>> Chelsea Leonard
17-year-old Floridian Jordan Davis was killed outside of a gas station in Jacksonville after being asked to turn his music down.
Davis was in an SUV with friends making a pit stop at a gas station, when Michael Dunn, 45, allegedly asked him to lower the volume of his stereo.
This turned into a verbal sparring that ended with Dunn firing several shots into the vehicle as the boys attempted to escape.
A jury was deadlocked on a first-degree murder charge but convicted Dunn of second-degree attempted murder, according to USA Today.
The situation has been compared to highly-publicized Trayvon Martin case, as both were adoloscent black boys.
However, Davis’ mother told First Coast News she does not want her son to be remembered as a victim of a hate crime because that would not “honor” Davis.
So what is it? An open-and-close case of racism? A reason to tighten our ever-diminishing gun rights?
We live in an angry society of selfish individuals who always need to come out on top.
We now must live by the sentiment, “Be careful; if you do not turn down your music because someone else asks, you may get shot.”
On the opposite end of the spectrum, why can we not turn our music down if we see it is clearly bothering someone else?
Society needs to learn tolerance and acceptance.
We will never progress if we keep a “what-best-serves-me” attitude.
With that being said, we have to take a look at why someone would feel the need to use a gun in the situation.
According to CNN, Dunn claims the boys had a shotgun in the car, a claim he made a month after the incident and which has not held up in court.
The alleged weapon was never recovered.
The driver of the car was not actually a teenager.
He was a 20-year-old male who was on probation for burglary.
These boys may not have been perfect angels shot at for “no reason,” and Dunn could have been provoked.
According to CBS News, both Thompson and Brunson said it was Davis who escalated the verbal sparring.
If Davis had not fueled the argument Dunn had started, he could still be alive.
During the argument, Davis said, “I’m tired of people telling me what to do,” according to Leeland Brunson, who was also in the car.
This statement echoes the sentiment of every angst teen, and it is unfortunate Davis will never have the opportunity to learn from his words. But we can.
There are other ways to defer a dangerous situation.
Davis could have rolled up the window, driven away or gone inside the gas station to cool off.
We were taught problem-solving solutions in elementary school and seem to have forgotten them.
I do not remember reading, “shoot the kid next to you if he does not do exactly as you say.”
We have been conditioned to only care about what we can gain or what we deserve.
Perhaps this is why a man would feel entitled to give orders to stranger or to “protect” himself by firing nine shots into a fleeing vehicle.
Did Dunn feel genuinely threatened?
Was it pride or underlying racism? It is impossible to know for sure.
I cannot pretend to be privy to the inner workings of Dunn’s mind, but we do know the facts.
Be thankful for the next time you pull up to a gas station without anyone firing into your door because you’re blasting your preferred radio station just a little too loudly.
Conflict resolution is a skill many are lacking and desperately need to work on.
It is the best way to prevent tragic situations like this one.
It could have been me. It could have been you. TAS