Dan Gilmore / November 2, 2015

Media Covers Chicagoland Shooting Because It Fits Narrative

Gildersleeve walked into a store brandishing a fake gun.

But he was only joking! Reginald Gildersleeve walked into a Chicago grocery store Halloween night wearing a mask and brandishing a fake gun. It was a robbery, he announced. It was then when an armed citizen pulled his firearm and shot Gildersleeve multiple times, killing him. If a police officer happened to be in the back of the store when Gildersleeve made his entrance, this story would not have received the attention that it has. The Washington Post gave the story a write up. “The case is the latest in a string of incidents across the country in which bystanders have pulled out their concealed weapons and used them against suspected criminals,” it wrote. This one is getting scrutiny because Gildersleeve’s family said he only went into the store as a joke. Besides, the family has some ideas for gun use. “Some people don’t actually know how to use guns,” said Gildersleeve’s stepchild Igbinosa Oronsaye. “They go to firing ranges, but it’s not the same as a bullet going into someone’s body. It’s not the same as a bullet going into flesh. They should be able to wound first, kill next. He didn’t deserve to get shot multiple times.” Bottom line: Gildersleeve presented himself in a way that bystanders interpreted as a threat. One responded by defending himself and the lives of the employees, just as any law enforcement officer would have done. It is duplicitous that the media focuses on the actions of one armed citizen in Chicago when months have gone by and dozens of its citizens have been killed through gangland shootings. Those lives don’t fit the narrative, we guess.

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