Andrew Black, a 23-year-old Vermont man, bought a gun last Thursday morning. By the middle of the afternoon, he was dead from a gun-related suicide, his family says.
“Andrew was having a bad day, that’s the easiest way to put it,” his father, Rob Black, told WCAX. “At 11:02 he went and bought a gun. Was out of the store by 11:30 and he was dead by 3 or 3:30.”
Now, as his family grieves, a line in his obituary urges people in Vermont to contact their local elected officials and push them to enact a waiting-period law in the state with the following message:
“In honor of Andrew R. Black, we ask that you work for legislation that imposes a reasonable waiting period between firearm purchase and possession to provide a cooling off period to guard against impulsive acts of violence.”
— BurlingtonFreePress (@bfp_news) December 12, 2018
The Essex man’s parents, Rob and Alyssa Black, believe a waiting period may have saved their son’s life — they think his suicide was an impulsive act.
“It was just so easy for him to do it,” his father told the news station. “In the moment, whatever was going through his head, that was his solution to it.”
Multiple states don’t have a waiting period when it comes to buying firearms, including Vermont and Massachusetts, according to Giffords Law Center.
“If nothing more than 24 or 48 hours,” Rob Black told WCAX. “If he had just had time to let us get home or go to work the next day, it could have totally been avoided.”
It’s not that the Blacks are opposed to gun ownership in general. They say they support the Second Amendment.
“I’m a combat veteran and I own guns, and I’m definitely not anti-gun by any means,” Rob Black told the news station. “But I am pro-waiting period.”
At 23, Andrew Black enjoyed hiking and watching hockey — he was a “rabid fan” of the Montreal Canadiens, according to his obituary.
He was also “fascinated by the art and science of using traditional ingredients to create innovative Vermont beers” and worked at Lawson’s Finest Liquids, a well-known brewery in the state, his obituary says. He loved spending time with his dog, Biggie, who adored him as well.
“Andrew Black was an adventurous spirit who loved deeply and was loved in return,” his obituary says.