Spokane Police announced that the second suspect in the slaying of 88-year-old Delbert “Shorty” Belton was arrested at about 3 a.m. this morning along with “several other people” who are now under investigation for rendering criminal assistance.
The news comes as the proverbial “frosting on the cake” 48 hours after the much-ballyhooed boycott of Starbucks by the anti-gun Moms Demand Action fell flat as coffee shops around the country, including here in the Pacific Northwest, saw plenty of business from armed citizens. It was not the first time such an anti-gun effort was a bust.
Belton, the WWII veteran who was beaten fatally last week, was being remembered this morning on KVI by morning drive-time talk-jock John Carlson and Ted Dennison, a friend of the dead man, in a lengthy telephone chat.
Now in jail is Kenan Adams-Kinard, 16, who faces charges of first-degree murder and first-degree robbery. He and the other suspect in this case, 16-year-old Demetrious Glenn, allegedly beat Belton with heavy flashlights, prompting a pro-gun police officer to contact this column to wonder with sarcasm how long it might be before someone demands background checks for flashlight purchases.
Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub is scheduled to hold a press conference today about the arrest and the case.
The case brings into focus something the anti-gun lobby pushing for “gun free zones” in Seattle businesses and a policy of discrimination against law-abiding gun owners by Starbucks either fails to grasp or refuses to acknowledge. People commit murder and mayhem with things other than firearms.
When USA Today wrote about the “boycott” it quoted Kim Russell, national director of outreach for the Moms Demand Action group. She reminded the newspaper that Starbucks has the right to prohibit firearms in its shops “in the interest of customer safety.”
However, Russell and others who push social bigotry against armed citizens deliberately tell half the story. Starbucks, and any other business, also has the right to serve armed citizens and ignore the gun prohibition lobby, which might be in the best interest of customer safety. There does not appear to have been a spate of attacks in stores where armed citizens are gathered for coffee. Saturday’s turnout at Starbucks shops suggests the coffee giant might ask the Moms group to be more vocal, because it appears to boost their business.
The turnout of gun owners was covered over the weekend by KING 5 News, and KVI’s Carlson reported that the coffee shops “had an unusually heavy turnout of business on Saturday.” The KING 5 Facebook page shows sharply divided opinions, but most people support the rights of gun owners, and the right of Starbucks – which is trying to remain above the fray – to serve anybody it pleases.