Stephen Hunter, author of I. Ripper and a good number of thrillers featuring former Marine sniper Bob Lee Swagger, offers a piece on the police shooting of Tamir Rice for powerlineblog.com.
Here he offers his reflections on the case of Tamir Rice on the occasion of a Cleveland judge sounding off on the fate of the cop involved, as covered by NBC News. Submitted for your consideration:
We all know that the police are waging war on young black men. Perhaps the most egregious example of this is the November shooting of Tamir Rice in Cleveland while he was holding a toy gun. A white officer emerged from his car and in less than five seconds fired lethal rounds into the innocent youngster holding–oh, wait, it was a pellet gun.
Hmmm. Seems to be some confusion here. Was it a toy gun or a pellet gun, which are quite different? Well, one place you won’t find the truth is NBC News, which tonight identified the pistol as BOTH a toy and a pellet gun, the first by anchorman Lester Holt, the second by a field correspondent. Of course both were wrong.
It was a Japanese airsoft gun., which fires (on the propulsion of either spring or gas) a 6 mm BB. But the point of airsoft isn’t what it shoots, but what it looks like. These are brilliantly accurate plastic reproductions of real guns. They are accurate to size, color, precise location and scale of operating mechanisms such as safeties or take-down levers, sights, stocks (frequently wood) and even operation. On the automatic versions the slide may be jacked backwards as on the real things, a magazine may be inserted into the butt and, when fired, the gas pneumatically drives the slide back, as if to eject a shell and allow another shell into the chamber. On the revolver variations, the cylnders rotate and may be disengaged from the frame to allow insertion of extremely authentic appearing cartridges into the six chambers. They cock and function, in all interactions, just like the real thing.
You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:
Note: I've reviewed several of Stephen Hunter's fine thrillers. You can read my Washington Times review of The Third Bullet via the below link: