Yet the cold resignation in the witness’s account originates in the experiences of many African Americans. There is a burgeoning number of cases in which the police conduct that results in a dead black man is at least highly questionable.
So too is the relative silence of gun rights groups when these situations entail law-abiding black gun owners’ interactions with law enforcement. The most prominent example is Philando Castile, a valid gun permit holder who was slain despite informing police officers he was armed. The National Rifle Association faced questions about its handling of the incident—not least from its own members.
Unless new information emerges that radically changes what we know about the underlying facts, Roberson represents the next test for gun rights supporters. He stopped a bad guy with a gun, fulfilling the promise of the Second Amendment, and then died at the hands of government employees who would exercise a near-monopoly on firearms ownership if the most extreme anti-gun activists had their way.