Why does rap culture glorify the unsafe use and handling of firearms? A more relevant question, why do individuals feel compelled to mimic the highly dangerous and ill-advised behavior often portrayed in rap videos?
Perhaps that latter question should be directed at 22-year-old Rodney Patrick Jr. of Brevard County, Florida, who fatally shot his girlfriend’s brother, 17-year-old Douglas Winslow, while acting out the lyrics of a rap song.
Initially, Patrick denied that he was as at fault, telling 911 dispatcher that the teen was responsible for the shooting.
“He shot himself in the head. I think he’d dead,” Patrick told dispatchers.
However, investigators found the firearm used in the shooting in a hamper and a bullet casing that had been hidden out of sight which, along with the fact that there was no residue or splatter on Winslow’s hands, lead them to the conclusion that there was certainly more to the story.
Eventually, a clearer picture emerged. It appeared that Patrick was playing ‘wannabe rapper’ when he grabbed a loaded firearm and started acting like an idiot.
“We’ve got a gun being waved around. We’ve got the safety being clicked on and off a loaded gun,” Assistant State Attorney Gary Beatty told WFTV. “A reasonable person knows or should know that action can result in someone’s death if the gun discharges.”
Now, Patrick is being charged with manslaughter, tampering with evidence and possession of a controlled substance.
This story is a cautionary one that needs to be shared with the younger generations. The moral of the story? Don’t be an idiot. Never mimic idiotic behavior. And at the very least learn the basics of firearm safety:
- All guns are always loaded.
- Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
- Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
- Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.