Part II from Monday's post will have to wait a day; this is a story I have to pass along.
The Newton County Sheriff’s Office is investigating why a couple was confronted at gunpoint by neighbors and then arrested and forced to spend the night in jail when they tried to move into the home they had just purchased, Channel 2 Action News reported.
Jean Kalonji, an immigrant from the Congo, said that being confronted by armed neighbors brought back painful memories. The Kalonji family had just closed on a foreclosed home and were told by their real estate agent they should go over to the house and change the locks.
But when Jean Kalonji and his wife, Angelica, started working at the home, an armed man and another person who appeared to be the man’s son allegedly confronted them.
"He say to put the hands up and get out from the house, otherwise he would shoot us," the husband told Channel 2.
The neighbors didn’t believe the couple when they told them they had bought the home and called the Newton County Sheriff’s Office. The Kalonjis didn’t have the closing papers with them, so deputies arrested them, charged them with loitering and prowling and took them to jail.
A few things.
First, I'm not surprised they were arrested. Being in a foreclosed (and presumably unoccupied) home without any proof of ownership or residence…I can see why the cops would be suspicious. That is not the issue. I would, however, love to hear an explanation of why it took a full day to verify that they own the home and release them from jail.
Second, "Mark Mitchell, spokesman for the Newton Sheriff’s Office, said authorities are 'looking into it, exactly what occurred, why it occurred.'" That's big of them.
Finally, I'm starting to realize that the NRA is right. Guns don't kill people; people kill people. So I'm not sure why they fight to ensure that every walking personality disorder in this country can get his hands on a bunch of guns. I'm not sure if it's something in the water down here or if this is a predictable response to social and economic problems over the past few years, but there seems to be a spike in suburban commandos embracing their fantasies and playing Cop. Rather than calling the police and reporting, "There are some strange people in a vacant home across the street. Please check it out." these rocket scientists decided that the best course of action was to swing into vigilante mode and start pointing guns at (black, not coincidentally) people.
I'm at a loss to explain why an appreciable portion of the American public seems to view this as rational behavior. Maybe the same way that WebMD has turned everyone into a doctor and the internet has made everyone into an expert on everything, some people believe that having a gun turns them into a cop. I almost wish the homeowners had been burglars – armed ones with hair trigger tempers, so that perhaps the two gun-wielding neighbors would have ended up a cautionary tale to other would-be Rambos making decisions in a cocktail of racism, delusions of grandeur, and fear.