ran from the rec center.”
What’s the bet that there’s some gang involvement here – rather than simply a bad loser gone ballistic? (Southwest Philadelphia is home to the Harlem Boys gang.) And that the “younger coach” (26) wasn’t carrying legally. And that the term “coach” may be overstating his role, or at least his status within the community.
Don’t get me wrong; I could be wrong. No matter what did or did not cause the shooting, it was an irresponsible gun owner acting irresponsibly, putting dozens of lives at risk. There is only one reason for a gun owner to remove his firearm and bring it to bear on another human being: if he or she or other innocent life faces an imminent credible threat of death or grievous bodily harm.
Responsibility. That’s our policy. It wasn’t his.