The spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association said that if Botham Shem Jean was a gun owner, he might still be alive.
Jean, 26, was killed on Sept. 6 by off-duty, uniformed Dallas police officer Amber Guyger at around 10 p.m. Guyger has said she mistook Jean’s apartment for her own.
A search warrant for Jean’s apartment and arrest warrant for Guyger differs in what happened that night. One says Jean was across the room, the other says Jean confronted Guyger at the door. One says the door was slightly ajar while the other says Guyger had trouble getting her key to work.
The shooting has garnered national attention from both sides of the political spectrum with most people, including conservatives like National Review writer David French, arguing that Guyger committed a crime.
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The article written by French is titled, “The Worst Police Shooting Yet.”
Then on Monday, Dana Loesch, spokeswoman for the NRA, said on NRA-TV that “This could have been very different if Botham Jean had been, say, he was a law-abiding gun owner and he saw somebody coming into his apartment.”
Loesch then questioned how the shooting even happened.
“One of the other things that seems kind of extraordinary to me — when you go, and this — when you go into somebody’s house, things smell different, right?” she said to NRA’s Jeff Houston. “I mean, granted the lights are off, it’s still going to kind of look different. It’s going to kind of feel different. It’s going to smell different, because it’s just — there’s different stuff and different people that live there.”
Houston responded, “After 15 hours of hard work, one should not be in such a state of discoherence that you’re walking in and not knowing that you’re in your own place. So, there’s just some really strange — something strange is going on here. Not happy with this obviously, a guy is dead that did not need to be.”
Loesch has been known to blame unarmed victims of gun violence for what happens to them.
After her comments, many people criticized her on Twitter. The Atlantic called her comments a catch-22.
“Try to follow along: @NRA’s Dana Loesch alleged that #BothamJean would be alive if he’d had a gun. Now she says it’s not germane that there was weed in his apartment. A year ago, she argued that weed in Philando Castile’s car made him culpable in his own shooting death by police,” tweeted Shannon Watts, the founder of Mom’s Demand Action.
Castile was killed in July 2016 when he was pulled over by Jeronimo Yanez, a St. Anthony, Minnesota, police officer. Castile was shot after he told Yanez that he had a gun. Castile had a permit to carry.
Castile’s mother, Valerie, told the New York Daily News that Loesch’s comments were one-sided.
“(Jean) was in his own home. Inside a nice building with security. He had a right to feel safe in his own home. He wasn’t expecting someone to come in uninvited. He shouldn’t have to always keep a gun on his hip. That’s asinine,” she told the Daily News.