LeBron James: Cleveland Cavalier Calls For Tighter Gun Control Following Child’s Drive-By Death In Cleveland

Lebron James

LeBron James is calling for tougher gun control following the drive-by shooting death of an infant girl in Cleveland, the third death of a child in gun violence in the city in a few weeks, The Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting.

On Thursday, news broke of an infant baby being killed in a drive-by shooting on Cleveland’s east side. Aavielle Wakefield, who was 5-months-old, was the third small child to die in gun violence in Cleveland in a matter of a few weeks.

As the news of Aavielle’s murder broke, President Obama was addressing the nation still reeling from the mass killing in Roseburg, Oregon, where a gunman killed nine people and injured seven before he himself was killed. Lebron James, who was at home with his family at the time, had had enough. He took to social media and, in a rare move for the Cavaliers star, took a stand on a political issue.

NOTE: In this context, “OOC” appears to stand for “Out of Control.”

LeBron James has, in the past, dipped his toes into political waters. He’s spoken about violence by police toward unarmed African-Americans; in 2012, while with the Miami Heat, James led his team in a protest against the killing of Trayvon Martin by posing with his teammates in hooded sweatshirts with their hoods pulled down over their heads (Martin was wearing a so-called “hoodie” when he was shot and killed). Before a game last season, LeBron and teammate Kyrie Irving both wore T-shirts that said “I Can’t Breathe,” referencing New York man Eric Garner, an unarmed African-American man who struggled for breath while placed in an illegal chokehold by a New York City cop.

But LeBron’s marks on gun control are the most pointed and obvious political stance he’s taken in his career so far.

Speaking to a Plain Dealer reporter, LeBron clarified his remarks.

“I know what I see. I know how I feel. Obviously you’re not going to be able to take every gun out, I don’t know how you can do that. There’s so many around now, today. But if there’s some stipulations behind it or some penalties, some big time penalties or rules or regulations about carrying firearms, legal or illegal, people will second-guess themselves.”

In an indirect way, LeBron James is putting his money where his mouth is when it comes to addressing gun violence. Through his charitable work with the LeBron James Family Foundation, James has been helping at-risk kids from violent neighborhoods focus on education instead of gangs and crime, according to Sport Act.

“Part of the education program we’re doing is keeping those kids off the street and keeping their situations that’s maybe bad and turning them into good. I think what we’re doing is controlling some of the violence. Some of these kids might be in violent situations, violent areas or violent homes and we’re trying to keep them away from that by having that program that I’ve set up.”

Do you agree with LeBron James’ thoughts on gun control?

[Image courtesy of: Getty Images/Ezra Shaw]